Vol 42 | 2017 Winter Issue | Jan 1, 2017
Article by Larry Jock
It was an interesting year for fishing with record numbers of boats entered in tournaments, record payouts, state record fish, Grand Slams, a Fantasy Slam and a controversial finish in the White Marlin Open.
As always, success depended on what species you were chasing. Some would be considered good (tuna, billfish, tautog, ocean flounder), some mediocre (bay flounder and bluefish) and others were weak (bluefin tuna, striped bass and weakfish). The surprise of the season would have to be cobia, which were spotted and caught just off the Maryland and Delaware coast in numbers we haven’t seen in many years.
Following is a summary of the Fishing Reports in each weeks issue of the Coastal Fisherman. Issue dates are in bold.
May 4, 2016 - After one of the worst winter striper seasons seen in years, anglers were anxious to get the 2016 season started... the first bluefin of the season was caught on April 23rd by anglers on the “Mate Trix” where they found a 57-64 temperature break between the Baltimore and Wilmington Canyons... large chopper bluefish were caught all over the bay behind OC... the striper bite was good the first week in May for surfcasters off Assateague... on March 31st, the first black drum was caught by Billy Powell while casting with sand fleas off Assateague... chopper bluefish were seen running north along the 20-fathom line... ocean structure produced excellent tautog fishing this week... the first flounder of the season was caught on April 16th in 9-feet of water by the Assateague Bridge... In Delaware, on April 21st the first bluefin tuna was brought back to a dock in Delaware after being caught in 500 fathoms between the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyon... big bluefish were caught from the beach in Fenwick Island and from the South Jetty at the IR Inlet... the best bluefish bite was around the Henlopen Pier... Site 10 and the Inner and Outer Walls were good spots for tog fishing.
May 11, 2016 - Rain and wind severely impacted fishing this week... Assateague was closed for several days due to high surf... big stripers were caught around the South Jetty on peeler crabs... on May 7th the first sheepshead of the season was caught on a sand flea at Russell’s Reef... anglers fishing off the beach in mid-town OC caught some nice stripers over the weekend... flounder started to be caught on the Thorofare flats... tautog fishing continued to be good on ocean structure... a 17 lb. tog was caught on ocean structure by Noel Cook... yellowfin tuna were caught in 800 fathoms in 64-degree water in the Baltimore Canyon... In Delaware, some tog were caught on the south side of the IR Inlet... a few stripers were caught off the South Jetty at the IR Inlet... a couple of flounder were caught in the VFW?Slough and in Massey’s Ditch... stripers and bluefish were caught in the surf... very large bluefish were caught off Cape Henlopen.. the first golden and blueline tilefish were caught in the Wilmington Canyon... a few flounder were caught in the Lewes Canal.
May 18, 2016 - Karl Maier caught a 31-inch, 20 lb. 2 oz. tog in 85-feet of water on ocean structure... good numbers of black drum were caught off Assateague Island... Russell’s Reef, Sue’s Reef and Winter Quarter Shoal all produced good catches of tog... sea bass season opened on May 15th... striper fishing was good in the surf off Assateague and around the South Jetty with several 40+-inch fish caught... the Thorofare continues to be the best place for flounder fishing... chopper bluefish were caught around the Rt. 90 Bridge... “Talk N Trash” headed to 1,100 fathoms outside the Baltimore Canyon (61-degree water) and returned with 12 yellowfins... the first mako of the season was caught in 1,000 fathoms outside the Poor Man’s Canyon... blue sharks were plentiful in several canyons... In Delaware, tautog season closed on May 11th... in the IR Inlet, short stripers were caught during the day with keepers coming in at night... no bluefish or flounder were caught in the IR Inlet... a few flounder were hooked in the back bay... surfcasters were still catching good size stripers... good numbers of black drum were caught at the Coral Beds in the Delaware Bay... bluefish were thick around the Cape Henlopen Pier.
