OCEAN CITY — A Salisbury man late last month set a new Maryland state record for winter flounder with a five-plus pounder caught 26 miles off the coast of Ocean City.
On June 23, Kevin Twilley of Salisbury was fishing on the “Fish Bound” with Captain Kane Bounds about 26 miles off the coast in 140 feet of water when he caught the five-pound, two-ounce winter flounder.
“I was fishing with a clam when the fish took the bait,” he said. “It was a soft take and I didn’t think there was much to it until I got it next to the boat and realized it was a winter flounder.”
Winter flounder are slightly different than the summer flounder caught most frequently inshore by recreational anglers in and around the coastal bays. They are flatfish that hide on muddy and sandy bottoms to ambush their prey. Adult flounder have both eyes on one side, but while the summer flounder caught most frequently have eyes on their left side, winter flounder have their eyes on the right side.
After Twilley’s winter flounder catch, Bounds called a friend onshore to check the current Maryland state record and learned it was four pounds, seven ounces caught by angler Jeremy Kuhn in 2006.
Once the “Fish Bound” was back at Bahia Marina, the winter flounder was weighed on a certified scale and the DNR Coastal Fisheries Biologist Steve Doctor was called to confirm the species and the weight. It turned out to be a new Maryland state record.
After getting confirmation from the DNR on the new state record, Twilley said the fat winter flounder made for a great meal.
“I baked it and ate it and it was delicious,” he said.
The DNR maintains records for sportfish in three divisions including Atlantic, Chesapeake and freshwater, and awards plaques to anglers who achieve new state records. To report a potential record catch, call 443-569-1381, or 410-260-8325. Anglers should keep their potential record-breakers submerged in ice water to preserve their weight until they can get them to a certified scale at a marina, tackle shop or seafood retailer. All IGFA rules for records and Maryland fishing regulations apply.
Fish caught from privately owned, fee-fishing waters are not eligible for record consideration. Incidentally, the current Maryland state record for summer flounder was a 17-pound beast caught by angler Anthony Vacari off Assateague in October 1974.