Large bluefish caught off Assateague heralds bounty of fall

August 29, 1993|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

The first large bluefish in months was caught off the Assateague surf last weekend, with Matt Esterson of Seaford, Del., managing to take the 13-pound, 2-ounce bluefish using spot. Mary Brown of Buck's Place on Assateague, where the fish was weighed in, said there also had been smaller blues, some sea trout and a couple of flounder.

Summer surf-fishing generally produces catches of smaller fish such as Norfolk spot, kingish, spike sea trout and some flounder. As the season

progresses, the fish get bigger and the action heats up. Larger flounder, "keeper" sea trout and migrating bluefish ranging from 3 to 20 pounds will be common in months to come. Even some puppy drum are anticipated.

The Ocean Pier saw pretty good flounder action. Flounder up to 17 inches were caught -- good news since flounder fishing in the bay has been slow. Rosella Compello of Ocean City landed a 4 1/2 -pound flounder as she drifted Northeast of the Thorofare with a live minnow. James Smith of York, Pa., took a 4-pound, 2-ounce flounder while drifting in front of Harbor Island in the East Channel.

Tad Perry of Catonsville hit one of Ocean City's better holes. He was fishing near buoy No. 13 in the East Channel when he landed a 3 1/2 -pounder and at least five other flounder. He, too, had been using live minnows.

Doug Hindes of Columbia caught a 3-pound, 9-ounce flounder while drifting through the inlet on a minnow.

Inlet anglers saw some improved sea trout fishing during the week. Joe Rekus of Towson caught a 6-pound, 2-ounce sea trout using a bucktail dressed with a strip of pork rind at the South Jetty. Earl Simpson of Ocean City used live bait last Sunday to land three sea trout weighing up to 6 pounds. He also had a 3 1/2 -pound flounder and several snapper blues. Live-bait anglers are using either spot or sand perch.

The Judith M party boat out of Bahia Marina was drifting near Great Gull Shoal in the Six Mile Slough when they came across a whole school of black drum. While several anglers initially hooked the big fish, only one was actually boated. Stephanie Beers of Walnutport, Pa., caught the 64-pound black drum on a squid strip hooked on a No. 1 hook. It took 20 minutes to bring in this fish.

Further offshore, larger yellowfin tuna were taken. Pat Miller of Scranton, Pa., fishing aboard the Liquidator with Capt. Bob Grover, caught a 103-pound yellowfin.

Several wahoo were taken, including one 33-pounder caught by Guy Pilli of Grasonville, who was fishing aboard the Jersey Devil at the Washington Canyon and using ballyhoo for bait.

White and blue marlin action was good this past week, especially in the area of the Rockpile near the Washington Canyon. Mark Maitz of Allentown, Pa., fought a 15-foot marlin for more than four hours before releasing the fish, estimated at over 1,000 pounds. Mr. Maitz was fishing aboard the charterboat Grand Slam with Captain Butch Davis in the area of the Poor Man's Canyon.

Charlie Hoffman of Ellicott City, fishing aboard the MoJo near the East end of the Hot Dog Lump, also released a blue marlin, estimated at 600 to 700 pounds. Twelve-year-old Nathan Laird of Ocean City, aboard the Remedy II, released a blue marlin taken zTC

in 100 fathoms of water southeast of Rockpile.

Remember that as of Aug. 30, sea trout must be 12 inches to keep and there is a creel limit of 10 fish per person. Croaker must be 9 inches and there is a creel limit of 20 fish per person. Also, federal law has closed the season on school-sized bluefin tuna in the regions south of New Jersey.

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