There are many things
that I love about fishing in Ocean City, but what
I appreciate the most about our local fishery has to be its diversity. It
really is hard to get bored fishing around Ocean City. This is one of the
reasons it is such a great place to operate a charter business.
Depending on the season,
we have equally awesome inshore and offshore fishing, and the diversity of the
fish species we target is spectacular. I doesn’t matter who you are or what
kind of fish you like to target, Ocean City has something for you. Depending on
the time of the year, I could be dressed in my heavy-insulated slicker suit
fishing the Inlet for giant striped bass, or I could be offshore wearing flip
flops and board shorts while trolling for marlin or tuna.
With the end of July approaching, we are nearing the peak of our offshore
fishing season. The tuna have been biting now for almost two months, and the
marlin fishing will be at its peak sometime within the next few weeks. Every
year at this time, there is an excitement beginning to stir in the offshore
fishing community due to the upcoming White Marlin Open, the largest and must
lucrative fishing tournament in the world. It attracts fishermen from literally
all across the globe. This year hundreds of boats will enter the competition
and thousands of dollars will be spent by each boat entering the tournament and
its various divisions.
The tournament begins next week. So, if you are coming to town next week, or if
you’ve been here and just never experienced the tournament, I would greatly
recommend checking it out this year. Go down to the Inlet in the morning or
come down to the tournament weigh-in station in the afternoon. I promise you
will have a lot of fun, and it will be interesting to see if any of this year’s
catches will rival those from last year’s tournament.
But hey, it’s still July and it’s not tournament week yet. I have lots of
reports to cover from fishing around Ocean City this past week. So let’s take a
look at them now.
Sue Foster at Oyster Bay Bait & Tackle reports, “What a week of hot
weather. Anglers fished early in the morning and late afternoon to beat the
heat. Many anglers fished at night on the beaches, Oceanic Pier, Route 50
Bridge and Ocean Pier with good success. Flounder were biting by day with lots
of lots of small ones mixed in with a few keepers. Anglers are doubling up
their minnow and shiner baits with Gulp to catch the bigger flounder. Small
spot and finger mullet are coming around. Anglers are catching them to catch
bigger flounder as well. Some really big bluefish hit the Route 50 Bridge this
week at night and early morning on Gotcha Plugs. One keeper striper was caught
from the surf in Ocean City that we heard of. Also a lot of sharks, kingfish,
and spot on the beach. Some croaker action at night. Triggerfish are here at
the inlets and bulkhead along with some tautog action. Offshore we have had
sharks, tuna, marlin and a good amount of dolphin. Sea bass fishing was up and
Everyone is talking about catching sharks on the beach at night or early in the
morning. Some anglers are getting break offs, and never get to see the catch.
Others are getting them in and releasing them. Big rays too. Sharks are
sandbar, dusky, and black tips mostly. With a couple spinner sharks thrown in. The
big ones take big baits such as chunks of bunker, mackerel, or whole kingfish
or spot heads.”
Captain Bobby Gower on the Bay Bee reports, “Slower fishing this week than
last. A few keeper flounder were caught this week, with most days averaging 50
or 60 throwbacks. When the wind was really whipping and the water got dirty,
fishing slowed down. That’s typical of flounder, which are sight feeders.
Everyone is waiting for a good croaker run which should begin at any time. They
are biting like crazy just south of us in Virginia.”
JJ at the Oceanic Pier reports, “Good fishing this week, keeper flounder have
been caught every day along with the usual numerous throwbacks. There’s lots of
little sea bass for the kids to catch on the edge. Just get worms and fish straight
down. At night, blues and shad are biting on Gotcha plugs, spec rigs, and shad
also take sabiki rigs. Some interesting fish were caught this week including a
monkfish, star gazors, and one little boy caught a sea horse.”
Captain Drew Zerbe on the Tortuga reports, “This past week we continued to
catch high quantities of throw-back flounder with a few keepers mixed in.
Better fishing times were morning and evening the majority of the week with the
dirtiest conditions occurring mid-day on the latter end of the outgoing tide.
As of press time, overall conditions have improved and the better fishing times
seem to be morning and afternoon with water quality diminishing early evening.
It also appears that a fresh batch of larger fish have moved into the south bay
with higher numbers of keeper fish being seen both for us and other boats. Come
see us for a great day on the bay at Bahia Marina/Fish Tales 22nd St. and the
bay departing daily at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.”
