Every year when
mid-summer rolls around, things start to get very busy here in Ocean City.
Owning and operating a tackle shop and charter service is a seven-day-per-week
job during the summer season. Oftentimes, I find that it is easy for me to get
lost in the busyness of the day and the seemingly, endless trips that I make
between the tackle shop here on Talbot Street and my boat slip over at the
White Marlin Marina.
When I realize the long
days are starting to get to me, I know that I need to make a little time for
myself to get away. My escape is usually at one of two places: you will find me
either out on my boat fishing by myself or out on the sand in my truck for some
surf fishing. I know that you all have busy lives and equally demanding jobs. I
also know that most of you guys come to the beach to get away from it all, just
like me. It is
undeniable that there is something special about the sand and the surf and the
wind and the waves that can clear a person’s mind. Still, if you have been to
Ocean City, you know that there is also a lot of hustle and bustle around town,
and there are tons of parties and late nightclubs to go to if that is what you
are after. Still, in the midst of it all, Ocean City can be a wonderful place
to just get away.
So, if you are coming into town this week and you are looking for some time to
relax, clear your mind, and just enjoy nature, I’d urge you to get out there
and give fishing a try this week. It doesn’t matter if you have never fished
before or if you are a veteran angler there is a place in Ocean City for you.
One of the best things about fishing is that you can make it exactly what you
want it to be. It can be complex and complicated, or it can be very simple. It
can be extremely expensive or it can be done on a budget. You can charter an
offshore boat and troll for marlin at the canyons or you can rent a couple rods
and chase flounder around the bay. Any way you like to do it, fishing can be
Fishing is what you make of it, and it can be a lot of fun. So, if you are
interested in wetting a line this week, I urge you to get out there and do it.
You will be glad you did.
Here at the shop I am fortunate enough to receive a lot of fishing reports from
around town. It was a busy week here in Ocean City and a lot of fish were
caught. So let’s take a look at them now
J.J. at the Oceanic Pier reports, “We are having awesome daytime flounder
bites, lots of shorts, but some keepers mixed in. Live minnows are working the
best for the flounder. We also had some days where the croakers showed up with
anglers catching them non-stop for hours. The best baits are live bloodworms
and fish bites. The triggerfish are still on the seawall during the out going
tides, the best baits are sand fleas or small strips of squid. At night, the
blues and some shad are still hanging around, the best lures are gotcha plugs,
and spec rigs. We also had some trout caught this week during the night tides.
Also we had some anglers catching short stripers on the seawall with live eels.
Stop by, we are
open seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”
At Harbor Tackle in West Ocean City, Bev reports, “Fishermen are catching
sharks, kingfish and spot in the surf. Rumor has it there are some cobia
swimming around. In the bay, plenty of undersized flounder and blues. The Route
50 Bridge and Inlet are producing some stripers and blues at night and flounder
during the day. Some triggerfish have shown in the Inlet. Congratulations to
Amanda Schmidt of West Ocean City with her 24 ¾-inch flounder caught in the
East Channel. We have fresh bunker, live bloodworms, live sand fleas, live
eels, big live minnows, and live peelers.”
At Oyster BayBait and Tackle, Sue Foster reports, “Flounder fishing was good
but, oh my goodness, there’s a lot of ‘shorts.’ Some anglers are catching some
big ones, while others are only catching throwbacks. But everyone is having
fun. Quite a few bluefish were reported in the bay this week as well. We even
had a 12 pounder. The surf saw lots of sharks and a number of kingfish and
spot. A couple anglers reported catching blowfish both in the bay and in the
surf. Oceanic Pier and Route 50 Bridge were excellent once again on blues and
some stripers at night."
Captain Bobby Gower on the Bay Bee reports, “Lots and lots of little flounder.
Some days they have 90 some throwbacks. We had two keepers on each trip on
Thursday. On Saturday, we had only one keeper but lots of action.”
Captain Nick on the Get Sum reports, “He was ‘hot’ on flounder this week. On
Thursday, he had two keeper flounder and a bunch of throwbacks during their
morning trip. Flounder measured 20.25 and 21.25 inches and were caught on
The Ocean City Fishing
Center reports, “Yesterday was the final day of the 23rd Annual Tuna
Tournament, and it was a beautiful day. The slips at the Ocean City Fishing
Center were empty, but for a good reason. "Bill$ 4 Bills" with
Captain Mike Conner had a decent size dolphin and a 75-pound wahoo. Captain
Willie Zimmerman on the Playmate released a total of two bluefin tuna
yesterday. Another one of our boats the Moore Bills with Captain Rob Skillman
had success with dolphin yesterday. He managed to kill two dolphin, one
weighing 17 pounds the other around 9 pounds. Tighten Up with Captain Keith
Robinson also had a large dolphin around 15 pounds, and two bluefin releases.
