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Vol 47 | Num 2 | May 11, 2022

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Ocean City Report

Article by Capt. BJ Pietryak

The fishing in Ocean City and Assateague Island is starting to heat up. More and more reports are coming in with quality fish both in the bay, on the surf and in the ocean.

Flounder, Tog & Sea Bass

Flounder fishing in the bay has really started to turn on this week with a larger number of flounder being caught in the channels of Ocean City and behind Assateague Island. Squid and minnow combos on a long leader is accounting for many of these fish with a few more being caught on bucktails and Gulp baits. Many reports of flounder from the back bays state that the flounder are very spread out with most coming from deeper holes and channels. The main thorofare of Ocean City has produced the largest amounts with several nice keepers thrown in. Ocean City water temps are still around 52 degrees and quite cold for this time of the year. Targeting deeper holes with warmer water can make all the difference between a good day and a skunk. Slower presentations and allowing the fish to take hold before setting the hook can also land you more fish. Tog season is coming to a close on May 16 as sea bass season opens on May 15. Several nice tog have been caught along the nearby wrecks and even some at the rock wall of the inlet. Mike Rivera caught a nice 19 lb. tog while fishing out of Ocean City on Wednesday. Vince Cannuli also hooked into a few nice blackfish, some out of season sea bass as well as a nice cod. Brian Reynolds also got a nice tog from his kayak. With water temps as cold as they are fishing from a kayak is the sign of a dedicated fisherman. Fishing wrecks in the areas of the Ocean City Reef Foundation locations such as the African Queen and Bass Grounds have been the most productive. As we look to the start of sea bass season, bear in mind that numerous boats will be on the water for the opening and many spots will be jammed with full boats and an abundance of anglers. Trying to target deeper wrecks will tend to have much less fishing pressure and provide a better opportunity for quality fish. The Jack Spot and Great Eastern Reef are some of the most productive areas throughout the season. This is mainly due to the distance of 25 plus miles from the inlet. Many anglers in smaller boats are not ready to make the longer runs, especially with the price of fuel these days. A few extra gallons at the pumps can often make the difference of a few fish and a limit. So get out for the last few days of tautog fishing, and while you're there you can scout for the opening day of sea bass. Best baits for the tog and sea bass are fresh clam and cut crab. Opening season of sea bass is also a great time to target the fish with jigs. Ocean Arsenal has tons of new jigs in stock and all the ones I have used seem to work quite well. Ocean Arsenal is a local company and can be found on the web as well as Facebook.

Rockfish, Bluefish & Black Drum

The beaches of Assateague Island are finally coming alive with numerous reports of fish being caught in the surf. Starting with bluefish, the season has been a little slow, much the same as past years. The years of big schools of slammer blues crushing the beach have become a season of the past. Despite the numbers of big fish, many anglers are still able to come away with a big blue or two. Timothy Eller fished Assateague on Monday and caught a nice 22” bluefish. Shaun and Craig “Big Bird” Cropper managed 6 nice blues as well as all the small rockfish you wanted from near the Rt. 50 bridge. Also fishing the beach was Morgan Mericle, fishing in 20+mph wind trying a new rod and reel. He was rewarded with a nice 34” rockfish. Just goes to show that tough conditions can be very rewarding. Ben Hostetter reported he and his dad caught a nice 37” rockfish off the surf at Assateague Island which was released unharmed back into the surf. David Moore reported he caught 4 rockfish on 4 cast off the beach. David reports all the fish were over 40”. He further reports the commercial boats were so close to the beach that he snagged one with one of his casts. Black drum are also being caught off the beaches. Davis Moore reported he caught several nice black drum while fishing for stripers. Most black drum are quite big with monsters over 50 lbs. a common sight. Fresh clam on a large circle hook and fish finder rig are the best way to target this specie. With the colder water temps many of these fish are still south of us in Virginia. As these fish make their way to the Delaware Bay to spawn we should see a much increased activity and catch of these ugly brutes. Fresh clam is a key here folks... frozen will work if you can't find fresh, but your hook ups will be about half that as if you were using fresh baits. Several tackle shops in Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware have fresh surf clams, however they don't stay in stock very long.

Clams & Crabs

A few reports of crabs have come in but many are waiting for the weather to warm a bit before setting pots. 6-8 keepers per pot seems to be the average right now. Clams are still deep in the mud and it will be a few weeks before clamming gets underway.

Until next week...
Tight lines and Fins up

Coastal Fisherman Merch
CF Merch



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