There are few things more exciting or wild as a northeaster when it hitís the beaches of the Atlantic Coast. The Ocean City area received just such as storm this past Sunday evening and to some degree into Monday. It was not a good weekend for fishing in general due to wind, rain and high surf. Clear water conditions will soon return to the back bay areas behind Ocean City and Assateague Island and flounder fishing will once again improve. Before the weather of Friday to Monday flounder were being caught up by the Route 90 Bridge, the Thorofare and East Channel areas as well as in front of the airport in Sinepuxent Bay.
Small bluefish and a number of legal-sized striped bass have been caught at the inlet area and will continue to this week. Tautog fishing continues to be good in and around the inlet and are reported to be spawning up close to the jetty rocks in the evenings. Hickory shad continue to provide catch and release entertainment at the inlet and this happy angler holds one up before releasing it.
At present the surf is heavy and it would be pretty hard to hold bottom with anything short of a cement block. In a day or so it will calm down and fishermen will be on the beaches trying their hand at catching some of the large striped bass that are cruising along the beaches on their way north. Often after a big heave like we are experiencing at the moment big fish will come into the surf zone looking for dislodged surf clams that have been crushed in the breakers or injured crabs and baitfish. The forecast for the end of the week striped bass fishing is good so make sure you make time to get out on the beach for it wonít last too long. Dogfish and clear-nosed skates will certainly be part of the mix as will bluefish.
A few boats went out to the wreck sites on Friday in the rain and again on Sunday before the winds became severe. Captains reported double digit catches of sea bass by many patrons but no limits. Tautog fishing has been good on many of the wrecks closer to shore and anglers are reminded that the tog creel limit drops to 2 fish/day on May 16th. Fisheries biologist Steve Doctor was out collecting tautog length data recently to see if there are changes in the stock structure from year to year. Cindy Harris shown in this picture helps collect catch data for MRFSS that is used in the catch estimates, as well as length data that is used in the assessments. Ultimately the data is used to set creel and size limits as well as recreational seasons.
Click here to view recent bay region satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
A Couple of Closing Notes...
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Weight/length of catch
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