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Vol 44 | Num 20 | Sep 11, 2019

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Ocean City Fishing Report

Article by Larry Jock

This Week Last Year

•Horrible weather put a damper on fishing.

•Best bay flounder bite was under the Rt. 50 Bridge.

•Best ocean flounder bite was at the Old Grounds.

•Snapper bluefish around the Rt. 50 Bridge.

•Cobia reappeared after a short absence.

•Boats made the 157-mile trip to the Hudson Canyon for some ultra hot white marlin fishing. The “Makara” went 50 for 78 in 2 days.

•A few wahoo were caught at the Hot Dog and a 57 pounder was caught in the Washington Canyon.

•Dolphin were all over the ocean with fish as close as Fenwick Shoal and out to the canyons. Mark Ensor on the “Primary Search” caught a 50 pounder below the Baltimore.

It was a rough week for fishing out of Ocean City with the effects of Hurricane Dorian felt late on Wednesday and into the weekend.

On Sunday, Bahia Marina held their annual Flounder Pounder with 28 boats registered in the event. Even though the water was still dirty from the recent bad weather, anglers seemed to have good luck finding keeper flounder. The baits of choice were Gulp Swimming Mullets and live bunker or mullet. The top locations were the East and West Channels and around the Inlet and South Jetty.

First place in the tournament went to Blake Gunther on the “Sick Day” with a fat 22-incher that weighed an even 5 lbs. He hooked it during the incoming tide on a pink Gulp Swimming Mullet in the Inlet. Malcolm Smith on the “PA Down Time” just missed 1st place by a whisker, boating a 4 lb. 15 oz. flattie on a Gulp artificial bait around the Rt. 50 Bridge. Third place went to Richard Crosariol, who is having a great flounder fishing season. He hooked his 4 pounder on a live spot in the East Channel, south of the Rt. 50 Bridge. There were 8 other fish in the tournament that weighed between 3 and 4 lbs.

Inshore action was mixed with a great flounder bite before the seas got rough and a dramatic improvement in the black sea bass bite afterwards. North towards the Old Grounds was the place to be for ocean flounder last week with anglers returning with good numbers of quality fish. Then on Saturday, you could feel Capt. Monty on the headboat, “Morning Star” jumping out of his skin with excitement after his anglers had one of the best sea bass days they have had in years while fishing in 115-feet of water. Everyone, including the captain and mates, caught their limit!

Closer to home, just outside the Ocean City Inlet around the Ocean Pier, anglers on the charter boats, “On the Run” and “Lucky Break” got into some big schools of Spanish mackerel and bluefish. They hooked some nice fish on trolled spoons.

Offshore, before the blow we saw most boats heading south to the Rockpile where they caught dolphin and recorded white marlin releases. Unfortunately, they were stuck at the dock for several days until they could get back out on Sunday and it looked like most headed to the south end of the Wilmington Canyon and the north end of the Baltimore. The competition is heating up for most white marlin releases in the season. Anglers on the “DA?Sea” returned to Sunset Marina after releasing 6 white marlin and the “Roll Groove” ended their day with 4 white marlin flags flying.

The dolphin bite was absolutely insane. Anglers on “Rhonda’s Osprey” put 67 in the box and the “Marli” returned with 60 from the Baltimore Canyon. The “Cabana” had a good day with 14 dolphin, a yellowfin tuna and a white marlin release in the Wilmington and the “Fish On” had 27 dolphin and 2 white releases, also in the Wilmington. The fish cleaners at Sunset Marina must have looked like they were doing a Ginsu knife commercial with all the slicing going on!

Although this is the time of year when marlin fishermen start getting excited about the white marlin bite, it is also when we can see some good catches of wahoo. On Sunday, anglers on the “Wirenut” boated an 83 pounder while fishing in 65-fathoms inside the Poor Man’s Canyon where Capt. Mike Williams found 73-degree water. They caught it on a high-speed cowbell lure that are popular with anglers looking for wahoo.

Upcoming Tournaments

There are 3 tournaments on the schedule for this weekend. First is the 41st Annual Challenge Cup pitting the Ocean City Marlin Club against the Cape May (NJ) Tuna and Marlin Club in a billfish release competition. The event was cancelled last year due to weather, but in 2017 the Ocean City team dominated the 3-day event, so the Cape May guys will be looking to get the trophy back to the Garden State.

The Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing Association Fall-Haul Flounder Tournament is set for Saturday, September 14th with weigh-ins at Atlantic Tackle. This tournament awards prizes based on length of the flounder and not it’s weight. Registration can be done either online at their website or on Friday, September 13th at 6:30 PM at Atlantic Tackle.

The last tournament set for the weekend is the Annual Ocean City Fishing Center Spot Tournament on Saturday. Historically, this tournament was always held on September 11th, so this is a change from the past. All of the “action” takes place right there at the docks with registration at 4:00 PM and fishing from 5:00 to 6:30. This is an incredibly fun tournament and definitely one for the kids. Entry fee is only $5.00.

Until next week, I’ll see you at the scales!

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