4.30.17 5:10 pm
by Larry Jock
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SUNDAY, April 30, 2017
Yesterday was another good day for anglers chasing chopper bluefish. There was a good bite in the surf, in the Inlet and all over the bay, particularly in the bay behind Assateague.
Sarah Russell caught a 38-inch bluefish on cut bunker behind Frontier Town.
Darrin Holland caught a 36-inch bluefish on cut bunker behind Frontier Town.
Mugen Nickerson caught a 34-inch bluefish on cut bunker behind Frontier Town.
Jake and Katie Betz each caught a bluefish while torlling behind Assateague Island last night around 6pm. Jakes was a 33-incher and Katie's measured 28-inches.
Up in Delaware, flounder are showing up in the Lewes Canal and Roosevelt Inlet. Tautog were caught at the Outer Wall by Ryland Weiler.
Big bluefish were found in the surf at Herring Point. Suizanne Martin caught an 8.53 pounder.
Ethan Thomas caught an 18-inch flounder in the Roosevelt Inlet on minnows.
6:26 PM - Well folks, it looked like a fishing season today. Boats that went offshore came back with some early catches and the bluefish are still mugging everything in the bay and in the surf.
Anglers on the "Hellbent" had a great day flounder fishing in the Thorofare. They trolled Gulp! and flounder belly, returning with 7 keeper flounder up to 22 1/4-inches and weighing 3 lbs. 11 oz.
"Tunafowl" returned to Sunset Marina with 3 yellowfin tuna, including the first of the season caught at 9:30 this morning. They were caught while trolling ballyhoo (1) and spreaderbars (2) in 130 fathoms near the 000's where they found a 9-degree temperature break with 67-degrees on the warm side. Fishing on the "Tunafowl" were Josh Ensor, Corbin Ensor and Jeff Rosenkilde.
The charter boat, "Wrecker" had a heckuva day, coming back with a 147 lb. mako, along with a bluefin tuna, 3 mahi and 3 yellowfins. The bluefin and the mahi are the first of the year. The mako was caught while sharking with a bluefish fillet while the yellowfins, bluefin and mahi were caught on trolled ballyhoo. Capt. Jeremy Blunt said that they were anywhere from 80 to 120 fathoms near the 000's where they found the 9-degree break (58 to 67 degrees). Fishing on the "Wrecker" were Brendan McDermond, Dale Christensen, Megan and Steve Humphrey and Tony Caiazzo.
Mark Malamphy, Jim Conway and Rob Griggs had a 249 lb. mako shark in 400 fathoms in the Poor Man's Canyon.
Scott Chatterton caught a pair of bluefish off the beach in Fenwick Island today.
Up in Delaware, Mike Haas caught a 9.8 lb. tautog at Site 10 on green crabs and white leggers. Mike and his buddy John Ibach each caught their limit of tog.
Mike Lewis and Dick Hamilton caught their limit of tog at Site 10 while using green crabs for bait.
Courtney Lee caught an 8.4 lb. bluefish in the Indian River Inlet during the incoming tide.
Over on the Chesapeake Bay, the charter boat, "Marli" is fishing out of Solomons Island and tearing up the rockfish. Barb Firestone and Rachelle Biar caught 4 rockfish on tandem lures in 45-60 feet of water around HI Buoy. Their largest fish weighed 55 lbs. with a length of 53-inches and a 30 1/2=inch girth. Laurel Lokhaiser caught her first Chesapeake Bay Spring Trophy Rockfish. It was a real fatty!
SATURDAY, April 29, 2017
9:16 AM - The bluefish bite in the Ocean City Inlet last night was awesome.. and they were BIG fish! James Coates called in to report that his group caught 30 during the outgoing tide with the smallest measuring 32-inches. I ran into another angler this morning who also reported unbelievable action in the Inlet last night. They said every cast got banged.
Mike Orchulli sent in a picture yesterday of the 21-inch flounder he caught on a white Gulp and minnow in the Thorofare during the outgoing tide. Mike and his buddies also had 4 short flounder during their trip.
Yesterday, Jack Autin caught a 25 1/2 lb. striper on a chunk of bunker while fishing from the surf off Cape Henlopen.
Bobby Zakrzewski and his dad fished in the Broadkill River and caught 5 black drum between 12 and 15 lbs. All on clam.
