One of the many responsibilities that comes along with being a charter captain is taking the large amount of time that is required to maintain your boat. In my case, there are many times, even when I am not fishing, that you will find me at my boat slip — checking on the boat, prepping gear, organizing, etc. so that when it comes time to fish everything goes smoothly. Even though I usually associate my slip with work, most of the time I do enjoy being there. In fact, sometimes it can seem like a safe haven for me — like a home away from home.
As much as I enjoy my boat slip, and as much as it seems like home to me, you might be shocked to find out that I am not the only one living there. All you need to do is take one peak over the gunnels of my boat and you will see schools of baitfish that also call my slip home. In fact, the past three weeks I have been watching four different schools of baby (peanut) bunker grow bigger and bigger by the day. Like a proud papa, when the time comes I will almost be sad to see them go. Right now, though, my peanut bunker are not alone in my slip either, there are many silversides (shiners) hanging out in there with them. And even better, you might be happy to note that just this past week I noticed some small finger mullet beginning to show up as well. This is a good sign, and is an indicator that — in spite of the heat — fall is not too far away.
Fall is not here yet, however, as I know my air conditioner was turned up on high this past week. The fish also seem to know that summer is here as well. All of our typical summertime species have been present. One of the major pluses that comes hand in hand with the arrival of the finger mullet is that oftentimes the largest flounder of the season show up to feed on them. Big finger mullet are flounder candy, and in a couple of weeks I would look for that fishery to be in full swing.
Another summertime fish that we see a lot of is snapper bluefish. Generally this time of the year you will see them in the Inlet in the mornings and evenings and also along the beachfront chasing silversides or whatever else they can catch. Spot and croaker also abound this time of the year, and they can be caught all through the bay and along the beachfront where kingfish can be caught as well. Some bigger sharks will also be running the surf this time of the year, coming inshore to feed in periods of low light. Croakers and kingfish beware.
Since we have had so much warm weather and clear skies lately, anglers have had some great opportunities to get out and fish. I have quite a few fishing reports to share with you so let’s get started.
At Buck’s Place, Shanan reports surf fishing is slow. Most anglers are fishing for sharks with cut baits. There are some bluefish up to 15 inches being caught and the best baits for blues are finger mullet, Shanan says. Some anglers are catching a few kingfish and spot mostly on bloodworms and fish bites. Shanan fished the Poor Girl’s last weekend, which was the first offshore fishing trip she has ever been on and had a great time, she landed a 20-pound plus dolphin.
At the Oceanic Pier, Terrible Ted reports a lot of keeper flounder during the day on incoming tide. Minnows, shinners, squid and Berkley Gulp are the best baits to use. The croakers are biting good at night, and the size are getting bigger, over 12 inches. The best baits for them are bloodworms, fish bite and squid. There are some blues still around, they are biting on Gotcha Plugs and spec rigs. Sea bass, spot and sea robins are plentiful for the young kids to catch. The tog are over now till the weather cools and fall weather nears. The sea wall and Route 50 Bridge are producing small stripers on live eels.
John at Alltackle reports the flounder seem to be getting bigger this past week. Minnows, squid and Berkley Gulp are the ticket. The croaker fishing is getting better by the day, with bloodworms and fish bites working best. The tuna bite has slowed, but most offshore anglers are still catching white marlin and dolphin. The wreck and reef fishing for flounder is red hot. Alltackle also had a fisherman weigh in a red snapper, yes a red snapper that weighed 40 pounds coming off a wreck some where off the coast of Ocean City. The Route 50 bridge is good during the day for flounder and small blues, bridge spreader bars and floats are working the best. There also is still some night time striper action.
At the O.C. Fishing Center, Katie reports the tuna bite has slowed, but the white marlin and dolphin are still there heavy. The offshore flounder fishing is red hot, with most anglers getting their limits with fish over 4 pounds. The bay fishing is all about croakers, with bloodworms and fish bites working best.
Lori at John Henry’s Bait & Tackle reports there’s lots of spot and hard head in the bay, a few keeper flounder also, mostly on live mullet and bunker. The surf fishing is slow with most anglers targeting sharks at night with cut baits.
At Harbor Tackle, Bev reports fishing has not changed much this past week. Not much happening in the surf except sharks, skates and rays. Maybe, if you are lucky, there are a few croakers, blues, kingfish and flounder. During the AMSA Camporee Fishing Tournament, only one spot was caught by any of the entrants. A few more legal flounder are showing up in the back bays but most fish are under the 18-inch mark. At the Inlet, some triggers, stripers, blues and croakers are showing. The Route 50 Bridge is producing some stripers, small blues and lots of small flounder.
At Ake’s, Noah reports wreck fishing for flounder is picking up, nicer size fishing being caught. Tons of croaker being caught in the bay and just offshore, bloods and fish bites work best. The offshore tuna fishing has slowed but there’s lots of dolphin to be caught. Also the white marlin bite is still red hot. The Route 50 bridge is still producing flounder during the day and stripers at night.
Captain Steve on the Happy Hooker, reports a slow bite on the out going tide, but the incoming tide has been producing keepers every trip. The croaker bite is still strong and fast paced, according to the captain.
I had several charters this week, inshore light tackle shark, offshore wreck and reef flounder fishing and bay flounder and croaker, with all good results. The inshore sharking is still going strong with plenty of action with small sharks in the 3- to 5-foot range. The offshore wreck and reef flounder fishing is the best I’ve seen yet with lots of action with flounder tipping the scales 4 pounds and up. And the bay fishing is still good with lots of flounder action, with every trip producing several keepers. I’ll be booking the flounder fishing trips till Sept. 15 when the season closes, and I’ll be doing the shark trips till the bite stops which should be into October. I’m starting to book my fall season striper trips now with the best dates going quick. So if you are interested please call me on my cell at 410-430-5436 for the best dates and tides. I’m also booking all the fall striper tournaments here in Ocean City and there are still a few left so give me a call.
Well that about does it for this week’s fishing report, remember if you have a report or pictures you would like in the “Coast Dispatch” or on www.oceancityfishing.com shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally a few things about what’s going on here at Talbot Street Bait & Tackle. Our hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week, and we do have live spot for sale, along with other great baits and tackle. We also are booking bay, Inlet, wreck, inshore, and offshore charters on my three different boats. Plus we have a great half-day “family adventure”, fishing, crabbing, clamming, and sight seeing for only $375. So stop by the Tackle Shop or give me a call at 410-430-5436 cell or 410-289-FISH(3474) and lets talk fishing.
The fishing is better then its been in years, so get out there and fish. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be writing about you next week.
(The writer is the owner and operator of Skip’s Charters and Guide Service.)