Anglers line the U.S. 50 bridge from dusk to the wee hours of the morning trying for a legal striper.
Yes, the Atlantic Coast striped bass season began June 15 and will be open until Nov. 30. Fishermen in Ocean City are allowed one striper. 28 inches per day. They are allowed to fish at night this year, and there is no license or permit required. (The Chesapeake Bay season is not yet open. The rules, minimum size limits and creel limits will be different when it does open in the Chesapeake Bay. A permit will also be required. Please do not get these two seasons confused.)
Though numerous "shorts" were taken on the bridge, inlet and surf, two legal stripers were taken over the weekend from the U.S. 50 bridge. Roger Hoffman and George Benyek of Skip's Bait and Tackel Shop on Talbot Street landed an 19 1/2 - and 15 1/2 -pound striper. These fish were 36 and 32 1/2 inches long.
Anglers have been using large white twister or grub lures. Windcheater lures, live eels, several live sand fleas on a hook, or bucktails tipped with a strip of squid or plastic worm. In the surf, a whole bloodworm on a hook works well.
Flounder fishing in the bay has pick up considerably. Where as last week we saw mostly throw-back founder, this week, we saw more keepers mixed in. Gwen Orienta had fur good "keepers" up to 4 pounds 2 ounces taken from North of the Thorofare last Saturday afternoon. Robert Stork from Allison Park, Pa., had a 4-pound flounder from the Convention Hall Channel. Jim Krall of Bahia Marina comments that several good flounder catches have been coming from the Convention Hall Channel, the area between buoys #6 through #9, and up by the U.S. 50 bridge.
The Ocean City Bay continues to be filled with legal sized croakers. Anglers are catching them on squid strips beneath the Route 90 bridge and north of the Thorofare. Many boats report catching up to 100 fish. Remember there is a creel limit of 20 croaker per person and a size limit of 9 inches in Maryland!
Shantytown Pier saw more flounder catches as well by day. At night the Shantytown Pier saw catches of sea trout and quite a few bluefish. The Ocean Pier also saw more catches of bluefish and legal flounder along with the usual fare of kingfish, spot, croaker, sand sharks and trout. The Ocean Pier is a good place to try for stripers as well. Work the white water with lures or sand fleas.
There were some larger sea trout catches last week. Tim Bohle of Ocean City took six sea trout from the U.S. 50 bridge at night. The two largest ones went 4 and 7 pounds. He was casting a bucktail jig. There was also sea trout reported from the Ocean City and Indian River Inlets along with numerous catches of bluefish.
Times below are for predicted highs and lows at the North Beach Coast Guard Station, at the Ocean City Inlet. To compute times for Fenwick Island and Bethany Beach, add 15 minutes; for Rehoboth, 21 minutes; for Lewes and Cape Henlopen, 1 hour.
........... A.M. .. A.M. .. P.M. ... P.M.
Date ...... High .. Low ... High ... Low
July 24 ... 9:11 .. 3:16 .. 9:37 ... 3:19
July 25 ... 9:58 .. 3:59 .. 10:20 .. 4:06
July 26 .. 10:43 .. 4:40 .. 11:02 .. 4:53
July 27 .. 11:27 .. 5:22 .. 11:44 .. 5:42
July 28 .. --:-- .. 6:04 .. 12:13 .. 6:32
July 29 .. 12:27 .. 6:48 ... 1:01 .. 7:24
July 30 .. 1:14 ... 7:33 ... 1:54 .. 8:18