Vol 41 | Num 12 | Jul 20, 2016
Article by Larry Jock
The weekend fishing scene in Ocean City was dominated by the Marlin Club Kid’s Classic. It was another successful tournament and it is hard to believe it celebrated it’s 12 year this season. The action was fast and furious, with 343 anglers competing. I love the tournament and it is great to see all the smiling faces on the junior anglers, but if I don’t see another 0.8 lb. stringer of spot, I won’t mind at all. Seriously, hats off to the Marlin Club and the tournament volunteers for a wonderful event.
The flounder bite in the bay seems to be scattered right now with fish coming in mainly from the East and Middle Channels. The key is to find the deeper holes, where water temperatures are cooler. I received reports last week of water temperatures hovering around 90-degrees on the flats at the end of low tide. Now that’s warm! We also saw flatties being hooked in the West Channel and down at the Duck Blinds behind Assateague Island.
Althought Capt. Bert Adams at Hook’em & Cook’em reported a tough inshore flounder bite for boats out of Indian River, we saw some nice catches come in over the weekend, highlighted by a great haul by junior anglers aboard the charter boat, “Reel Chaos” on Sunday. The anglers boated 13 keepers, weighing up to 3.2 lbs., while fishing at the Old Grounds with Gulp!, squid and cut bait. When it comes to cut bait, strips of sea robin are especially deadly this time of year!
Although Gulp! continues to dominate when it comes to artificial flounder baits, anglers on the charter boat, “Lucky Break” have had good success using Z-Man baits this season. They don’t have the built-in scent dispersion, but they are much more durable than Gulp! Swimming Mullets.
Various size bluefish can be found while trolling spoons around Fenwick Shoal, but we also saw some larger fish, weighing close to 5 lbs., come in from around the Rt. 50 Bridge.
A few short stripers are being caught around the South Jetty and the Rt. 50 Bridge. Nothing great, but there were a few pulls throughout the week.
Last weekend, we saw outstanding catches of dolphin come in on boats that were chasing tuna offshore in the Baltimore, Poor Man’s, Washington and Norfolk Canyons in addition to some inshore lumps.
Although the yellowfin and bluefin bite continued throughout the week for chunkers in Massey’s Canyon, the big catch came in last Tuesday when anglers on the charter boat, “Moore Bills” ventured down to the Bigeye Hole and hooked a 250 lb. eyeball on a skirted ballyhoo. We definitely haven’t seen as strong a bigeye bite as in recent years, making this catch more special, but maybe that will change in the coming weeks.
We also saw a 121.8 lb. bigeye caught during the Kid’s Classic by the group on the “G-FORCE” on Saturday who were also fishing in the Washington Canyon.
As I mentioned earlier, the vast majority of boats headed to Massey’s last week and Thursday morning saw an epic bite there with several boats getting in on the early morning chunking bite and returning with incredible numbers of yellowfins. “That’s Right” had 20 yellowfins, “Restless Lady” and “C-Boys” each had 18 and “Rhonda’s Osprey” boated 15 yellowfins in addition to a bluefin and a white marlin release. Several other boats had double-digit catches as well.
We also saw yellowfins come in from the Lumpy Bottom, the Poor Man’s Canyon and out in the Baltimore Canyon as well.
The best billfish trips of the week came in during the Kid’s Classic when, on Saturday, the anglers on the “Billfisher” returned with releases of 5 white marlin and a sailfish from 600 fathoms below the Norfolk Canyon. Capt. Chris Hornung said that the water was moving to the south and would be over the 100-mile tournament limit by the next day, which it was. “The Chaser” also ventured south on Saturday to the Norfolk Canyon where they released 5 white marlin in 500 fathoms. On Sunday, junior anglers on the “Max Bet” were in 1,000 fathoms outside the Baltimore Canyon and released 3 white marlin and a sailfish in 79-degree water.
Also on Sunday, Aryton Pryor on the charter boat, “Spring Mix II” released a blue marlin between the Norfolk and Washington Canyons.
I have received reports of good numbers of triggerfish at Winter Quarter Shoal right now. This isn’t uncommon at all, with the Shoal being a favorite spot for anglers quietly seeking this tasty fish.
In the Surf
It sounds like surfcasters are mainly finding kingfish in the surf with sharks and skates showing up at night. Large pods of baitfish have been spotted close to shore, but nothing has been spotted feeding underneath. Most are speculating that there are bluefish rounding up the bait, but none have been caught.
It’s hard to believe, but there are NO tournaments this weekend. I’m not sure what I am going to do with myself!
See you at the scales!