Shark weighs in as catch of the week


The big news last week was an 857-pound mako shark taken on a Foster's Lager beer can dressed with a blue-and-white plastic skirt. The boat Job Site with Capt. Mitch Pierson was trolling in the Poor Man's Canyon when Bill Bennett of Baltimore hooked the monster shark. The fish was so big that the captain had to back down on the fish.

Another big fish hooked last week was a 200-pound bluefin tuna caught by George Ressler of Lykens, Pa. He was fishing aboard the Outrageous, which was trolling a green machine lure through Poor Man's Canyon when the big tuna hit the line.

Anglers also did well at the tip of the Washington Canyon. Marty Angel, fishing aboard the Kebet with owner Charlie Morris, landed eight dolphin and two tuna.

Flounder fishing is still the main story in Ocean City with most anglers taking at least two or three fish.

Tom Brinker of Takoma Park caught one of the largest flounder last week. It weighed 6 3/4 pounds and was taken on a live minnow in the deep hole north of the Dog and Bitch Islands in the Thorofare.

Buoy No. 5, inside the Thorofare, was a hot spot last week. Jason Kinder and Joe Shirk of Conowingo picked up a 3 1/4 - , 3- and 2 1/2 -pound flounder along with several other fish while drifting shiners and live minnows past the buoy. Tony Blasco of Easton, fishing with Capt. John Martin of Ocean City, picked up a 3 1/2 -pound flounder on a live minnow and squid combination.

Other weekend hot spots were buoy No. 3, buoy No. 9 and the entrance to Harbor Island.

The U.S. 50 bridge was especially good for flounder. Anglers were hauling good-sized fish -- up to 3 1/4 pounds -- over the railing as passersby were stalled in traffic. It was a sight to see.

Local tackle stores were under a tremendous pressure last weekend to supply the many vacationers with live minnows for flounder bait. Most ran out of live bait on Saturday, forcing many anglers to try frozen shiners. To their surprise, the shiners worked just as well as the live minnows.

Besides flounder, blues and trout have been biting in the evening on the Ocean Pier. "One trout went 7 pounds," said David Townsend of the Ocean Pier. The anglers used squid and shiner for bait.

During the day, most anglers were catching Norfolk spot with bloodworms. There were also a few kingfish caught last weekend, but not many.

After last Sunday's fierce thunderstorm, anglers started catching to 4-foot dusky and sand sharks and big rays with squid strips, Mr. Townsend said.

Slim Griffin of the Oceanic Pier said that the trout fishing at night from the pier has been especially good with catches of trout in the 2- to 6-pound range. Anglers also caught small live spots -- one of the best trout baits around.

According to Clark Evans of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle, anglers were catching striped bass up to 35 pounds with bucktails at Indian River, even during the day. Trout were hitting at night in the inlet on bucktails, he said, but the blues have been spotty. Flounder fishing in the inlet has also picked up considerably.

Surf fishing from Assateague to Cape Henlopen has been erratic. Bob Diesenderfer of Shockley's Market on Route 611 said Assateague saw some small bluefish and a few kingfish. At Fenwick State Park, the action was mostly Norfolk spot with an occasional kingfish mixed in.

At night, the action is different. Dusky and sand sharks up to 20 pounds have been caught on either squid strips or large chunks of mullet bait.

Offshore action was decent this week. Capt. Albert Simpson on the Pursuer and Capt. Bill Lutch on the Wet Whiskers brought in good catches of tuna, mostly yellowfin, in the 50- to 55-pound range. The Captain Talbot charter boat caught king mackerel, Spanish mackerel and a tuna just offshore of the Jackspot, which is good news for boaters who want to fish there rather than travel way out to the canyons.

The 20-fathom break, which is offshore of the Jackspot, makes up the area called the "Fingers." The area had been very slow. Last week, though, with the influx of the mackerel and some smaller tuna and bonita, anglers with smaller boats were enjoying some of the blue-water action. The mackerel were taking spoons the best. Some king mackerel were taken inshore at the Fenwick Shoal, which is very close to the beach.

Offshore, there was a lot of white marlin activity on the 40- to 50-fathom line between the Poor Man's and Baltimore Canyon. There were also yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna in the 40- to 65-pound range, along with decent-sized dolphin from the same area.

Inside the Wilmington Canyon, some blue marlin were hooked. Mako fishing has slowed up, but dusky and hammerhead sharks are becoming more plentiful.

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