Fish ‘N OC

If you are a person who
loves fishing like I do, then you know how hard it can be to stop fishing when
the fish are really bighting. This past week, there were times on my boat, when
it was really tough to stop fishing.
I’ve been a captain for a long time, and I have seen a lot of seasons come and
go. As most of you know, the majority of the fish we target here are migratory,
and that means that sometimes the fish are here and other times they are not.
Some years are better than others. All seasons have high points and all seasons
have low points. What I have found over the years has been that it is those
anglers who spend the most time on the water who produce the most consistent
results. In other words, you have to be on the water fishing to actually catch
fish. If you invest enough time, eventually you will be out there during one of
the high points – when the fish are in your area and they are biting.
All of the points aligned for a few of my charter customers this past week. We
had the right baits, at the right place, at the right tide and the fishing was
on. The striper bite was really good. At times, we had at least one fish on
every drift, sometimes multiple fish. This time of the year is traditionally
one of the best times for stripers in our area – it is one of our high points.
So if you are thinking about catching striped bass in Ocean City, now is the
time to get out there and put in your time on the water. It will eventually pay
There have been a lot guys and gals out there putting in their time on the
water this past week, and I have received quite a few reports through email and
through the tackle shop, so let’s take look at them now.
Bev at Harbor Tackle in West Ocean City reports, “in the surf there are plenty
of sharks, a few blues, maybe a striper, and kings have just started to show.
At the Route 50 Bridge, the Inlet, the Oceanic Pier blues, shad, some stripers,
and flounder are showing. Some tog are still around. The number of flounder is
getting better; however, the size is not. Flounder fishing was great in front
of the old Shantytown area, in front of Hoopers, and from the airport south.”
At Oyster Bay Bait & Tackle in north O.C., Sue Foster reports, “We
continued to have mostly sharks in the surf. Then suddenly we had several
reports of kingfish (whiting) from the D surf. Flounder fishing was quite good
this week with several keepers weighed in. Fishing on the Route 50 Bridge and
Oceanic Pier was still good on bluefish, shad, and some stripers. Stripers were
biting at the South Jetty early in the morning. Offshore bottom fishing saw
tautog and some sea bass. Further offshore, the action was hot on sharks and
yellowfin tuna.”
JJ at the Oceanic Pier reports, “Our daytime flounder bite has really improved,
we are still seeing a lot of under sized fish. The best baits are our large
minnows, and squid, or Berkley Gulp. The tog fishing has slowed some, but
anglers who put their time in on the sea wall will usually get some action, the
best baits are sand fleas, green crabs, and clams. At night under the lights,
we are still getting runs of shad and blues, mostly on gotcha plugs and spec
rigs. There are still some stripers around at night, most anglers that hook up
are using live eels or swim shads. We are hoping the croakers will be showing up
soon with the water temps hitting the 70’s.”
The Ocean City Fishing Center reports, “We still have lots of makos hitting the
docks. We are starting to see some yellowfin tuna now. The “Tighten Up” with
Captain Keith Robinson returned to the docks with seven yellowfin tuna and two
bluefish. We also saw the “Samurai 1” return to the docks with eight nice-size
dolphin. Offshore fishing is definitely improving daily, so give us a call and
book a trip at Ocean City’s premier charter fleet.”
Captain Bob Gower of the “Bay Bee” reports, “His best trip was Saturday morning
when the boat had three keepers up to 23 inches and 74 throwback. Most days
they had one or two keepers and 40 some throwbacks.”
At “Old Inlet” Clark reports, “It seems the bluefish picked up again in the
Inlet after the rain midweek. Fish up to 4 pounds reported on the daytime
incoming tide. They are pouring concrete on the bridge construction project in
the early morning hours. Reports are that the halogen lights are attracting
fish to the surface. Plenty of action on short stripers under the lights.”
“Bills Sports Center” reports, “croaker on the Cape Henlopen Pier along with
some flounder. Blues and stripers have been reported from the Indian River
Inlet. Flounder in the bays.”
Captain Chris on the “Angler” reports, “sea bass fishing has slowed up just a
little since the last report, but we are still enjoying some pretty good
fishing. We did not see many limits, but the high hook has been in the high
teens most days. We did catch our first flounder of the year, and we are still
catching a few codfish and tog. I expect the good sea bass fishing to continue
in the coming weeks, and we should start to see more flounders with the rising
water temperatures. We are sailing daily at 7:30 a.m., and returning 2-2:30
On the “Ocean Princess” Captain Victor reports, “Our half day trips this week
produced a combination of mostly sea bass and tog. From the looks of things it
appears that the sea bass have started their spawning cycle. Every year,
usually beginning in early to mid June, sea bass spawn and it can really make a
head boat captain pull their hair out. Some days the fish will cooperate and
other days they want nothing to do with eating anything you drop down to them.
