Wind, waves, stirred up water = poor flounder fishing. If a flounder can’t see its food it can’t catch it. Unfortunately this has been the formula that has been handed out to fishermen in the back bay areas of Ocean City too often in the past week. The couple of days that the wind died down and the water cleared fishermen did well on flounder from the inlet area up to the Route 90 Bridge. Fishermen have been reporting that warmer water temperatures seem to have caused the flounder to move closer to the inlet now in areas like the Thorofare and East Channel. One trick seasoned flounder fishermen often use in the back bay areas when the water gets stirred up is to motor south to Sinipuxent Bay where often enough the water clarity will be better.
Fishermen at the inlet area continue to enjoy good fishing for tautog from the bulkheads and especially at the south jetty. Pieces of fresh crab are the most common bait; although a number of anglers have been talking about catching tautog on the Berkley Gulps in crab flavor. Bluefish keep moving in and out of the inlet and can be caught on bait or by casting bucktails or metal. A few striped bass are being caught every evening and morning and flounder are also being caught by fishermen that are targeting them in the inlet area.
Surf fishermen are still seeing chilly water temperatures that still fail to break the 60-degree mark. The number of large striped bass caught in the surf fell off this week but it is still certainly worth the effort. Sand tiger sharks, cow-nosed rays, dogfish and clear-nosed skates are prowling the surf zone and making short work of menhaden baits. Kingfish can be caught on bloodworms or Fishbites and flounder are also being caught now and then on squid strips. There are small bluefish in the surf and they are being caught on finger mullet.
The party boat fleet heading out to the wreck sites and artificial reefs are catching tautog and sea bass. The creel limit on tautog is presently two so it doesn’t take long for fishermen to catch their limit since the fishing has been so good. Sea bass are another story; captains are reporting double digit catches by those who know what they’re doing but have not seen any limits yet. An infusion of cold water is suspect for the sea bass fishery not developing to fishermen’s expectations. Steve Doctor sent in this picture of himself after a very rewarding fishing trip on an Ocean City party boat.
Fishermen report plenty of large bluefish on the Hambone and Hot Dog and shark fishermen have been catching and releasing blue sharks and a few small makos were brought in to the docks this past weekend.
Click here to view recent bay region satellite images at mddnr.chesapeakebay.net/NASAimagery/EyesInTheSky.cfm
A Couple of Closing Notes...
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