Fishermen reported good flounder fishing in the back bay areas of Ocean City and Assateague Island. Most of the fishing has now settled into a typical summer pattern of drifting through the channel areas on a good tide with the jury still being out on ebb or flood being the best. Calm winds have meant clear water and with that the fortunes of flounder fishing have risen. Some rather large doormats were reported over the weekend at local tackle shops and the trend hopefully will continue. Drifting with a squid/minnow combo on a bottom rig is the most common bait used; but a number of big doormat sized flounder were checked in by fishermen live lining spot near the inlet area.
The tautog fishing in and around the Ocean City Inlet area is beginning to slow down as water temperatures rise. Tautog are being caught but generally are now smaller and less numerous. A couple of large sheepshead were caught in the inlet area over this past weekend and fishermen reported catching northern blowfish also. Bluefish continue to move in and out of the inlet and are being caught by fishermen casting Got-Cha lures or bucktails. Striped bass are also being caught in the Route 50 Bridge/Inlet area but a high percentage are under the minimum 28”. Casting swimming shad type lures and bucktails at night has been the most popular method of fishing for them.
Surf fishermen have been fishing with fresh menhaden in the surf with hopes of catching large striped bass or red drum but usually are winding up fighting with a mix of cow-nosed rays, skates, dogfish and sand tiger sharks. There is certainly plenty of pull out there; just not the kind most fishermen are looking for. Fortunately fresh menhaden is not very expensive bait. Good catches of kingfish are being reported by fishermen using bloodworms or bloodworm substitute baits such as Fishbites and Gulp baits. Small bluefish are being caught on mullet rigs baited with finger mullet.
The captains who transport fishermen to the wreck and artificial reef sites on the party boat or head boats as they are sometimes called out of Ocean City are reporting good fishing for sea bass finally. Captains reported water temperatures approaching 70-degrees recently. Limits of sea bass are being reported by some of the more experienced anglers and double digit catches for most fishermen at the rail are not uncommon. Catches are also feathered with tautog that are also still being caught on many of the wrecks. The first flounder are also showing up at several of the more popular wreck sites. One rather colorful Ocean City part boat captain just had to give the new Susan Powell Reef at the Jackspot a try this weekend. The reef which is made up of New York City Transit subway cars is not three weeks old but they managed to catch a couple of sea bass on it.
Large bluefish are spread out at locations such as the Chicken Bone, Hambone and the Parking Lot, most are being caught by trolling Hootchie type skirted lures such as this pair that hit the cockpit this past weekend.
There was a lot of shark fishing effort this past weekend and a number of small mako sharks were caught and some rather large thresher sharks. The shark catching action was spread from the Jackspot out to the canyons. A number of bluefin and yellowfin tuna along with dolphin hit the docks at Ocean City this past weekend and most came from the Baltimore and Poorman’s Canyon areas. A couple of boats also reported successful deep drop trips for tilefish near the same areas.
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A Couple of Closing Notes...
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