Vol 38 | Num 7 | Jun 12, 2013
Article by Larry Jock
It’s a crying shame that we have been plagued with such horrible weather this spring (actually since November), because when the weather is nice and anglers can get out on the water, we see some nice fish arriving at the docks in Ocean City.
This weekend was a perfect example. Weather was horrible on Friday and Saturday, so anglers had to stay closer to shore or not go out at all. On Sunday, when seas calmed down after the storm, we had great action at the scales with makos, big threshers, tunas and stripers.
Mako Mania Shark Tournament
This year, 30 boats entered the 17th Annual Mako Mania Shark Tournament at Bahia Marina. On Friday, only 3 boats ventured out of the inlet and none returned with anything to weigh. On Saturday, 27 boats fished, but unfortunately the only shark weighed didn’t meet the minimum requirement of 100 lbs. Nate Beck on the “No Limits” did weigh a 12.8 lb. bluefish that held on to win the Bluefish Division. The fish ate a bluefish fillet at the Sausages.
On Sunday, the action really heated up. Throughout the day, 7 makos were weighed, led by the 209.5 pounder caught on the charter boat, “Moore Bills” down near the Rockpile. The mako ended the tournament in 1st place and was worth $14,788 in award money.
The “Stress Reel-ief” was the big money winner in the tournament, taking home $19,980 for winning 2nd place in the Mako Division with a 144.8 pounder, in addition to winning the W.W. Harman Release Division with 5 mako releases during their 2 days of fishing.
Rounding out the top three finishers was the “First & More” with a 143.2 lb. mako caught at the 30 Fathom Lump on a whole bluefish.
No thresher sharks were caught in the tournament.
I know of two anglers who wish they had entered the Mako Mania Shark Tournament because on Sunday we saw a couple of huge ones caught.
Shane Heimer and Donnie Reynolds on the “Tuna Box” ran out with a couple of anglers to outside the Sausages where they caught a 485 pounder. The thresher was hooked on a bonita fillet and took 4 hours to get to the boat.
Also on Sunday, Walter Moore, who can usually be found at Oyster Bay Tackle, took his 21-foot deck boat out to the Fingers and hooked into a thresher shark that was estimated to weigh 500 lbs. Unfortunately, Walter didn’t get it weighed because it was too large to get into his boat, so another angler had to tow it back to Advanced Marina. Walter fought the fish for 3 1/2 hours after hooking it in 62-degree water on cut mackerel.
Outside of the shark tournament, makos in the 100 to 130 lb. range were caught by anglers sharking at the Fingers, Hambone and the Hot Dog late in the week.
The local charter boat, “That’s Right” had the docks buzzing when they returned with 18 yellowfins in the box on Wednesday. Unfortunately, they had to head all the way down to waters off Wanchese, NC to get them, but it was nice to see the fish on the dock.
On Sunday, we saw some small yellowfins caught by anglers on the “Last Straw” who returned with 4 keepers from the Washington Canyon. They also released 4 short fish during the trip. Also on Sunday, Gunnar Zorn took his group of merry men out to 130 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon where they hooked 6 yellowfins and a 10 lb. dolphin in 70-degree water. The largest two yellowfins weighed in at 56 and 70 lbs.
As this report was being written on Monday, an excellent yellowfin bite was occuring in 50 fathoms in the Washington Canyon and also in 200 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon where the charter boat, “Moore Bills” captured 15 yellowfins (pictures coming in next issue).
Also on Monday, the first bigeye tuna of the year was brought to the dock by an angler fishing on the charter boat, “Reel Addiction”. The 222 lb. bigeye mauled a green machine spreader bar in 330 fathoms in the middle of the Baltimore Canyon where Capt. Ron Callis found 67-degree water.
The striped bass bite around the South Jetty, the Rt. 50 Bridge and in the Ocean City Inlet has been absolutely fantastic. The vast majority of fish have been too small to keep, but those willing to put in their time have been able to head home with a few in the cooler and tired arms.
“Skip’s Charter & Guide Service” had some great days fishing the tip of the South Jetty, especially on Tuesday night when anglers hooked 60 stripers, all on live spot. Only 2 were large enough to keep, but the action was fast and furious. The bite slowed some on Wednesday and then picked right back up through the weekend.
When the bite slowed around the South Jetty, fish could be found lurking around the pilings of the Rt. 50 Bridge for anglers tossing spec rigs, Storm shads and bucktails tipped with Gulp! artificial baits.
In the middle of last week, before a nasty storm passed through our area, water was fairly clean and flounder fishing was good. The “Get Sum” had 8 keepers on Wednesday while fishing around the South Jetty and the “Lucky Break” ended up with 6 in the box, also from around the South Jetty.
Since the storm, flounder fishing has been dismal due to dirty water conditions.
On days when bad weather didn’t keep them at the dock, sea bass fishermen were able
to hit their favorite spots and come home with at least enough fish for a few dinners.
A couple of anglers were able to hit the San Gill wreck during the week and had a nice catch with several fish over 3 lbs.
In the Surf
Cold water has definitely screwed up surf fishing this spring. Anglers continue to catch a few stripers at night but the action off the beach has been dominated by skates, dogfish, blowfish, kingfish, hickory shad and croakers.
We are in full shark mode, so the timing is perfect for the 33rd Annual Ocean City Shark Tournament this week at the Ocean City Fishing Center. The tournament runs from Thursday through Saturday with weigh-ins each day from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM. This tournament is fantastic for spectators, and especially for kids since they let children sit very close to the action. Get there early and you might be able to get a seat at Micky Fins where you can dine and watch the action at the scales.
Some of the best sharkers on the Atlantic coast participate in this tournament, so it should be exciting.
See you at the scales!