Red drum provide action at Assateague


September 25, 1994|By Sue Hayes | Sue Hayes,Special to The Sun

Assateague Island sees a school of red drum. Yes, last week, on Assateague Island's four-wheel drive area, a huge school of red drum apparently meandered close to shore.

From last Tuesday to Saturday night anglers caught red drum up to 37 3/4 pounds. This largest drum was taken by Ted Burbage of Libertytown on mullet bait Bobby Quillin and Maggie Magee of Bishopville caught four drum.

Calvin Smack, William Hern and Cathy Fitzsimmons of Berlin caught three drum. Another group fishing the area of the "Bull Penn" on Assateague caught 10 about midnight.

Drum are typical this time of year, especially on the southern end of Assateague. The best areas have been around crossings 14 and 15.

Anglers use any kind of cut bait on a 4/0 size hook. Mullet fillets, big pieces of mullet chunks, spot, even a kingfish head works great for red drum. Make sure your drag is working properly because these fish are big.

The Ocean City surf did not see any drum, but it did see a flurry of bluefish action. These blues, which were running anywhere from 1/2 pound to 16 inches were biting whole finger mullet the best. Anglers were putting them on a whole "mullet rig" for the best results.

Also in the surf, especially at night, are stripers. One man expounded that he caught one that went 31 inches.

The U.S. 50 bridge has been an especially hot spot to fish this past week. By day anglers have been catching flounder along with numbers of snapper blues. At night, some larger fare has made an appearance.

Dave Mumford and Bob Nefferdors of Berlin mixed a bucktail with a plastic worm and a grub to catch a 12 3/4 -pound striper and a 9 3/4 -pound sea trout. These fish were weighed in at Skip's Bait and Tackle on Talbot Street.

The Oceanic Pier and the Shantytown Piers have been especially active with flounder by day and sea trout at night.

One angler commented that everyone was catching flounder from the Oceanic Pier. The high outgoing tide has been best for the fluke.

The highlight of the week was a 6-pound 6-ounce flounder caught by Lillian Mantzours of Ocean City. She was drifting just north of the U.S. 50 bridge in her boat when she caught the doormat flounder on a flounder belly and minnow sandwich. Weighed in at Bahia Marina.

On the whole, flounder fishing in the bay has been good as long as you catch the tide. Two hours before and two hours after the high is most critical this time of year.

The flounder are moving their way out of the bays, so the best area to fish is close to the U.S. 50 bridge. Whether on the north or south side, fish with a large bait on a long leadered hook for the best action. Live minnows with a strip of squid, four or five shiners on a hook, a long tapered strip of bluefish belly, spot belly or fillet of lizardfish will work.

dTC Small live spot or mullet are especially effective if you have the means to catch them and keep this sensitive bait alive. There are large amounts of bait fish in the bay right now. You need to get the flounder's attention with a large succulent bait! (Flounder season in Ocean City is in until the end of October this year.)

The Ocean City and Indian River inlets have come alive with snapper blue action. It seems that there has finally been some finger mullet coming into the inlets, stirring up the fish.

Besides the numerous blues, anglers are picking up some respectable trout and some stripers. Besides bucktails, anglers do good with Rattletraps, Windcheaters and spoons.

On the offshore scene, the talk is still good-sized croaker and not-so-large sea trout. The sea trout did seem to grow a few inches this past week, so there have been more "keepers" on the party boats. The minimum size limit for trout is 12 inches in Maryland. Anglers with boats large enough to venture into the ocean a few miles are finding the fish just offshore of the Little Gull Shoal about four miles offshore, and down south where the McCabe's house used to be on Assateague.

Further offshore, the news has been yellowfin tuna and white marlin. These fish came in a little closer last week. Where as before most of the action was in the Baltimore Canyon, now we hear news from the Hot Dog Lump as well.

Scott Pugh of Gore, Va., proved that the wahoo were still there. He landed a 73-pounder while fishing in the area of the Poor Man's Canyon. This fish was weighed in at Bahia Marina.

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