Fishing from the Point: Steady bite accompanies scorching temperatures
The Ocean City Tuna Tournament wrapped up another hot one this past weekend and saw some big fish brought to the scales. Willie Zimmerman, aboard the Absolute Pleasure, fought a two-hour battle against a 257-pound big-eye tuna that netted him top honors in the tournament and a first-place prize of $224,116.
Zimmerman’s catch was only two pounds shy of the 2011 first-place fish, a 259-pound big-eye landed by Jim Bromwell aboard the Crush ’Em — the biggest single tuna catch ever in the competition.
Although the defending champs didn’t get the biggest tuna in this year’s tournament, they didn’t go home empty-handed. A 30-pound mahi from Team Crush ’Em’s Erick Martinez was good enough for second-place in the dolphin category. Mike Glyphis aboard the Cat Without a Handle grabbed first place in the dolphin category with a 35-pounder.
The Reel Desire finished in second place in the single largest tuna category, topping the 200-pound mark — good enough for $30,978. Jerry Barton aboard the Restless Lady rounded out the feature competition with a third-place 194-pound tuna, worth $20,653.
The crew of the Lucky Duck II earned first for the heaviest stringer, with a combined 489 pounds.
For more results from this year’s tournament, head to www.octunatournament.com.
The fishing is maintaining a steady pace this week, particularly offshore. The Baltimore Canyon and the Poor Man’s Canyon — preferred destinations in this year’s tuna tournament — are still hot with yellowfin and big-eye. The temperature break around the 50-fathom line to the canyon walls has produced tuna and dolphin catches, as well as white and blue marlin and wahoo. Overnight trips are more often than not coming back with a catch, with trolling being an optimal choice through the afternoon and chunking for those fishing at night.
Sea bass and flounder are still running pretty well at the inshore lumps, with the Old Grounds and Reef Sites 9 and 10 dishing up the most success. Both A and B buoys have been an ideal location, too. Clams and squid can find the sea bass, while flounder will go for those, as well as strips of fish or Gulp! on bucktails.
Bluefin and yellowfin are still hanging around the Hot Dog, too, with early action in the morning, according to Eric Burnley Sr.’s report for the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The Indian River Inlet is receiving action from a larger variety of catches, with weakfish, triggerfish and sheepshead hanging around, as well as the flounder. Keeper rockfish are few and far between at the inlet, but with the reopening of tautog season, there are still plenty of anglers getting out there with their rods. Regulations for tautog are five fish of at least 16 inches each.
The stripers that are coming in are taking to plugs, live spot, bucktails and sand fleas. Bluefish are also riding the incoming tide and will look for metal lures.
On the beach, the surf-fishing is giving fishermen a treat with kingfish, croaker, spot and blues. Cut mullet or bunker will sniff out the blues, while bloodworms can find the others. Skates, sharks and rays may also vie for the bait on the beaches, too.