Very Large Tautoga Onitis

By Scott Lenox

Very Large Tautoga Onitis

Beautiful, beautiful day today on DelMarVa and a great day to get out to do some fishing….so I did!  Wind was light, temps were perfect and the sun was shining bright so it was an enjoyable day catching or not.  I hit the route 50 bridge with our Deadly Double rigs and had six fat throwback flounder all between 15″ and 16 14″, but no keepers were enticed by my Gulp.  Others that were out today had pretty good luck and there were even some boxes filled.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star not only had a bunch of sea bass, he also had a JUMBO tautog and an experience helping out one of the sea’s largest animals.

Hi Scott,
Dropped 25 blocks and a reef pyramid on Capt Jack Kaeufer’s Memorial Reef and kept paddling.
As might befit such a gorgeous summer-like day, we found sea bass a bit fussier, a summer bite. Marked em great & caught quite a few limits, just not as easily.
At 10:40 am the Private Boat ‘Glory Days’ reported a whale entangled in fishing gear moving south just inshore the reef we were fishing. MD DNRP responded; running 17 miles to the scene. I advised DNRP I had an 11 foot, custom CRKT knife designed for mammal & turtle entanglements — an XXXXL safety blade if you will.
After sizing up the tangle, DNR ran some 3 miles further to where we were fishing and got that knife..
Whale freed. (Will post Pics if I get any..)
There were only 100 of those blades made. I understand NOAA bought 80 of them. I had welder Jim Leitner mount it to a long gaff some 10 years ago. Used it once before on a leatherback sea turtle fouled in a pot line. Sure came in handy today…

Ahh yes.. Sea bass!
Bob Houser of Carlisle PA boxed out first today. He’s had some practice at it..
Wayne Fawley of Garnett Valley PA had a pleasant surprise when he landed a 28.5 in 15.25 lb bull tog on clam.
The pool winner today was Frank Wagner of Wilmington DE with an 18.5 inch sea bass. Frank also limited.
In today’s group snap are also Carson Strong of Millville DE – John Rohe from Berlin MD – Rick Settine of Aston PA – Doug Dottellis from Glendale MD – and Fleming Hanson from Ocean View DE.

Captain Chris Mizurak of the Angler was out on the rip today enjoying the beautiful weather and he too enjoyed some good fishing for his clients.

While fishing the route 50 bridge I was absolutely shocked to see Big Bird Cropper fishing the bridge in his Lost Time (kidding…..Bird’s on the water 200 days) and he was catching as well.  Bird released a bunch of small rockfish and small flounder, but he also added two keeper flounder to his list.

The nice folks that own Okiaya rods also own Nori Sushi Bar and Grill in uptown Ocean City and they are not only selling Okiaya rods at Nori, they are having a “Super Sale” this Saturday.  Check it out…..Okiaya Super Sale

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