Home | Advertise | Issues | Fishing Info | Tournaments | Buy a Photo | Delivery Locations | Merch | Send a Photo

Vol 49 | Num 4 | May 22, 2024

Offshore Report Ocean City Report Delaware Report Virginia Report Snarky Lines Ship to Shore The Galley Issue Photos
Ocean City Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Last week in Maryland saw the start of the sea bass season on May 15. Unfortunately it was marred with high winds and rain. Big seas kept most of the boats at the docks. Friday was the best day of the week for nearshore sea bass fishing, however high seas made any attempt to get to the deep wrecks very difficult.

Nearshore Wrecks & Reefs

The kickoff of sea bass season is our unofficial start of the fishing season. Big sea heights and high winds made it a slow start to nearshore fishing. When boats were able to venture out of the inlet, sea bass were found in big numbers with even bigger sizes of fish. Pat De Groodt made it out to Little Gull and was rewarded with 3 black drum from 22-30 inches. The fish were caught on green crab. They kept a 25” one for the table and reported the fillets were perfect without any worms. On the way in, Pat stopped by the inlet jetty and even picked up a few flounder up to 18 inches. The “Judith M” out of Bahia Marina ran out for sea bass and was confronted with a very sloppy ocean and finicky fish. Despite the rough seas and picky fish, they did manage to bring home a few keepers for their clients. This has not been the usual rocking gangbuster start to bass season we are used to. I’ve received reports that many boats are returning to the docks with only a couple of keepers. Reports on Saturday from the head boats were that the seas have calmed down and the fish were much more ready to bite a hook. Many boats returned with happy anglers and much fuller coolers as the week progressed The “Judith M” returned to the dock with reports of tough fishing and still snotty seas. The anglers caught a few keepers to bring home for dinner. The “Angler” braved the seas on Friday and returned home slightly battered, but with a few limits of bass and an overall good catch. On Saturday the seas layed out a bit and had a lot more limits. Capt. Chris stated the current was rolling hard, and if you were not at the right depth the dogfish were all over your bait. Good to hear that some limits were caught after such a rough last couple of days. Capt. Chris also reported the first sea bass of the year aboard the “Angler” despite sloppy weather. Bob Houser was the first angler to land a keeper sea bass. Even better, the fish was caught on a jig and not on bait. Beach to Bay Guide Service reports a great trip with numbers of reds and tog. They can't wait for the weather to calm and water to warm so they can capitalize on these nice fish coming through.

Back Bays & Inlets

With the rough seas and wind, many anglers opted to stay in the back bays and fish for flounder, blues and rockfish. “Lucky Break Charters” said the weather wasn't great but they still found a few flounder willing to bite the lines. Hopefully the next couple of weeks will warm the water up some and the wind will die down.

Kevin McNelis got the first keepers of the year with a 19.5” and a 17.5” flounder. Kevin also reported tons of small blues and rockfish at the Rt. 50 Bridge. The area of the bridge and the main Thorofare are the best spots for catching fish.

Surf Fishing

Surf fishing remains strong on Assateague Island with big bluefish and black drum being the primary catches. John Spence reported despite rough surf conditions, bluefish, including a 32 inch one, were caught. He used a bunker chunk to fool this nice sized chomper. Aiden Gottshal managed to pull in a few blues and even a nice rockfish from the surf. Justin Dipietro said that although it was a little rough, putting in the time paid off with several good sized bluefish as well as a few overslot stripers.

David Ochinero fished Assateague Island during a crazy NE blow. Despite having to use a 14 oz. to hold the bottom, he managed to hook and bring in one keeper for dinner. Many anglers reported 12-16 ounces or sputnik sinkers were needed to maintain the baits on the bottom without spinning out of control in the rough surf. Brian Reynolds had a good day on the island landing 5 bluefish and a nice black drum. Mullet rigs and clams on slider rigs accounted for the keeper fish.

“Freedom Baits USA” reported the “Nature Boy” has been an absolute terror lately. First he caught multiple blues off the beach, then keeper rockfish, and lastly a weakfish. The weakies were 20” and 25”. The final tally also included 7 keeper flounder, all caught on their 5.5 bare knuckle swimbait. These baits are available at SeaHawk Sports Center as well as All Tackle in Ocean City.

Man Choi was using a fish finder rig and pulled in a big shark. Man also said he lost a few drum in the surf. He further reported he caught several lines and rigs that had broken off of other anglers due to the rough surf.

Billy Thomas reports he finally got his black drum off the Assateague Island beaches. He said it only took 2 years to catch the 30 inch black. He also caught an out of slot rockfish which was returned to the water. Steve Maddox said it took throwing some 14 ounce weight to get the job done, however he did manage to catch a few overslot rockfish. These fish may not be keepers but are still a blast to catch off the surf. Mullet rigs, cut bait and clams on circle hooks can all be used to catch both rockfish as well as drum. Mildred Reyes-Ritter had a blast even though she had to toss 12 oz all day. She ended up catching several bluefish and black drum. Mildred also caught and released an overslot rockfish.

Jack Kutchen caught a 4 foot dog shark and a 41 inch striper near low tide. The 2 rods went down within one minute of each other. Both rods were baited with mullet chunks. He reported the incoming tide was filled with nothing but skates. Josh Barfield found a few Tuesday afternoon, landing 2 stripers on his new surf rod, a 13 foot Chase Haugh in fighting yellow color. That's a nice way to break in a custom new rod! Russell Lederman reeled in and released a 40” rockfish caught on sand fleas. Sandra Basham Lotz pulled in a big black drum caught on fresh surf clam. Steve Lewis put in 12 hrs and ended up with a nice eater drum. He was relieved he didn't get skunked. Claudia Popa finally hooked into a keeper rockfish off the beach at Assateague. Nowadays that is a difficult feat with the small slot limit. Great job!

Bryan Muffoletto was down for cruise week but found time to hit the surf and pulled in a nice blue usung a finger mullet.

Till next week…
Tight Lines and Fins up §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



Buy a Photo