I’m sitting here at the computer this evening, looking out the window and all I can think about is fishing. It is beautiful outside. A soft blanket of clouds is blocking out the sun and a slight breeze is blowing in from the South, not too much, but just enough. Tonight is a new moon, and I can almost smell the fish.
With the strong pull of the moon, tides will be extreme tonight – something predatory fish like. If I were fishing the bridge, tonight (or the next few nights) could be some of the best this season. We haven’t seen many weakfish the past few years, but if there are still a few left I would not be surprised at all to see a few of them slip into the Inlet this evening and ride the flood tide up to the bridge. At the bridge, they’ll set up to feed on the river of baitfish, crabs and other tasty morsels brought to them by the ebb. Hopefully, some of our local bridge rats will pick off a few of those tiderunners the next couple of nights.
Still, this is supposed to be a fishing report, so what use is talking about what could happen, let’s talk some more about what already did happened — and there is plenty talk about.
Probably the most noteworthy catch in Ocean City this week was the monster mako shark taken this past Saturday. The mako was caught on Terry Layton’s boat Nontypical by angler Jim Hughes of Ocean City during the 29th Annual Ocean City Shark Tournament. The monster topped the scales at 876 pounds, a potential new state record. As some of you know, Terry has been on a roll, winning the Mako Mania Tournament this year plus also catching the first white marlin of the year. So a big kudos to Terry and his anglers.
Here is a quick wrap of the hot spots here in Ocean City before I get into the reports from tackle shops, charter boats and anglers. The Route 50 bridge still continues to produce flounder during the day, with tog fishermen also doing well during the day light hours. At night the stripers are still feeding on both tides with anglers catching nice size blues. The 9th Street Pier had a good week with reports of nice size flounder. The 2nd to 4th Street bulkhead also is giving anglers good flounder action, with some anglers also targeting tog and triggerfish with good results. The tip of the south jetty is still hot with great reports of anglers in boats having epic striper trips in the early morning, on incoming tide casting bucktails and drifting live spot. The south jetty is also producing tog, sheepshead and triggerfish for anglers using sand fleas and green crabs. The Oceanic Pier is still seeing good day time flounder and tog action, while night time angler are hooking up with shad and blues nightly under the lights. The surf is seeing lots of skates, rays and sand sharks, with a occasional nice bluefish mostly on mullet. And finally the crabbing here in the bay is starting to turn on with most action in the upper reaches of the bay.
We have lots of reports coming this week so lets get right to them.
Beverly at Harbor Tackle in West Ocean City reports lots of flounder, most are under size though. We saw blues, kingfish and sharks coming from the surf, and we also heard of croakers being caught at Assategue Island. Beverly also reports tog and triggerfish at the Inlet and the 2nd to 4th Street bulkhead. And finally the Route 50 Bridge and Inlet are producing shad, blues and striper. Some of Bev’s highlights this week at the tackle shop are Lee Phillps of Ocean Pines weighing in a 25 ¼-inch flounder from the Rt. 50 Bridge. Also Darin Turner and his buddy Matt Buziak caught a 3.86-pound, 22 ½-inch flattie. And finally Chris Wilkinson also weighed in a nice flattie from the Route 50 Bridge that was 19 inches and 2.8 pounds.
At the O.C. Fishing Center, Charlotte reports flounder fishing in the bays has been good with lots of boated fish, but most fish are under size. The keepers that anglers are catching seem to be in the 20 to 23-inch range. The O.C. Shark Tournament this past weekend was full of action with 14 sharks weighed in and 137 released. Charlotte also reports that George Merrick on the Ursula Priscilla boated a thresher shark on Tuesday am. that tipped the scales at 172 pounds, and finally, lots of yellow fin, dolphins and a few bluefin hitting the docks daily.
At Sunset Marina, Kristen reports lots of flounder, mostly throw backs, but all keepers seem to be in the 20-inch slot range. The tuna fishing is picking up with most boats catching yellowfin and a few bluefin.
At Alltackle.com Steve reports the sharks being caught at the Poormans and the Parking lot are on the smaller side, bit the Fingers are producing the larger sharks. Bluefin are being caught at the Hambone, Parking lot and Lumpy Bottom. The yellowfin reports are good from the Poormans and the Rock Pile. And finally the flounder bite is good but mostly throw backs, and the sea bass slowed down this week due to the spawn.
At John Henry Bait & Tackle they report seeing nice flounder, some croakers and blues. Surf fishing has slowed down in the last week, most anglers catching rays, skates and sharks on cut baits.
JJ at the Oceanic Pier reports mostly shad and blues at night, the tog fishing has really picked up this week with anglers catching lots but most fish are on the smaller side. Some small sea bass and croakers making their appearance during the day light hours. The flounder fishing is really turning on with the best week of the month so far. And finally anglers are getting lots of hook ups with rays and skates.
At Ake Marine, Noah reports Russel Applegit of Ocean Pines caught a 642-pound thresher shark on Saturday, but was not in th e tournament, the monster still got him a pending state record. The thresher was caught at the Fingers on a mackerel bait, on a 30 class reel with 40-pound line. Noah also said he got to do a little fishing this week for flounder and did real good. He was fishing the East Channel, jigging pearl white Berkley Gulp and boated over 30 flounder with 12 keepers. He kept the three largest a 23-incher, 22-incher and a 20-incher.
At Oyster Bay Bait & Tackle, they report Denny Blessing brought in three nice keeper flounder for weigh in, all coming from the west channel on live minnows and squid. The surf fishing has slowed down, with most anglers catching skates, rays and blues. The bay fishing seems to be getting better, with flounder really turning on. And finally the Route 50 Bridge is producing nice flounder during the day and stripers and blues at night.
At Buck’s Place, they have had a good week at the scales, with flounder, black drum and striper all making their appearance. One of those anglers was Parker Kreppel, of Berlin, catching a nice rockfish at 9 pounds, 31 inches. He was fishing near the Verazano Bridge with Captain Jason Mumford on the Lucky Break. Also another great catch was John Garrow of Hollywood, Md. with two flounder, measuring 21 ¾ inches and 22 ½ inches, both caught on squid in the Assateague Bay.
We also had some nice fish weighed in this week at Talbot Street Bait & Tackle. First in was long-time flounder fisherman Mike Reeves, who was fishing the 2nd to 4th Street bulkhead, when he hooked into a nice flattie measuring 27 inches and tipping the scales at 6.3 pounds. Mike caught the flounder on live spot. The second group to weigh in fish were the Hannas from Loch Haven, Pa. These guys used to charter with me till they bought their own boat. They brought in two nice stripers and a sheepshead, all caught at the South Jetty. The rock were caught on live spot and the sheepshead on live sand fleas.
We had a couple reports from charter boats and they are as follows.
Captain Todd Kurtz of the “Restless Lady” reports fishing the O.C. Shark Tournament and unfortunately only came up with 15 releases of blue sharks and dusky. Todd also says he is fishing three times this week. We’ll keep you updated on hot bites.
And finally our last report comes from Captain Steve on the Happy Hooker, a bay flounder boat. Lots of flounder with some keepers, doesn’t matter where you fish they’re everywhere, he seays, you just have to weed through the small ones to get your keepers. It seems the bait of choice is shinners. They also saw their first sea trout of the year at 17 inches.
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, 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.