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Vol 48 | Num 21 | Sep 20, 2023

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Ocean City Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

This past week brought more rough seas due to Hurricane Lee off to our east. For those that did get out and got set up on the reefs, the fishing was as good as it’s been all year. Big sea bass, flounder and mahi are still cruising our waters and ready to bite a line. Inshore pots have mahi and small jacks on them along with an occasional redfish. The wrecks are teeming with life and baitfish bringing the sea bass back inshore with abundance. Fluke in the back bays as well as near shore wrecks remain strong, and many wrecks are holding big triggerfish.

Nearshore Wrecks & Reefs

The reefs off the coast of Ocean City are giving up some quality fish. The Marine Electric is your current hotspot with limits of sea bass and even a few big fluke coming out of that area. Russ Garufi of Titan Yachts had a productive day with his crew when it was too rough to head offshore for deep dropping. Hitting several areas of the Marine Electric zone, they managed a limit of sea bass for the 6 man crew as well as a few doormat fluke thrown in. Chuck Sharpe was also on the water and reported several big knothead sea bass after picking through the small ones. The crew came home with plenty of big fish for dinner. Even after returning, many keeper fish that were just not up to their standards. The groups also returned several mahi to the water that were too juvenile. Great job protecting the future of our fishery. The “Ocean Princess“ wanted everyone to know the sea bass have returned to the inshore wrecks with several big knotheads to delight anglers. Their anglers journeyed home with a few limits of fluke and a few triggerfish.

The “Angler” also had a good week catching their clients several coolers full of the black bass along with a few mahi and flounder. As the water continues to cool the bass fishing should really turn on. Many target the tasty bass in the fall as this is the time to load the freezers up for the winter to enjoy the fish when the weather is too cold to venture into the Atlantic.

The “Judith M” also reports that fishing has really turned on and now is a great time to fish. With the children back at school and our coasts clear, the rails are light and the fishing is hot!

The almost month-long Mid Atlantic Flounder Tournament concluded. The final standings were Dave Tribbitt capturing first place, sporting a big 8.70 lb. flounder. Paulla Gallager was second with a 7.81 lb. fish, Jim Tolson was 3rd with 7.62 lbs. and Rick Payne in 4th with a 6.10 lb. flatfish. That’s a heavy leader board for sure!

Jake Bergey hit the Jack Spot at 8 am and was finished at 9 am. He stated all the mahi were congregated on one pot and continued to chew until they reached their limit. Jake said the ride out was a bit gnarly but well worth it, and even returned several smaller fish to get a little bigger. Jeff Rayner also hit the Jack Spot and 15 minutes after the lines were in the water had caught 3 false albacore and several mahi. Feathers and blue cedar plugs were the ticket to tricking the fish into biting.

“Last Call” had a good trip with big fluke as well as mahi being hooked. Captain Matt says there is still time to book a fall trip and the bass fishing should get even better as the weather cools. Chris Strain had tried catching the elusive OC sheepshead without luck. Last week however he finally got dialed in and brought home two big sheepies. Sand fleas and the right wreck were the ticket to his success.

Back Bays & Inlet Fishing

The back bays are still producing several good catches of fluke along with smaller redfish that are moving into the water as it begins to cool. Small as well as a few keeper stripers and blues are coming off the Rt. 50 Bridge.

“Miss OC Fishing” was on the water last week and reports several trips produced big fluke up to 5 pounds.

The “Bay Bee” reported good trips with anglers bringing back big fish. The back bays are alive with spot and small croaker to keep anglers constantly catching during these trips. The “Bay Bee” also had the distinction of booking the Hunter’s Helping Heroes in which veterans, firefighters and police get to go out for the day and fish. They shared it was a great day with a great group and the fish cooperated, making everyone happy.

“Get Sum Charters” had a few good trips this past week putting their anglers on big flounder from the Ocean City Bay.

The back bays behind Assateague Island have been very productive recently and it’s the hot spot of the week. The surf off of Assateague Island has been producing some big black drum as well as a few red drum. Fresh bunker and sand fleas are the bait of choice for these fish. Hopefully the big rockfish will return this fall to delight anglers as they did last year. Despite the new smaller slot of keepers these giant fish are still a blast to catch on light tackle.

Until next year,
Tight Lines and Fins Up. §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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