May 25, 2016 - Rain and wind throughout the week continues to negatively impact fishing... the first thresher shark of the season was caught by Chris Stafford at the Jackspot... good size bluefish were snapping around the Rt. 50 Bridge... striper fishing was excellent in the surf and around the South Jetty with fish up to 49-inches... anglers fishing from the beach in Ocean City continued to have better results than those fishing off Assateague... large black drum continued to be caught off Assateague... red drum showed up in the suds off Assateague... snapper bluefish showed up at the Rt. 50 Bridge... flounder fishing in the bay was spotty... seas were sporty but those that ventured out had good catches of sea bass... yellowfin tuna and some mahi were caught in 1,200 fathoms outside the Rockpile... a few mako sharks were released and blue sharks were numerous... In Delaware, chopper bluefish were caught in the IR Inlet... shad were first seen in the IR Inlet... keeper striped bass were caught under the IR Bridge... a few flounder were hooked in the VFW Slough... the black drum bite was feast or famine at the Coral Beds... sea bass were found in 80-90 feet of water... the beach off Herring Point produced nice catches of striped bass... the flounder bite in the Lewes Canal was not very good.
June 1, 2016 - Yellowfin tuna action was fantastic in 500 fathoms between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons where “Talk N Trash” returned with 30 yellowfins... On May 28th, Bo Appel released the first blue marlin of the season in the Norfolk Canyon... On May 27th, Andy Urban released the first white marlin of the year in 800 fathoms between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons... the yellowfin bite started in the Norfolk Canyon early in the week and progressively moved north through the week... fish were in the 35-45 lb. range... mahi were mixed in with the yellowfins... the first bigeye tuna of the season was caught on May 26th between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons... mako sharks were also abundant between the two canyons... thresher sharks popped up at the Fingers... sea bass fishing was excellent on ocean structure... flounder fishing was horrible.. large stripers continued to be caught in the surf and around the South Jetty... In Delaware, sea bass fishing was good in 80-100 feet of water... the black drum bite in the DE Bay was sporadic... flounder fishing was not good this week... from the beach, striper fishing was good for anglers soaking bunker (when they could get it) but very good with sand fleas... anglers fishing in the Indian River Inlet at night saw good striper action on bucktails, Tsunami swim shads, Bomber lures and Diawa ST Minnows... some larger bluefish were mixed in with the stripers... the first white marlin was released for a boat out of Indian River.
June 8, 2016 - Anglers on the “Jade II” took top honors in the Mako Mania tournament with a 220.8 lb. mako caught outside the 461 Lump in 77-degree water... good numbers of yellowfins and mahi were caught between the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons and near the 461 Lump... bigeye tuna were caught at the Bigeye Hole... some boats headed to the Norfolk but came back emptyhanded... a few blue marlin were released near the 461 Lump... sea bass fishing was good on the wrecks farther off the beach... flounder fishing improved, especially on ocean structure... chopper bluefish were caught around the Rt. 50 Bridge...black drum continued to be caught off Assateague Island... In Delaware, the black drum bite at the Coral Beds slowed... big bluefish were caught at the Roosevelt Inlet and off the beaches at Cape Henlopen... a few weakfish were hooked at the Inner Wall and at the Coral Beds... water temperature in the Lewes Canal was a cold 64-degrees, hampering flounder fishing... the Outer Wall produced catches of small striped bass but no keepers... stripers of all sizes were hooked in the Indian River Inlet... Brenn Scott caught a 15 lb. 13 oz. bluefish from the beach on Savage Ditch Drive... thresher sharks were caught near “A” Buoy.
June 15, 2016 - bad weather dominated the week, keeping boats at the dock until the weekend... yellowfins, bigeyes and mahi were caught in 200 fathoms between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons... the biggest number of yellowfins was caught outside the Crotch... Jason Appel on the “Boss Hogg” caught a 203 lb. bigeye at the Bigeye Hole... mako sharks were caught at the Hot Dog and the Marine Electric... the first longfin was caught on June 5th at the Lindenkohl Canyon... headboats saw a mix of flounder and sea bass on ocean structure... striper fishing in the OC Inlet was fantastic, but most were in the 20 to 24-inch range and were caught on paddletail shads... a lot of short tog were caught at the South Jetty and along the rocks off Martha’s Landing... flounder fishing in the bay was horrible due to dirty water conditions... In Delaware, fishing in the IR Inlet was slow... some big bluefish were caught in the Inlet, but striper fishing was very slow... flounder action at the Old Grounds really picked up this week... the best sea bass bite was at the DelJerseyLand Reef Site... a few threshers were caught around “A” Buoy... flounder fishing in the Lewes Canal improved... a few weakies were caught at the Henlopen Pier... no croaker yet.