On our 12-hour trip, we had some excellent fishing. The weather cooperated and
we had some good fishermen on board. That doesn’t mean that it was easy fishing
though. Some folks caught their limit of sea bass, but others had mid teens on
that trip. We have one more 12-hour trip scheduled for June 18, this upcoming
Friday. We still have a couple spots left on this trip and that will be the end
of 12 hour fishing until the fall. Call 410-289-6226 for reservations.”
Captain Drew Zerbe on the “ Tortuga” reports, “The beginning of this week
flounder fishing was good with a new batch of fish moving into the bay. Action
slowed down a bit mid-week with the end of the outgoing tide bringing muddy
water out of the creeks in the afternoons. Seems as though another batch of
fish moved in towards the end of the week making fishing better again and
change in the tide cycle put the outgoing tide later in the evening. Most of
our action on flounder is still south of the 50 Bridge, in the inlet and harbor
area and the north end of Sinepuxtent bay. As of press day we caught our first
sea robin and stargazer, indicating more species of incidental catch moving in
also. Have still been seeing the birds working schools of bluefish south of the
bridge and in the inlet area, mostly in the evening and have caught and
released a few shad. Come try your luck on the "Tortuga" at Bahia
Marina/Fish Tales, 22nd St. and the Bay. We are now running three trips daily
departing at 8 a.m., noon and 4 p.m.”
On the “Marli” with Captain Mark Hoos, “Wow, what a great week on the Marli.
Our crew and charter placed third in the Mako Mania with a 191-pound mako;
special congratulations goes out to angler Matt Keller. On Monday, we continued
our Mako streak and boxed a 186-pounder plus two additional releases. On
Wednesday and Thursday, we switched gears and went wreck fishing, loading up
the boat with seabass. On Saturday, the Marli crew found the yellow fins at the
Washington bringing home a total of 13. And last by certainly not least, the
Marli had a great finale to the weekend on Sunday with a 211 pound big eye
tuna, a mahi mahi and a yellowfin.”
 Here at Skip’s Bait and Tackle we had a
lot of happy fishermen come in talking about all the fish they had caught and
how they needed stuff to go out and do it again.
The most popular fish of the week I would have to say was the bluefish offering
some quick action to anyone with a gotcha-plug, spec rig, or similar lure
fishing just about anywhere throughout the inlet, on the bridge and even as far
north as 9th St. Pier.
With a close second, we have had an amazing flounder bite this past week with
numerous accounts of flounder larger than 24 inches. The most popular, and my
personal favorite, bait for these fish is a Berkley Gulp, Chartreuse, 3 inch,
Swimming Mullet tipped with a live minnow or piece of squid.
 On Skip’s Charter Boat we had the best
week of striper fishing so far this year. Starting the week out with John
Skozran and his godson Andy Baillone from Shrewsbury, Pa. They went out on a
two-hour trip with us on Thursday, having a great afternoon releasing about
thirty stripers and a bunch of tog. Two of the tog made for a nice dinner that
On Friday, we went out for four hours with Doug Cooper, Paul Goodwin, Tres
Kelly and Scott Jenorek from Frederick, Md. and had a very fun, relaxing day on
the water fishing for flounder and stripers but focusing mainly on stripers. We
caught and released several flounder and about 15 stripers.
Don and Steve Slacum went out with us on one of our two-hour specials on
Saturday and were able to catch and release about 30 stripers and kept two,
which not only made Don and Steve happy but also Sharon Slacum who says “they
were delicious”.
On Sunday, we took out one of our frequent customers, “Striper” Joe Aita, for
his two-hour fix and caught a bunch of tog and stripers.
Monday morning, Eddie West and Tony Joe, both of whom work at Thrasher’s Fries
and who are from West Ocean City, went fishing with us, releasing 25 stripers
and boxed one for dinner.
As a graduation present, Sam Gruneberg and Ray Dreibelbis, two of
Pennsylvania’s finest, went fishing with us and were able to catch and release
several stripers, tog and flounder and kept a real nice stripper and the first
triggerfish of the year.
On Tuesday, Dr. Michael Dube went out on one of our four-hour trips for a
relaxing day of fishing, catching and releasing over a dozen stripers and
keeping one 34 incher as well as releasing several nice flounder. 

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. 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., seven days a week, with a great staff
that will answer any questions you may have about fishing the Ocean City
waters. If you have a report or pictures you would like in The Dispatch or on email me at or
The weather this weekend is going to be phenomenal and the fishing is the best
we’ve had this season . So 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.)