Clark at Old Inlet in Delaware reports, "Surf – spot, blues, kingfish and
croakers on the beach. Reports of croakers just started on 3R’s. Live and fake
bloodworms are the hot bait. The shark bite remains good on bluefish and fresh
bunker. We have fresh and frozen bluefish. Inlet – daytime, bluefish on the
incoming tide. A good flounder bite was reported mid week on Gulp baits. Look
for black drum and croakers to start biting in the inlet any day. The tautog
bite is steady with a few keepers in the mix. Inlet — nighttime, stripers on live eels during incoming tide. Dark
bucktails and swim shads are working too. Croakers should start to school up
just off the beach in 20-40 feet of water in the coming weeks. Flounder and
small trout are usually there with them. Seabassing on the Old Grounds (the are
between B and A buoy)is improving. A little further out dolphin are around the
Lightship. Bluefins in Masseys Canyon and the yellowfins are way north toward
the Spencer Canyon."
Bill’s Sports Center reports, “Good croaker and spot fishing from the Cape Henelopen
Pier and in the Indian River and Rehoboth Bay on real or fake bloodworms. Bait
up spec rigs for good success from the pier or boat. Croaker in the Delaware
Bay as well. Lot of dolphin around the T-Cup and Elephant Trunk. Small dolphin
around the Lightship. Tuna has slowed up. Tautog and flounder in the Indian
Captain Sean Welsh on the Restless Lady reports going offshore on July 26-27
for “the tuna, mahi bite and got the crap knocked out of us with 8-10 footers.
Limped inshore to see what we could find and crushed bluefish, almost 100 of
these choppers. All were caught on the troll, they were hungry biting anything
we put out. Caught them at 100 feet north of the Jackspot. Also reports from
our colleagues the sea bass bite is off the hook, just crushing them. Great
time for an inshore family trip, We fished the Baltimore 200 line and caught a
fat white and 30 Mahi, great day. Tuna bite is slow and most of the fleet is
preparing for the White Marlin Open. We’re fishing the next four days and
Here at Skip’s Bait and Tackle we have seen another great week of fishing. The
weather wasn’t too hot to be out in and we saw an increase in the amount of
keeper flounders being caught including two of which were brought in by Joe Sherrick
of Harrisburg, Pa., which he caught using live minnows while fishing behind
Assateaque. They measured 21 and 22 inches. Another flounder brought in was
caught by Anthony Cannuli of Ocean City that he caught while fishing just south
of the Route 50 Bridge using Berkley Gulp and live minnows.
If you are looking to jut get out and catch some fish, a couple local places
you might want to try to go is 2nd through 4th Street bulkhead or 9th St Pier.
If you plan on fishing at night, two hotspots are the Route 50 Bridge and the
Oceanic Pier casting gotcha plugs and soft body swim shads.
On Skip’s Charter and Guide Service, we had a fun, productive week of fishing.
Most of our trips now are centered on flounder fishing with a little bit of
striper action and getting some quick action on the bluefish when they are
there. We also have been doing some clamming, which has been awesome. Crabbing
also has been great.
On Monday we went out with Ed McCormick from Enola, Pa. and caught a whole
bunch of flounder, one being a nice fish at 21 inches and a few short stripers.
On Thursday, Brooks
Fleming, his wife Heidi and his two sons Owen and Mason from Elderton, Pa.
chartered us for our four-hour special, starting out the day with clamming and
then some crabbing catching a whole bunch of clams and then finishing the day
with some flounder and striper fishing catching a lot of nice flounder and a
We went fishing on Sunday with Joe Aita and caught a bunch of flounder but as
it goes there are a lot of shorts out there and we couldn’t keep them off the
hook but we just couldn’t seem to catch a keeper.
On Tuesday, we went out with Dr. Alex Sax and his family Jackie, Julie and
Daniel from Pittsburgh and had a great time out on the water catching flounder
and a striper. In addition, we got to see some of the cool sights around the
Ocean City bays.
We have come to the end
of a week filled with hot weather and it doesn’t look like it is going to be
getting any cooler but there are still fish out there waiting to be caught. We
have a boat for every person’s needs. From bay to Inlet, inshore to offshore,
with half-day and full-day trips available. Book now while the fishing is
great. We provide all rods and tackle as well as all the bait, so pack some
sunscreen and a few drinks and come on out for a memory-making day on the
water/ When you step on the boat, you are stepping on a boat that has over 40
years of fishing and boating experience. With some of Ocean City’s top captains
working for “Skip’s Charter and Guide Service” this year. Give me a call at the
tackle shop at 410-289-FISH (3474) or on my cell 410-430-5436 and lets talk
fishing. At the tackle shop we are open 6 a.m-9 p.m. If you have a report or
pictures you would like in The Dispatch or on www.oceancityfishing.com email me
at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Get out there and fish! Who knows? Maybe I’ll be writing about you next week.
(Maguire is an outdoor writer and owner of Skip’s Bait and Tackle and Skip’s
Charter and Guide Service in Ocean City.)