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White marlin, tuna appear


For the offshore angler, the news is good -- the first white marlin and bluefin tuna made their appearance last weekend.

A 43-pound marlin was taken aboard the Shadowfax at the Washington Canyon on a cedar plug by Bill Woodard of Edgewater. Two other white marlin were also reported out of Indian River.

A bluefin tuna was reeled in at the Fingers by Ron Gladkowski aboard the Instigator. The 25 pounder was taken on a mackerel bait. And the charter boat Virginia weighed in a 130-pound bluefin tuna. Angler Chip Pharr of Baltimore caught the fish at the Hot Dog Lump on a mackerel bait.

Flounder also continued to be prevalent in the area. B.J.'s South restaurant sponsored a flounder tournament June 4, which proved that locals could really catch fish. Barbara Glinka from Bahia Marina and three friends landed 22 keeper flounder in the bay behind Assateague between buoys 10 and 12, offshore of the Eagle's Nest Campground.

Ms. Glinka and her party were using live minnows with squid strips to catch these flounder that won them first prize. "The ratio of keeper flounder to throwback flounder was a surprising 50 percent," Ms. Glinka said.

The bay behind Ocean City saw a much different ratio of keepers to throwbacks, though many good flounder catches were reported. The party boat Tortuga, out of Bahia, had days where it caught as many as 70 flounder, though only a dozen or so were legal.

Another hot spot this week was in the bay behind Assateague between buoys 3 and 5, where anglers caught flounder up to 3 pounds. This area is offshore of the airport.

Anglers also reported doing well in the flats north and west of the Thorofare. Dan Mumford of Ocean City and his wife, Liz, landed two flounder in 15 minutes drifting near Drum Point on the outgoing tide. They used live minnows to catch the 2 1/2 - and 1 1/2 -pounder.

There have also been some nice flounder catches in front of Hooper's Restaurant, north of the U.S. 50 bridge in the west channel. The channel in front of Harbor Island in the east channel at 14th Street is also starting to produce.

Bud Waltz of Ocean City landed four keeper flounder along with several throwback flounder while casting off the Shantytown Pier with shiners. Others have bragged of good catches of flounder on the U.S. 50 bridge, also with shiners.

Unfortunately, the water in the bay, which had been crystal clear, clouded up last weekend due to a west wind, making fishing only fair Saturday and Sunday.

Anglers in boats are still catching sea trout at the south jetty on the incoming tide with bucktails and pieces of peeler crab. Calvin Smack of Ocean City pulled up an unusual catch while fishing for trout -- a 9 1/4 -pound sheepshead.

Sea trout also came into the bay and surprised the anglers on the Oceanic Pier. Slim Griffin, the manager of the pier, said the trout were so large, the hooks were bending straight out.

The best sea trout fishing seems to be at night. The U.S. 50 bridge, Oceanic Pier and Shantytown Pier are the places to wet your line at night in Ocean City.

Surf anglers have been waiting for a serious blue blitz that has never really happened. Occasionally, the blues decide to come close in, and anglers are happy to report a catch of two to four blues. Some nights, though, the catch may only be a shark or skate.

For the patient surf angler, the hours of waiting are worthwhile when he or she is standing on the beach, and the bait fish start jumping. This happened to fishermen near Fenwick Island last Sunday when a school of kingfish and Norfolk spot suddenly came in the surf. Anglers using bloodworms caught a number of these delicious panfish.

Buck Brown of Buck's Place on Route 611 reported good surf fishing on Assateague last weekend: "They caught blues, kings, flounder and spot."

The past couple weeks have been a fisherman's dream on the party boats. According to David Bunting of the Captain Bunting, "Anglers have stringers of bass long enough to decorate a Christmas tree." And Monty Hawkins of the O.C. Princess at Shantytown said, "It's been a fine pick."

Scott Baltz of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle said that tautog fishing has slowed up at Indian River Inlet. "They are there, but most are awfully small. [Anglers] caught some larger blues this week in the 3- to 4-pound range by working the bucktail deep at the end of the outgoing tide."

He also said that sea trout are hitting on the incoming tide with bucktails with either a white or black worm. At night, he said, anglers are catching rockfish, and most are releasing them.

In tournament news, the Indian River Boating Association sponsored a shark tournament out of Indian River last weekend. The Last Try came in first with a 284-pound mako shark, and the Hideaway came in second place with a 258-pound mako.

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