Fish ‘N OC

Fish ‘N OC

In last week’s article,
we spent some time discussing two of Ocean City’s most popular fishing spots
for shore anglers — the Ocean City Inlet and the Route 50 Bridge. Both of these
spots are both easy to get to and very productive for the majority of the
Unfortunately, when dealing with fishing spots, in many instances “productive”
can also mean, “crowded.” And it is true that both of these spots can at times
become quite crowded, especially when they are fishing well. It is at times
like these that savvy anglers spread out to a variety of spots in order to
escape the crowds and sometimes find more, un-pressured fish.
Fortunately, the Inlet and the bridge are not the only places to fish around
town. Last week I promised that I would continue this week’s article by sharing
a few of Ocean City’s “smaller” or less-popular spots with you. So let’s get on
with it. I will start on the bayside.
Without a doubt one of the best “small” spots around town is the public pier on
9th Street. When you find the Inlet rail is too crowded or someone is in your
favorite spot up on the bridge, 9th Street can be a great place to go. Still,
keep in mind that large fish like stripers and big bluefish are rarely caught
here (but it does happen). If you are just out for fun, 9th Street can be the
place to go in the summer when the bay is filled with loads of pan fish like
spot and croakers. It can also be a good spot for flounder as well. Some nice
ones are caught here every year.
Moving toward the Inlet, the next spot I’d like to share with you is the
bulkhead that runs from 2nd Street to 4th Street. There is ample parking along
the entire length of the bulkhead here, and there is easy access to the deep
water of the East Channel from anywhere along this location. The best thing
about fishing here is that almost every type of fish that swims in our bay can
be caught here at one time or another. However, if you choose to fish the
bulkhead, be prepared to lose some tackle. There are a lot of snags very close
to shore. In fact, these snags actually make this area very productive for tog
fishing in the cooler months. So they are a blessing and a curse at times.
Also, keep in mind that keeper stripers and some trophy flounder are taken here
every year.
The small bulkhead on Worcester Street can also be a productive spot for
shoreline anglers. The bottom is somewhat snaggy here, and it is a fairly long
cast to the channel from this location, but some nice fish are taken from here
every year — flounder in particular. If you want to fish this location, keep in
mind its small size. You will want to arrive early; otherwise your spot will
already be taken when you finally drag yourself out of bed in the morning.
The Oceanic Fishing Pier is also a great spot for Ocean City anglers. It is located
adjacent to the Oceanic Motel at the western corner of the Inlet. You must pay
a small fee to gain access to the pier, but the fishing can definitely be worth
it. Any type of fish that can be caught from the Inlet sea wall can also be
caught from the Oceanic Pier. In fact, the fishing can sometimes be better from
the pier due the way it extends out over the water and the way the lights shine
on the water at night. If you like to catch stripers, know that numerous fish
in the 30-pound range came over the rail at the Oceanic Pier this past spring.
Last, but certainly not least, I would like to mention our local beaches. Even
though fishing is not permitted during the lifeguarding hours on the beach in
Ocean City, a lot of fishing takes place here at night and in the evenings and
in the early morning hours. One of the best things about fishing the beach is
that it is a good place to get away from other anglers. At times, there is a
lot of structure along our beaches, which means there is plenty of space for
people to spread out. All types of fish can be caught here as well. Some huge
stripers are taken every season, along with bluefish, flounder, sharks, rays
and good numbers of smaller fish like croaker, kingfish, and spot. If you are a
surf fisherman, definitely do not overlook fishing from our local beaches.
The spots I mentioned are far from a comprehensive list of all the local spots
around Ocean City. But, if you are new to the fishing game in town, this should
be enough information for you here to help get you started.

But for now, I have a
quite a few reports to share with you from this past week. So let’s take a look
at them now.
Sue Foster at Oyster Bay reports, “Fishing this week was up and down on
flounder. Some days were great and a couple days were slow. It’s all about
water clarity and when the water is clear and clean the flounder bite like
crazy. Keepers are another story, but there are some out there. You really have
to work to get the "over 19-inch" ones. Oceanic Pier, Route 50 Bridge
and Homer Gudelsky Park all had success with flounder and some blues. Anglers
are having good luck with the usual minnow and shiner baits but anglers adding
Berkley Gulp to their baits are having the most success. Anglers are now
catching spot around the Route 90 Bridge, canals and Northside Park. These spot
make good flounder baits.
Bluefish and a few stripers hit the Route 50 Bridge though the tide was right
in the wee hours of the morning. This week should be better. Anglers on the
bridge use Gotcha Plugs, live bait and swimming shad lures. In the surf, we’re
having summertime action with kingfish, spot, croaker, some bluefish (mostly at
night), sharks, rays and skates. Triggerfish are here at the inlets and
bulkhead along with some tautog action. Offshore, we have had some cobia,
up-and-down sea bass fishing, more flounder and further offshore, dolphin, some
tuna, and white marlin.
Surf anglers are catching kingfish, spot, and some croaker with small hooks and
bloodworms or artificial bloodworm combined with a little strip of clam,
mullet, bunker, or squid fillet. Some bluefish were caught this week on finger
mullet, but all after dark. Lots of rays and skates were caught this week on
box squid. There’s still some big sharks out there and lots of little sand
sharks, too.”