10:08 AM - Craig Hocker caught a 34-inch bluefish in the OC Inlet this morning on fresh cut bunker at slack tide.
4:28 PM - The bluefish bite is absolutely nuts right now in the waters all around Ocean City and up the coast to Cape Henlopen.
Today, anglers on the charter boat, "Lucky Break" had a great day catching 7 huge bluefish, up to 41-inches, along with 3 throwback stripers and a throwback (16") flounder. All of the action was in the bay behind Assateague Island where Capt. Jason Mumford found 72-degree water. The bluefish are hitting anything, but the "Lucky Break" anglers had success casting and FAST retrieving swim shads along with trolling Rat-L-Traps. Capt. Jason said that you had to reel the swim shads as fast as possible to get the hits. The bite was so furocious that at one point an angler was fighting a chopper after it ate a trolled Rat-L-Trap. Another big bluefish came up and hit the same lure, snapping it from the line in the process. Both 10 lb. bluefish were thrashing on top of the water, joined only by the Rat-L-Trap. Amazing action for the "Lucky Break" anglers!
FRIDAY, April 28, 2017
The bluefish are still snapping. Tim Heim fished early this morning off 9th Street in the bay and caught 12 nice choppers. His largest measured 35-inches and weighed 10 lbs. 2 oz.
Still hearing mostly about short stripers in the bay and off the beach. Larger stripers may be a little off the beach. Probably worth folks heading out by boat this weekend to check it out.
1:17 PM - Kim Zimmerman caught a 35-inch bluefish in the surf off Assateague Island. Hooked on finger mullet.
2:32 - An incredible story. A small swordfish, still alive, just washed up on Assateague. Guys are trying to revive it.
8:14 PM - The first mako shark of the year was caught today by the crew on the "Nontypical". Angler Andy Smelter muscled in the 147 pounder after hooking it on a false albacore fillet in 55 fathoms northeast of the Rockpile. Andy was fishing with David Peterson and Capt. Terry Layton. They also released 12 blue sharks and lost another mako estimated at 250 lbs. during their trip. The action took place where Capt. Terry found a 16-degree temperature break (52-68 degrees). Congratulations guys!!!!
There were some keeper size flounder caught in the Thorofare yesterday and today.
THURSDAY, April 27, 2017
First Coastal Fisherman is less than a week away! If you are catching big blues, make sure you weigh them. Who will be the early leader for Heaviest Fish?
Big bluefish are dominating the action. Nick Ager caught 10 last week. Largest was 39-inches. Second largest was a 38-incher which was caught yesterday around 6:00 PM off the beach at 120th Street in OC.
Not seeing many legal stripers. All too small.
MONDAY, April 24, 2017
Nasty day on Delmarva.
Yesterday, Deb Trotter and Terry Harford caught a load of bluefish while fishing with cut bait off Assateague Island. Their largest measured 37-inches.
SUNDAY, April 23, 2017
Eddy McCrae tagged and releaed a 15 lb. female tautog during a trip on the headboat, "Morning Star". The 28-incher ate a green crab on ocean structure.
Yesterday, "Fish Bound" angler Jimmy Lee released a 15.8 lb. tautog after hooking it on a white crab in 70 feet of water. He also released an 11 pounder during the trip. All 6 anglers caught their limit of tog.
Bryan Rosensteel was casting off his balcony on 32nd Street in OC when he hooked into a bluefish that looked to be over 10 lbs.
The last couple of days have been good for catching bluefish from the beach. The beaches around the DE/MD line have produced big bluefish, but they also have been hooked up and down the line. Some black drum mixed in. Unfortunately, stripers have been too small.
Ron Rodimak caught a 37-inch bluefish on fresh bunker while fishing off the beach at 3R's Road in Delaware.
SATURDAY, April 22, 2017
9:08 AM - We are still seeing good numbers of small stripers being caught around all 3 bridges, in the OC Inlet and in the surf. Big bluefish are mixed in with several hitting the 10 lb. mark.
Mike and Dave Burt took their kayaks down to the flats off of Onancock, VA and hooked into a pair of 45-inch red drum on the troll. Absolutely beautiful fish!
