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Vol 44 | Num 11 | Jul 10, 2019

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Ocean City Fishing Report

Article by Larry Jock

This Week Last Year

•Bad weather wiped out weekend offshore fishing.

•Flounder fishing was best in the bay behind Assateague Island near Castaways Campground and at the South Jetty.

•Ocean founder fishing was good at the Old Grounds, Little Gull Shoal and the Bass Grounds.

•Water temperature in the canyons as high as 81-degrees.

•Good white and blue marlin bite in the Washington Canyon.

•Best yellowfin action was between the Washington Canyon and the 800/800.

•Bluefins were caught outside the Hambone.

•Tilefishing was good in the Baltimore Canyon.

•Skates, rays, sharks, bluefish and flounder in the surf.

Last week was a hot one in Ocean City and I’m not talking air temperature, which seemed to hover around 90-degrees every day. The fishing was hot, both in the bay and in the canyons.

Let’s start off with the Marlin Club Canyon Kick Off held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Although there were many nice fish weighed over the 3 days, the highlight had to be the 52.4 lb. dolphin caught on Sunday by anglers fishing on the “Makenzie Rae”. The big bull was hooked on a trolled spreader bar in 30 fathoms in the Washington Canyon and is the largest one we have seen since the 54 pounder caught by Jimmy Willey in the Washington Canyon on August 3, 2016.

Quite a few marlin were released in the tournament, which made the Billfish Release Division an exciting one. With “Gret’s Three J’s” holding a one fish lead over the “Buckshot” and the “Billfisher” heading into the final day, so the duel was set. The “Buckshot” headed outside of the Poor Man’s Canyon and released 2 white marlin and the “Billfisher” trolled in 200 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon and also released a pair. They were sitting in 1st and 2nd place until the “Gret’s Three J’s” finally arrived back at the dock with a blue marlin release that pushed them into the top spot. Capt. Ronnie Fields had his anglers in 500 fathoms outside the Baltimore Canyon where Mike Tenuto hooked the blue marlin at 12:20 in he afternoon. They estimated it at 350 lbs.

In the Tuna Division, anglers on the “Sindaco” were the very first boat to arrive at the scale on Friday and had to sweat out the next 2 days after weighing a pair of bigeyes caught in 500 fathoms outside the Baltimore?Canyon. Their 142.8 pounder held on to win 1st place, but their 95.8 lb. eyeball dropped to 3rd place on the final day when the “Canyon Hunter” showed up with a 112.4 lb. bigeye that was also caught in the Baltimore. The catch of the 95.8 pounder was a challenging one. Only 20 minutes after hook-up, the handle broke on the reel so they had to splice the line onto another set-up. That move earned the crew over $2,000!

If you were at the scales on Friday you really saw how hot the bite was. The scales were scheduled to be open from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. We started weighing fish at 5:10 PM and never had a break until 8:15 PM. It was yellowfins, bigeyes and dolphin the entire time. Pretty exciting.

Outside of the tournament, we saw a good yellowfin bite mid-week between the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons. The charter boat, “Boss Hogg” returned to Sunset Marina on Wednesday with 15 yellowfins and 4 mahi. Other boats had single-digit catches in the same area. The “Whisky Kilo” was between the Baltimore and the Wilmington Canyon when they put 8 yellowfins in the box.

There was a definite improvement in the class of fish we saw last weekend with many over the 40 lb. mark and several in the upper-50’s and lower 60’s. On Friday, the “Marlin Gale” arrived at the tournament scale with a beautiful 88.2 lb. yellowfin caught in the Baltimore Canyon.

Friday was also a hot day for marlin fishing with many white marlin releases recorded by boats trolling in the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons. We also saw blue marlin releases in the Wilmington, Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons. On Sunday, anglers on the “Instigator” released 2 blue marlin and a white marlin in 60 fathoms in the Baltimore.

In addition to the bigeye tuna mentioned previously that were caught on the “Sindaco” and the “Canyon Hunter”, we also saw a 220 pounder caught on the “Ocean Commotion” outside the Baltimore Canyon. The bigeye catch of the week came in on Saturday when the “No Quarter” returned to Sunset Marina with 4 bigeyes in the box after trolling in the Baltimore Canyon. The bigeyes weighed 105, 116, 126 and 139 lbs. Capt. Kyle Peet’s anglers went 4 for 8 on bigeyes and 4 for 4 on yellowfins during the trip.

Inshore, the black sea bass bite is downright disappointing. They just aren’t biting. Capt. Monty on the “Morning Star” reported having them 50-feet thick on his sounder yet he just couldn’t get them to bite. However, this temporarily changed on Saturday when his anglers recorded some nice doubleheaders and nice size keepers.

Flounder fishing on ocean bottom has been inconsistent so far this season. Boats fishing out of Delaware also reported frustrating results at the Old Grounds and around Sites 10 & 11. We did see the largest flounder of the year caught at Site 10 last week by Sunny Crowell when he boated a 10 lb. 10 oz. flattie while using spot for bait. Capt. Kane on the “Fish Bound” decided to take his anglers far south, close to Blackfish Bank, where Steve Ratcliff caught an 8 lb. flattie in 75-feet of water.

One surprise inshore catch last week was when Capt. Dustin Lorah on the “Over-Board” took his anglers north to between the 12 Fathom Lump and the Great Eastern Reef where they caught 4 good size red drum on the troll.

In the bay, it was great to see the flounder bite really turn on last week, especially behind Assateague Island down by Castaways Campground. On Thursday, anglers on the “Lucky Break” had an incredible day with 12 keepers during the morning trip and 16 keepers in the afternoon. Also on Thursday, anglers fishing on the “Ocean City Guide Service” had 8 keepers in the morning and 12 in the afternoon.

Although the bay behind Assateague was the hot spot last week, the East and West Channels in addition to the Thorofare also produced some nice fish. Several larger flounder were caught along the wall of the old Concrete Plant, just north of the Rt. 50 Bridge last week. This is a tough spot to fish, but if you have a trolling motor, you can really get in there tight and get some flatties that are laying close to the wall.

When it comes to bait, most anglers in the bay are still having very good luck with white Gulp Swimming Mullets. Some are combining the Gulp bait with a strip of squid or a live minnow and are having great results.

The water in the bay is getting very warm so start looking for those deeper holes where the water is cooler.

We also saw some big bluefish caught in the bay last week by anglers fishing around the pilings of the Rt. 50 Bridge. Rich Daiker, Baron Daiker and Kenny Schoen on the “Delicious” caught bluefish up to 39-inches and 14 1/2 lbs. while using live spot for bait. Anglers also reported short stripers in the mix.

Upcoming Tournament

This weekend is the world famous Ocean City Tuna Tournament. Anglers can fish 2 of 3 days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Weigh-ins will be at the Ocean City Fishing Center from 4:00 PM to 8:30 PM on Friday and Saturday and 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Sunday.

Until next week, I’ll see you at the scales!

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