Fish ‘N OC

If you read last week’s installment of “Fish ‘N OC”, you’ll know that we talked a little bit about fishing line and the importance of choosing the right lines for the places we fish and the types of fishing that we do. At the end of the article, I promised to provide you with some insight into the types of lines that I use in my own personal fishing, as well as the lines I’ve found to be most popular around Ocean City. So to get things started, I’d like to spend some time talking about braided line.

Today’s braided line is not the same-old thick, braided mono or Dacron that was used at one time in yesteryear. Generally speaking, when you hear people making reference today about using “braided line,” it is a solid bet that they are speaking about one of the new “super-braids”, such as Power Pro.

These braided lines are typically made from one of two extremely thin (yet very strong) fibers — either micro dyneema or spectra fiber. These fibers are brought together into carrier strands and that are then braided together to form a fishing line. The result being a product with very high breaking strength and much smaller diameter compared to monofilament. This allows anglers to carry a lot more line on their reels and hence allows the use of smaller, lighter equipment as well. Braided line also does not stretch, which makes it more sensitive than regular monofilament, allowing you to feel those soft biting fish much easier.

Today you will find a lot of anglers using braided line. In fact, I would venture to say that the majority of most serious inshore anglers will use braid at one time or another. The advantages of braid are just too great to be ignored.

Here at the shop I sell a lot of braided line to bridge fishermen targeting stripers. The strong currents that run under the Route 50 Bridge require an angler to put a lot of pressure on a fish in order to land it. Those anglers who prefer to fish with lighter gear, generally speaking, are the ones who tend to prefer super braid, which allows for strong enough gear, yet still be able to fish comfortably all night long, instead of wielding a giant, 30-ounce coffee-grinder sized reel that’s filled with thick monofilament. If you are planning to fish the bridge for stripers and want to spool your reel up with braided line, my suggestion would be to use at least 50- to 65-pound test.

Through the years, super braid has also become pretty popular with the Inlet and jetty fishing crowd —especially those targeting stripers and bluefish. There are also a good number of flounder fishermen using braid as well. Just like the Route 50 Bridge, there is a lot of current that runs in and out of our Inlet, so it is sometimes nice to have the extra strength that braided line provides to help steer strong fish away from structure and snags.

Braided line also allows anglers to feel bites better, and I believe that is why it is sometimes favored by inlet anglers as well. For most inlet and jetty angling (those targeting stripers and bluefish anyway), I would recommend braid of at least 30-pound test. A lot of the flounder fishermen tend to fish lighter braid in the 20-pound range and seem to do just fine. The same goes for flounder fishing from the bridge as well.

In next week’s article, we will delve even deeper into the subject of fishing line, and move beyond super braid and talk about monofilament. Until then, let’s take a look at some of the fishing reports that have come in from around town this past week.

At “Oyster Bay”, Sue reports, “Fishing this week was good on flounder though there are a tremendous amount of throw backs. White Gulp seemed to be the "hot bait" this week along with live minnows. Nice sized bluefish are being taken from the Route 50 Bridge. Surf is seeing a lot of small panfish early in the morning such as spot, kingfish, sand perch, and croaker. At night, sharks and skates abound along with a few croaker and flounder.

“Offshore, the flounder bite is picking up along with the sea bass. Further offshore, the news is tuna, more tuna, wahoo and dolphin. If you want to try targeting flounder in the surf, cast out a single or high/low rig with strips of any kind of cut bait. Cast out and slowly retrieve back in on the surf. A lead lead and a Swimming Mullet Gulp will also work.”

Captain Jeffrey Grimes of "Helbent Charters" reports, "Flounder, Flounder and more Flounder this weekend but keepers are still far and few between but the size of the fish are getting larger and heavier. I had a make-up charter on Saturday and I am not sure who had more fun me or the customers. We headed out to fish the Inlet for the incoming tide and we were rewarded with close to 30 flounder. Everyone caught fish on just about everything we offered from live minnows, frozen shiners and squid, fish bites and 3-inch white Gulp minnows. The white Gulp and live minnows seemed to be the favorite choice this weekend. When the tide turned, the wind kicked in and the the bite turned off. It was another great weekend of flounder fishing in OC and the things should only get better in the coming weeks. See you on the water.”

The “Oceanic Pier” reports, “anglers are catching lots of flounder. Plenty of action, early in the week there weren’t many keepers but later in the week, more keepers were reported. Some croakers are biting both day and night. There’s plenty of little fish for the kids to catch including little sea bass and spot. At night, the shad and snapper blues are biting. Anglers catch blues and shad on spec rigs and gotcha plugs.”