Yesterday, angles fishing on the charter boat "Fish Bound" got into some nice size tautog while dropping white crabs on ocean structure in 65 feet of water. Mike Hernandez released a 10 lb. male and Victor Feleccio released an 11 lb. female. Capt. Kane said that he can tell that the tog are starting to spawn as their bellies are beginning to swell. The group of 6 anglers caught their limit of tog and released a bunch more. White crabs and green crabs were the ticket, all in 65-feet of water.
Up in Delaware, Robby Baxley caught 4 chopper bluefish from the Cape Henlopen surft. All ranged between 12 and 13 lbs. and were caught while tossing a popper.
Jason Schuster caught a whopper 15 lb. bluefish after it hit a popper he was tossing into the Cape Henlopen surf. Measured 37-inches.
Alex Neiss looks like he might have an early lock on the Heaviest Bluefish of the Year honor with an 18.5 pounder caught in the Cape Henlopen surf on a popper. The chopper measured 38 inches and had a 20-inch girth. Wow!
Debbie and Joe Viscuglia caught a pair of bluefish weighing 10.5 and 12.8 lbs. in the Cape Henlopen surf.
FRIDAY, April 21, 2017
10:42 AM - Mike Cenci and Mike Troy just swung by the office with a pair of chopper bluefish they caught while fishing with cut bunker from the beach at 88th Street. Cenci's bluefish measured 34-inches and Troy's was a 31-incher.
It looks like the big bluefish are roaming the waters all along the coast. I am received reports of fish being caught from Assateague Island all the way up to Cape Henlopen.
12:23 PM - Chase Holden caught a 34-inch, 14 lb. bluefish on a Gulp! artificial bait while fishing from the surf at Cape Henlopen.
12:43 PM - Charles Jenkins just swung by the office to have his picture taken with the 32-inch, 9 lb. bluefish he caught on a flounder rig tipped with a shiner. Charles was fishing off the Rt. 50 Bridge during the outgoing tide.
THURSDAY, April 20, 2017
Yesterday, Tom Cox caught a 28-inch black drum that weighed 14 lbs. 10 oz. He was fishing off Assateague and using sand fleas for bait.
WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017
9:43 AM - Bryan Mullins was fishing last night on the ocean side of the South Jetty and caught a nice 36-inch bluefish.
Down on Assateague, anglers are catching black drum and short stripers. Haven't heard much about bluefish, but I'm sure they are in the area.
Yesterday on the charter boat, "Fish Bound", James Peterson released a pair of female tautog weighing 11 and 14 lbs. Both were hooked on green crabs in 35-feet of water on a small ocean wreck.
On the same trip, Ed Kohlhoff released a 12 lb. female tautog that was also hooked on a green crab in 35-feet of water on an ocean wreck.
Anglers are catching big bluefish, hovering around 10 lbs., from the beach near Cape Henlopen.
Job Robertson caught a 15.8 lb. bluefish while throwing lures around the Cape Henlopen Pier. His buddy, Alex Neiss caught himself a 12.1 pounder.
2:53 PM - Anglers on the charter boat, "Lucky Break" had a couple of good days. Yesterday, they fished by the South Jetty at the end of the incoming tide and the beginning of the outgoing. They had 17 short stripers (largest measured 22-inches). Today, they fished by the Rt. 50 Bridge during the incoming tide and had 10 stripers up to 25.5-inches and some nice bluefish up to 10 lbs.
TUESDAY, April 18, 2017
4:28 PM - Opening day of turkey season was today, but some folks chose to get out on the water. Wind puffed pretty good all day, making conditions around the South Jetty challenging.
Big Bird Cropper and Dave Hrycyk caught some short stripers at the end of the Commercial Harbor, across from Atlantic Tackle first thing this morning. They then ventured out to the South jetty and caught a load of short stripers (23) along with 7 nice bluefish. The largest chopper measured 34-inches and weighed 9.5 lbs. All were hooked on Big Bird's famous Roy Rigs. Water was extremely clean with temperatures hovering around 53-degrees. All of the fish were caught during the incoming tide. The bite turned off right when the tide switched in the afternoon.
MONDAY, April 17, 2017
Yesterday, Karen and James Cathell were fishing with shrimp from the 3rd Street Bulkhead where Karen caught a 17-inch tautog within the first 5 minutes of fishing. James said that they saw around 6 tog caught in the 2 hours that they were fishing. Karen's was the only one large enough to keep.