At Harbor Tackle, Bev
reports, “Plenty of flounder are being taken, just not many keepers. More
keepers have been caught around the Route 50 Bridge, the East Channel, and
Stinky Beach. Croakers are showing in the bay. Triggerfish and tog are at the
Inlet and around the pillars of the Route 50 Bridge. Some nice blues and mostly
small stripers at the Route 50 Bridge and in the Inlet. At the beach are
sharks, rays, skates, kingfish, spot, croakers, flounder and blues. A local
crabber said he saw Monarch butterflies last week. Are the reds going to show
JJ at the Oceanic Pier reports, “The flounder fishing still continues to be
good, mostly on incoming tides. The best baits are live minnows, shiners, and
Berkley Gulp. There’s lots of under-sized fish, but we see several keepers a
day. We are seeing some croakers, bloodworms and fish bite are the ticket. At
night, we are still seeing bluefish, gotcha plugs and spec rigs work the best.
Most of the striper action is coming from the seawall with live eels.”
Captain Drew Zerbe on the Tortuga reports, “This past week overall showed a
shortage of keeper flounder for us and most other boats in the bay. They simply
weren’t there to be had, plus the tide was not favorable in the morning and
early afternoon from Wednesday through Sunday. However, we still had plenty of
action on throwbacks, catching over 400 one day. Also we saw better numbers of
croaker and all the usual by-catch species, such as sea robins and small sea
bass, adding to the action. As I’m writing this, we are starting to get more
incoming tide in the morning which will improve conditions for our 8 a.m. and
noon trips over the next several days. We are still seeing the beginning of the
second incoming tide on our 4-7 p.m., but that will fade out over the next few
Here at Skip’s Bait and Tackle this past week, we have seen a great week of
fishing with the highlight being that the croaker have moved in making a lot of
people very happy, mostly catching them off of bloodworms or artificial
bloodworms, off of 2nd to 4th St. bulkhead, Route 50 Bridge, the Oceanic Pier
and through the inlet. The flounder bite has been fairly consistent, paying out
to anyone that puts the time in fishing either from shore or from boat. The
hottest bait for them right now is the Berkley Gulp swimming mullet and a live
minnow or a frozen shiner.
Bluefish and stripers have been reported every night off of the Route 50 Bridge
and through the Inlet mostly off of artificial lures, two ounce Gotcha Plugs,
five-inch swimming mullet and spoons.
The tog and seabass bite has been okay, offering quick action to any angler
fishing with sand fleas or green crabs often resulting in a good meal at the
end of the day. As well, while fishing for tog you have the possibility of
catching a sheepshead or triggerfish.
This past week we had a few weigh-ins. First, was Gary Redcay of West Ocean
City with a 8.9-pound sheepshead that he caught while fishing in the Ocean City
Inlet. Second, was Dominic Cannuli who shot two tog measuring 22 and 20 inches
underneath the Route 50 Bridge while spearfishing on Tuesday. Our third and
final weigh-in was Bob Gummer of Ocean City who brought in his two nice
flounder caught on live bunker in the Thorofare.
On Skip’s Charter Boat this week, we had a variety of trips, first being a
shark trip that we went out on with Joe and Margaret Parrone and Zach, Acom and
Kaitlyn Yale. We caught two sharks and about eight skates. In all, we had a
really fun time out there on the water.
Our second trip was a striper and flounder trip with Frank and his co-worker
and we caught a bunch of flounder and some short stripers. On Saturday, Joyce
Melbourne and her two grandsons went out fishing with us and enjoyed the
evening with a bunch of flounder and a nice sunset. To top it all off they had
a nice flounder to take home for a good meal at the end of it all.
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 email me at
[email protected] or [email protected].
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.)