OCEAN CITY- The first time was the charm for a local man who caught a whopping 10-pound-plus flounder on his first trip offshore last weekend.
Last Saturday, local Ben Semiatin joined a crew of about 40 fishermen aboard the Angler out of the Talbot Street marina for a day of fishing on an unusually warm and sunny late November day. Semiatan had fished inshore in the past, but wanted to see how he would do in rougher conditions offshore, he said this week.
“I had never been offshore and I was curious to find out if I would get seasick or not,” he said. “As it turns out, it didn’t bother me one bit, but it was pretty calm out there.”
Semiatan estimated the Angler was about 25 miles offshore when his rod jolted with a big bite. After a fight of around five minutes, he boated the 29-inch summer flounder that weighed in at 10.15 pounds. He said the whopper immediately drew the attention of others on the Angler last Saturday.
“There were two DNR (Maryland Department of Natural Resources) representatives on the boat doing surveys along with around 40 other anglers,” he said. “When I pulled the fish aboard, everybody stopped what they were doing and cheered and clapped.”
At first, Semiatan and others on board believed the big flounder had a chance at being a new state record. However, it turned out to be a summer flounder and not a winter flounder, for which there is quite a distinction. The record for a summer flounder in Maryland is around 17 pounds, while the winter flounder record comes in at just over five pounds.
“Why a summer flounder is swimming around out there in late November I’m not sure,” he said. “Nonetheless, it was an exciting catch and many on the boat said they believed it was the largest flounder they had seen in a long time.”