July Fourth weekend saw the first blue marlin. A 367-pound blue was caught by David Stone of Princess Anne. He was fishing aboard the Tereca-Ree with a Door-Knob lure between the Washington and Norfolk canyons when the big fish hit. Another blue marlin was caught and released aboard the boat Predator.
Blue marlin were not the only excitement happening over the holiday weekend. Though the white marlin were scattered from east of the Jackspot to the canyons, several boats caught and released two. The boat King Fisher and the Sheila Ann both had two white marlin releases.
The area heat wave has brought other fish closer to shore. Warm pockets of water have lured bluefin tuna to the Jackspot, as well as dolphin and king mackerel. King mackerel and Spanish mackerel were reported at the First and Second Lumps this past week, making good action for the smaller boats, which cannot travel out as far as the canyons.
Many offshore anglers said there were hundreds of schooling dolphin working beneath buoys or any floating debris. Anglers were catching them with any kind of cut bait or small lures. Larger dolphin were taken farther offshore. Milton Watkowski of Severna Park landed a 32.8-pound dolphin while trolling an artificial lure north of the Washington Canyon. He was fishing aboard a private boat, Second Chance.
The big tuna are not plentiful yet, but a few good-sized ones were weighed in last weekend. The largest was a bluefin tuna taken by Bernie Holman of Butler, Pa. This huge tuna weighed 181 pounds. Mr. Holman was shark fishing aboard Pickett's Charge with Capt. Mike Harris in 20 fathoms of water northeast of the Jackspot.
A 125-pound yellowfin tuna was also weighed. It was caught by Stan Strunk of Oley, Pa. The fish took a Green Machine lure south of the Poor Man's Canyon.
A few cobias have also been taken. There is a federal "fork-size" limit on cobia. They must measure at least 33 inches from the tip of the nose of the fish to the fork of the tail. There is also a size limit on white marlin. White marlin must measure 62 inches from the lower jaw to the fork of the tail.
Ocean City flounder fishing continues to be good. One of the largest flounder taken last week was by Richard Rauch of York, Pa. He was fishing the bay behind Assateague offshore of buoy No. 11 when he hung into a 6 pounder. Another good-sized flounder, a 4 1/2 pounder, was also reported. It was caught by Stan Witman of Windsor, Pa. He was fishing the Thorofare with a live minnow. Both of these fish were weighed in at Delmarva Sport Center.
The party boat Tortuga out of Bahia Marina had one morning trip last week when it caught 220 flounder. Of these, 30 were keepers (flounder over the size limit of 14 inches).
Last week's full moon brought on the trout. Chris Peters of New Florence, Pa., caught four trout up to 5 1/2 pounds while casting bucktails from the North Jetty.
The U.S. 50 bridge saw some hefty trout catches during the evening hours. Bessie Sotirakos of Ocean City picked up a 6-pound, 2-ounce trout while casting a bucktail with a plastic worm. Bill Reise of Ashton caught one of the largest trout last week at the bridge. His catch went 7 1/2 pounds.
Ocean City party boats had some large tautog last week. Ted Hurdoe of New Carrollton had a 6 1/2 pounder aboard the Captain Bunting. His friend, Leroy Markle of Hanover, Pa., had a 9-pound tautog, also taken on the Captain Bunting. Margaret Landgon of Hampstead, fishing aboard the O. C. Princess, had one of the largest tautog of the week. It went 13 pounds, 2 ounces.
Surf fishing in the Ocean City area has been fair on some days and excellent on others. When the wind blows in an easterly direction, the action is definitely better. Many small sea trout, as well as sand perch, are biting, along with a scattering of kingfish. The folks at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle reported that the kingfish were all over the Delaware state beaches on Sunday. The best bet in the surf continues to be a piece of bloodworm sandwiched with a small strip of squid.