Vol 39 | Num 17 | Aug 20, 2014
Article by Larry Jock
The weather over the weekend made it challenging for boats heading offshore, but it wasn’t bad enough to keep folks at the dock. Offshore water temperatures are in the mid-to-high 70’s, hopefully setting up a good marlin bite as we head into the end of August and what has been a historically the time for good marlin fishing.
Poor Girls Open
We didn’t see a lot of action at the scale of the Poor Girls this year, but when we did it was a flurry of activity. The scale was fairly quiet each day until the last hour of weigh-ins when the boats finally got back to the dock.
On Thursday, the first day of the tournament, seas were rough and only 15 boats ventured offshore. Most headed to the Baltimore Canyon where several recorded white marlin releases, including 5 coming on the “Pumpin’ Hard 58”. A blue marlin was also released on the “Pool Party” while trolling outside the Baltimore Canyon. The only tuna weighed was a 63.2 lb. yellowfin caught on the “Foolish Pleasures” in the Washington Canyon.
Day 2 of the tournament saw seas mellow a little with most boats heading right back to the Baltimore Canyon. The lady anglers aboard the “Sushi” weighed a couple of nice wahoo (49.1 & 53.5 lbs.), but unfortunately there wasn’t a wahoo division in the tournament this year. Tournament Chairman, Shawn Harman did say that they plan to add a wahoo division to next years lineup. A half dozen nice size dolphin were weighed, including the 25.2 pounder caught on the “Marli”, just south of the Baltimore Canyon. The highlight of the day was the 8 white marlin releases by the anglers on the “Tighten Up” to take over 1st place in the tournament and the 6 white marlin releases that came in from the “Fin-ness”. All of the fish were hooked in the Baltimore Canyon.
On the final day of the tournament, 51 of the 96 boats fished with the majority heading back to the Baltimore. “Rhonda’s Osprey” was one of the first to arrive at the scale with a 71.6 lb. yellowfin and 4 white marlin releases from the Baltimore. The “Reel Toy” shook up the leaderboard when Nancy Kohl weighed a 34.7 lb. dolphin, caught in the Poor Man’s Canyon, to take over 1st place in the Dolphin Division. “Give It Away” was the next boat at the scale with 5 white marlin releases in the Baltimore, but got beat out on the tiebreaker for 3rd place when the “Moore Bills” also recorded 5 releases with their final one coming at 12:56 PM.
Also on the last day of the tournament, Laura Mamberg-Schlote caught and released an estimated 500 lb. blue marlin that was hooked in the Baltimore Canyon.
Very early in the week we saw a good yellowfin bite in the Wilmington Canyon, but that petered out and turned into hook-ups of white marlin and dolphin for boats that ventured out the following days.
Most of the yellowfins continue to be caught in the Washington Canyon, where on Monday, both the “Marli” and the “Moore Bills” captured 10 yellowfins and where the “Marli” returned for 2 bigeyes the following day. On Thursday, after the lines were pulled out of the water in the Baltimore Canyon, the “Game On” decided to run down to the bigeye hole in the Washington Canyon where they boated a 249 lb. eyeball at 9:40 PM.
In addition to white marlin being caught and released in the Wilmington Canyon early in the week, and moving south into the Baltimore Canyon heading into the weekend, we also saw blue marlin released every day from Thursday through Sunday by the “Pool Party”, “Bar South”, “Why Not” and “That’s Right”. Also on Friday, the “Reel Chaos” returned with a 70 lb. swordfish caught while chunking in the Wilmington Canyon.
A lot of dolphin are being caught right now and not only by boats trolling the canyons. With water temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70’s, mahi are being hooked up as close as 5 miles off the beach. The larger dolphin were caught in the Poor Man’s, Baltimore and Washington Canyons.
Flounder fishing in the bay was pretty slow during the week but improved over the weekend, especially on Sunday during the incoming tide for anglers drifting around the Rt. 50 Bridge, in the Fishbowl and in the West Channel. The vast majority of fish were too short to keep, but there were some keepers mixed in and the bite was fast and furious with boats hooking 40+ flatties.
Watch over the next several weeks as these fish begin to stage around the Rt. 50 Bridge and in the Ocean City Inlet before their migration offshore.
The best flounder action continues to come from ocean reefs and wrecks. Anglers fishing at Fenwick Shoal, the African Queen and at the Bass Grounds are routinely coming back with double-digit catches including fish measuring up to 26-inches.
Cut bait is producing the best right now with strips of bluefish and dolphin belly leading the way.
In the Surf
We are seeing the typical summer activity in the surf with kingfish, croaker, flounder, sharks and skates dominating the action.
When this issue comes out on Wednesday, we will be halfway through the 2014 MidAtlantic tournament. Historically, the final day weigh-ins on Friday at Sunset Marina are very exciting, so make your plans to head on over. The scales are open from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
This Saturday is the 3rd Annual M.S.S.A. Beach N’ Boat Tournament with weigh-ins at Ake Marine. This has turned into a really nice flounder tournament with over $4,000 going to the winning flounder last year. For more information, call 410-255-5535.
See you at the scales!