Small bluefish make debut in surf stripers also hitting

September 26, 1993|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Contributing Writer

Surf anglers recently lined the beaches, hoping for some fishing action to spice up their fall.

Although the surf was rough and the sinkers came bouncing back with the waves, anglers caught bluefish up to 2 pounds. They weren't large, but they were the first run of blues we have seen in the surf.

Raymond Layton Jr. had a catch worth noting on Assateague Island at crossing No. 11. He landed a 28 1/2 -pound red drum on a kingfish head.

After he had hooked the kingfish, something grabbed the line and ate the lower half of the fish. He quickly hooked on the remaining portion of the kingfish and landed the huge red drum. There's been quite a mixed bag of fish in the surf. Other surf fishing activity included kingfish, spot, trout, flounder, stripers and puppy drum.

Anglers are not sure what bait to use. If you have two rods, try bloodworm on a No. 6 hook and filleted or whole mullet on a larger hook. Some anglers use a top and bottom rig and fish the bloodworm on the bottom hook and mullet or squid strip on the top hook.

If you are after bluefish, whole or chunks of finger mullet is the best choice. If the target is trout or flounder, a filleted strip of mullet, squid or other cut bait is the answer. Spot and kingfish prefer bloodworm on a small hook.

Stripers, which are now legal in Ocean City, are hitting in the surf. Anglers are permitted to keep one per day per person as long as the fish is at least 28 inches long. Anglers are not allowed to fish for stripers between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Stripers usually hit cut bait, whole bloodworms or lures such as Hopkins or the Rebel Wind Cheaters.

Stripers are also hitting at the Ocean City and Indian River inlets and the U.S. 50 bridge. Stripers tend to chase lures that resemble a whole finger mullet when anglers fish the inlets. Live eels or five or six sand fleas clustered on a hook will also lure a striper.

A legal striper will weigh at least 9 pounds, so use a large enough hook and a sturdy pole when fishing the inlet or bridge. Light tackle is hard to control when fishing near rocks or pilings. Striper season will end Nov. 30 in Ocean City.

Mark Meredith of Ocean View, Del., landed a 30-pound striper from the Indian River Inlet on a Rebel Wind Cheater. Greg Fousek of Ocean City caught an approximate 9 1/2 -pound striper from the North Ocean City surf on a Hopkins lure last week.

Flounder fishing has also been decent. Even though it was foggy and overcast last weekend and very windy last Sunday, anglers still caught fish. Tim Witmer of York, Pa., landed a 4 1/2 -pound flounder while drifting in the channel off Harbor Island near 14th Street. He was using a live minnow for bait.

Robert C. Cook of Hymman, Pa., took a 4 1/4 -pound flounder while fishing near buoy No. 8, which is in the vicinity of the Thorofare. He caught a big fluke on a strip of flounder belly.

The Torguga bay party boat out of Bahia Marina had flounder up to 5 pounds last weekend. They were drifting near the Coast Guard Station. This area and the U.S. 50 bridge were good flounder spots.

Large sea trout have also been seen. Caren Wells of Ocean City had a 6 1/4 -pounder while fishing on the bridge. Linsey McElfresh of Ocean City caught a 7 1/2 - and 5-pound trout while casting a twister lure off the North Jetty.

Tautog fishing suddenly improved at both the Ocean City and Indian River inlets. Cool nights and falling water temperatures cause these fish to move and feed. Vic Fuoco of Ocean City caught 13 nice tautog on Sunday.

There is no minimum-size limit on tautog in Maryland, but anglers are encouraged to release the small ones. In Delaware, the minimum-size limit is 12 inches, a reasonable size to keep.

Offshore sea trout and croaker fishing continues to be good, although windy weather kept many boats in last week. Party boats are also doing well on larger sea bass. Mike Doyle of Westminster, fishing aboard the Captain Bunting party boat at Dorchester Street, landed a 5-pound sea bass.

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