As a charter captain, I typically end up doing the
majority of my fishing from my boat. Still, there are times when I would rather
park my boat in favor of spending a few hours fishing on dry land. After a long
day on the water, there is something peaceful about coming home and fishing
from shore, especially at night. There is no boat traffic, no outboard motors,
or crazy drivers to contend with. It is just me, the water and the fish.
Here on Delmarva, we are blessed with a lot of beaches that are open to surf
fishing, and summer is one of the best times to get out there and experience
them. This time of the year there are many different species of fish running in
the surf. If you are lucky enough to catch some of them, you might find that
they can be very good eating as well.
Kingfish (sea mullet), for example, are one of my favorite summertime fish.
They taste great and are generally not that tough to catch when they are
around. Kingfish will also readily take smaller baits like squid, bloodworms,
and Fishbites, so you don’t need to use extremely heavy tackle to target them.
Some other fun, summertime fish that we catch here on Delmarva include
croakers, spot, snapper bluefish and flounder, all of which are common catches
in the surf this time of the year. I should also mention the sometimes large
(toothy) sharks and rays are caught from shore here as well. These species
require more specialized equipment to land from the surf, however. So gear up,
and do your homework if you are planning to go after big game from the surf.
One of the misconceptions that I often see among anglers it that surf fishing
requires a big, lifted SUV or a truck adorned with huge tires and all types of
cooler and rod racks. While it is nice to have this type of gear, and it is
certainly convenient be able to drive out on the sand, it is not absolutely
necessary. Surf fishing doesn’t have to be that complicated. There are many
places around Delmarva and Ocean City in particular, where anglers can walk
onto the beach carrying a minimal amount of gear, and still be in some very
If you haven’t noticed, it is now mid-August. And with summer soon coming to a
close, now is the time to get out there. Surf fishing isn’t for everybody, but
if you have never tried it, I suggest you go out and see what it’s all about.
Who knows, you might discover a new passion. But for now, let’s take a look
back at some of the reports from this past week
Sue Foster at Oyster Bay reports, “Flounder fishing was good during the week
and slower on the weekend. The water got dirty on Saturday, and we heard of
fewer fish. Oceanic Pier, Route 50 Bridge and Homer Gudelsky Park, all had
flounder action. Anglers are having good luck with the usual minnow and shiner
baits but anglers adding Berkley Gulp to their baits or using live spot or live
bunkers are catching more flounder. Anglers are now catching spot around the
Route 90 Bridge, canals and Northside Park. Bluefish and a few stripers hit the
Route 50 Bridge on Gotcha Plugs, live bait and swimming shad lures.
“Route 50 Bridge continues to have reports of bluefishing at night with Got-cha
Plugs and Spec Rigs. Some nights the striper bite is on. Usually the stripers
are below the bluefish and bite right on the changing tides. When stripers
bite, anglers use 5- and 6-inch Swimming Shad Lures, Fin-S Fish soft bodies on
lead heads, or Zoom along with 2-ounce Gotcha Plugs.
Lots of the local boaters are slipping offshore to
try flounder and cobia. Catch some live spot and take them out there. If you
see a cobia come up to the boat (they look a lot like a shark so have a keen
eye), live line a live spot to the cobia. And hang on.”
At the Oceanic Pier, JJ reports. “another good week of fishing. Lots of
flounder are being caught with three to five keepers being caught every day.
Wednesday was an especially good day with one keeper being caught on a
nightcrawler. A few croaker are being caught but nothing consistent in that
department. There’s lots of little sea bass and sea robins 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 and Spec Rigs. One short striper was caught on
Saturday night along with the blues and shad. Shad also take Sabiki Rigs.
Anglers are also catching blue crabs on the pier this year. That’s something
new. Get some traps and give it a try.”
Clark at Old Inlet reports, “The surf is producing a respectable mixed bag of
croakers, kings, spot, sand perch, blues, and small sharks. The fish are biting
on both tides. We had six spot, three kings and a small shark on Sunday, all on
outgoing tide. Bigger sharks are around after dark. Live or artificial bloods
have been working for the spot, kings and croakers. Daytime fishing in the
Inlet has been good for blues on the incoming tide. The flounder bite has been
good as well. There are a few keepers around but expect a good number of
throwbacks. Striper fishing is hit and miss during the day. Heat and boat
traffic has the fish deep. They are coming up at night and hitting live eels,
black bucktails and the black and purple bomber. There were quite a few boats
hanging close to shore over the weekend. Croakers? They should be here and
hitting scented squid strips. Sea bass and flounder on the Old Grounds. Further
offshore there are dolphin on the lobster balls. Bailing is working much better
than trolling. Yellowfins are way north in the Lindekohl. A nice pod of marlin
down in the Norfolk and a few still in the Baltimore."
Captain Chris on the Angler reports, “We have seen some typical August fishing
over the last week. Some days the bass are biting good and on others there was
a lot of moving around. We did have some good flounder fishing with fish up to
4.5 pounds, along with plenty of throwbacks. The bonus of the week was some
mahi mahi. We had a few days we were able to chunk them up pretty good with the
largest of the week tipping the scales at 22 pounds We are sailing daily at
7:30 a.m. and returning around 2 p.m.”
Captain Drew on the Tortuga reports, “Again this week made a weak showing of
keeper flounder despite favorable conditions most of the week. We still had
plenty of action on throwback founder and sea bass, sea robins, puffers and the
occasional tautog. We also had a few decent catches of keeper founder and a
couple of keeper tog. As of press time, the 8 a.m. trip is on the end of the
outgoing tide making for dirty water. Better conditions have been on our noon
and 4 p.m. trips. By the time you read this, the better trips should be the 8
a.m. and 4 p.m., so come see us and try your luck at Bahia Marina/Fish Tales
22nd St. and the bay.”
At Skip’s Tackle Shop this weekend, we’ve had a smorgasbord of fish hit the
docks – bluefish from the bridge, flounder from anywhere you can put a line in
the water, trigger fish and spadefish in the inlet, stripers and bluefish off
the bridge at night, croakers on 2nd to 4th Street bulkhead and 9th
St. and anywhere in the west channel, a few tautog from any rock pile and, of
course, the sea bass are everywhere but just not big enough to keep.
Our local Weigh ins for the week started out on Wednesday with Sean and Liam
Campiglia from Haddonfield, N.J., who caught a 5.1 pound flounder that measured
a whopping 24 inches. On the same day Devin Fink, who was fishing with his dad,
from Brantville, Pa., brought in a nice 20-inch flounder that he caught using
Berkley Gulp and a frozen shiner while fishing 2nd St. On Thursday, Devin’s dad
Daniel Fink brought in a 21-inch flounder that he caught while fishing in
the exact same spot using the Berkley Gulp and a frozen shiner.
Friday afternoon was a good one for Tylor Heathcock from Pennsylvania who
caught three bluefish from the Route 50 bridge using a gotcha plug.
On Skip’s Charter Boat this week, we haven’t fished so much because we were
performing routine maintenance on the boat making sure that she is in
top shape for the late summer, early fall fishing season. We saw with the shark
trip that we did have on Monday with Chuck McGinnis and his Son Collin that the
sharks are definitely there and hungry. Hopefully the rest of the fishing is
going to be just as good.
I have all the boats in the water and
they’re geared up ready to fish. 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 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.)