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Vol 49 | Num 3 | May 15, 2024

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Ocean City Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

This past week we had tons of temperature changes and several days of 20 plus mph wind. The end of the week finally brought the rain they had been calling for. Many head boats have canceled their weekend trips due to an angry ocean. Surf fishing remains strong for bluefish and black drum. There are a few rockfish showing up in the inlet as well as on the beach.

Inlet & Back Bays

The inlet was a little slow this week but did produce some stripers off the jetty. Brian Reynolds got into some linesiders at the inlet on Friday, catching 14 of them on ultra light rods. Rich Fiore safely released a few rocks he caught off the jetty. Craig Cropper caught a couple nice size rock and even a nice flounder this past week off the Rt. 50 Bridge. “Lucky Break Charters” said the first part of May hasn't been too bad with the water warming up. They are catching bluefish, flounder, and tog along the inlet walls. As the water warms up they expect to be landing even more fish then they have been, and that's been quite a few. “Get Sum Charters” is starting its season off and wants to remind everyone that they also offer crabbing trips on their boat or yours. They will teach anglers how to use collapsible traps or trot lines. If you're interested in fishing they will even stop and pull the crab pot on the way in so you can see how the commercial and local crab fisherman do it. Many people often wonder how the crabs they buy at the stores are caught, well here is a great way to see it first hand.

Surf Fishing

Assateague Island produced some quality fish this past week. Steve Lewis caught a nice black drum on fresh clam. His wife also caught a nice black. Clark Haller stated the beach was a little rough with the strong northeast breeze but did manage to bring in a nice drum. The fish was caught on sand fleas using a 6 oz weight to hold the bottom. James Lee stated he usually enjoys looking at all the reports about fish being caught off the surf being that he is a rookie at surf fishing. Well all that watching must have paid off because he got his first ever rockfish off the beach. The beautiful 43” fish was caught on a cut kingfish bait (from last fall) rigged on a fish finder rig and 8 oz of weight. Earl Thomas got a 29” blue using a finger mullet rig. Kristen D’ Amore Benko found a nice drum willing to eat her bait on a windy cold day on Assateague Beach. Tristan Archer was out at the beach again Sunday and had an epic day using sand fleas and fishbites. His crew caught multiple rockfish, even doubling up at times. 10-12 oz of weight were needed to hold the bottom. Travis Brisson and Chris Linton fished the beach and although no blacks they did manage some nice bluefish. “Bad Wind Charters” Captain Bruce was out with friend Jim and caught and released a few overslot rockfish from Assateague. Mildred Reyes-Ritter had one hell of a day on the island releasing 9 black drum and 6 striped bass. I'd say her hubby has some catching up to do. Shannon Ferguson also had a solid day catching 6 rockfish between 30 and 34 inches each, as well as 4 black drum. Chris Taylor caught and released a 40.5” rock on a sand flea fish bites combo. Not bad for 2.5 hrs of fishing. Mark Stull was a happy man catching his 31 inch black drum. Mark says as long as he is catching he will be out there again tomorrow. David Moore landed a 49” cow Wednesday morning. The fish was safely released and swam off. Bill Cantlay caught 4 drum and a 4 ft shark Wednesday. He reported he felt like his arms were going to fall off, but he is not complaining. I need problems like that. Mason Couchman pulled in a few nice blues this past week.

Nearshore Wrecks & Reefs

With the rough seas, not many boats fished outside of the inlet this past week. The “Angler “ deep sea fishing boat stated unfortunately the nasty weather is keeping them from fishing for tog however sea bass opens on the 15th and they are hoping for a break in the weather to go get the delicious tasting fish that brings so many anglers to Ocean City each year. The size limit for sea bass this year will be 13 inches and a creel limit of 15. The weather for the opening doesn't look great so be careful if you head out on opening day. Many anglers are reporting that the nearshore wrecks are holding a lot of knothead bass. The reports from deeper water and wrecks that are further away from OC seem to be showing more signs of life and bigger fish. For the start of the season fresh clam is usually better than squid. Metal jigs are also a favorite of this time of year. With the jigs you wont get as many bites but the quality of the fish is well worth the effort. Tipping the hooks with squid is a great way to enhance bite ratios.

Clams & Crabs

I received a few reports of clammers on Assateague Island. The clams are down deep as the water is still fairly cold. Crabs in the Assawoman Bay are averaging around 5-8 keepers per pot . This is just a little lower than the reports coming from Indian River at 7-9 keepers per pot. Mullet is your best bait, but when unavailable use chicken.

Till next week…
Tight lines and fins up §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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