Angler Matt King released a nice 23-inch tautog during a trip aboard the headboat, "Morning Star". The fish was hooked on a white crab over an artificial reef.
Capt. Monty Hawkins and his crew on the headboat, "Morning Star" took some trips out to the Capt. Bob Gowar Reef at the northwest corner of the Bass Grounds and dropped 283 large cinderblocks. That is turning into quite a reefsite thanks to Capt. Monty, his crew and the Ocean City Reef Foundation.
It was nice to see the Ocean City Town Council reverse their decision to eliminate their $5,000 payment to the angler who catches the first white marlin of the season. Very wise decision by them.
4:40 PM - Although bluefish have been found just off the Delmarva coast, we haven't seen many filter into the bay. A few have been caught, including a 30+ incher.
Shad have also been caught recently by anglers fishing off the North Jetty.
Small striped bass continue to be caught around the Rt. 90 and Assateague bridges.
Might be a good time to look for flounder around the Duck Blinds in the bay behind Assateague Island, past the OC Airport.
Aytron Pryor and his friend, Jacob Lewis were fishing from their kayaks in the Assawoman Bay when Ayrton caught a 13 lb. bluefin while tossing a plug.
SUNDAY, April 16, 2017
Big Bird Cropper caught his first striper of the year, a 29-incher, while tossing a Roy Rig inside the Ocean City Inlet.
SATURDAY, April 15, 2017
On his first trip of the year, George Nicoletos caught an 18-inchflounder on a white Gulp and shiner combination while drifting near the Rt. 90 Bridge during the outgoing tide.
Dean Lokey sent me a picture of a 50-inch rockfish he caught in the Nanticoke River while fishing with bloodworms from his kayak.
Anglers fishing off Assateague have caught some short stripers, but I also heard of a couple of 40-inchers being landed as well. They also have caught some black drum as well.
From what I'm seeing, the striper bite could be 2-3 weeks early this season. No doubt due to the warm water temperatures we had over the winter.
FRIDAY, April 14, 2017
Happy Good Friday everyone!
Sean Fox was fishing off the beach in Chincoteague yesterday when he caught a 32-inch black drum
I am hearing that they are catching red drum from the beaches of VA's barrier islands.
Anglers on the charter boat, "Fish Bound" had a good day of tautog fishing. The guys were fishing in 80-feet of water with green crabs. CJ Choi led the way wih a pair of nices ones weighing 10.4 and 11.5 lbs. Marc Levinrad had a noteworthy day, catching his limit early in the day and releasing another 25 keepers during the rest of the trip. His heaviest weighed 10.1 lbs.
Capt. Kane on the "Fish Bound" reported water temperatures of 51-degrees in 80-feet of water.
THURSDAY, April 13, 2017
Red drum are being caught by surfcasters fishing off Hog Island, located south of Exmore, VA.
WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017
Looks like there were some more flounder caught in the bay yesterday. Anglers on "Ocean City Guide Service" went home with a couple of 19.5-inchers after fishing in the bay behind Assateague Island. They also had some throwback stripers. Largest was 26-inches.
Small striped bass are being caught around all of the bridges, including the Assateague Bridge.
TUESDAY, April 11, 2017
If you want some light tackle action, it looks like small striped bass are still roaming the water around the Rt. 90 Bridge. Most are in the 20-inch range.
SUNDAY, April 9, 2017
It sounds like it was a good weekend for tautog fishing on ocean structure.
Anglers on the charter boat, "On Delivery" caught their limit of tog, plus threw back females, while fishing on a reefsite off Ocean City in 60-feet of water. Capt. Mike reported water temperature at 48-degrees.
On the charter boat, "Fish Bound", Augie Gee caught a 9.7 lb. tog on a white crab in 65-feet of water.
Steve Gianiotis and his party went out on the charter boat, "Fish Bound" and Steve boated an 11 lb. tog on a white crab. Steve's group caught their boat limit (anglers, Capt. & Mate) of 32 tog in addition to releasing an estimated 28 other keeper-sized fish as well.
