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Vol 44 | Num 4 | May 22, 2019

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Ocean City Fishing Report

Article by Larry Jock

This Week Last Year

•bad weather washed out the weekend.
•sea bass season opened on May 15th. Best spots were Great Eastern, San Gil, Marine Electric and Jackspot.
•anglers pecked at flounder in the Thorofare.
•bluefish were caught in OC Inlet and around the South Jetty and also during the incoming tide around Rt. 50 Bridge.
•hardly any stripers caught in the surf. Only bluefish and black drum.
It has been a very windy and rainy spring, but nice weather rolled in, the boatyards were hopping and there were a lot of anglers on the water. If we get some nice weather for this weekends Memorial Day holiday, it could be incredible at the scales!

Bluefish

We have to start off the report with everyone’s toothy bay critter... the bluefish. They certainly have been a godsend for anglers this season. Although the incoming tide seems to produce the best action, snappers continue to be caught on both tides and at every possible location in the bay behind Ocean City. We really haven’t seen or heard of many bluefish behind Assateague, but that could just be due to the fact that they are so numerous in the Inlet and by the Rt. 50 Bridge that there is no need to go south. We even saw a few caught up in the Thorofare last week.

Although the fish in the bay have been small-to-medium size, Ed Balcerzak reported that he was fishing around the Rt. 50 Bridge last Thursday, which is tough to do right now with all the work being done, and he hooked into a bluefish that he said was every bit of 15 lbs. Unfortunately, it came loose during the fight. He also reported a load of shad in the bay and small stripers by the bridge.

Larger bluefish were caught by anglers fishing off the beach on Assateague Island and North Ocean City.

Most anglers are tossing Gotcha plugs or bucktails to the snappers, but really anything will work on these fish when they are biting. Spec rigs, shiny lures, topwater plugs, meat, etc.

Flounder

The flounder bite has slowed down over the last couple of weeks, especially in the Thorofare. This could be a cycle or they headed for the hills when the bluefish stormed the bay. Anglers on the charter boat, “Get Sum” had good trips on Saturday when they returned with 6 keepers in the morning and another 9 in the afternoon. The biggest fish of the day measured 18 3/4-inches. Fish were caught on both tides while using white Gulp Swimming Mullets for bait. The morning group got their fish in the bay behind Assateague and around the sandbar located south of the Rt. 50 Bridge. In the afternoon, they headed for the Thorofare where Capt. Nick said that he had 63-degree water.

Striped Bass

Small schoolies continue to be caught around all the bridges and around the South Jetty. We also saw an improvement (which isn’t saying much) in the striper bite in the suds off Assateague and Ocean City.

Weakfish

We haven’t seen the first weakfish caught out of Ocean City this season, but there was one just caught in the Indian River Inlet, so keep an eye out in local waters.

Sea Bass

The black sea bass season opened on May 15th. It started out rocky with snotty seas that morning making it difficult for many anglers to hold down their breakfast. When things settled down, the bite was good. Since last Wednesday, we saw numerous boats return to the dock with their limit of sea bass (15 per person). Most were fishing with squid and clams and the top locations seemed to be a good ways off the beach in 120 to 150-feet of water. We saw a 5 pounder caught up in Delaware and the largest one we have seen so far come out of Ocean City was a 4 pounder caught on the charter boat, “Fish Bound” at the African Queen.

Tautog

The Maryland tautog season is closed from May 16th to June 30th, but before it shut down we saw a few really nice fish caught on ocean structure. Rich Bizzari led the way when he caught and released a fat, 14 lb. female in 60-feet of water during a trip aboard the “Fish Bound”.

Sharks

As you saw on the cover of this weeks issue, the first thresher shark of the season arrived at the scale last Saturday when a group of anglers aboard the charter boat, “Over-Board” caught a 296 pounder in 50-feet of water near the Jackspot. The 153-inch fish ate a whole mackerel and took 2 hours to get to the boat.

Also on Saturday, we saw the first mako shark of the season hit a local scale after angler Brandon Malamphy muscled in a 74-inch, 140 pounder. Brandon was fishing on the “FINATIC” when he hooked the mako on a bluefish head in 60 fathoms in the Wilmington Canyon.

Bluefin Tuna & Mahi

A weather window on Saturday allowed several boats to head to the Wilmington Canyon where they found bluefins snapping. Almost everyone got their “under” fish (27”<47”) and a few even got their “over” (47”<73”) fish as well. The charter boat, “Marli” trolled in 125 fathoms and caught 3 bluefins between 32 and 34-inches in addition to a 53-incher. Anglers on the “Bonnie Lynn” went on an overnighter on Saturday to the Wilmington Canyon and caught a pair of “under” bluefins, a mahi and lost a mako at the boat.

On Sunday, the conditions were snotty in the morning but after a squall rolled through, the seas laid out. Anglers on the charter boat, “Bubblehead” ventured out to the Wilmington Canyon where they caught 3 keeper bluefins, a skippy and a mahi in 75 fathoms. Anglers on the “Reel Precision” fished between the Spencer and the Wilmington Canyons and went 17 for 25 on bluefins. They also caught an 11 lb. mahi.

Upcoming Tournament

This weekend is the 10th Annual Ocean City Marlin Club Memorial Day Tournament on May 25th and 26th. Anglers can fish 1 out of 2 days and you do not have to be a Marlin Club member to fish in the tournament. Weigh-ins are at Sunset Marina on both days from 4:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

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


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