June 22, 2016 - Flounder fishing in the bay improved dramatically, but anglers had to deal with loads of throwbacks... striped bass were found around the Rt. 50 Bridge and small linesiders at the South Jetty... the better flounder bite was on ocean structure at the Bass Grounds, African Queen and on Fenwick Shoal... yellowfins, along with good size gaffer dolphin, continued to be caught between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons... good catches of bigeye tuna were made in 200 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon... bigeyes were also found in the Norfolk Canyon... a lone bluefin was caught at the Hambone... a few white marlin were released in 200 fathoms below the Washington Canyon... the first wahoo of the season was caught on June 11th in the Norfolk Canyon... In Delaware, bad weather made it tough for fishing... the Old Grounds continued to be the hot spot for flounder... anglers on the “Tail to Tale” caught a 557 lb. blue marlin in 500 fathoms between the Washington and Norfolk Canyons... flounder fishing really picked up in the Lewes Canal as water clarity improved dramatically... 20 to 26-inch stripers were caught in the Lewes Canal... croakers finally showed up at the Cape Henlopen Pier... kingfish also arrived at the Pier and in the surf around Cape Henlopen.
June 29, 2016 - wahoo were caught in 150 fathoms in the Poor Man’s Canyon...yellowfins and mahi were caught in unbelievably good numbers in 100 to 150 fathoms between the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyon... double-digit catches were not uncommon this week with some boats returning with over 20 yellowfins in the box... bluefin tuna were caught on inshore structure and lumps such as the Chicken Bone and the Twin Wrecks... the bigeye bite was incredible in the Baltimore and Wilmington Canyons... “Boss Hogg” returned with 5 from the Baltimore... wahoo were hooked in 150 fathoms in the Poor Man’s... white marlin were found in 70 to 74-degree water in the Poor Man’s and Baltimore Canyons... sea bass fishing was hit or miss... small striped bass were abundant around the South Jetty... the flounder bite in the bay improved but the better action was on ocean structure... In Delaware, the good flounder bite at the Old Grounds continued, but anglers had to deal with a large number of throwbacks... weakfish were caught at various Delaware Bay reef sites... croakers in the 7 to 8-inch range showed up in the Lewes Canal in addition to 15 to 25-inch stripers... flounder fishing in the Lewes Canal got better with most fish in the 16-inch range... inshore anglers struggled with a lot of small sea bass this week... a decent number of flounder and short striped bass showed up in the IR Inlet... a couple of sheepshead were caught off the Indian River Jetty for anglers fishing with sand fleas... headboats found good flounder fishing on ocean structure when drifting conditions were right... short stripers, sharks and skates were caught by surfcasters.
July 6, 2016 - The big news of the week was 9-year-old, Emma Zajdel catching a Maryland State Record, 94.6 lb. cobia around Little Gull Shoal... Charlie Long caught a 102 lb. wahoo in 80 fathoms just north of the Washington Canyon... the water holding the great yellowfin bite moved offshore into 1,000 fathoms... the bluefin bite was slow but a few were caught in Massey’s Canyon, at the Chicken Bone, the Hambone and the Hot Dog... Brian Stempkowski on the “Brenda Lou” caught a 125.8 lb. yellowfin in 600 fathoms outside the Rockpile... it was the best week of the season, so far, for wahoo fishing with fish caught in the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons... we even saw some wahoo caught at the Fingers... white marlin and blue marlin were released in the Washington and Poor Man’s Canyons... the flounder bite was scattered around the bay with most keepers coming from the East and West Channels and at the South Jetty... In Delaware, Tim Parrill caught a Delaware State Record (20.5 lbs.) false albacore in Massey’s Canyon... short stripers were hooked around the IR Jetty... croakers were caught in the suds... small bluefish were caught on the troll at Fenwick Shoal... flounder were found in good numbers at “A” and “B” Buoys... slot stripers were caught in the Lewes Canal on eels, clams and cut bait... flounder fishing in the Canal was steady all week... croakers were thick by the Cape Henlopen Pier... Site 5 and the Broadkill Slough were good spot for weakies... larger sea bass were caught by Site 10... offshore boats found bluefins in Massey’s Canyon.
