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Vol 46 | Num 19 | Sep 8, 2021

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

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

This week in Ocean City had everyone on high alert as Hurricane Ida rolled up from the south. Prior to the winds and rough seas caused by Ida, some good fishing was to be had. After the storm passed and the water calmed down the fishing rebounded back to normal if not even a little better. At the end of the week we saw Saturday with light winds and calm seas making the Labor Day crowds very happy but the fish unhappy. Big catches of sea bass, flounder, and mahi were reported on Saturday. Both in the bay as well as the ocean.

Back Bay Reports

The back bays of Ocean City have been alive with multi-species of fish all summer and this week was no different. From big keeper rockfish, redfish and of course the town favorite, flounder! The main thorofare was a great place to target flounder early in the week as well as after the storm passed. Long squid strips with a live minnow was the most widely used bait this week. The water near Ocean City Airport has also been a good spot for flounder. 16 yr. old RJ Storm, along with his dad and grandfather were fishing their boat the Nauti Storm and caught 4 keepers up to 18 ½ “. Look for the deeper holes when fishing near the airport and drift through the rise and fall of the holes. The fish are usually on the down current side of the holes. The area near the airport has also been holding some good schools of croaker. Although these fish are usually not as big as the ocean ones, it is a great way to spend an afternoon if you’re fishing with small children. Small pieces of squid or Fishbites are great baits to use. Croaker are ready to bite just about any bait and will keep the young ones entertained. Croaker have also been caught in good numbers near the Rt. 90 Bridge. The area just south of the bridge near Seacrets is also a good spot to try for croaker. Rich Daiker was fishing the back bays of Ocean City, and even with the dirty water managed 3 flounder up to 20 ½ “. Rich also caught about 25 rockfish but they were all undersized. Mike Quade Sr. & Jr. were fishing the west channel and caught a limit of keepers up to 19.5” on a jig and Gulp shrimp. Ryan Asper and crew fished the Thorofare and caught flounder up to 21”. These fish were fooled by JD Lures. Eric Church also fished there with his crew and caught over 20 flounder. The group kept 4 fish with the largest being a nice 21” flounder. The area just above the Rt. 50 Bridge was a little slower this week. The water was very muddy and high due to the storm. A few stripers did come off the Rt. 50 Bridge this week though, including a nice 42” over slot one caught on an outgoing tide. The fish was released unharmed after a quick photo.

The bridge is also producing several small rockfish and a few bluefish. Greater numbers of stripers can be found further south near the Verrazano Bridge. Most of them are young juvenile fish but are very fun to catch on light tackle. Small bucktails and swim baits are a great way to target them. Live or frozen shrimp on a popper will also work.

This week also saw a very nice redfish measuring 25” caught at the inlet by Chris Day while he was fishing with Capt. Jason Mumford on his charter boat the Lucky Break. As the water begins to cool many more redfish will be caught around the inlet. The bigger ones are usually found off the surf at Assateague Island. Black drum and red drum will make their migration south sometime near the end of September or early October.

Nearshore Wrecks & Reefs

Prior to and after the storm passing, fishing was very good on the reef structures outside of Ocean City. As I was coming back from a tile fishing trip on Saturday, I spoke with several boats on the Bass Grounds that told me flounder and sea bass are plentiful, but that they were finding lots of throwbacks. Information from the African Queen site as well as Marine Electric was that the keeper ratios were a lot higher the further south or the deeper you went. This time of year even finding a keeper sea bass is usually very difficult. The water is just too warm. This year however has been different with keepers being found more frequently at the near shore wrecks and snags. Clam and squid are producing about the same.
The Judith M reports before the blow from Ida that they were catching lots of triggerfish at the Bass Grounds as well as a few nice sea bass. Most of the fish came on squid bait. Miya and Miriko Blago were out on the Judith M and took home some nice triggerfish using clams. They are reported to be on most of the inshore wrecks. The Bass Grounds and Fenwick Shoals are the best locations for finding good numbers of these fish. Clam, squid, and sand fleas are your best baits.

Cobia was pretty good this week with several catches just south of the inlet being reported. Many of these fish were undersized, however, a few nice keepers were around for those who put in the time on the shoals. I spoke with Tim Tribbitt who was down in Oyster, VA this weekend and he stated that cobia are still very active there. Hopefully this will signal a strong fall fishing season for our waters.

Until next week...
Tight lines and fins up

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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