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Vol 43 | Num 21 | Sep 19, 2018

Fishing Report Fish Stories Chum Lines News Briefs Ship to Shore The Galley Issue Photos
Fishing Report

Article by Larry Jock

As you can expect, there isn’t too much to write about this week when it comes to a “Fishing Report”.

The windy and rainy weather put a damper on fishing early in the week and the effects of Hurricane Florence kept everyone at the dock at the end of the week and over the weekend.

In the middle of the week, we had a “calm before the storm”, allowing offshore boats to head to the Poor Man’s Canyon and fill the box with dolphin and troll for white marlin. The “Bar South” had 5 white marlin releases and right behind them was the “Reel Chaos” and the “Intents” with 4 white marlin releases each.

In the bay, the windy and rainy weather made flounder fishing difficult due to dirty water conditions and the rough seas made the South Jetty practically unfishable. Those searching for flounder when weather permitted stayed primarily in the East Channel and around the Rt. 50 Bridge with the best bite coming from literally under the bridge between the pilings. Fresh bunker continued to be the bait of choice for anglers looking for larger flounder, but minnows, squid and white Gulp Swimming Mullets also did the trick. It’s funny, Gulp Swimming Mullets come in a few different colors but this season the white Gulps far outperformed the other colors according to some serious flounder fishermen I spoke to. The regional manager for Gulp said that anglers to our north prefer other colors, such as chartreause and pink, but in Ocean City and Delaware the best color to go to this season was white.

Before the bad weather rolled through, anglers fishing on ocean structure had to move further offshore to find bigger and more numerous flounder and sea bass. Where just a couple weeks earlier, fish were being caught in 60-feet of water, they were now showing up in 100 to 120-feet. This is consistent with what we saw at the beginning of the season with the better catches coming in 100+ feet of water.

The sheepshead bite died down before the blow, but we did see a couple caught by anglers around the South Jetty. One of the most effective ways sheepshead were caught this past season was by tossing a hooked sand flea into the rocks with a little splitshot up the line a bit. This gave you enough weight to get your bait below the surface but wasn’t heavy enough to get you snagged in the rocks.
Over the shoals, such as Fenwick and Isle of Wight, anglers trolling silver and gold spoons were hooking into bluefish, Spanish mackerel and king mackerel. The bluefish seemed to like the silver spoons better while the mackerel were more apt to go for the gold ones. Not sure why, but that’s the reports we were receiving.

When the seas settle down and the weather gets right I’m sure there will be plenty of offshore anglers more than ready to give it a shot in the canyons. These types of weather events can go one of two ways. Either the bite turns off and anglers end the year frustrated, OR it stirs things up and the fishing is good. After not seeing yellowfins for most of the back half of the season, it would be nice for the offshore guys get another shot at them in addition to a continuation of the white and blue marlin bites. Also before the stretch of bad weather, wahoo were being caught at several locations including the Washington Canyon and Massey’s Canyon. Most were in the 40 to 60 lb. range, so hopefully there are still a few out there that will be hooked before the fishing season comes to a close.

Overall, when I look back at the year I have a good feeling about how things went. It was wonderful to see solid flounder fishing for anglers in the bay. Tuna fishing was strong early, but petered out later in the season and for a stretch there were a lot of marlin flags seen flying on outriggers at the marinas. The best thing about the marlin bite this year were the number of anglers, especially young anglers, who caught and released their very first white marlin. I don’t ever remember running so many pictures of kids smiling from ear to ear as they held their release flag after taking the tradional plunge.

At the Coastal Fisherman, it was also a good year. Readers enjoyed over 1,600 pages containing 1,590 pictures with, Lord knows, how many anglers showing off their catch. We continued to be humbled by how many people pick-up the Coastal Fisherman each week. This season, we distributed over 252,000 copies with not many leftover at the end of the week. All of this is possible by the hard work of our great staff and incredible writers who provide weekly columns that are informative, educational and entertaining. It is also made possible by our loyal advertisers who allow us to offer the Coastal Fisherman for free to our readers. I truly hope that everyone keeps this in mind and “shops local” as much as possible. It’s easy to order products online without thinking about the effect it has on the local businesses that provide so much to our community. Fortunately, we are blessed with great businesses in our area.

As always, we love to hear your suggestions about what you would like to see in future issues, so if you have any ideas, simply email them to coastalfisherman@comcast.net.

Upcoming Tournament

This weekend is the CBSFA Summer Flounder Tournament on Saturday and Sunday with weigh-ins at Atlantic Tackle. This is the first year for the event and the organizers are working incredibly hard. For more information, go to www.cbsfa.club.
Until next year, I’ll see you at the scales... with a new hip!


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