July 13, 2016 - Most of the tuna action centered on the Lumpy Bottom and the 800/800... good size bluefins were found in Massey’s Canyon... white marlin were released in 100 to 200 fathoms from the 800/800 up to the Baltimore Canyon... chunking for yellowfins was good in Massey’s Canyon and around the Lumpy Bottom... sea bass fishing was good on inshore structure... flounder were mixed in with sea bass... flounder fishing in the bay was best around the South Jetty, but fish were also found in the East, West and Middle Channels... the largest flounder, weighing over 9 lbs., was caught between Martha’s Landing and the north tip of Assateague Island... In Delaware, tackle shops reported a dramatic dropoff in flounder coming in from ocean reefs and wrecks... in the Lewes Canal, slot stripers were caught during early morning hours and at sundown... spot showed up at the Cape Henlopen Pier... surfcasters stayed busy with kingfish and sandtiger sharks... offshore action was dominated by bluefins caught on the chunk in Massey’s Canyon... In the IR Inlet, flounder were caught along the Coast Guard Wall... bluefish and Spanish mackerel were found at Fenwick Shoal... deep droppers found good tilefish catches in the Baltimore Canyon.
July 20, 2016 - 343 anglers participated in the 12th Annual Kid’s Classic... chunking for yellowfins in Massey’s Canyon was super productive... great catches of mahi were made from the Baltimore to the Norfolk Canyons... although the bigeye bite wasn’t as good as previous years, big eyeballs were caught at the Bigeye Hole... “Moore Bills” came back with a 250 pounder caught on a skirted ballyhoo... Although the yellowfin bite was the best in Massey’s Canyon, good bites were also found at the Lumpy Bottom and in the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyon... this week had the best billfish bite seen so far this season, with the top action coming from the Norfolk Canyon... the Old Grounds produced the best flounder action of the week... various size bluefish were caught while trolling at Fenwick Shoal... triggerfish were found on Fenwick Shoal... kingfish, sharks and skates in the surf... In Delaware, more croakers showed up in the Lewes Canal... flounder fishing in the Canal was steady, but not on fire... a few stripers a day were caught in the Canal... sheepshead roamed the water around the Outer Wall... just legal weakfish were caught at the Inner and Outer Walls, Site 5 and at Brown Shoal... small sea bass dominated action for those looking for knotheads... a few 16 to 18-inch flounder were caught in the IR Inlet in addition to some stripers and bluefish... surfcasters got into kingfish during early morning and late evening hours.
July 27, 2016 - The chunk bite continued in Massey’s Canyon with the best action coming between sunrise to mid-morning... white marlin, blue marlin and sailfish were caught while trolling deep outside the canyons... “Billfisher” had 17 releases in 2 days while trolling in 1,000+ fathoms outside the Baltimore Canyon... dolphin were caught on the chunk in Massey’s Canyon, the Lumpy Bottom and at the Twin Wrecks... tilefish were hooked deep in the Baltimore and Washington Canyons... stripers and bluefish were caught around the Rt. 50 Bridge at night... flounder fishing started showing some life for anglers fishing on structure off the coast of Delaware... in the bay, flatties were found behind Castaway’s Campground and the OC Airport... weakfish were caught in the West Channel... anglers trolling spoons at the Bass Grounds hooked into good numbers of bluefish... triggerfish were caught at Fenwick Shoal and Winter Quarter Shoal... In Delaware, small spot finally showed up in good numbers in the Lewes Canal... schoolie stripers were hooked in the Canal... plenty of croakers and spot were hooked off the Cape Henlopen Pier... tautog fishing was slow... a few sea bass were caught on ocean structure... the bluefish bite for DE?fishermen was hit-or-miss in Massey’s Canyon with scattered fish difficult to find.
