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Kingfish plentiful at Ocean Pier


The exciting fishing news of the week is kingfish. Anglers fishing the Ocean Pier last Sunday could barely keep their lines in the water without catching one. Believe me, it's not usually like this!

The kingfish, also called sea mullet or whiting, is a hard-fighting little fish that rarely goes over 2 pounds. In fact, a 1-pound kingfish is a big one. But they are delicious and quite fun to catch.

The trick to catching kingfish from the pier, or the surf where they often reside, is to use a small No. 6 hook baited with a piece of bloodworm, tipped with a strip of squid or mullet. This also makes a wonderful combination bait for all the other fish that are biting in the same areas now. Spike sea trout, Norfolk spot, croaker and sand perch are all biting from the Ocean Pier and the surf.

Mary Brown, from Buck's Place on Route 611, said that the surf has been alive with croakers, spot, kingfish and small trout. The surf also offered one fish that was larger than a panfish over the weekend.

Peter Wanner of Snow Hill caught one of the first legal stripers from the surf. It was 29 inches long, 1 inch over the legal minimum.

Yes, though many anglers are fishing their hearts out for legal stripers from the U.S. 50 Bridge and the Inlet at night, most are in the 21- to 24-inch range.

Anglers are casting anything white to lure these stripers. White bucktail jigs, twister lures or grub lures have all been working.

The Atlantic Coast striper season continues on until Nov. 30. There will be plenty time to catch some legal fish.

The croaker, which usually does not invade our waters quite like it has this year, continues to produce good catches.

Anglers are hitting them under the Route 90 Bridge with consistency.

Last week, the croaker were also on the U.S. 50 Bridge, Shantytown Pier and in the surf in numbers.

Whether this means the fish are leaving the bay or more are coming is anyone's guess. Enjoy their presence while they last!

Shantytown Pier got into action last Friday night. Anglers on the pier took 75 legal-sized croaker (over 9 inches) and 45 legal-sized sea trout (over 12 inches).

Jerry Chesnut of Ocean City took one of the largest trout of the evening, at 3 pounds. The trout were taking Spec Rigs while the croaker were eating squid strips on the bottom.

Although flounder fishing was not fantastic last week, we had a few good days along with some good-sized fish.

Most anglers comment that the fish are here, but that the water has been dirty on many days because of windy or rainy weather.

With the White Marlin Tournament about to begin, we hope to see better and bigger offshore fishing.

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