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Vol 45 | Num 5 | Jul 8, 2020

The Offshore Report Ocean City Report Chum Lines Delaware Fishing Report Fish Stories Ship to Shore The Galley Issue Photos
The Offshore Report

Article by Larry Budd

This Week Last Year
• The yellowfin tuna bite was good mid-week between the Poor Man’s and Baltimore Canyons. Fish size grew with many in the 40 lb. range with an 88.2 lb. fish reported. The bigeye catch came in strong late in the week.
• Billfishing was strong with lots of white marlin releases between the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons. Several blue marlin releases in the Wilmington, Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons.
• No real reports of dolphin, cobia or swordfish this time last year.
• Inshore the black sea bass bite was downright disappointing. The fish were out there, they were just not biting.

We have definitely entered full tournament mode with last weekend’s Ocean City Marlin Club Canyon Kickoff, next week’s Ocean City Tuna Tournament and one pretty much one every week until late August! These have been notably different events this year with precautions being taken to keep anglers, tournament officials and spectators safe. We at the Coastal Fishermen look forward to bringing our readers coverage of these events.

It was beautiful weather for the Marlin Club Canyon Kickoff last weekend. Many yellowfin tuna were brought to the scales from several different canyons and the Hotdog. Most of the action was on Friday when the leader-board changed hands several times in the first few hours. The first day ended with “Lucky Duck II” holding the lead at 51.4 lbs. and “Grande Pez” holding a close 2nd at 51.2 lbs. Over the course of 3 days the top two tuna’s held their place from Friday, but it was “Roll Groove” that sneaked into third place late on Sunday with a 50.8 lb. yellowfin. Only 9.6 ounces separated the top 3 fish! Interesting that no bigeye or longfin tuna made their way to the scales given the action on those just a few days prior. Last year’s tournament tuna division was dominated by bigeye catches with the winner weighing in at 142.8 lbs caught by the “Sindaco”.

The action was hot in the Billfish Division as well with many white marlin releases being reported Several boats like the “Buckshot”, “First Light” and “Fish On” reporting 5 releases in a single day. Other reports of 3 or 4 per day were not uncommon. When it was all over and done on Sunday, there was a tie for first place in this division. The “Buckshot” and “First Light” both released a total of 8 whites over the course of the tournament. It took a review of the release times to declare the winner with “Buckshot” coming out on top having released their 8th white about 80 minutes earlier than “First Light”.

The Dolphin Division did not have the drama of the other two. The “Makenzie Rae” came to the scales on Friday and put the hammer down with a 36 lb. dolphin they caught in 150 fathoms in the Poor Man’s Canyon. This mahi bested the 2nd place winner by over 10 lbs. Full details and pictures and winners from the Canyon Kickoff start on page 58.
Beyond the Tournament there was good and consistent offshore action with a diversity of species being caught.

Tuna

Early last week saw bigeye tunas being caught from the Baltimore to the Poor Man’s Canyons averaging in the mid 100’s in weight. They were in the warmer water anywhere from 300 to 800 fathoms. That bite cooled quickly as we moved into the week. The yellowfin bite remained consistent last week and saw steady and regular catches in the single digits with single and double hookups common. Capt. Mike Burt on the charter boat “Pumpin Hard” and Brian Porter on the “Boss Hogg” reported good yellowfin catches between the Poor Man’s Baltimore Canyons. Last weekend saw some spikes with yellowfin catches in the teens.

Billfish

As was mentioned in the Marlin Club Canyon Kickoff Tournament review, the white marlin fishing is very strong, seemingly across the central canyons. Skirted ballyhoo and spreader bars are doing the trick. Not many blue marlin releases are being reported but a highlight for this week was a 650 lb. blue that was brought into Hook’em & Cook’em at the Indian River Marina. That monster was on the rod for 6.5 hours!

Deep Dropping

Lots of reports of anglers deep dropping for swordfish & tilefish last week. We had 3 swords reported with a big 281 lb. beauty landed by “Real Chaos” on July 5th. Also ones reported from “Bar South” and “Blue Eyes” being caught between the Baltimore and Washington Canyons. Most effective bait was tuna or mahi belly. Several golden tilefish were reported and a few of these deep droppers got rose fish as well.

Overall offshore has been producing well, but we have some concerns with upcoming weather.

Until next week, I’ll see you at the docks.


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