Welcome to another week of Fish’N O.C. Its been another great week of fishing here in the waters of Ocean City, We have some great reports coming in from local fishermen, tackle shops and charter boats.
I finally started my fishing charters this past week, with a great start to my 2009 season with two of the best back-to-back striper charters I’ve seen on the South Jetty in years. There also was a better then usual night striper and blues bite on the Route 50 Bridge with anglers catching keeper flounder and tog during the day. The 9th Street Pier started to turn on with nice keeper flounder being reported along with snapper blues. The 2nd to 4th Street bulkhead is still giving up keeper flounder and tog. The Oceanic Pier still has a good daytime flounder and tog bite, while nighttime anglers see runs of shad and blues. The north and south jetties have been producing nice day time catches of trigger fish, tog and stripers, plus night time runs of blues and stripers. The south bay is seeing good catches of flounder, but most are short with some nice size keepers mixed in. We even had a report of a school of nice croakers reported in the south bay, but just for one tide. The surf fishing still continues to produce catches of snapper blues, stripers, black drum, and some nice sand sharks, skates and rays. The offshore fishing is having one of its best starts we’ve seen in a very long time, with good catches of sharks, bluefin and yellowfin tuna and marlin. So it looks like a good year to get out there and fish , or even get a group of family or friends and book a fishing charter here in Ocean City.
The first report I’m starting with is the two charters I had this week. Both were striper trips at the south jetty, which most people know is some of my favorite fishing. The first was with Sam Burk of Ocean City and Rick Whittlinger of Duncannon, Pa. We didn’t hit the water till 7 p.m. But as soon as we made our first drift we had a double hook up with Sam and Rick both yelling with excitement. We boated both fish relatively fast and headed right back for another pass over the tip with still another double hook up. This went on for the whole trip, which lasted well into the night, with the bite really never slowing down. We ended up boating near 50 stripers till we decided to call it quits around 11 p.m. and head for the dock. We only managed to get one keeper striper, that came in at 29 inches but all the other fish ranged from 22 inches to just under the 28-inch minimum, and all of them gave great fights for both anglers. By the way, all the fish were caught on live spot. Both Sam and Rick agreed that it was one of the best lite tackle striper charters they had ever been on.
The second striper charter was the next morning at 7 a.m. With Tres Kelly, of Emmitsburg, Md., Doug Cooper and Paul “The Bass Master” Goodwin, both from Frederick, Md. These guys have fished with me a lot over the years and always have a good time on the boat regardless how the fishing is with their competitive nature between themselves, which is always good for a lot of laughs during the trip. On my striper charters, I always take along 80 spot for bait, which in most cases is plenty. Well not on this trip. We ended up burning through those baits in under three hours with a epic trip that I haven’t seen ever on the south jetty, with double and triple hook-ups on every drift over the tip. These guys looked like they were square dancing on the deck of my boat, trying not to tangle their lines with double and triple hook-ups. So after a group decision, we raced back to the dock to get another 50 spot, as soon as we loaded the bait back into the live well we headed right back to the south jetty. Well, the action didn’t slow down one bit and we ended up running out of bait in less than two hours. I try to keep a good count on hook-ups and stripers boated, and we ended up having around 120 hook-ups with around 70 boated stripers. Out of those 70 Stripers we managed to get 4 nice keepers with several other nice keepers lost right at the boat with these guys wild antics, which are good for a few laughs. I will be booking striper charters while this hot bite keeps up, so if you are interested give me a call at 410-430-5436 or 410-289-FISH(3474).
I still have lots or reports, so they are as follows; Chris at the Ocean City Fishing Center reports the tuna fishing this week is starting to turn on with mostly yellows, with some boats scoring their bluefin. The “Day Dreamer” came to the docks with five nice yellowfins. Seeing a lot of seabass from offshore wrecks and reefs and a few stripers from the surf hitting the scales at the tackle shop.
At Sunset Marina, Jim reports the flounder bite was excellent in the south bay, but most were under the 18-inch minimum size. The water was extremely clear with a pretty good trigger fish bite on the north and south jetties, sandfleas working the best for bait. The mako bite is good, with “Pumpin Hard” catching four makos and two bluefins, bringing one of each to the dock.
At Buck’s Place on Route 611, Leigh reports, a few stripers and black drum from the surf, mostly caught on peelers and clams. She also reports a hot bite of flounder in the south bay by the airport, on shinner and squid combos.
Adam at Bahia Marina reports flounder fishing continues to be good with plenty of fish being caught. One day he reported catching 28 flounder, but only had one keeper. The Tortuga has also been catching plenty of flounder with similar results. The Judith M returned to the dock with seabass and tog. Captain Kane reports that a lot of the seabass have been under the minimum size limit. Fortunately, the triggerfish showed up this past week adding to the anglers’ catch. Offshore there still are some makos being caught, but several boats have been starting to target tuna. The “Fugitive,” “Seamistress” and the “Yellowfin” all returned to the dock with bluefins in the 50-pound range.
Beverly at Harbor Tackle reports lots of flounder in the bay, however most were under the legal mark. Triggerfish, tog at the Inlet, 2nd to 4th Street bulkhead. A customer ran into some croakers behind the airport. shad and blues at the Inlet. Also at the bulkhead at 2nd to 4th Street were some nice legal flounder, measuring 19 to 24 inches. The ticket is live spot. On the beach some kingfish, blues, dogfish and sandbar sharks were also reported.
We had an email report come in from Jessica, who told us that Ayrton Pryor, Jillian Lebling, and Colby Hook of Fenwick Island, Del. teamed up to catch two keeper flounder, measuring 18 ½ and 19 inches, while trolling shinners near the airport behind Assategue Island. They also had 15 throw backs on the same day.
Captain Steve on the “Happy Hooker” reports the second half of this week had the best numbers of flounder he had seen this year, even if most of them were smaller fish. The best of the fishing was near the Route 90 Bridge and the south bay with a better ratio of keeper flounder behind Assategue Island. We saw the bait of choice change as it normally does this time of the year from live minnows to silversides. The near shore wrecks and reefs also saw increasing numbers of triggerfish and seabass with a few scattered tog with crabs and sand fleas the best baits. Overall, he reported a great week for fishing in Ocean City.
Finally, the last report is from the charter boat “Restless Lady.” The crew fished June 15 amd hooked three nice makos and kept one 130 pounds. All bites were south west of the Hambone. It was a great trip with all children anglers, Ian, Cole and Sydney Duncan and Jessica Walsh. The second report came from a trip on June 16. They fished the Rock Pile, catching 25 yellowfin tuna with 12 keepers. Captain Todd Kurtz reports openings next week for charters as well as for the Ocean City Tuna Tournament. Call me for their number or stop by the tackle shop for information.
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 my website, 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”. Hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week. 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”, featuring fishing, crabbing, clamming and sight seeing for only $375, which is a great deal in these tough times. 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 Charter and Guide Service.)