Vol 38 | Num 3 | May 15, 2013
Article by Larry Jock
After what seemed to be a case of never-ending wind, anglers got a reprieve last week and were able to put in some time on the water.
Offshore, a couple of warm water eddies have been hovering around the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons over the past couple of weeks, tempting offshore anglers with visions of tunas and sharks. The “Nontypical”, “Wrangler” and the “Restless Lady” answered the call and each took a run out to see what they could hook up.
On Wednesday, Terry Layton and his crew on the “Nontypical” ventured out to 100 fathoms in the Poor Man’s Canyon and released a load of blue sharks in addition to breaking off a mako shark on the troll. Terry reported water temperatures at 48-degrees until they reached the 100 fathom line where it spiked to 63-degrees.
On Thursday, the “Wrangler” headed out on an overnight trip towards the Baltimore Canyon where they spent the night in 500 fathoms and unfortunately had no marks and no bites. They trolled in the morning and hooked some false albacore tuna and released 11 blue sharks before returning home on Friday afternoon.
The first mako shark of the season was brought back to the dock on Friday by the crew aboard the charter boat, “Restless Lady”. The 138 pounder was caught in 67.4-degree water by Wayne Mull on a whole bluefish in 200 fathoms, smack in the middle of the Baltimore Canyon. They also released 5 blue sharks during the trip.
The first bluefin tuna of the year was caught on Sunday by a boat out of Indian River. Chris Gaba boated a 70 pounder in 64-degree water in the Baltimore Canyon.
Things are looking up for flounder fishing with the number of keepers on the rise and a definite increase in the thickness of the fish.
It was a very good weekend for flounder fishermen in the bay behind Ocean City. Friday was especially good, with excellent catches coming in from the Thorofare and from the bay behind Assateague near the duck blinds. Another good spot was around the Rt. 90 Bridge.
Anglers found success in skinnier, warmer water and along the edges of the channels. Those drifting minnows and Gulp! combinations on the same hook seem to have the best luck. Others are swearing by the larger, 6-inch Gulp! Swimming Mullets in either pink or white.
Finally, we are seeing some good size stripers being landed by patient surfcasters off Assateague and from the beaches in North Ocean City.
The surf guys are a quiet bunch, especially when the spring run is on, and right now, IT?IS?ON! It started heating up on Thursday, and by Saturday a good number of fish were being landed. Sunday was still good, just not as good as Saturday. As always, fresh bunker was the bait of choice.
The bite wasn’t limited to just the federal side of Assateague Island. A good number of linesiders were also caught on the state side and also from the beaches in North Ocean City (see picture on the right of Rich Bell’s 44-incher).
We also saw some small stripers caught in big numbers around the Assateague Bridge by anglers tossing swim shads. Big Bird Cropper took the crew from Outdoors Delmarva down to the Assateague Bridge where they caught a number of small stripers and some bluefish.
Anglers actually had some nice days last week where they were able to get outside the inlet and check out some ocean reefs and wrecks. Most came back with a few tautog in the box.
The nicest fish came in on Sunday when George Henning on the headboat, “Morning Star” boated a 25.75-inch, 11 lb. 8 oz. tog at an artificial reef.
My contacts at Maryland’s Fisheries Service have told me that when the black sea bass season opens on May 19th, Maryland will have a 12.5-inch minimum size with a 20 fish per person creel limit. This is in anticipation of the National Marine Fisheries Service approving a proposal in the coming weeks to reduce the current creel limit from 25 fish per person to 20 fish per person. So, even though Federal regulations may still be at 25 fish/person on May 19th when the season opens, anglers can only bring back 20 fish to any location in Maryland.
The Ocean Pines Angler Club and the Maryland Saltwater Sportsman Association Flounder Tournament will be held for members on Friday (5/17) and Saturday (5/18) with weigh-ins at the Ocean Pines Yacht Club. Entry fee is only $10. For more information, call Budd Heim at 410-726-1968.
See you at the scales!