Wednesday, July 19, 2017

1961 Ocean City Marlin Fshing Port.


Ocean City, Maryland has always been surprising to itself, like the old timer waterman who let his wife take in summer boarders was surprised to find pretty soon that she was running a fair sized hotel, and he wasn't the only one, there were considerable numbers up and down and behind the boardwalk

The 1933 'storm' woke Ocean City up to the realization that it had the makings for a port. The storm had washed a channel through the beach into Sinepuxent Bay and left the southward beach into what is now Assateague Island. Uncle Sam obligingly built a stone rib rap which made the channel permanent, so Ocean City became a fishing port.

The Townsend brothers, sons of the late John Gillis Townsend, the Delaware politician, saw the opportunity to being marlin fishing off Ocean city, instead of having to go all the way to Florida and the Yucatan off Cuba, had their captain of their fishing boat come up a show the Ocean City boat captains how to troll with skip bait with squid. The Ocean City boat captains had often seen the marlins dorsal fins break water over Jack spot, a reef about 25 mile out and were surprised anyone would want to fish for them since there was no market for them.

Ocean City became a sport fisherman's port now known as “The White Marlin Capital of the World”. And that surprised the people of Ocean City.

Now Ocean City is surprised that despite the short season, investors have been willing to put up millions of dollars for modern hotels and motels, restaurants, along the coastal beach. Salisbury , 30 miles west has the airport, 45 minutes to Washington or Baltimore or Philadelphia.

The beach is one of the finest on the Atlantic, true it's not Virginia Beach nor Atlantic City, but it does it's own thing. The heavy tanned life guards and the nymphs who congregate around the lifeguard stands, show there is plenty of sunshine. The high tide surf fishermen cast with never ending patience.

The marlin fishing grounds are three hours out. Menhaden trawlers haul in nets full of bunkers which go processing plants in Lewes to provide oil for almost everything. At the piers you see the marlin fleet come in, when the boat is flying a flag it means a marlin has been boated or tagged and released.

Abstract of Washington Evening Star, George Kennedy's Rambler, August 11, 1961.
July 2017 Harrison H.

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