SATURDAY, April 8, 2017
Well, I had a feeling it was going to happen any day. The first flounder was caught in the bay yesterday. Lukas Layton caught a 20-incher while trolling plastics at the Rt. 90 Bridge. Lukas was fishing with Jacob Sturgill. Congratulations!!!
THURSDAY, April 6, 2017
The big news today is the the Town of Ocean City has decided, after many decades, to stop awarding $5,000 to the angler who catches the first white marlin of the season. They are claiming economic hardship.
In response, a coalition of 5 business are each chipping in $1,000 each to keep the tradition alive. The businesses are: Coastal Fisherman, Bank of Ocean City, Bahia Marina, Ocean City Fishing Center and Sunset Marina/Atlantic Tackle.
In addition, AllTackle Ocean City is awarding the angler a $500 gift certificate for their catch.
If you are upset about the situation, now is the time to let the Mayor and Town Council in Ocean City know what you think. The phone number to the Mayor's office is 410-289-8931.
MONDAY, April 3, 2017
If you are a shark fisherman, you will want to check out the story in our Breaking News section. The Feds, in an effort to reduce mortality of dusky sharks, have mandated the use of circle hooks when shark fishing effective January 1, 2018. Recreational shark permit holders will also have to take an online course in shark identification.
MONDAY, March 27, 2017
Big congratulations go out to the crew on the local boat, "Agitator" for defending their title in the Los Suenos Signature Triple Crown Billfish Series. The team, who also fishes on the "Billfisher", ended the 3-leg tournament with 15,000 points. The 2nd place boat, the "Big Oh" 13,200 points. The "Agitator" team was made up of anglers Danny Gough, Jonathan, Judy and Jeremy Duffie, Capt. Jon Duffie and mates Chris Hornung and Jake Emche.
Local Captain Josh Ruskey and local angler Darren Helwig were part of a team on the "Fish Tank" that finished 3rd in the tournament.
Another local boat, "First Light" also did well in the tournament, coming in 3rd place in the 2nd leg of the event and 2nd place in the 3rd and final leg.
Local angler, John Gudelsky fished on the "Enjoy" and took 9th place in the tournament.
Just a reminder that the Maryland DNR Recreational Forum is tonight from 4-6 PM at the Marlin Club. All are invited.
FRIDAY, March 24, 2017
I received a report yesterday that Ayrton Pryor has been burning up the striped bass from the Rt. 90 Bridge up to the DE line while fishing in his kayak. Tuesday night he hooked over 50 fish between 18 and 24-inches and a pair that measured 27-inches. Check out his YouTube video on our homepage.
THURSDAY, March 23, 2017
I spoke to Capt. Monty on the headboat, "Morning Star" yesterday and it looks like the very quick mackerel bite was short lived. His anglers are catching some nice size tog on ocean structure.
I also heard that some netters in the bays and back creeks are catching some nice size perch along with an occassional small striper and flounder.
The mild winter we had should make the upcoming fishing season interesting? Will everything be early? Will the warm ocean temperatures affect the early yellowfin tuna bite we normally see in June. Will it prevent hard temperature breaks and cause a more blended water environment? Should be interesting.
THURSDAY, March 16, 2017
DE set their 2017 flounder regulations. Same as MD. 4 fish per person... No closure.
WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017
MD set their 2017 flounder regulations. Nothing unexpected. 17-inch minimum... 4 fish per person... No closure.
TUESDAY, February 28, 2017
Maryland finalized their black sea bass regulations today. Here they are:
The season is open May 15, 2017 through September 21, 2017 and October 22, 2017 through December 31, 2017. The season is closed all other dates in 2017.
Anglers may keep up to 15 black sea bass per person per day.
The minimum size is 12.5 inches.
TUESDAY, February 21, 2017
Hard to believe that water temps just off the beach are still in the low-40's. Makes you think that stripers could still be out there roaming. Have received reports that good numbers of birds were seen diving off Indian River but not many boats are still in the water.
I did receive a report from some dedicated anglers who ventured out on Saturday looking for bluefish. They said that the gannets were thick 12 miles off the Delaware coast but no fish were under the good schools of bunker. They also said that thousands of dead bunker were floating on top. Water temp was 44.1-degrees.
