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Vol 49 | Num 4 | May 22, 2024

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Offshore Report

Article by Larry Budd

This Week Last Year
• The sea bass bite continued to be picky and spotty, but what anglers were missing in quantity was made up in quality. Some big knotheads made there way into coolers.
•This was the week the new regulations went info effect for stripers in Maryland. The Slot was reduces to 28”-31” in Maryland first, with Delaware and Virginia still a few weeks away from updating their regulations. Steve Goff hit the sands of Assateague Island in Maryland just a few days before the change and landed a sweet 32” striper and two others that were released.

Welcome to the Memorial Day edition of the Coastal Fisherman for 2024. Memorial Day is a solemn tribute to the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. It is a day to honor their courage, dedication and patriotism. As we gather with loved ones and friends on the long weekend, let us remember that our peace and liberty are built on their sacrifices. Let us cherish their legacy and strive to uphold the values they fought for.

Weather continues to be our adversary for getting offshore. Opening day for sea bass was last Wednesday, however howling winds, high seas and pummeling rain kept most captains in the slip. Capt. Chris Mizuak on the headboat “Angler” did get an intrepid crew to run out last Friday. They headed out about 40 miles in some sloppy weather and set anchor in about 100’ of water. Capt. Chris reported that the bass were picky and the bite was slow to start, but eventually some knot heads began to come over the rails. Appropriately, or coincidentally, it was Bob Houser (aka Sea Bass Bob) who got the first keeper knothead earning the First Fish title for sea bass in 2024. He used a 6” jig for that one, however others were getting some double hookups with hi/lo rigs & clam.

Saturday saw most of the fleet heading out despite conditions that were still less than ideal. Thankfully the conditions had settled enough that the bass were hungry and biting. Several boats reporting anglers with limit catches, like the “Surface Tension” out of Lewes and the “Angler” at the Talbot Street Pier.

We also got our first fish report from the canyons. The private boat “Full Service” out of Sunset Marina with Capts. Jim and Brendan Barbey at the helm took a run east of the Washington Canyon to explore an eddy they had been tracking. That was pretty good insight given that cloud cover had been hampering the satellite surface temp reports! They were east of the Washington Canyon when they found a temperature break with clear water up to 68.5°! Shortly after lines in, they got a double hookup of yellowfin tuna. Angler Chris Mentlik got one in the boat; however the second one pulled the hook right at the boat. That secured First Fish honors for Chris for yellowfin! Capt. Jim reported seeing a lot of life out there and was convinced there would be more yellowfin action to come, but those were the only bites for the day, except for some skipjacks. Congratulations to Chris and crew.

Most of the captains I have talked to believe the tuna bite and perhaps mahi will turn on quickly as we move into June. Some research on Rip Chart’s forecast would seem to support that, but the cloud cover is still limiting reports (see example to the right from Rutgers, all the white area is unreported). Our Windy App subscription shows a couple days this week that would be fishable. The weekend still looks like a question mark as I pen this report on Monday.

I concur with the option that things will turn on quickly and we will see not only the tuna action pick up, but perhaps our first white marlin in the next few weeks. Until then, keep your eyes on the weather east and take advantage of the fantastic action of the beaches for bluefish, striper and drum. As always, check our fishing reports from Capt. BJ Pietryak and Capt. Matt Abell for the details on the latest hot spots and baits. §

Upcoming Tournaments
• The Battle for the Buckle offshore tournament returns for its second season from May 31st-June 2nd in association with the PBR Challenger Series Rodeo Event. More at pbroceancity.com.
• The Patapsco Open team hosts their OC Smack Down Tuna Tournament on June 7-8 based at the White Marlin Marina. More on Facebook under Patapsco Open.
• The Tuna & Tiaras Ladies Tuna Tournament returns to the Ocean City Fishing Center on June 14-15th. More at
TunaandTiaras.com or on Facebook.

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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