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Fishing Report

5.22.19 5:26 pm


by Larry Jock 

***SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS ***. If you have any pictures you would like to email us of catches since January 1st, you can email them to coastalfisherman@comcast.net.  Please include 1 picture per email submission but feel free to submit as many pictures as you would like.  Send the pictures at "Actual Size" which is the largest size possible and include all the information about the catch in the body of the email.  Feel free to send pictures from any trips, both local and out of area, that you made since January 1st.  Thanks!!

**COOL NEW FEATURE - If you have any fishing related questions you would like to pose to area Captain's, please email to coastalfisherman@comcast.net.  Questions and answers will be published in issues during the 2019 season.  Please include first and last name along with where you live.  We will only publish your initials and town.  

WEDNESDAY, May 22, 2019

The wind was really puffing this morning, just like yesterday afternoon.

Looks like if you want to make the trek to the DelJerseyLand reef site it has been a good location for sea bass fishing.

Capt. Monty on the headboat, "Morning Star" said that the stiff morning winds laid down around 10:30 am and the sea bass bite was good.  They were only a few fish shy of a boat limit.  Largest fish were a pair of 19-inchers.

The first weakfish out of Ocean City was caught today by Pat Samborski.  Caught on slack tide in the Thorofare on a spec rig tipped with Gulp.  Fish meaured 16-inches and weighed 1 lb. 8 oz.

On the charter boat, "On the Run", anglers Ralph and Jacki Pitsch caught 10 bluefish on jigs around the Rt. 50 Bridge.

Big Bird Cropper and Shaun Flaherty caught 6 flounder and a pair of bluefish at the South Jetty. They also released over 20 stripers each.

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2019

Anglers on the charter boat, "Lucky Break" were tossing curl tails around the Rt. 50 Bridge and hooked a bunch of bluefish, keeping a pair of 8 pounders, during the outgoing tide.

MONDAY, May 20, 2019

8:39 AM - Updated yesterdays report.

On the charter boat, "On the Run", Ralph Pitsch caught a 17-inch flounder in the Fish Bowl.

Connor Shoff caught a 19-inch flounder on a Gulp Swimming Mullet in the Thorofare.  Fish weighed 2.8 lbs.

SUNDAY, May 19, 2019

5:28 AM - Capt. Buddy Whetzel on the charter boat, "Bubblehead" reported that they are on their way to the Wilmington Canyon.  Seas from the southwest.  Nice ride.  40 miles to go.

9:14 AM - On the charter boat, "Bubblehead", Capt. Buddy Whetzel reported that seas are picking up in the Wilmington Canyon.  3 to 4-feet.  They have 1 gaffer dolphin so far.  Bluefins are being caught.

10:36 AM - Capt. Buddy Whetzel on the charter boat, "Bubblehead" out of Bahia Marina reported that the seas laid down after a rain squall ran over the Wilmington Canyon.  Fleet has spread out.  Quite a few boats are reporting that they have caught their limit of "under" bluefins.

Marc Turner caught a couple of bluefish off 124th Street this morning.  He hooked them on fresh bunker.  Both were in the 16 to 17-inch range and released.

10:43 AM - Updated yesterdays report.

11:56 AM - Capt. Buddy Whetzel on the charter boat, "Bubblehead" reported that the seas are picking up again but they just boated a nice "under" bluefin. The bluefin was caught in 70 fathoms where Capt. Buddy found 72.8-degree water.

1:45 PM -  Capt. Buddy Whetzel on the charter boat, "Bubblehead" reported that they just boated 2 more "under" bluefins in 75 fathoms on the edge of the Wilmington Canyon.

4:52 PM - Anglers on the "Bonnie Lynn" returned from an overnight trip in the Wilmington Canyon where they caught a pair of "under" bluefins, 2 mahi and lost a mako at the boat.  They also released numerous bluefins during the trip.  Water temp was 71-degrees.  Fished in 100 fathoms.

Will Jenkins caught a 36-inch striper off the beach in North Ocean City.  Used mullet for bait.  He also caught 3 bluefish.

Anglers on the headboat, "Morning Star" had a good sea bass trip today.  Seas were calm.  About 1/3 of anglers caught their limit of sea bass.  Largest fish was 19-inches. Canielle Riffe had 4 doubleheaders of sea bass on her first ever fishing trip. John Murter took the pool with an 11.5 lb. female tog that was tagged and released.

Rick Brown and Dennis Porter caught 30 sea bass in 125 feet of water, 28 miles out from Indian River.

UPDATED:  Jack Harris caught an 18.5-inch flounder while tossing a rig tipped with squid and minnows off the beach at Gudelsky Park.

Anglers on the "Reel Precision caught 2 bluefins and a mahi between the Spencer and the Wilmington Canyons.  BFT's weighed 41 and 44 lbs.  Mahi was 11 lbs.  Went 17 for 25 on bluefins.

Anglers on the "Scales & Tales" caught a pair of 35-inch bluefins and a 52-incher in the Baltimore Canyon.

Saw our first weakfish in the IR Inlet.

Anglers on the "PYY Marine" returned from an overnighter to the Wilmington Canyon where they released 5 mako sharks and 2 blue sharks.  They had 12 tuna bites.  7 were bluefins.  5 were skippies.

Aiden Rice caught a 22-inch flounder in the Thorofare on a Gulp Swimming Mullet.

SATURDAY, May 18, 2019

Beautiful day in Ocean City and there are a lot of boats on the water.  