August 3, 2016 - Tom Distefano on the “Marli” caught a 407 lb. blue marlin in the Washington Canyon to win the Big Fish Classic... there was an excellent white marlin bite in 50 fathoms in the Norfolk Canyon... offshore water temperatures were in the high 70s and low 80s... most of the tuna action was in Massey’s Canyon... bigeye tuna were caught at the Bigeye Hole and in the Baltimore Canyon... some big dolphin were hooked in the Washington Canyon and in Massey’s Canyon... the best flounder bite in the bay was in the deeper holes holding cooler water... small to medium-size bluefish were thick at the Rt. 50 Bridge... In Delaware, the flounder bite in the IR Inlet improved this week with fish up to 10 lbs. caught by the Coast Guard Station... short stripers and bluefish were also found in the bay... anglers fishing with cut bait at the Old Grounds had a great week of flounder fishing... surfcasters got into kingfish and short flounder... spot and croaker continued to be caught in the Lewes Canal... sheepshead were found around the Haystacks and the Ice Breakers... small weakfish were found all around the Delaware Bay.
August 10, 2016 - Jimmy Willey graced the cover with a 54 lb. dolphin caught at the Bigeye Hole... 201 anglers fished in the Ocean Pines Flounder Tournament... warm water put a damper on flounder fishing in the bay but the bite improved dramatically on ocean structure, particularly in 120-feet of water... white marlin were released in good numbers in 200 to 500 fathoms in the Washington Canyon... water pushed down from the Spencer Canyon and produced good white marlin bites in the Wilmington Canyon... early in the week, anglers on the “Billfisher” went 20 for 26 in the Lindenkohl Canyon... tuna fishing was pathetic this week... Erin McCulloch-Nadolny on the “Last Call” caught a 45 lb. dolphin in the Poor Man’s Canyon... In Delaware, small spot (perfect for flounder bait) were caught in the Lewes Canal... slot-size stripers were caught by the Drawbridge... small weakfish were everywhere in the Delaware Bay... flounder fishing in the bay was decent, but scattered... the best flounder bite was at the Old Grounds, especially for those fishing with dolphin belly.. sea bass were caught at the DelJerseyLand Reef... the tuna bite at Massey’s Canyon died off... in the IR Inlet, small flounder dominated the action... Fenwick Shoal held a lot of small bluefish.
August 17, 2016 - Phil Heasley on the “Kallianassa” caught a 76.5 lb. white marlin to take first place in the 43rd Annual White Marlin Open, but the angler, captain and mates all failed parts of the lie detector test given to all winners. At the time of this report, the award money was being held in escrow and the case was turned over to Federal Court for the judge to determine whether Phil’s catch would stand... the catch was worth a tournament record $2,818,660... during the week, 1,420 billfish were hooked with 98.3% released... the billfish action started off in the Spencer and Wilmington Canyons but moved south as the week progressed... a 790 lb. blue marlin was caught northeast of the Baltimore Canyon... bigeye tuna were hooked in the Washington Canyon... big dolphin were caught in the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons... in the bay behind OC, plenty of flounder were hooked but anglers had to weed through a lot of small fish to get their keeper in the East Channel, the Thorofare and behind Harbour Island... flatties were plentiful on ocean structure... In Delaware, spot and croaker action was steady in the Lewes Canal... flounder fishing in the Canal was slow... the early morning bite by the Freemont Bridge was strong for slot-size stripers... plenty of bluefish were found roaming the DE Bay... the Inner and Outer Walls produced some weakfish bites... flounder fishing around the DE Bay was much better for those using squid, shiners and Gulp! for bait... The Old Grounds and Sites 9 & 10 were the hot flounder spots this week... Site 11 was good for sea bass fishing.
