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Vol 47 | Num 21 | Sep 21, 2022

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Ocean City Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

Last week saw a few cold nights, and although the water temp remains in the 70’s the fishing has slowed. Flounder are still around but it was harder to find the big doormats we saw a few weeks ago. Sea bass remain very strong despite the warm water. Deeper wrecks such as those at the Jack Spot and Great Eastern Reef are the prime areas.

Near Shore Wrecks & Reefs

The reefs saw a definite slow down in the number of fish caught. The water remains warm at a temperature around 72 degrees. Mahi are still on the sea bass balls near the lightship, however many of the mahi have moved further offshore near the Great Eastern Reef. Chase was out with his Pop Pop, Capt, Gordy Kautz and his mother Kandace Dascosta and caught some nice size sea bass at both the Jack Spot and Great Eastern Reef. Most of the fish were caught on fresh clam, but the biggest one was caught on a jig. Capt.Kautz reports it was flat calm with lots of sea life on display such as sea turtles and dolphin. Dewayne Anderson of Harrisburg, PA, caught a nice flounder in the deep water while using a chartreuse Gulp on a jighead. The “Ocean Princess” was out last week and said their full day trips have been very productive for their anglers with most returning to the dock with plenty of fish for dinner. The “Judy V” also had some nice trips and brought home big knothead sea bass and a few flounder. The ribbonfish are still around as well. I was told by a boat out of Ocean City on Saturday, they caught a 45” ribbon while drifting the bottom for bass. This year has supplied us with some of the biggest ribbon fish I have ever seen. I don't believe had any trips this past summer that at least one ribbon wasn't caught. Many people have never tried eating these fish. They are great smoked for fish dip as well as fried for fish tacos. They are also some of the prettiest fish you will ever catch. Just beware of their big row of sharp teeth!. Closer inshore Nash Rogers, Nate Sepsi, and Clifton Rodgers were trolling Clark Spoons in front of Assateague Island on the “Truly Fair” and caught several nice sized spanish mackerel. As the temps get lower the inshore trolling should pick up for both mackerel and bluefish. I have seen several schools of skippies within 7 miles of the beach.

Janet Rupp had a great day live lining and caught some big spanish. They also had 3 big redfish and a giant cobia that pulled the hook at the boat on a 15 lb. line. Matt Marine was also out trolling and returned to the docks with a few spanish mackerel. They were caught at sunset while trolling out front of Ocean City. The “Angler”, out of OC caught a fantastic 40 pound cobia on a flounder rig. Guess you just never know what you are going to catch on an Ocean City headboat!
“Bottom Bouncer Fishing” was out and had an awesome day as they crushed both the sea bass as well as some doormat flounder.

“Bad Wind Charters” was at it again this past week bringing boat loads of big knot head sea bass as well as some huge flatfish back to the dock for their clients. This group really knows where the big fish live!

John Forman caught a big blue runner while out last week. It's been a few years since I've seen blue runners caught. This year continues to be a year of new species caught this far north of fish that typically swim in the Florida waters. We have seen dropdown fish, ribbonfish, redfish, tarpon and blue runners. These changes have afforded new opportunities for anglers, many of whom have never seen one of these fish let alone caught one.

Back Bay Fishing

The back bays of Ocean City slowed some this past week, but quality fish could be found if you put in the time and effort. David Borrell of Enola, PA was fishing near the airport and caught 3 keeper flounders around 17 inches. The biggest one measured 19” caught on a new penny Gulp.

John Thomas was fishing on his kayak near north Harbor Island and caught a 22 inch fluke on a white Gulp. The fish weighed 4.30 lbs. Shawn Flaherty caught a nice 15.4 lb. bluefish near the Rt. 50 Bridge on a diving plug. As the water cools the big slammer blues should be more readily available for anglers. Brad Richwine was fishing on the “PA Posse “ and caught a nice 22” flattie on a minnow. Brad was fishing in front of the airport. Capt. Kerry Harrington of Sea Born Seafood showed off his 13.37 lb. flounder caught in the commercial net just outside of the OC Inlet. Although not a hook and line catch, still a huge doormat of a flounder. Just goes to show, we have fish over 13 lbs. close to shore!

Surf Fishing

As the fall months approach many will begin to target the surf of Assateague Island for big red and black drum. Using fresh peeler crabs or sand fleas is a great way to get in on the action. If you have an Off Road Permit for the federal part of the park, the areas near the Virginia line have always been the most productive, with a sunrise or sunset near high tide being the best times. For those without a 4 wheel drive vehicle, the parks do allow surf fishing from the beaches on the north end. Using a cart is the best way to transport your gear to the beach. Local tackle shops in OC sell them as well as offer insight on how to catch these trophy fish. The past few years have been slow for rockfish in the surf with the newer slot limits, but again they are still a great fishing and fun fish to catch.

Be sure to catch the Coastal Fisherman’s winter addition on January 1st to see a recap of this past year's report and until next spring…
Tight lines and fins up §

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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