MONDAY, February 13, 2017
I heard a while back from a source at the Maryland DNR that it looks like Maryland will have a change to our flounder regulations for the upcoming season. Minimum length will increase from 16-inches to 17-inches, but we will still be able to keep 4 fish per person with NO season closure. The change still needs NOAA's approval.
I was up in New Jersey this past weekend and heard that they are still catching stripers off the coast of Sea Isle City. Crazy!
A belated "Congratulations" to Capt. Jon Duffie on the "Billfisher". Jon was named 2016 Worldwide Captain of the Year by InTheBite Magazine! Another local captain, Billy Gerlach on the "Makara" took 20th place honors
In another brilliant move, the Maryland Department of Natural Services has scheduled the next Coastal Recreational Fisheries Forum for Thursday, March 23rd from 2pm to 4pm at the Marlin Club. They must not think that anybody has a job!!!
THURSDAY, February 2, 2017
As predicted, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has WITHDRAWN their proposal to turn the Baltimore Canyon into a fish sanctuary. I'd be surprised if this didn't cost them some type of funding from an environmental group, but they did the right thing and "hat's off" to the Aquarium and their CEO, John Racanelli.
On a fishing note, I'm hearing from my foreign correspondent in New Jersey that they are still catching stripers, and nice ones at that, off the cost of Sea Isle City, south of Atlantic City. Water temp off the cost up there is still in the low 40's. I would be they could still be found off our coast as well, but it looks like everyone pulled their boat (except Happy Endings) due to another frustrating striper season.
There are rumors floating around that we could be seeing a possible increase in the sea bass quota. Stay tuned!
WEDNESDAY, January 4, 2017
The meeting held at the OP Library last night to discuss options for 2017 flounder regulations went well. Basically, the crux of the meeting was that the feds are looking for a 30% reduction in this years flounder catch, primarily because the northern region, NJ, NY & CT, blew their allocation out in 2016. Luckily, the regulations put forth for our region (DE, MD & VA) gave us a 25% cushion, so theoretically, we could keep our regulations the same in 2017 and still be OK with our 2017 allocation.
The fly in the ointment is that the northern regions are looking for us to make our 2017 regulations stricter than needed, thereby freeing up some fish that could be used by the northern regions to soften their needed reduction. Does this sound familiar? It should because we did the same thing back in 2013. Did we ever get those fish back? The answer is "No" but we were told that the northern region did help us out when it came time to set sea bass regulations.
In addition, we learned that the northern regions want to readdress the baseline used to determine what states get what part of the coastwide flounder harvest limits because they are catching more fish up there and need a larger allocation. Think we are going to get screwed in that process. Take it to the bank... we will!
When it came time for attendees to vote, it was a pretty even split between keeping our flounder regulations the same (16", 4-fish per person) and "Option 2" which added an inch to our minimum size, taking us to 17" but still keeping 4 fish person and no closed season.
It sounded to me that the state and fed guys want us to give up something to (again) help the northern states, but I say enough is enough. We have helped them out before and enough is enough. Additionally, flounder fishing in our area, and in DE, has really turned into one with 2 distinct segments. You have anglers who fish in the bay and those that fish on ocean structure. Going to 17" wouldn't hurt ocean flounder fishermen on bit, but adding that 1" would definitely hurt those fishing in the bay. Last year wasn't a banner flounder fishing year in the bay. Going up an inch would only make it worse.
Public comments will be accept3d until January 19th. If you want to submit a comment, you can email Kirby Rootes-Murdy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the options:
#1 - stays the same. 16", 4 fish, 365 days
#2 - 17", 4 fish, 365 days
#3 - 17", 3 fish, 365 days
#4 - 17", 3 fish, 365 days (all states required to take at least a 30% reduction)
#5 - 17", 4 fish, 365 days (more even spread across other states)
TUESDAY, January 3, 2017
Although the flounder regulations looked like they were firm when they were released last week, I have been told that "they are subject to change" and it looks like there may be some changes proposed at tonights flounder meeting, held at 6:00 PM at the Ocean Pines Library. My understanding is that although our current regulations will still give us enough to cover our proposed quota, there is AGAIN some talk that NY & NJ will have drastic reductions unless other states (like MD) give them some of their quota. My recollection is that this happened a couple of years ago and MD gave up some of our flounder quota to the northern states and have yet to receive it back. Sounds like another bad deal for MD fishermen.
