Flounder came alive in Ocean City last week. Many of the flounder were too small to keep, "throwbacks" under the legal size limit of 14 inches, but the action was there. The bay party boat Tortuga, out of Bahia Marina, had several morning trips with over 100 flounder caught. The "keeper" to "throwback" ratio was approximately 1 in 5.
Anglers found that the high tide produced most of the flounder catches. Two hours before and two hours after high tide is the key time to go fishing. Fishing between the inlet and the U.S. 50 bridge was an excellent area to drift.
Al Orienta of Ocean City used a "lethal" weapon to catch a 4-pound flounder just north of the Thorofare. He was using a piece of soft crab sandwiched with a strip of squid. This flounder was weighed in at Delmarva Sport Center.
Wayne Smith of Ocean City proved that flounder were hitting south of the South Jetty. He was casting his squid and minnow combination close to the rocks when he landed a 3 1/4 -pound flounder.
We had one very interesting catch from the inlet area this past week. Last Friday the pier saw 55 trout, 12 blues and six croaker. On Saturday, the fare was 35 sea trout. Anglers here are using "spec rigs" and 4-inch twisters to catch the 12- to 16-inch sea trout. You want high tide, after dark, to enjoy this sea trout action.
Pat Townsend on the Ocean Pier said that the action out there was good on croaker and kingfish for anglers using bloodworms and squid. The pier also saw several legal-sized flounder. Many sand sharks and skates can be taken from the pier. On Monday, Wednesday and Saturday the pier offers "Shark Nite" from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
From Assateaque to the Delaware State Park the surf has been active. Several larger stripers have been caught and released. The Atlantic Coast striper season opened in Ocean City on July 15. Anglers are allowed to keep one striper, 28 inches per day. Anglers are also allowed to fish at night this year. This season is just for Ocean City and Assateaque and does not include Chesapeake Bay at this time.
Large stripers have also been reported caught and released from the inlet and the U.S. 50 bridge. Anglers use bucktails with plastic worms, large grubs and twister lures, live or artificial eels and lures such as Windcheaters. Even four or five sand fleas floated on a short-shanked No. 4/0 hook work wonders.
On the offshore scene, the action was good on bluefin tuna on the Jackspot. Ian Hoffman of Howard County, only 11 years old, landed a 135-pound bluefin on 30-pound test. It took him 1 1/2 hours to pull in this fish that weighed more than the boy! He was fishing aboard the MoJo out of the Fishing Center with Capt. Joe O'Boyle.