Captain Mark Radcliffe on the Fish Bonz had two very nice size yellowfin that
he brought to the docks yesterday. Bay fishing has been steady on the Bay Bee
with Captain Mikey. Captain Walsh had a total of 120 throwbacks and one keeper
Captain Sean on the Restless Lady reports, “We fished inshore today at the
Hambone and Hotdog. Had a great crew of Uncle Matty, the tool man and kids from
Severna Park, Md. Tuna were a no show but the white marlin were prolific. One
for three on the whites and a nice bull mahi, back at the dock by 1 p.m. Yellow
fins are in the Baltimore and we have openings. Call us for with full or
partial groups and we’ll put a trip together. We’re fishing all this week,
we’ll keep you updated on the bite.”
On the Ocean Princess, Captain Victor reports, “It’s called fishing and not
catching, and some days are better than others. Right now, we are getting a mix
of sea bass, tog, trigger fish and flounder. The Ocean Princess is fishing
everyday, 8 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m., every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we
have night fishing trips from 6-10 p.m.”
On the “Angler”, Captain Chris reports, “Not much has changed in the fishing
over the last couple weeks. Sea bass fishing has been ok. Some days the bite is
very good and on others there is a lot of moving from spot to spot. By days
end, most people go home with a nice dinner. The flounder bite has yet to
materialize, should be any day now. We have caught a few mahi mahi, with the
largest being a 13 pounder. We are sailing daily at 7:30 a.m. and returning
around 2 p,m.”
Captain Drew Zerbe on the Tortuga reports, “Flounder fishing this past week
continued with its drastic swing of "feast or famine". The latter
part of the week was more consistent in conditions and fishing, with the better
part of the day being on the incoming tide in the morning. We managed to have a
few decent catches of keeper fish and high numbers of throwbacks. Even with
clean water in
the afternoon on the outgoing tide, fishing was not as good as one would
expect. But that’s why we keep fishing because there are no guarantees and it
is a continuous series of occasions for hope of the next fish. So come try your
luck aboard the Tortuga, sailing daily from Bahia Marina/Fish Tales, departing
at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.”
Clark at Old Inlet in Delaware reports, “The heat and boat traffic are taking
their toll on the striped bass fishing in the Indian River Inlet. The stripers
are deep during the day and coming up at night. Subsequently, the best fishing has
been in the incoming tide after dark. Live eels are by far the hottest bait
followed by black bucktails. Daytime anglers will find bluefish, flounder,
tautog and a few croakers in the Inlet. The surf has picked up just a smidge
with more kings and the first croakers of the season caught over the last two
days. Shark fishing on the beach has been outstanding. Six and seven footers
have been common. The inshore sea bass bite is inconsistent. Many small fish
with very few keepers. Reports of dolphin on the Jacks Spot. Tuna fishing is
spread out from the Spencer down to the Poorman’s."
“Bill’s Sport Center” reports, “bluefish tuna and dolphin at Massey’s. Bobby
called from the Pier at Cape Henlopen and said they are catching flounder,
croaker and spot. Flounder in the Indian River and Lewes Canal. Sea bass and
flounder at the Old Grounds and Site 11. Tautog are biting at the Inner and
Here at Skip’s Bait and Tackle, we have had a bunch of reports of flounder
being caught all over the bay. Everything seems to be working for them but for
the bigger flounder the most consistent bait being used is the smelt and long
strips of squid. The bigger the bait the bigger the fish.
The bluefish are still being caught off the bridge and in the inlet at night
and at the turn of the tides during the day using Gotcha Plugs and spec rigs.
On the surfside, the croaker, kingfish and spot are still being caught using
bloodworms, as well you can catch an occasional bluefish on a piece of cut
bunker or mullet.
On Skip’s Charters this past week, we had a lot of fun out on our boat the
flounder bite has been consistently good. The weather this past week has cooled
the water down a bit and brought some of the fish back into the bay. The
striper bite has slowed down dramatically leaving us catching mostly just small
fish when we do catch them.
On Wednesday afternoon, Bob Kube and his wife Maria Kube from Wilmington, Del.
went fishing with us and caught a bunch of flounder and a few stripers. And
even though Bob tried really hard to out fish Maria he couldn’t.
On Thursday, Sean Vanderwall from Highland Lakes, N.J. and his girlfriend Kayla
Shelly went fishing with us and caught a lot of flounder.
On Friday, Jason Easton and Jim Cavanaugh wanted desperately to go striper
fishing and even though the bite was not excellent they managed to get some
good action, catching a few short stripers.
On Sunday morning, we went out fishing on the South Jetty and caught some short
stripers and a few short flounder with Dave Boone, Vince Williams and Mike
In the afternoon on Sunday, Vic and Nic Cramer from Mifflintown, Pa. and Brooks
Arnold from Port Royal Pa. went out with us and managed to catch a few flounder
and some stripers.
On Monday of this week, we had an amazing trip with an amazing family from
Herndon, Va., while we were fishing we had a little competition going on and
Emily Costa, 12 years old, won. She got the first fish and the most fish
followed up by her mom
who caught the biggest fish. Her dad, Sam caught a sea robin and her brother
Spc. Kevin, U.S. Army, out of Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas and his wife Carly
caught everything else.
We have a boat for every person’s needs. From bay to Inlet, inshore to
offshore, with half-day and full-day trips available. 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 email@example.com or
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.)