Flounder are still around the bay


August continues to see good catches of flounder in Ocean City. Some years, the flounder do a disappearing act in August, but not this year. Anglers in boats are picking them up in all areas of the bay. From the bay behind Assateague to the U.S. Route 50 bridge, there is definitely action. Although a lot of flounder are being released, flounder under Maryland's legal size limit of 13 inches -- the keepers -- are there.

William Cecil, Billy Cecil and Walter Cecil (a grandfather-son-grandson team) of Glen Burnie proved those nice fish were around last weekend. They caught 11 keepers between 1 1/4 and 2 3/4 pounds using a combination of live minnow and squid. They were drifting between buoys 7 and 9. This has been a good spot on the incoming tide.

Another good flounder hole is the area just off 22nd Street on the east channel. Bob Laing of Ocean City picked up a large one here. His flounder, which he caught on a minnow and squid sandwich, weighed 4 pounds 7 ounces.

Many anglers have been fishing by the state Route 90 bridge and casting into the channel. Norfolk spot, croakers, sea trout and porgies are the normal fare for anglers using a bloodworm and squid combination. Butch Schannauer of Denver, Pa., was using live minnow in this particular hole. He pulled out the largest flounder of the weekend, a 7 1/4 pounder. He also caught three flounder that weighed about 1 pound each, and a 1-pound trout.

Woody Weilend of Baltimore was on the other end of the bay last weekend fishing the bay behind Assateague with minnows, squid and blue crab for bait. They had nine keeper flounder that weighed up to 2 pounds -- a very nice catch.

The Thorofare has also been producing. Hugh Larkin of East Lansdowne, Pa., picked up a whopping 5-pound 10-ounce flounder there on a live minnow.

The U.S. Route 50 bridge has been extremely good for flounder. Anglers fishing from the bridge itself or drifting near it on the slacking tide have picked up some good ones. John Vanderburg of West Chester, Pa., was drifting north of the bridge with a live minnow when he landed a 5 1/4 -pound flounder.

Inlet fishing has been good on bluefish. Wayne Shelton of Barnacle Bill's Marina on 52nd Street caught an 11-pound bluefish while fishing in the Ocean City Inlet. Jeffery Windsor of Baltimore was drifting in the Indian River Inlet with live spot when he landed a pair of bluefish. One weighed 13 1/2 pounds; the other huge blue weighed 13 1/4 pounds. Many anglers have been fishing both inlets for sea trout with live spot. Though the trout fishing has been spotty, the big blues have definitely been ready to grab the bait.

Anglers fishing the Ocean Pier have had excellent catches of spot, along with a few good size kingfish and a couple nice flounder. Saturday and Wednesday nights, the pier offers shark fishing. Last Saturday, anglers observed many sharks and pulled in several sand sharks and some duskies. One 30-pound sting ray was bought up -- and while she was there, she gave birth. The three baby sting rays were released and swam away.

The surf in and around Ocean City has been productive. Norfolk spot and kingfish have been the biggest news. Little pieces of bloodworm on small hooks catch the fish best in the mornings and again in the late afternoons. Occasionally the bluefish come into the surf. The blues are not large, in the half- to 2-pound range, but the action is good when they are there. Unfortunately, in the middle of the day, on the outgoing tides, the crabs are very troublesome.

At night, we are seeing quite a few larger sand and dusky sharks weighing up to 15 pounds. Most of these are taking cut spot, squid or mullet.

Scott Baltz of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle near Indian River says the bluefish have been consistent at the Inlet. Last Sunday morning, the blues in the 3- to 4-pound range hit on the beginning of the incoming tide on white bucktails with white plastic worm trailers. Larger blues and some stripers have been taking poppers up there as well.

Fishing on the offshore scene has only been fair. The king mackerel that were so plentiful in weeks before have scattered. Anglers were catching one or two here and there, but no great numbers. The Jackspot area slowed up; the larger tuna were taken around the Baltimore, Washington and Poor Man's canyons.

Though the tuna were scattered, a couple big ones were weighed in. A 100-pound yellowfin tuna was landed. The angler was fishing in the Baltimore Canyon on the Dixie Lady with Capt. Scott Walker in 60 fathoms of water.

Bill Dickenson of Bridgeville, Del., caught a 93-pound yellowfin in the Baltimore Canyon while fishing aboard the party boat O.C. Princess on one of its overnighters.

John Steuernagog of Edgewood landed a 130 1/2 -pound bluefin tuna while fishing aboard the Bait'n & Wait'n. They were fishing 30 fathoms of water inside the Poor Man's Canyon with a ballyhoo for bait.

Troy Lutz of Windsor, Pa., fishing aboard the Daddy's Girl was trolling the Washington Canyon with a ballyhoo when he came up with a 236-pound big-eye tuna.

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