First Flounder of Season Caught Off OC

First Flounder of Season Caught Off OC
Local angler Butch Walter last week caught the first record flounder of the season off the resort coast. The 19-incher was well above the minimum keeper size and was the earliest in recent memory. Photo courtesy Fish in OC

OCEAN CITY- While not much is going on in the local sports world onshore, an unseasonably warm late winter is causing action to start to heat up offshore including the first flounder of the year last weekend.

Local angler Butch Walter and his wife Pam were trolling in the Thorofare last Saturday when they hooked up the first official flounder of the 2020 season in Ocean City. The flounder, which came in at 19 inches and well past the minimum keeper size, hit on a Gulp four-inch swimming mullet on a one-hook flounder rig, according to Fish in OC.

The Walters were fishing in water four- to six-feet deep with water temperatures around 52 degrees, which is unusually high for this time of year. It’s not unusual for the first flounder to be caught in late March or early April, but the March 14 date this year was the earliest in recent memory.

For the record, the current state regulations for summer flounder in the Atlantic and in and around the coastal bays is a 16.5-inch minimum keeper size and a creel limit of four fish. There are no current seasonal limitations for summer flounder, which is open year-round.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.