Fun day of flounder fishing aboard the Rehoboth Star
The Rehoboth Star is the newest head boat in the area sailing from South Shore Marina. Capt. Scotty Gold had another boat, the Bandit, that came to Delaware from New Jersey every winter to fish for tog. This time he has decided to base all of his operations in Delaware and will be sailing from here throughout the year.
Late Sunday afternoon, Capt. Scotty asked me to join him Monday because he said he had a special group of regulars coming aboard for a half-day trip. I have been dying to fish the Old Grounds all summer, and this was an offer too good to refuse.
I was on the boat by 0730, and only two or three others were already there. Then at about 0755 the group of regulars Capt. Scotty had mentioned arrived. From that point on I was entertained by the constant kidding and good-natured jabs tossed about with reckless abandon. This group of retired, middle-aged men fish together at least twice a week and were on the Rehoboth Star Saturday when they were able to catch a boat limit of flounder. They fish on Katydid out of Lewes every Wednesday and also have dinner parties that include their wives. It is a fun bunch.
When we arrived at the Old Grounds, we were not alone. The Katydid, the Karen Sue, the Martha Marie and a few private boats were already on station. The fishing was fair when the wind was light and the current moderate. A steady pick of flounder with many shorts and a few nice keepers rewarded the anglers for the first few hours.
Then the current went slack and started out as the wind picked up out of the southeast. With the wind against the current, the boat pretty much stood still, and the catching slowed to a very slow pick. Capt. Scotty even gave us a few extra hours of fishing time and moved to several different locations, but no matter where we tried, the fishing remained the same.
At the end of the day, Bob Murphy was high hook with three flounder and Alex Herka from Milford won the pool. I had one keeper, and a few guys had two. Unfortunately, several others ended the day with empty coolers.
As I have been reporting, there are good numbers of flounder at the Old Grounds, but unless you have conditions suitable for a good drift, they are very difficult to catch. On Saturday, conditions were perfect and the boat caught a four-fish limit for everyone on board. On Monday, the conditions changed and that is what hurt our catching. You need light winds and a reasonable amount of current to maintain a drift that like Goldilocks’ porridge is not too fast, not too slow, but just right.
Capt. Scotty runs half-day trips during the week and full-day excursions on the weekends. Call for reservations or information, 1-732-692-9521.
White Marlin Open
Last week, the White Marlin Open celebrated its 41st year of operation, and when I went out with tournament founder Jim Motsko on the very first one, I don’t believe either of us thought it would be the major event it has become. There were 288 boats in this year’s tournament, and the one and only marlin that made the minimum weight of 70 pounds won $1,290,411. It was caught by boat builder and legendary captain of the original Tarheel, John Bayliss. Naturally, John was fishing on one the boats he built, the 80-foot Dream Time. It has been my pleasure to have met John on several occasions, and I found him to be a very pleasant man, making this one time when a nice guy finished first.
The Gratitude and angler Sam Lancelotta caught the largest blue marlin, weighing 738.5 pounds and worth $511,417. The second-place blue weighed 723.5 pounds and was worth $105,539. It was taken by Lawrence Julio on Ronda’s Osprey.
An interesting situation occurred in the tuna category. The largest tuna, a 183.5-pound bigeye, was caught on the Constant Threat by angler Doug Mazzuilo and was worth $2,000. The second-place fish weighed 182 pounds and was worth $397,836 to angler Mike Kalajain on the Plane Simple. That is the difference in entering all the Calcuttas and not.
As noted above, the flounder fishing is very good in the ocean. It is also good on the bay reef sites, where the best bite has been just before and right after the change of tide.
Croaker and spot continue to please anglers working the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal, the Broadkill River and the fishing pier at Cape Henlopen State Park. Small blues have invaded the bay and are active around the south end of the Outer Wall, where a well-placed metal lure should attract their attention.