Striped bass and bluefish tend to dominate the fishing scene in Ocean City this week. Striped bass are being caught in the inlet, surf and within a few miles of the beaches. There a lot of them and they are real choppers; chewing up schools of bait moving down the coast and tearing up tackle. They are all over 30” in size and many are approaching the 40” mark. Anyone who fishes for them knows that large fall bluefish stand apart as a real eating machine; perhaps it is this brutally primitive behavior that makes them so exciting to catch and watch. As big and toothy as they are they are still not at the top of the food chain. Bluefin tuna in the size category that approach 1,000 lbs are scarce these days but in the 1960’s and early 1970’s they could been seen by fishermen as close as a ½ mile off the beach chasing down large bluefish and gobbling them up in one bite; sometimes in mid-air. Then of course there are the mako sharks that are offshore that feed on them but that is certainly not as visible to fishermen fishing close to the beaches.
The large blues have been blitzing the beaches periodically and many fishermen have been casting plugs instead of fishing cut baits with good success. A number of surf fishermen have been reporting that bottom rigs baited with cut baits are still working well; but so well that often they can not fish more than one fishing rod at a time.
The large bluefish are also being caught by fishermen trolling or jigging off the beaches and out to the shoals such as Fenwick Shoals or Great Gulls Shoals. Striped bass are also mixed in with the blues but fishermen are reminded that striped bass caught beyond three miles must be released.
There are plenty of striped bass around also and fishermen are catching them inside the inlet by casting swim shads or drifting live eels. Surf fishermen are catching them by casting plugs or cut baits on bottom rigs. Large striped bass are also being caught farther off the beaches by fishermen jigging under diving birds or by trolling deep with Stretch 25’s or large parachutes, bucktails or spoons. Live lining eels is also very effective.
Real-time water information for selected points in the Coastal Bay
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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