If this concerns you, or you want to have input into the several options we will have input on, it would be a good idea to attend this meeting.
FRIDAY, December 29, 2016
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will hold a public hearing for summer flounder on January 3rd at 6pm at the Ocean Pines Library.
There hasn't been too much to update folks about. Seas have been too snotty to get out there to find striped bass, but the good news is that water temperatures are still in the mid-40's and there is still a good body of fish to our north looking to make their way south. The next few days don't look good weather-wise, but hopefully we all can get out there soon. I did talk to a commercial fisherman yesterday and he did tell me that they saw stripers about 12 miles off the beach. Also, yesterday there looked to be some good bird action off the highrises, but they were way outside the wonderful 3-mile line.
FRIDAY, December 23, 2016
Unfortunately, there hasn't been anything to report in quite some time. Rough seas have kept most at the dock and those that did decide to head out didn't have any luck. Some stripers were seen by anglers looking for bluefish 7-10 miles off the beach, but I haven't heard any reports of fish seen or caught inside the wonderful 3-mile line.
Water temperature is still in the 44-45 degree range, and there are reports still coming in about stripers being caught off New Jersey, so I don't believe our season is over.
We just completed work on the big Winter Issue that will hit the streets on January 1st. It is packed with great articles and a lot of pictures. Hope everyone likes it!
WEDNESDAY, December 14, 2016
10:23 AM - Reports are coming in about good bird activity with big stripers underneath right up on the MD/DE Line, inside of 3 miles. Seas are snotty, so you may have to hug the beach and then shoot out. Winds right now are NNW 14mph.
5:51 PM - Big Bass Bob called in to report that he headed up to the MD/DE line and really didn't see much, so he headed back to the waters just off the high rises and marked a ton of bait, had diving birds and even whales... BUT NO BITES. Seas weren't so bad later in the day. Ride home was nice. Water temperature still around 47-degrees.
Capt. Shannon Pickens reported that the striper bite off Cape Chales is spotty, but the fish being caught are BIG. Slow trolling or drifting eels is the ticket. Mostly smaller stripers are found under the diving birds.
SUNDAY, December 11, 2016
Another poor day for striper fishing off the coast. In the OC Marlin Club Rockfish Tournament, not a single fish was caught. Most boats went north to the High Rises. Others went south past the sliver. The 9-day tournament concluded today, so here are the final results:
1st Place Heaviest - 33.0 lbs. - Mike Johnston - "Bad Oyster" - $6,880 (caught 12/04)
2nd Place Heaviest - 25.4 lbs. - Chuck Wenzel - "Fish Frenzi" - $1,512 (caught 12/04)
3rd Place Heaviest - $22.4 lbs. - Andy Smelter - "Nontypical" - $1,008 (caught 12/05)
1st Place Stringer (3 fish) - 65.8 lbs. - "Nontypical" - $1,008 (caught 12/05) - $1,080
1st Place Bluefish - 11.8 lbs. - John Rogowitz - "Bad Oyster" - $540 (caught 12/04)
Water temperature still around 46, which still isn't bad. Water off New Jersey is honing in on that magical 40-degree mark, so that should be pushing fish south towards us. Don't be pulling those boats too soon!!! We'll get em!
Capt. Chris Mizurak on the headboat, "Angler" reported good sea bass fishing with knotheads up to 3 lbs. and flounder upt o 5 lbs. 9 oz. Bob Telford caught the big flattie on a bucktail and Darrin Small hooked the largest sea bass on a strip of squid.
SATURDAY, December 10, 2016
Unfortunately, striper fishing continues to be dismal. Again, no fish were caught in the OC Marlin Club Rockfish Tournament. At least one boat ventured as far north as Ocean City, NJ (that's right, New Jersey) and came back empty handed. They were then immediately rushed to the psychiatric ward. I checked in with Bert Adams at the Hook'em & Cook'em Tackle Shop in the Indian River Marina and he said striper fishing was "dead" today. Sounds like those constant northwest winds we had late in the week moved the fish outside the 3-mile line.
No need to panic, yet. Stripers are still being caught off Atlantic City and the water temperature off the Delmarva coast is still hovering around 46-47 degrees. I would guess that if you went 10 miles off the coastline it would be all