Vol 37 | Num 3 | May 16, 2012
Article by Larry Jock
Finally, there is some excitement in the air with anglers catching stripers off the beach, a few flounder in the bay, tog around the South Jetty and tuna offshore.
The warm water that stretched from the Baltimore Canyon down to the Washington Canyon had tuna fishermen chomping at the bit.
Yellowfins were caught by several boats with fish averaging around 35-45 lbs.
On Friday, the “Foolish Pleasures” returned to the Ocean City Fishing Center with 8 yellowfins in the box. Capt. Dale Lisi ran to 100 fathoms on the west wall of the Baltimore Canyon where he found water temperatures hovering around the 68-degree mark. Capt. Dale reported that the bite started around 8 am and finished up by 10 am.
On Saturday, the “Restless Lady” ventured a little further, ending up in 500 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon where they caught a 130 lb. mako shark and a 42 lb. yellowfin tuna.
Sunday morning, the “Wrangler” returned from an overnight trip with 6 yellowfin tuna that averaged 33 lbs. Like the “Foolish Pleasures”, Capt. Craig Mercier found his fish in 100 fathoms on the west wall of the Baltimore Canyon. Trolled ballyhoo and spreader bars did the trick.
The “Cindy Sue II” out of Indian River caught 2 yellowfin tuna, a bluefin tuna and a 151 lb. swordfish during an overnight trip to the Baltimore Canyon.
As mentioned earlier, the “Restless Lady” boated a 130 lb. mako shark on Saturday, the same day that “No Shop Talk” hooked into a 168 lb. mako around the Sausages.
Captains fishing for tuna in the Baltimore Canyon reported all the blue sharks you wanted.
Flounder fishing is pretty slow right now. Water temperatures are around 65-degrees, but anglers continue to be frustrated with dirty water. The slur in the bay, especially behind Assateague Island, make it practically impossible to fish. You spend more time picking it off your bait than you do fishing.
During the middle of the week, there was a good flounder bite near the Rt. 90 Bridge. The fish were too small to keep but plentiful.
On Saturday, the “Get Sum” did manage to get 3 keepers in the Thorofare. The fish measured up to 19-inches and were caught on Gulp! Swimming Mullets.
Flounder finally started to show up in the East Channel, south of the Rt. 50 Bridge, on Sunday. Fish were too small to keep, but it’s the first time we have seen them in this popular location.
Snapper bluefish were stacked around the Rt. 50 Bridge on Sunday morning. Big Bird Cropper and Dave Leizear caught a load of snappers while tossing Roy Rigs during the outgoing tide. Once the wind shifted and the slur moved in from behind Assateague, the water became too dirty and the bite turned off.
Don’t forget that you can only keep two, 16-inch tog from May 16th to October 31st.
The South Jetty produced some nice catches of tautog during the week.
Anglers on the “Lucky Break” caught 9 keepers and a bunch of throwbacks during the last of the incoming tide early in the week.
On Sunday, the tog bite was very good around the South Jetty. Unfortunately, the fish were too small to keep, averaging 14 to 15.75-inches. That 16-inch minimum size makes it tough for bay anglers. Capt. Nick said that they would have had their limit of tautog had the minimum size not increased to 16 inches.
Inshore on Saturday, the “Jezebel” had 8 keeper tog while fishing at the Great Eastern Reef and the Bass Grounds.
The weekend saw a good number of small stripers being caught around the North Jetty and the Rt. 50 Bridge. Anglers tossing swim shad lures did well.
Striper fishing off Assateague continued to be excellent. Anglers had to battle through sharks and skates to get their striper, but fish over 40-inches were caught by surfcasters throwing peeler crabs, bunker chunks and heads.
Before the heavy rains on Wednesday, the bite was good, but Thursday slowed due to dirty water caused by the storm. On Friday, the bite was strong with several fish over 40-inches getting caught.
On Saturday, Nick Parr caught himself a beautiful 42-incher right at dawn while using a bunker head for bait. Nick’s fish tipped the scale at 30 lbs.
Maryland’s sea bass season opens up on May 19th and from the sound of it, there are plenty out there to catch. Reports coming in from “B” Buoy, the Great Eastern Reef and around the Bass Grounds have all bragged about good sea bass bites.
The minimum size remains at 12.5-inches and anglers are allowed to keep 25 fish per trip/day.
The first tournament out of Ocean City is the 3rd Annual Ocean City Marlin Club Bluefish Tournament on May 26th and 27th. For more information, check out their ad on page 19 or go to their website at www.ocmarlinclubcom.