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Vol 49 | Num 11 | Jul 10, 2024

Offshore Report Ocean City Report Delaware Report Virginia Report Snarky Lines Ship to Shore The Galley Issue Photos
Offshore Report

Article by Larry Budd

This Week Last Year
• The weather finally gave anglers a decent week on the rip. Heat and fog were still an issue though.
• The “RoShamBo” released their first swordfish of the season in the Washington Canyon.
• The “Reel Passion” out of the Indian River Marina caught a 234 lb. bigeye tuna in the Washington on a naked ballyhoo setting the bar for Heaviest of the season so far.
• The “Kilo Charlie” ran north to the Spencer Canyon and released 2 white marlin and put 3 yellowfins in the box including on at 94 lbs. That also a seasonal record to date.

The weather sure did play tricks on us last week. The forecast mid-week painted a dicey picture in the canyons for the weekend to the point where the Ocean City Marlin Club canceled their 42nd Annual Canyon Kickoff. Fortunately, or unfortunately for the club, the weather was better than anticipated. It turns out a small eddy of the gulf stream had pushed into deep water behind the Baltimore and northern Poor Mans Canyons. This warm, bait rich water lit up the offshore action with billfish, yellowfins and some bigeyes being caught over the weekend.

The hot bite for the week was definitely white marlin. It started last Wednesday and our first report came from Tuna & Tiaras Tournament Director Pam Taylor. She let us know that Capt. Anthony Pino on the private boat “Sea Hag” had returned to Sunset Marina with 8 white marlin release flags flying. He was followed by a string of great reports through Saturday. The bite seems to have started in the Baltimore and moved slightly south to the Poor Mans by the weekend. The “Nauti Norwegian” who is on this week’s cover released two whites in the Baltimore Canyon on the 4th of July. The same day, the “ChaseEm” out of Harbor Island released a blue marlin in the Baltimore that hit on a Black Bart plug. The charter boat “Absolut Pleasure” had a charter in the Baltimore as well trolling in 200-600 fathoms finding 72° water. They went 1 for 4 on whites including a first for angler Josh Swindel and bagged a lot of tuna. More on that below! The private boat “Kilo Charlie” spent last Friday in deeper water behind the Baltimore, in 1000 fathoms. They went 3 for 5 on whites and lost a blue. Charter boat owner Todd Willard of the “Fish On” reached out Friday to share their trio there as well. They release 4 whites and boxed a mess of mahi. They went out on Saturday as well, this time to the Poor Mans and released 6 whites, missing many more. The private boat “Christine Marie” tried the Baltimore the same day and had an outstanding trip, going 8 for 13 on whites. Naked ballyhoo was a common refrain for bait. As Sunday arrived however it seems the party was over as the rich water had seemed to dissipate.

The tuna bite was strong with more bigeyes in the mix. That’s a good sign for the Ocean City Tuna Tournament this weekend. The Baltimore Canyon was also the hot spot for big yellowfins and eyeballs followed by the Poor Mans.

The white marlin release on the “Absolut Pleasure” was only part of their story that day. They put 10 yellowfins in the box from the Baltimore. Likewise, the “ChaseEm” caught a bigeye and several yellowbirds that all hit on Joe Shute Lures with ballyhoo. Other fish from there include 7 yellowfins from the charter boat “Wrecker”, 3 from a charter on “Pumpin’ Hard”, 7 from the charter “MARLI” and 9 from the charter on “Foolish Pleasure”. The “Wrecker” had a notable yellow at 105.5 lbs. Spreader bars from Sterling Tackle and 353 Custom were hot as was skirted and naked ballyhoo.

The private boat “Old Hatt” (named as such as she is an old Hatteras!) was deep in the Poor Mans where they landed a 67” and 183.5 lb. bigeye. It hit on a skirted ballyhoo and took almost 2 hours to boat. The charter boat “Reel Chaos” also bagged a big eyeball. Theirs was from the Washington Canyon in 300 fathoms and 72° water. That one hit on a ballyhoo as well.

Mahi were in the mix, but still not in huge numbers. The largest catch of the week we saw was from the “Fish On” as I mentioned above with 15. They do seem to be getting larger and there were a couple notables. The “Boss Hogg” brought a nice bull and cow pair back to Sunset Marina. The “Reel Chaos” had a big bull on the same trip where they bagged the bigeye. Bria Masters was fishing on the “HotLine” where she boated a 20 lb. bull mahi on a ballyhoo rig in the Baltimore. Closer to shore, Owen Conrad trolled over an inshore lump and put 2 in the box. The largest weighed at Rick’s Bait & Tackle was 20 lbs. making it the Heaviest of the season so far for a Delaware boat! With all the tuna and billfish action, we have seen less anglers targeting tilefish, however some still did with great success. The crew on the “McFish” for example went deep dropping and returned with 5 golden tiles up to 27 lbs. and almost a limit of bluelines.

All eyes will be on the week to come with the 37th Annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament to be held this weekend. Considered by many to be the start of the big money tournaments and considered a bell weather for the season. Last year’s event faced sporty weather. This year the forecast is mixed but could be a repeat. It is still early as I write this on Monday afternoon. Weather however does not deter anglers for this event, even in the small boat category! Last year’s big winner was the “Cabana”. They're heavier than most boats took the top spots in both Heaviest Tuna and Heaviest Stringer, a tournament first. With an estimate purse of a million dollars or more, I am sure there will be stories to tell next week. Good luck to all the anglers and crews. §

Upcoming Tournaments
• The world’s largest tuna tournament returns to the Ocean City Fishing Center on July 12-14. The 37th Ocean City Tuna Tournament promises more action and big money payouts. The purse is expected to exceeded $1M. Scales will be open at the Fishing Center from 4-8PM on Friday & Saturday and 4-7:00 PM on Sunday.
• The Jimmy Johnson Atlantic City Quest for the Ring Tournament returns to Atlantic City this year and adds a new twist. This year there will be a weigh station in Ocean City at Sunset Marina. The event runs from July 15 - 20 with scales every day from 5 - 9PM.
• The Ocean City Marlin Club holds the 20th Annual Kids Classic on July 21st and 22nd. You do not have to be a member of the Club to participate in this fun & family friendly event and parents may help reel in fish. More at ocmarlinclub.com.

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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