Flounder fishing in the back bay areas behind Ocean City and Assateague Island continues to provide good fishing. Like any fishery it can have its ups and downs which often have something to do with water clarity, temperature and tide. More fishermen are now starting to live line spot in the inlet area and big flounder love big baits. Several doormat size flounder were checked in at local tackle shops this past week and no doubt a number of others were discreetly shuttled home without a lot of fanfare.
Bluefish have been moving in and out of the inlet and a fair number of striped bass continue to be caught in the evenings by fishermen casting swim shad type lures and a variety of bucktails and soft plastic jigs. The tautog fishing is now in a summer time mode of fishermen catching a few barely legal fish due to warm water temperatures. An increasing number of sheepshead and sea trout are being caught and bait fishermen are dealing with hordes of smooth dogfish moving through the inlet area.
Surf fishermen are seeing water temperatures of 70-degrees or better now. Those still fishing menhaden baits for striped bass are catching a few but are being pestered by large numbers of cow-nosed rays, dogfish and a variety of sharks such as sand tigers, sandbars, dusky sharks at night. Joel Busbee sent in this funny story and a great picture of what surf fishermen can sometimes encounter in the surf. My father, step-mother, two younger brothers, girlfriend, and I spent the weekend in Ocean City just last week. I had to drag them surf-fishing. Only my father and my girlfriend ended up coming. On my father's first cast he landed a four-pound bluefish - he ended the night with about five, in all, under his belt. My girlfriend, Hilary Pritt, landed this gorgeous striper, the biggest one I've personally witnessed landed from the surf. I caught two skates, and two dog-fish. No complaints from me though. The looks on their faces, especially Hilary's when she pulled in the rock, was well worth the effort. I'm going to make a fisherman out of that woman yet! All the fish were caught on cut "bunker", rigged on basic "bottom rigs". The location was, roughly, 60th street. The catch began at about 07:00pm and ended at 10:00pm.
Kingfish can be caught on bloodworms along with sand perch and a few spot and bluefish are being caught on finger mullet.
The boats headed out to the wreck sites in search of sea bass are finding fair to good fishing this week. Captains did not report any limits this week but they did say most fishermen who knew what they were doing had double digit catches. They also reported flounder are now becoming more common; which is always a welcomed addition to any fisherman’s catch.
Offshore boats reported mako, blue and thresher sharks caught at locations such as the Parking Lot and Hambone. Large bluefish are at or near these same locations and are being caught by trolling skirted lures deep. A few bluefin tuna were also landed from these same areas over the weekend. Boats that made the trek to the canyons found a mix of yellowfin tuna, dolphin and a white marlin was reported at the Spencer Canyon.
Click here to view recent bay region satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
A Couple of Closing Notes...
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