Fishing from the Point: getting lucky with croaker and flounder
It’s no secret that croaker is the catch of the day and has been for the past several weeks now. Offer them squid, clam or cut bait, and they’ll probably leap into your lap in the Indian River and the Indian River Bay. A handful of spot and kingfish have also flirted with anglers, but it’s croaker season, especially near the area near the red can at the mouth of the inlet. Some rockfish are night-biting at sand fleas and live spot. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a keeper.
The inlet and Indian River are producing keeper-sized flounder on live spot, squid, shiners and minnows. Blues have been seen in the inlet on incoming water and may be tempted to detour for metal lures and bucktails.
If surf-fishing is your game, hit the sand early. Of course, sharks are making the rounds at night. Small hooks can prevent kings, croaker, spot and blowfish from eating breakfast off your hook and swimming away with Gulp!, bloodworms or Fishbites. Snapper blues and the big kings will help themselves to fresh cut mullet.
Some sheepshead and triggerfish are biting at sand fleas right at the rocks, near a handful of tautog.
Inshore, flounder have lured boats to Site 10 and the Old Grounds. In turn, anglers are luring the fish with live spot and strips of fresh bait, although shiners, squid and Gulp! can do the trick. Black sea bass are also floating around and are biting at squid and clams.
Inshore bottom fishermen have picked up some sea bass on natural structure between DB and DA Buoys.
In the ocean offshore, golden tilefish have been swimming up a storm in the canyons. Marlin is picking up and will only improve through September. Reports suggest that the best action has been overboard in water to 1,000 fathoms.
If you see a tuna, be sure to get a picture, because the tuna catch has been reported as being so low that restaurants are feeling a pinch. Some tuna have been rumored to attack the baits in packs at the 100-fathom line. Dolphin and wahoo have also made cameo appearances.
Ocean City, Md., now has two free fishing zones: along the bulkhead from 2nd to 4th streets (Chicago Avenue) and at Northside Park at 125th Street. A license is not required for these places, but everyone must sign up in the free registry. This is a free service, and registration can be done by calling 1 (855) 855-3906, visiting participating bait and tackle shops or online at https://compass.dnr.maryland.gov/dnrcompassportal. Happy fishing!