Fishing from the Point: Flounder and tuna still biting
Much-needed rain has churned up the sea, but water temperatures have remained in the upper-70s, still offering anglers a chance at a decent catch.
On the beach before sunrise and for the morning crowds, a few kings and blues may be tempted by bloodworms and Gulp! Anglers who do a bit of rock climbing during the day have seen tog, sheepshead and triggerfish at the jetties, but the rockfish seem to be getting smaller.
Meanwhile, flounder were biting at live spot in the Indian River and Rehoboth Bays this week, while clam and bloodworm brought in spot and croaker. (Delaware has an 8-inch minimum on croaker — be mindful of the flounder bait.)
Reef sites are still producing flounder, especially at the old grounds, Sites 10 and 11. They’re mostly biting at live spot, minnows and strips of fresh meat, although Gulp! and squid have done the trick for flatties and sea bass.
Tuna, along with blue and white marlin, have been caught at the edges of the canyons, but the inshore lumps have had good results, too. Hungry yellowfin tuna are still chasing early-morning schools of bait, but watch out for the dolphins — Flipper’s family, not the fish — feeding nearby.
The best tuna action has come from trolling baits and lures or by anchoring or drifting and chunking with butterfish. Trollers have seen mahi and wahoo in the canyons, although wahoo often escapes the boats trolling mono leaders for marlin and tuna, according to reports from Eric Burnley Sr. This may be the year to try offshore fishing, if you haven’t before.
Anglers will set their sights on billfish at the 39th Annual White Marlin Open this week, Monday to Friday, Aug. 6 to 10. Anyone may register to compete with a boat, or on an already registered boat, prior to fishing. Spectators can watch the official fish weigh-ins at Harbour Island, 14th Street and the Bay in Ocean City, Md. A mere tip of the scale will determine the next champion!
You might be a strong swimmer or skilled captain, but boaters have been reminded recently of the importance of always wearing a lifejacket. High waves and a strong current sank a 21-foot boat on Sunday, July 23, tossing nine people —including six children and an infant — into Indian River Inlet. Everyone was wearing a floatation device, and everyone survived.
But the news that morning wasn’t all good, as a body was recovered from Blackbird Creek, where a crabber appeared to have fallen out of his boat without a lifejacket on or nearby.
Please be safe when adventuring on the water!