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Vol 48 | Num 5 | May 31, 2023

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Offshore Report

Article by Larry Budd

This Week Last Year
• Diesel was close to $7 per gallon on the docks.
• The crew of the “Hot Line” were on the cover again after making an over 100 mile run well east of the Poor Man’s. They caught the first mahi of the season in 1400 fathoms as well as a couple of yellowfin tuna.
• Charter boats like the “Wrecker” and “Ro Sham Bo” were making trips to the Poor Man’s Canyon for some tilefish before heading inshore for sea bass.
• The 13th Annual Franky Pettolina Memorial Day Tournament was canceled due to poor fishing reports and fuel costs!
• Big bluefish were in the surf and Ocean City Inlet.

I write this offshore report weekly on Monday mornings so as to provide the most up to date information. As I sat down to write this week’s update, my initial thoughts were on a different topic - Memorial Day. I thought of my father who was a Naval Aviator and World War II veteran of the battle in the Pacific. His Naval Academy Yearbook was full of notes next to pictures on how so many of his classmates of 1942 did not live to see 1945. I also thought of my college friend Brian who was a career officer in the United States Marine Corp. He served with honors in both Iraqi wars as well as other middle eastern incursions. Living most of my life in Northern Virginia surrounded by the US military industrial complex, my wife and I know many who have served, selflessly and with honor. All can recount friends who gave their lives in service to this country. All of these people had a calling to serve despite the rigors and challenges of a military life. I am forever grateful for that service and the sacrifice of so many.
Now, let’s switch back and talk about what’s going on in the canyons.
After a nice start in early May, things definitely cooled for the second half of the month. For the last week, the NE winds again kept anglers onshore. Last Friday however, the various satellite services like SiriusXM’s Fish Mapping, RipCharts and Rutgers University’s Coastal Ocean Observation Lab started to show some nice eddies flowing into some canyons. Capt. Austin Ensor of the charter boat Primary Search posted the screen shot below from RipCharts. He and other captains then turned to the weather forecast. While the onshore weather for the Memorial Day weekend was fairly nice, not so offshore. However, Monday looked like a go, and it was. On my drive into the office at 8:30 am I got a text from Pam Taylor that the aforementioned Capt. Austin already had 7 bigeye tuna in the box and was headed back to Sunset Marina! Capt. Jon Azato made a run out of the Indian River Marina to the canyons and already had a couple yellowfin tunas in the box as well. I suspect there will be many other reports as the fleet returns in the afternoon. The weather looks fair for the end of the week, so hopefully there will be more action to report during the first ever Battle for the Buckle Tournament tied to the Seacret Classic PBR Rodeo in Ocean City this weekend. The weekend however, at this point is looking like a blowout!
So until next time, I will see you at the scales! §

Upcoming Tournaments
• The 2nd Annual Blues for DU is on tap for June 2-4 at Bahia Marina & Fish Tales. This bluefish tournament raises money to support the programs of Ducks Unlimited.
•There is a new tournament in town, the Battle for the Buckle Tournament is part of the Seacrets Classic PRB Bull Riding Contest. Anglers will compete for prize monies and well as custom western belt buckles. The event is May 31st and weigh-ins are from 5-7 pm at Sunset Marina.
• The Annual Tuna & Tiara’s Ladies Tuna Tournament returns for it’s 3rd season on June 16 & 17 at the Ocean City Fishing Center. Scales are open from 4 - 7PM. Come by and check out the action and Mickey Fins!

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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