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Vol 46 | Num 12 | Jul 21, 2021

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

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

As the heat continues so does the great fishing. Flounder, sea bass, and triggerfish command the inshore waters.

Flounder, Croaker, & Sheepshead

Flounder fishing has hit its stride this week with several fish over 5 lbs. being caught. The back bays of Ocean City are steadily producing flounder in most of the cuts and channels. The channel behind Assateague Island is the best area this week with special attention to the holes near the airport. Drifting on high tide seems to be the best time for targeting these fish recently. The “Bay Bee” reports that flounder fishing has been very steady with anglers catching many on their trips. The “Happy Hooker” has also been doing well on flounder, especially in the East Channel, and even some small croaker are showing up. The northern part of Sinepuxent Bay is also producing some nice flounder, the area in front and along the East Channel as well as the Thorofare are the hotspots this week. Bait of choice is a squid and minnow duo on a long fluorocarbon leader. The boat traffic on the weekends is heavy so if you can get out on the weekdays your chances will be much better. On the near shore side, flounder have been caught on most inshore wrecks as well as drop offs. The steep drop off near the Fenwick Shoals is a great spot to target these fish close to the inlet. Further out the African Queen and the Bass Grounds are also producing some nice flounder. The “Angler” reports good action on most of their trips along with good catches of sea bass. In the bays croaker are showing up in decent numbers. As the summer waters heat up these numbers will increase. Using small hooks with blood worms or Fish Bites will catch these tasty little fish. Once a school of them have been found you can usually stay with them and keep them biting. Chumming the area will also bring them to your boat especially at night. These fish are great when taking out young or inexperienced anglers. Croakers are not very picky fish and are very willing to bite a bait put in front of them. Please remember that when fishing is hot keep only what you can eat. Many times when was running a headboat, I found that anglers got caught up in the catch action. Upon returning to the dock with their 30 fish, they then just realized that the freezer in the apartment would not fit the fish! In too many cased these fish were thrown away or left on the boat. Please conserve and protect our fishery.

Sheepshead are also being reported at the Inlet on the rocks and in the deep hole out front. Shrimp, crabs, and fleas are the best baits. Early morning with a gentle tide is best for these fish. They are a softer, semi mushy fish, however it is excellent table fare. Put the fish on ice as soon as possible to firm up the fillets.

Sea Bass, Cobia, & Sharks

Sea bass remains some of the best we have seen in years. Despite the heat of the summer being here, the sea bass are still around. Much like last year these fish have stayed late into this summer. Several limits have been caught in the last week mostly in water deeper than 100 ft. Victor on the “Ocean Princess” shared that his 10 hour trips are really producing some nice fish. He further reports that the half day trips, although not giving up the big fish or the limits that the full day trips are, still produce some nice sea bass for the table. Areas like the Great Eastern Reef and the Jack’s Spot are the best places for catching a limit. Word this week is that Marine Electric is also giving up some nice sea bass. In the next few weeks a lot of the head boats will begin to switch over to flounder and croaker. So if you want some fresh sea bass, get out now or you will have to wait until the fall! Inshore sharking is also getting hot. Setting up on a shoal such as the Fenwick Shoals and chumming is a great way to hook into a nice size shark.
Remember you need a shark permit with your license as well as knowledge of shark regulations as most of the inshore sharks are protected by federal law. Check state regulations as well as the most restrictive of the two apply. While fishing for sharks there is a good chance that you will chum up a cobia. While they love live eels and cut bait, they are very leery fish and not readily willing to bite the hook. So pitch your bait out in front of these fish as quietly as you can. Cobia is a light white meat and most people rave about the flavor.

Clams & Crabs

Clamming is very strong right now and Assateague Island has proved to being the hot spot! The clams are high in the sandy bottom at this time of year and easy to rake up. With the heat of the summer, clamming is a great way to cool off and have a great time in the process. If you don't have a clam rake you can dig your feet into the sandy bottom until you feel a clam and then simply bend down and pick it up. Crabbing is also very good with yields of 10-15 crabs per pot. Trot lining and pier traps are a great family activity to keep kids entertained.

Until next week...

Tight lines and fins up

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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