On this trip, my target species is fluke, or summer flounder. As a kid, I camped with my parents at another campground close to this one. I remember my father renting aluminum boats to go fishing. We always drifted for flounder, and would bring back a stringer full. That was before the days of size and creel limits. I try to relive this with my kayak - except for the stringer full. The limits in Maryland are now 16”minimum with two fish per person per day.
Each morning, I launched from the campground boat ramp into Sinepuxent Bay. It is located between mainland Maryland and Assateague Island. The bay is very shallow, with sandbars everywhere. In the area I fish there are two channels, one close to the campground, and one in the middle of the bay beyond a sandbar. The sandbar is where you can see sharks and rays feeding each morning. There is nothing like a shark blowing up bait twenty yards from your kayak!
The plan was to drift the channels with the incoming tides. When the water went slack, I would let the wind push me. I used a dropper loop rig tied with 20lb mono, ending in a 1oz bucktail tipped with a Gulp® “Alive” swimming mullet. About 12”up from the bucktail, I attached a Mylar teaser, Mustard 2/0 hook and another Gulp®.
Tuesday morning was beautiful. The temperature was going to be in the upper 70s, with a light breeze from the east. Water temps were better this year and more conducive for flounder than last year. Last year there was a cold water upwelling offshore that kept the temps around 62°F. That kept most of the fish offshore. This year saw the return of the normal water pattern and water temps of around 72°F.
Within the first drift of the day, I hooked up but lost it at the boat; I was too impatient, and forgot to let the flounder eat. Over the next couple of hours I had multiple swings and misses from being rusty, but did get two into the kayak. The first was 14”, and the second was a 15” fish. I tried and tried, but I couldn't stretch it for the 16”minimum. Unfortunately, these were the only fish boated in the three days. Wednesday and Thursday the wind shifted to the south-southeast, which made the water dirty and filled with grass. I did find out that crabs love Gulp®, even when it is jigged vigorously.
I have brought a second kayak before, but this year my teenager decided he didn't want to wake up before 10 and the wife is leery about sharks, so it was left home. The kids did a bit of fishing at night though, but I think they need a bigger boat! As always, it was a great trip. We finished it off with a five-mile drive to Assateague Island State Park, where we camp in the end of September for surf fishing. This gives us something to look forward to.