The Ocean Pier, which juts into the ocean parallel to the Ocean City Inlet, saw a smorgasbord of fish last weekend.
Though low tide can be a slow period of fishing, the higher incoming tide can give a fisherman action like we saw last Saturday. Coming over the railing were sand sharks, snapper, bluefish, skates, flounder, trout, croaker, spot and even a released striper. The bait of choice was bloodworm sandwiched with a strip of squid.
The Shantytown Pier is actually a bulkhead and dock with bright lights looking down on the water on the west side of the U.S. 50 bridge. This small pay pier saw active fishing last week. Though daytime fishing was slow, the evenings were exciting. As the flood high tide neared, the trout and bluefish bit. Friday, June 24 saw 42 legal-sized trout, while Saturday night saw an incredible 67 "keeper" trout. Numerous bluefish were also taken. The lure of choice was the "spec rig."
The waters under the U.S. 50 bridge attracted some larger sea trout. Tim Bohle of Ocean City weighed in an 8-pound and an 8 1/2 -pound sea trout early last Monday morning. He was using a bucktail jig and weighed in his catch at Skip's Bait and Tackle on Talbot Street. Aaron Wallace of Burtonsville was casting a bucktail tipped with a strip of squid when he landed an 8-pound sea trout from the North Jetty. This fish was weighed in at Delmarva Sport Center.
Flounder fishing began to pick up last week until we had incredibly strong winds over the weekend which dirtied the water and halted the good catches. There was one large flounder taken last Sunday in one of Ocean City's "hottest" flounder holes. John Brooks of Kingsville took a 4 1/2 -pound flounder from the bay behind Assateague near the airport. Other good spots have been the Convention Hall Chanel and the Thorofare.
Surf fishing in Ocean City, which is allowed on the beaches before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m. or whenever the lifeguards go off duty, has been rather good. The fish are not large, but for the angler with a small to medium-sized hook and the right bait, dinner can be caught. Snapper blues on chunks of finger mullet, sea trout on bloodworms or strips of squid, kingfish or spot on pieces of worm are the fare. Cast out as far as you can on the incoming to high tide, and slowly bring in your baited hooks along the bottom.
Though sea bass action on the party boats has been only fair, there have been several large tautog caught. James Eller of Avondale, Pa., took a 14-pound, 5-ounce tautog while fishing aboard the O. C. Princess. Also on the same boat was a 12-pound tautog caught by Bryan Derrickson of Virginia and a 9-pound tautog taken by Charles Edaddezio.
Ocean City is seeing lots of crabbing activity. Any pier or empty lot on a lagoon is producing blue crabs. A handline, a chicken neck and a dip net is all you need. Be sure to take your measurer, though -- the crabs must be 5 inches long from tip to tip of their shell to keep. There is no license required to crab in Ocean City.
Offshore, the action continues. The first blue marlin of the season was caught and released last.
Bob Drury of Pasadena, fishing with Capt. Jeff Jennings aboard the Triple Header out of the Fishing Center, took the estimated 150-pound fish at the 35-fathom line just inside the Poor Man's Canyon.
Bluefin tuna action was good last week for anglers chunking butterfish. The tuna were running in the 70- to 80-pound range. The charter boat Pursurer out of Talbot Street weighed in an 82-pound bluefin. The Master also out of Talbot Street weighed in a whopping 90-pounder.