“Old Inlet” reports, "Surf fishing is good with spot being the main catch right now. There are some sand perch and a few kings around as well. Bloodworms and fresh bunker are the best baits. The hot days with west wind slowed the action up a bit. Onshore breezes are best. There is a good tuna bite stretching from the Poormans north to the Baltimore/Wilmington Canyons. Mostly yellowfins. Bluefins are in around Massey’s and the 30 line. Good flounder fishing in the deep water in the Indian River Inlet. Small blues in the mix too. Best striper fishing is at night with all of the heat and boat traffic during the day. Live eels and lures on the incoming tide and floating fleas on the outgoing."

“Bill Sports Center” in Lewes reports, "Gale Force charters fish inshore. They caught a keeper striper this week and lots of blues. Tog are biting in the Delaware Bay and Indian River. Flounder fishing is decent in Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Inlet, and Lewes Canal. Sea Bass and flounder are biting at the Old Grounds and B Buoy.”

Capt. Monty on The “Morning Star” reports, “A varied week, catches from not-so-much to very fine indeed. Sunday, I even had one visitor with more than 20 keeper sea bass. Another fish, summer flounder, answered to twitch-twitch on Sunday. Caught a few up to 4 1/2 pounds on Gulps and cut bait with the biggest on clam. The Morning Star is starting to get into flounder on a regular basis. We brought back at least three up to 21 inches last Friday. Also had another cod that measured 22 inches."

Captain Victor on the “Ocean Princess” reports, “he is still picking away at sea bass and the occasional flounder. On Thursday, the wind blew northeast and kept the Ocean Princess and the other boats tied up to the dock all day. We went back out again Friday and were pleased to see that the either the wind pushed in a few fish or made the ones already there bite a little better. We are catching quite a few throwbacks with a few keepers around the rail on most of our trips. Brian Kennedy of Franklinville, N.J. caught a nice 3-pound tog. We are still seeing a few flounders being caught, although they are a little more hit or miss. No sign of croakers yet but we should start seeing some very soon."

On the Tortuga, Drew reports, “To start off, I apologize for not doing a report last week, my laptop was in the shop getting a tune-up. So that makes this a "bi-weekly" report. Basically over the past two weeks, we’ve had all three types of fishing, Good, bad and ugly. Currently, strong prevailing south winds are stirring up the ocean which is making the bay water dirty and making things hard on us. But, as I tell people when they ask me, "Cap’n, when is the best trip?", I say, "It changes three times a day every day". So come try your luck with us at Bahia Marina/Fish Tales located at 22nd Street Bayside Ocean City.

Capt Sean on the “Restless Lady”, reports “we just keep on rolling, lumps all around Hotdog holding bait, tunas are on the bait. Fourteen yellowfin keepers (30-55 pounds) , two gaffers and one white marlin release for a first timer never being offshore and visiting from Ispwich, England. Jason Beall, yes did go for a swim at the dock.”

Here at “Skip’s Bait & Tackle Shop”, we had some nice weigh-ins this week. Cody Stockenberg and Tristan Drenner from Harbour Island stopped by the shop with their moms and siblings all excited with their first keeper flounder of the season. These boys fish everyday from the bulkhead while on summer vacation. They caught lots of throw backs this season but this was the first keeper and it measured 20 inches. They also had 6 throw backs. All the flatties were caught on minnows.

Another weigh-in worth writing about was long-time friend Jack Koslosky of West O.C. and his son Jack Jr. and neighbor Gary Redcay. These guys can fish as you saw from last week’s article. Well they were back again this week with another good catch. Jack reported they fished the west channel with gulp and had an epic day with over 60 flounder with six keepers from 18 to 22 inches. Jack said the bite was unbelievable.

Here at “Skip’s Charter and Guide Service”, we are still catching stripers. We are still booking the south jetty trips while the fish are still biting.

All four of our charter boats here at Skip’s Charter & Guide service are having awesome fishing, with some of the best fishing we’ve seen in years. Inshore and offshore fishing is off the hook. Pick up that phone and give us a call and book that fishing trip. We still have openings but their filling up fast. We also have our bay boat running with family flounder trips, plus our fishing, clamming, and crabbing combo charter for just $450 for a half day of family fun. 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 let’s 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 [email protected] or [email protected].

The summer weather is here, and the fishing is smoking hot. 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.)