August 24, 2016 - Karen Peet caught a 200 lb. bigeye tuna in the Washington Canyon on the final day to win the Poor Girls Open... 746 anglers competed for over $189,000 in the tournament... the billfish bite centered in the Washington Canyon... anglers on the “Sea Slammer” recorded a Grand Slam with a blue marlin, 2 white marlin and a sailfish... good size dolphin were caught in the Baltimore and Washington Canyons... wahoo were caught in the Washington Canyon and by the Rockpile... the Bigeye Hole produced most of the bigeyes during the week... anglers on “Rhonda’s Osprey” recorded a Grand Slam with a white marlin, a spearfish and a sailfish in the Baltimore Canyon... good numbers of dolphin were caught in the Norfolk Canyon... plenty of small yellowfins were found in the Washington Canyon... anglers flounder fishing in the bay really struggled, battling hot days and hot water... fish were caught in the deeper holes of the East Channel... better fish were caught at the Old Grounds and at Site 10... Tony Munoz caught an 11 lb. 14 oz. flounder at the Old Grounds to win the Paradise Grill Flounder Tournament... croakers were plentiful at the mouth of the Commercial Harbor and behind Harbour Island... plenty of cobia were found cruising the surface just off the coast... In Delaware, flounder fishing was tough in the IR Inlet but anglers had good success catching small bluefish... drifting at night produced small stripers and bluefish... the DelJerseyLand Reef produced flounder, sea bass and ling... Spanish mackerel were found at Fenwick Shoal... wahoo were caught in Massey’s Canyon and billfish were found in 1,000 fathoms outside the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons... a small blue marlin was released between the Hambone and Massey’s Canyon.
August 31, 2016 - Jim Smith took top honors in The MidAtlantic Tournament with a 77 lb. white marlin hooked in 1,000 fathoms outside the Poor Man’s Canyon, winning over $749,000... 85 boats out of Ocean City competed in the tournament... the billfish bite centered in the Spencer and Wilmington Canyons... “Billfisher” took Most Points with releases of 23 white marlin and 1 blue marlin during their 3 days of fishing... most billfish were in northern canyons but larger fish were caught outside the Poor Man’s... “Moore Bills” weighed a 75 lb. wahoo caught at the Bigeye Hole... “FFMD” caught a 53 lb. dolphin in the Washington Canyon... the yellowfin tuna bite turned on again in 100-200 fathoms in the Washington Canyon... trollers, chunkers and greenstickers all got into them... cobia action just off the Maryland coast continued to be the best we have seen in years... Jim McDowell caught an 81 pounder only 8 miles south of the Inlet... there was a steady pick on flounder in the bay throughout the week but the throwback to keeper ratio ran 10 to 1... the best action came in shallow water in the Fish Bowl and behind Harbour Island... ocean flounder were caught at the African Queen and the Old Grounds... hardheads were thick in the East Channel and at the mouth of the Commercial Harbor... small bluefish were hooked during the end of the incoming tide around the Rt. 50 Bridge... small bluefish were found all over the bay... In Delaware, some flounder were caught in the IR Inlet but better action continued on ocean reefs and wrecks... croakers were caught on the south side of the Inlet on bloodworms, squid, clams and Fishbites... small bluefish were caught during the incoming tide at night... headboats reported seeing more sea bass in 80 to 95-feet of water, but most were too small to keep.
September 7, 2016 - Tropical Storm Hermine messed up fishing over the weekend... prior to the blow, cobia continued to be seen in surprising numbers cruising around schools of rays and bunker, especially close to Little Gull Shoal... anglers on the “Last Call” continued their assault on large dolphin, boating a 51 pounder at the 461 Lump... the yellowfin bite really started heating up in the Washington Canyon, led by greenstickers... anglers had to contend with hungry sharks who attacked a lot of the hooked yellowfins during the fight... those chasing billfish headed to the Baltimore Canyon and several returned with double-digit catches... in the bay, flounder anglers picked at flounder in the East Channel, the Fish Bowl and just north of the OC Airport... the best flounder bite was in 90-feet of water on ocean structure... plenty of croakers and bluefish were found all over the bay... In Delaware, prior to Tropical Storm Hermine, offshore boats headed to the Washington Canyon to find cooperating yellowfins near the Bigeye Hole... yellowfin size was varied with fish up to 70 lbs. mixed in with rats... dolphin were caught near the Radford wreck... wahoo were hooked at the Chicken Bone and at the Fingers... headboats struggled to catch flounder but croaker fishing improved... nice size sea bass were caught at the Radford wreck... small bluefish showed up in the surf.
