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Vol 44 | Num 8 | Jun 19, 2019

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Ocean City Fishing Report

Article by Larry Jock

This Week Last Year

• First white marlin was caught in the Poor Man’s.
•First blue marlin was caught in 500 fathoms between the Baltimore and Poor Man’s.
•A 636 lb. mako was caught in the Norfolk.
•Tuna fishing was exceptional between the Washington and Poor Man’s Canyons.
•Weakfish were caught at the South Jetty.
•Sea bass fishing was tough. A lot of throwbacks.
•Flounder fishing much improved in the bay. Best action was near the duck blinds behind Assateague.
•The flounder bite in the East Channel improved for anglers drifting bucktails tipped with Gulp.
•A few cobia were hooked in the Inlet.

It was a crazy week of fishing out of Ocean City last week. Horrible windy weather kept anglers at the dock on many days, but when a small window opened up on Friday and Saturday we saw some of the most incredible tuna action we have seen in a long time.

Tuna & Dolphin

When boats could break the Inlet late last week, they found epic tuna fishing in the south Poor Man’s Canyon and between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons. It started on Wednesday when the charter boat, “Marli” ventured down to the southern tip of the Poor Man’s and returned with 18 yellowfins and 10 mahi in the box. They also RELEASED another 58 yellowfins during their trip. Also on Wednesday, “Blood Money” returned with 15 yellowfins and 3 bigeyes.

Friday saw another good bite in the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons and on Saturday all hell broke loose with boats returning early due to building seas and fish boxes full of yellowfins and dolphin. Leading the charge was the “Reel Chaos” with 27 yellowfins in addition to a white marlin release. The white marlin hit at the same time as 11 yellowfins and incredibly, they not only released the marlin, but decked 9 of the 11 yellowfins.

Some of the other boats that had an exceptional day were the charter boat, “Moore Bills” (21), “Rippin Lips” (18) “Fish On” (15) and “Gret’s Three J’s” (14). Unfortunately, Sunday was a blowout, but I’m sure boat captains are chomping at the bit to get back out there, especially for this weekend’s CBSFA Tuna Tournament (see Upcoming Tournament section).

Another example of how good the tuna bite was over the weekend was seen at the scale of the Small Boat Tournament where 23 of the 29 boats that fished on Saturday weighed fish. We have never seen that high of a percentage... ever! The “Sea Salt” took top honors in the Tuna Division with a 55.2 pounder, followed by a 53.4 lb. yellowfin caught on the “Sindaco”. Most of the yellowfins brought to the scale were in the 28 lb. to 33 lb. range, but several topped 40 lbs.

Right before this issue was sent to the press on Monday, the charter boat, “Marli” arrived at Sunset Marina with 30 yellowfins and “Rhonda’s Osprey” put 18 on the dock, both after spending the morning trolling in 80 to 100 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon. Other boats were on their way back to the marina with numerous yellowfins as well, including another 20 caught on the charter boat, “Reel Chaos” and 18 on the “Boss Hogg”.

Boats arriving last week with yellowfins in the box inevitably had a few dolphin as well. Nothing huge, but nice fish. In the Small Boat Tournament, “Black Magic” won 1st place with a 14 pounder and anglers on the charter boat, “Oppor-Tuna-Ty Too” won 2nd place with a 13.8 lb. dolphin.

Marlin

The big marlin news of the week was the first blue marlin being released on Saturday by anglers fishing on the charter boat, “Pumpin Hard”. Capt. Mike Burt had his guys in 200 fathoms between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons and estimated the blue marlin at around 500 lbs. Ironically, his is the same week that the first blue marlin was caught last year.

Sharks

With all the tuna action on Saturday, it was easy to miss the 170 lb. mako shark caught aboard the “Hammer Down”. The mako, along with 10 yellowfins and 9 mahi were hooked in 500 fathoms below the Washington Canyon.

Also on Saturday, anglers on the charter boat, “Last Call” found blacktips and spinners at the Fingers.

Although not out of Ocean City, there were a couple of threshers caught last week at the Old Grounds. The “C-Monster” captured a 528 pounder on a mackerel fillet and the “Hook It Up” returned with a 430 pounder fooled with a bunker.

Sea Bass

Windy weather really put a damper on sea bass fishing last week. On Friday, Capt. Monty on the “Morning Star” reported a fussy early morning bite, but improved as the day went on. His anglers found enough fish biting for some anglers to reach double-digits.

In the Small Boat Tournament, the only sea bass weighed came in on the “Ready or Not” after they fished out at the Twin Wrecks. The junior anglers caught 6 sea bass with their heaviest 3 weighing 2.8, 2.8 and 3.2 lbs. They also had 14 throwbacks, all caught on clams.

Striped Bass

Schoolie stripers are still being caught around the Rt. 50 Bridge by anglers tossing Roy Rigs or any soft plastic artificial bait.

On Tuesday evening, Mike Johnston did catch a nice 34 1/2-inch striper while tossing a 3/4 oz. bucktail at the South Jetty. He also had 5 throwbacks during his trip.

Speckled Trout

On Friday, Dave Taylor was fishing on the charter boat, “Get Sum” when he caught a 16-inch speckled trout in the bay behind Assateague. This was the first one of the year.

Flounder

It was not a stellar week for flounder fishing due to dirty water conditions, but we did see a few nice catches come in, especially from the bay behind Assateague Island near the duck blinds and further north towards the Inlet. On Wednesday, the charter boat, “Lucky Break” had 9 keepers, measuring up to 21 1/2-inches. All were caught near the north end opening to the bay behind Assateague Island while using Gulp and Z-Man artificial baits.

As this report is being written on Monday morning, the charter boat, “Get Sum” is coming in with 6 flounder in the box after drifting Gulp baits in the East and West Channels. Their largest measured 18-inches.

We are still seeing some flounder come in from anglers slow trolling across the Thorofare flats. From what I understand, having some type of blade on your rig is helping to attract flounder in the dirty water. I’m sure scented baits like Gulp, Tsunami Tide and American Stink are also beneficial.

In the Surf

Typical for this time of year, sharks, skates and rays are leading the charge in the surf, but we did see an unusual catch last Wednesday when Jim Thompson caught a pompano while fishing off Fenwick Island. He hooked it while using Fishbites for bait.

Upcoming Tournament

Timing is everything and it looks like this weekends 1st Annual Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing Association Tuna Tournament will hopefully see a lot of action coming in from the canyons. If it is anything like last weekend, the action at the scale will be incredible and fun to watch. Anglers can fish 2 of 3 days on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with weigh-ins at Sunset Marina from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Several entry levels will be available from $200 up to $2,000 so there should be plenty of money on the table. For more information, call 410-868-5488.

If you have junior anglers who love to fish then you will want to check out this weekends Kids Catch-All Tournament at the Indian River Marina. Registration is on Friday, June 21st and fishing days are Saturday and Sunday.

Until next week, I’ll see you at the scales!


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