East channel, bridge good spots for flounder

FISHING

September 19, 1993|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

Anglers in search of flounder are in luck this fall. They should be able to reel in nice catches before Oct. 10, the end of flounder season.

Popular spots are the east channel between Third Street and the middle of the U.S. 50 bridge. On the incoming slacking tide, boaters, congregated around the drawbridge, brought in good-sized flounder. Live minnows and large frozen shiners are the ticket for success in the bay.

The channel near the Convention Center is another good flounder location. Will Hall of Keenwick West took a 5-pounder in the channel off 28th Street on a bucktailed hook with a live minnow.

Drifting the inlets also brings decent flounder action. Eric Dickel of Bahia Marina landed a 4-pounder on the party boat Tortuga. Blair Carmine of Millsboro, Del., pulled in a 7 1/4 -pound flounder in the Indian River Inlet.

Vic Fuoco of Ocean City beached his boat at Assateague and cast from the beach next to the south jetty. He landed five flounder, weighing up to 3 pounds, and three trout, which weighed up to 2 1/2 pounds, on squid strips and sand fleas.

Several anglers have reported catching flounder offshore in water 20 to 40 feet. The fish tend to take squid, blue or trout strips.

Sea trout have picked up as well this month. Inshore, the trout are running larger than in the offshore waters. The U.S. 50 bridge is seeing more sea trout at night.

Jeffrey Jennings of Ocean Pines landed an 8-pound and a 4-pound sea trout taken on bucktails with plastic worms. Slim Griffith of the Oceanic Pier reports trout up to 5 pounds on spec rigs, mirrolures and bucktails.

Offshore trout are plentiful but small. The legal-size limit in Maryland is 12 inches, but even a 12-inch trout is not worth getting excited about. The waters closer to the beach in 20 to 40 feet of water are producing larger-size catches.

There have been trout up to 2 1/2 pounds near the beach, but offshore at Assateague and the Sea Colony in Bethany, Del., has been better. In Delaware, the size limit is 13 inches, but the creel limit is the same -- 10 fish per person.

Along with the trout, anglers are picking up legal-sized croaker (9 inches in Maryland), gulf kingfish, porgies, lingcod, flounder and sharks. A few dusky sharks up to 30 pounds and cobia up to 40 pounds were reported last week. There have also been a number of small bluefish in the 1- to 1 1/2 -pound range, which may be too small for eating but make wonderful strip baits for flounder and larger trout.

Last weekend produced snapper blues, sea trout, croaker, pompano, kingfish, puppy drum and flounder for surf fishermen. Assateague was an especially good place. Retired Cmdr. H. S. )) Honsaker of Salisbury landed one of the best catches of the week -- a 34-pound, 4-ounce red drum.

The best baits in the surf have been squid strips, finger mullet and bloodworms.

Fishermen can find bluefish on the incoming tide at Indian River Inlet. The blues have been running 2 to 4 pounds. Bucktails with either red or yellow plastic worms have been the best lures. Some anglers are catching the blues with fresh finger mullet. Striper action has been good in the evenings.

Tautog fishing at the inlets has also improved.

Offshore fish are also moving. Although there aren't as many anglers trolling offshore at this time of year, the fishing is good. The hot spot for marlin was the 35- to 60-fathom line area near the Rockpile. The boat Major Motion with Capt. Jim Garner documented a few white marlin releases over the weekend. The Elixir also had two releases.

A 556-pound blue marlin was caught by angler Mike Heminger of Annapolis, while on board the Second Chance with Capt. Joe Herring. They were fishing in 120 fathoms of water, south of the Rockpile.

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