Vol 41 | Num 8 | Jun 22, 2016
Article by Larry Jock
The weatherman predicted horrendous weather last weekend, which postponed 2 tournaments and kept most boats at the dock. However, Sunday turned out to be much nicer than predicted and we saw fish come in from the bay, inshore structure and the canyons.
In the bay, flounder fishing definitely picked up with keepers mixed in with loads of throwbacks caught by anglers drifting in the bay behind Assateague Island from just south of the entrance down to around the bend past the Airport. The best action took place behind Castaway’s Campground for anglers drifting white Gulp! Swimming Mullets and minnows around the beginning of the outgoing tide.
The best catch we saw all week came in from the charter boat, “Lucky Break” when they returned with 8 in the box on Tuesday morning and followed that up with 5 in the afternoon.
Elsewhere in the bay, anglers found striped bass around the Rt. 50 Bridge and good numbers of smaller linesiders around the South Jetty. Capt. Nick on the charter boat, “Get Sum” called in on Sunday night to report that all the stripers you wanted were around the rocks.
On ocean structure, area headboats have flipped from targeting black sea bass to flounder and their anglers are catching some good size flatties. We also saw some nice catches from private boats as well. If you want to make the long trip, the Old Grounds and the areas around “A” and “B” Buoys are producing some nice size fish, but closer to home you can also find them at the Bass Grounds, Fenwick Shoal and the African Queen. This bite should only get better, so do yourself a favor and join the Ocean City Reef Foundation. For only $50 your membership entitles you to a book showing all of the reefs in their system, including coordinates.
Besides the couple of days where bad weather kept them at the dock, offshore boats really had a some good days of fishing., not only returning with good size tuna in the box, but they also battled many throwbacks during their trip.
Early in the week, before the blow, yellowfins continued to be caught between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons. Anglers on the charter boat, “Marli” really smoked them on Tuesday, returning with 17 in the box after fishing in 150 fathoms. On Thursday, they returned to 500 fathoms below the Washington and caught 12 yellowfins on the troll in addition to over 30 releases. Most of the other boats had single digit catches. After the bad weather rolled through, boats started heading to the Baltimore Canyon where the yellowfin action was pretty good. “Talkin’ Trash” ended their day on Sunday with 11 in the box and “Rhonda’s Osprey” had 8. Interestingly, the “Talkin’ Trash” had a bluefin on the line that was estimated at over 100-inches, but lost it during the fight.
Several bigeye tuna were caught last week, highlighted by good catches on Sunday by anglers on the “Skattebol” and “That’s Right”. The “Skattebol” had 3 eyeballs, weighing 127, 128 and 138 lbs., after trolling in 200 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon. Capt. John Oughton on “That’s Right” was in the same vicinity, just deeper in 400 fathoms, where his anglers went 3 for 4 on bigeyes. Their fish weighed 115, 130 and 220 lbs.. Earlier in the week, anglers on the “Always Something” caught 3 bigeyes, in addition to 12 yellowfins and some mahi, during an overnight trip to the Norfolk Canyon.
After a long stretch of long runs to catch yellowfins in the Washington and Norfolk, I’m sure that some anglers are hoping for an appearance from bluefin tuna. Well, the only one we saw last week was a 65 pounder caught at the Hambone.
A few white marlin were released last week by boats trolling for yellowfins in 150 to 200 fathoms below the Washington Canyon.
Mixed in with the yellowfins and white marlin in the Washington and Norfolk Canyons were good size gaffer dolphin and we even saw a 35 lb. wahoo caught on Thursday by Harry Rey on the “That’s Right”.
Both the Marlin Club Small Boat Tournament and the M.S.S.A. Tuna-ment were rescheduled from last weekend to this weekend due to bad weather forecast. The M.S.S.A. Tournament is Friday through Sunday with weigh-ins at Atlantic Tackle. The Small Boat Tournament will be held on Saturday and Sunday with anglers fishing 1 of 2 days. Weigh-ins will be at Sunset Marina.
See you at the scales!