Vol 37 | Num 7 | Jun 13, 2012
Article by Larry Jock
After a spring filled with nasty weather, making it difficult to get consecutive days of solid fishing in, last week saw fantastic weather and some really good bites for anglers in the bay and in the ocean.
Starting on Wednesday, boats returned from the Poor Man’s and Washington Canyons with double-digit catches of yellowfin tuna, highlighted by the “McKenna Jane” with 13 yellowfins and a couple of dolphin caught in the Poor Man’s.
On Thursday, the bite stayed to the south where the “Espadon” returned with 14 yellowfins caught in 65.5-degree water near the Rockpile. “Moore Bills” also had a good day, boating 11 yellowfins in 30 fathoms inshore of the Washington Canyon. As always, the “Dawg Haus” was the last to arrive at the dock, but they had a boatload of yellowfins, 19 total, that they caught on the troll in the Washington Canyon. Several other boats had 4 to 7 yellowfins in the box.
Friday was a bit slower, but that didn’t stop a couple of boats from landing good catches below the Washington. “That’s Right” had 10 yellowfin in 69-degree water and the “Marli” returned with 9 yellowfins from a couple miles north of “That’s Right”.
Saturday was when the bite exploded further north in the Baltimore Canyon. It was also the day we saw the first bigeye tuna caught this season. Matt Boomer on the “Four Eights” landed a 131 lb. bigeye in 200 fathoms in the Wilmington Canyon. The crew also caught 5 yellowfins during the trip.
There were a couple of other bigeyes hooked on Saturday but all were lost during the fight.
On Saturday, the charter boat “Marli” trolled ballyhoo and spreader bars in the Baltimore Canyon and ended up with 14 yellowfins in the box. The “Reelin’ and Rockin’” charter boat was right behind with 12 yellowfins, followed by the “White Lightning” with 11. Many other boats ended their day with 5-10 yellowfins.
Sunday’s bite was a little slower, but both the “Reelentless” and the “Tighten Up” had a tremendous day with 15 and 14 yellowfin tuna, respectively. Both were in 70 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon where they found water temperatures hovering around 68-degrees.
With boats pretty focused on yellowfins, bluefin tuna have escaped harassment, with none hitting the dock last week.
There were a few mako shark releases in the Washington Canyon on Thursday, but the keepers are coming from around the Hambone and the Sausages.
During their overnight trip on Wednesday/Thursday, the “Espadon” released 14 sharks while fishing near the Rockpile.
On Saturday, the “Redeemer” boated a 162 pounder at the Sausages that was hooked on a whole mackerel. The “Hook’n Wubbas” showed up at Ake Marine with one weighing 107 lbs. The largest mako we saw over the weekend came from the “Osprey” when they returned from an overnight trip with a 164 lb. black eye from 300 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon.
We didn’t see any thresher sharks caught this past week and there are still plenty of blue sharks out there to be fought.
Finally, it looks like a good batch of flounder are moving into our bay waters. Flounder fishing was slow throughout the week, but the weekend bite was as good as we have seen this year, especially around the South Jetty.
There are a lot of small, 2-inch spot in our bay and it looks like flounder are really loving them. Anglers that were able to cast net the baitfish were able to catch flounder on Friday in the East Channel.
Over the weekend, when the water seemed to really clear up, the bite was good in the East Channel on Saturday. Live spot was the key to success.
On Sunday, the bite really took off with a lot of flatties hitting the dock. Anglers fishing with white Gulp! Alive Swimming Mullets did exceptionally well, but those fishing those small spot also saw good hook-ups. The “Get Sum” had their best day of the year, returning with 17 keepers for their 2 trips Most of their fish were caught around the South Jetty with a few also hooked in the East Channel. Big Bird Cropper and his family had a good day drifting Gulp! Swimming Mullets around the South Jetty where they ended up with 5 keepers.
The heaviest flounder of the week was caught by Joe Baron when he landed a 5 lb. 12 oz. flattie on a Gulp! Swimming Mullet at the South Jetty on Sunday.
We’ve seen a few sheepshead caught around the jetties during the last couple of weeks. On Sunday, Rich Daiker was fishing with small spot when he hooked into a 24-inch sheepshead that weighed in at 9 lbs. 6 oz.
Anglers continue to have a blast catching good numbers of striped bass around the tip of the South Jetty. The throwback ratio is very high, but some larger fish can be found. Those tossing bucktails tipped with curly tails are doing well. Spec rigs and live bait are also producing good numbers.
Sea bass were snapping on several days last week, but the throwback ratio remains high. Anglers fishing from head boats on ocean reefs and wrecks are returning with plenty for dinner. The “Angler” had a good day on Friday, and ended up with one that tipped the scale at 4 lbs. 9 oz. The “Morning Star” continues to return with good catches of sea bass and a few flounder thrown in for good measure.
With anglers chasing sea bass, we haven’t seen many tautog being caught lately. Early in the week, Tim Hochstein on the “Judith M” boated a nice 26-incher that weighed an even 12 lbs. on the scale at Bahia Marina.
This weekend is the 32nd Annual Ocean City Shark Tournament at the Ocean City Fishing Center. Fishing begins on Thursday, June 14th and ends on Saturday. Weigh-ins will be held from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM each day.
This a great tournament to bring a kid to the scales, since between fish being weighed, Tournament Director, Mark Sampson spends a lot of time educating the spectators about sharks and has some interesting items for kids to see and touch. The shark jaws are always a crowd favorite! They also reserve the front row for children so they get a prime location to view the fish.
With Micky Fins restaurant located right next to the scale, it’s a good time to grab a bite to eat and view all the action.
See you at the scales!