By Scott Lenox
Posted on August 29th, 2021
Click the vid for the Daily Catch at the Ocean City Fishing Center.
We didn’t have the awesome weather today that we’ve been seeing for the last several days, but it was still nice and it was still very fishable. Things started off on a very sad note this morning when I got news that the boat Last Call run by Captain Frank Pettolina had caught fire and burned to the water line in the OC inlet. Captain Frank, mate Chris and everyone in the charter was safely evacuated. Captain Frank lost his son, and my very good friend, Captain Franky Pettolina in March of this year so today’s accident is another devastating blow. I’ve known Captain Frank, the Pettolina family and the Last Call since the first time I stepped foot on a dock here in Ocean City over 30 years ago and they have all shown and taught me a lot. If you’re reading this Senior, I love you and Mrs. Maddie and I’m thinking about you both.
The ocean was a little rougher than expected today with a little more wind than forecast, but it was still doable for most everyone. Captain Mike Burt of the Pumpin’ Hard had a great day trolling the canyon today with six fat yellowfin for his charter.
Anglers fishing on board the Ocean City Girl had another great day with the mahi today and today saw a little bit larger class of fish.
Captain Jason Mumford of Lucky Break has had a couple of great trips lately that have produced flounder, Spanish Mackerel and some nice red drum.
The crew fishing on board the private boat Saltwater Cowboy had a great day today thanks to releasing their first white marlin on the boat while fishing at the Hot Dog.
Kern Ducote, Mike Quade, Sr. and Mike Quade, Jr. fished the west channel today and had 10 keeper flounder from 17″ to 19.5″ on Gulp shrimp.
Bill Powell and a couple of buddies used the Fish in OC Deadly Double in chartreuse and landed five fat keeper flounder north of the route 50 bridge today.
Yesterday, Ryan Oberholtzer through together a brown bag flounder tournament and it was a pretty awesome success. Ryan was helped by Korey Knieriem and Ted Proseus. Results below…..
3rd Place. Fishy Taco. 5 pounds, 1.5 ounces
2nd Place. Southern Cross 23. 6 pounds, 4 ounces
1st Place. CCT. 8 Pounds, 9 ounces
Sea Bass. Kiyo. 2 Pounds, 5 ounces
Best Trash Pickup. Miller Time. Smiley faced ballon
Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star had a good day of fishing and lost a fight with a big manta ray.
Weren’t grey. Was black. Didn’t bode well. Blackest dense smoke you’d never want in your world rose from somewhere near the inlet just before our departure.
The Last Call, long a charter fixture at the OC Fishing Center & whose owner had lost a son only a few months ago, had burnt to the waterline in the inlet.
Present conjecture is an electric fire. Capt Frank lived aboard long as I’ve know him and took great pride in her maintenance. Owing dad’s teaching his son was a first-rate marine surveyor. She was meticulously maintained.
I’m told all aboard were OK.
Thank goodness for that.
Bit saucier than forecasts had held; Elina from Lewes DE & local Chantal
dropped 20 bundled blocks at my old friend’s namesake, Doug Ake’s Reef, and we paddled east.
Had a feeling today was the day. Told Vic we’d get something real on the troll owing beautiful blue water far inshore. Had my 50Ws out with well-cabled wahoo lures when we hooked up. Thirty nine minutes later Vic told me it was at least 4 feet across.
It’s mouth was 4 feet across.
It’s wingspan was obviously much greater than the 16 feet across my transom.
We’d hooked a 20-some foot manta ray.. Snagged it.
When my crew saw it, the manta saw us and off it went, ripping line off until it was deep into the spool again.
I had Vic take a few wraps on the stern cleat and the whole affair was soon over.
No pics either.
Thought we had a real one on.
Mahi fishing went according to plan at least. We boxed just three shy of a boat limit before heading for home.
Forecast had promised 10 knots by early afternoon. Though nice for a few hours while fishing, we instead had eighteen out of the north by early afternoon. All aboard knew weatherman speak with forked tongue—but!—the forecast was perfect outside of 25 miles. Guys in the canyons had a nice day. We had great weather until almost time to wrap it up.
Inshore of us? Those guys in big boats threw in the towel early — too windy.
Saw what their commotion was about as we got underway for home. As the front moved east, conditions very quickly worsened. Would not have been fun to fish in.
Tomorrow looks perfect. We’ll see!
Have one open spot for tomorrow’s mahi trip. If it sells I’ll pin “sold” below. (If I can figure out such fanciness.)
Have a handful of spots open for sea bass trips Tues/& Wed. No telling if a few mahi will bite while cbassing or not.