September 14, 2016 - The lasting effects of Tropical Storm Hermine put a damper on fishing for the majority of the week... Rich and Baron Daiker swept the Bahia Marina Flounder Pounder with flatties caught on live bunker in the West Channel, south of the Rt. 50 Bridge and at the South Jetty. Their top flounder weighed 6 lbs. 15 oz... most of the flounder caught in the tournament came from the West Channel off Martha’s Landing... there was a good weakfish bite in the OC Inlet and around the South Jetty... there were a good number of sea bass in the Inlet as well... no reports of cobia this week... anglers fishing on inshore ocean structure found good flounder and sea bass fishing... offshore, the marlin bite was best between the Poor Man’s and Baltimore Canyons... a few yellowfins were caught in the Washington Canyon... no bigeyes were caught this week... dolphin were found from the Baltimore Canyon down to the Washington Canyon... In Delaware, nice size flounder moved into the IR Inlet with the best bite coming during the outgoing tide... the best flounder bite was by the Coast Guard Wall... the weakfish bite improved in the inlet... small bluefish and croakers dominated the inlet bite on most days... inshore water temperatures hovered around 72-degrees and dirty water created from the tropical storm extended from the beach out to 6-miles... the Radford wreck produced some large sea bass... thick schools of croakers were found 6-miles off the beach... anglers found bluefish and Spanish mackerel on Fenwick Shoal.
September 21, 2016 - The big news of the week, and possible the season, was the Fantasy Slam (4 different billfish species) caught by anglers on the “No Quarter”. During their epic overnight trip to the Norfolk Canyon, the anglers released 23 white marlin, 2 spearfish, a sailfish and a blue marlin in addition to catching a 350 lb. swordfish and a 263 lb. mako shark. The Fantasy Slam occurred when they released 14 white marlin, a spearfish, a blue marlin and a sailfish during their first day of fishing. This was the first Fantasy Slam ever recorded out of Ocean City... the Challenge Cup returned to Ocean City after our team defeated a team from Cape May, NJ... white marlin were caught from the 800/800 down to the Norfolk Canyon... Mike and Dave Burt on the “Pumpin Hard” released 27 white marlin during an overnight trip to the Norfolk Canyon... yellowfins popped up in the Washington Canyon with fish weighing up to 72 lbs... greensticking continued to be a hot method for hooking yellowfins... dolphin were found in all the canyons and in as close as 20 fathoms... headboats found the best flounder and sea bass action on ocean structure in 100-feet of water... keeper striped bass were caught in the OC Inlet... water temperature in the bay was still in the lower-to-mid 70s... In Delaware, fishing in the Indian River Inlet was horrible... a few weakfish and small striped bass were caught in the Inlet... in the surf, bluefish up to 16-inches were caught on mullet rigs... inshore, the bite out to 7-miles was slow due to murky water but flounder were found around Site 11 and the Radford wreck... sea bass fishing improved with the best action at the DelJerseyLand Reef... wahoo were caught in both the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons... yellowfins showed up in the Wilmington Canyon... swordfish were caught in the Washington Canyon.
September - December 2016 Flounder fishing picked up nicely in the bay towards the end of September with the best action taking place in the Fish Bowl, north of the Rt. 50 Bridge... stripers, drum and flounder were caught around the South Jetty... in the beginning of October, sheepshead were caught in good numbers around the South Jetty... the wahoo and dolphin bites in the Washington Canyon was outstanding in early October... larger flounder were caught around the Rt. 50 Bridge in mid-October... on October 13th, anglers on the “Marli” caught 18 yellowfins just south of the Rockpile... toward the end of October, stripers were being caught on live spot around the Rt. 50 Bridge and at the South Jetty... sea bass were caught in good numbers at the Bass Grounds... at the beginning of November, red drum were being hooked around the South Jetty and in the West Channel... in mid-November, tautog were really snapping around the South Jetty and along the rocks along Martha’s Landing... anglers on the “Get Sum” hooked over 100 tautog along the Martha’s Landing rocks... inshore water temperatures hovered in the mid-50s... at the end of November, stripers were still up north off the coast of New Jersey... triggerfish were caught around the South Jetty... Site 9 off Delaware produced some excellent catches of tog... good size schools of stripers were seen 7-miles off the beach... in the OC Marlin Club Rockfish Tournament, fish were caught on the first 3 days of