Anglers on the charter boat, "Get Sum" returned from their morning trip with 6 keeper flounder in the box.  They caught their fish in the South Bay and in the East Channel, south of the Rt. 50 Bridge on both tides.  White Gulp was the ticket.  Three of the flatties were 18 1/2-inches.  Water temp was between 61 and 63 degrees.

3:06 PM - Colin Soper caught a 38-inch striper off Assateague this morning.  Fooled it with clams.

The sea bass bite has been hot the last couple of days, since it opened on the 15th.  Should be seeing quite a few coming back today.

Have some boats out tuna fishing today.  Stay tuned!

3:34 PM - bluefins were snapping in the Wilmington Canyon today.  80 fathoms.  Water temp was around 71-degrees.

3:56 PM - The first thresher shark of the year was caught today.  Stay tuned for details.

5:16 PM - The first thresher of the year was caught by a group of anglers from Pittsburgh, PA while fishing on the charter boat, "Over-Board".  The 296 pounder was caught on a whole mackerel at the Jackspot.  Prior to catching the thresher, the group was further offshore where they captured 60 black sea bass.

Anglers on the charter boat, "Marli" caught 4 bluefins (32, 33, 34 & 53-inches) while trolling in 125 fathoms in the Wilmington.  Capt. Mark Hoos reported water temps at 72-degrees.

The afternoon trip for anglers on the charter boat, "Get Sum" proved to be a good one with 9 keeper flounder ending up in the box.  Largest was 18 3/4-inches.  All caught on white Gulp in the Thorofare.

UPDATE:  Brandon Malamphy caught a 74-inch, 140 lb. male mako shark in 60 fathoms in the Wilmington Canyon during a trip aboard the "FINATIC",

Anglers on the "Hammer Down" went 12 for 14 on bluefins in the Wilmington Canyon.

FRIDAY, May 17, 2019

Received a report from Ed Balcerzak who was fishing around the Rt. 50 Bridge yesterday and he said that they caught a load of shad and he had a huge bluefish on the hook, estimated at 15 lbs., but it came loose.  Tough to fish around the Bridge with all the work going on.  He said that they also caught some stripers that were just short.

Anglers on the "Jezebel" returned early with 120 black sea bass in the cooler.  Heaviest weighd 3 lbs. 6 oz.  All were caught on squid and clams on ocean structure.  I'm betting Great Eastern.

5:05 PM - Big Bird Cropper, Mike Culley and Aaron Jones had a great day fishing for bluefish on the sandbars north and south of the Rt. 50 Bridge.  They ended up with 30 bluefish, up to 7 lbs. 15 oz..  They also had over a dozen throwback stripers.  All on Roy Rigs.

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019

Black sea bass season opened yesterday and it looked like it was a good opening day for anglers.

Shannon Pickens reported that the sea bass bite was excellent in 150 feet of water.  Squid and clams did the trick.  3 of his anglers caught their limit with fish up to 20-inches.  Fished for 2 hours.

Up in Delaware, the black drum bite is heating up a the Coral Beds.

Ronnie Baker fished off Assateague last weekend and caught 3 stripers between 40 and 45-inches and weighed from 30 to 35 lbs.  He also had a black drum and some bluefish.

Saw some big bluefish caught recently.  John Kenyon was fishing between Herring Point and the Cape Henlopen Pier when he caught a 13 pounder.

Julie Stevenson was fishing off Assateague and caught a 44-inch striper that weighed 35 lbs. Used peeler crab for bait.

Anglers on the headboat, "Judith M" had a good opening day of sea bass fishing while dropping clams and squid on natural bottom.  Fish were 14 to 16-inches.  Over 150 caught, with half being keepers.

On the headboat, "Morning Star", Capt. Monty reported saucy conditions in the morning with 4 anglers catching their limit of sea bass.    Largest was a 3 lb. 5 oz. knothead.

Adam May and his buddies fished off Broadkill Beach and hooked 20 black drum in one day.  All between 15 and 44 lbs.

Tim Lynch caught a 37-inch bluefish in the surf off South Bethany.

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2019

I received an email from Steve Doctor, biologist from the Maryland DNR with some good news.  He said that it has been the best spot spawn since 2012 and that they are catching 500 to 1,000 tiny spot in some of their trawls.  He also said it was a decent croaker spawn as well.

SUNDAY, May 12, 2019

Miserable day in OC today.

10:06 AM - Updated yesterdays report.

1:54 PM - Yesterday, anglers on the "Hammer Down" went to the Baltimore Canyon and went 10 for 12 on bluefins, keeping their 2 unders and 1 over.

SATURDAY, May 11, 2019

12:45 PM - Yesterday, the charter boat, "Moore Bills" ventured out to the 966 line in 1,000 fathoms behind the Rockpile and had one dolphin come up to their lure.  No bites.  Capt. Rob said there was no life. Water temp break went from 68 to 71-degrees.

Boats that fished in the Baltimore Canyon today are catching bluefin tuna.   They caught some yesterday in the Wilmington Canyon.

4:05 PM - It looked like a July day in the bay with a load of boats jumping on the good snapper bluefish bite.  Big Bird Cropper and Dapper Dave Leizear just stopped by with the limit of bluefish they caught on the west side of the sandbar south of the Rt. 50 Bridge.  They caught them with Roy Rigs.  Bird said that they caught some on the outgoing tide, but when the tide switch and brought in clean water the bite really turned on.

Updated:  Josh Ensor and his buddies headed to the Baltimore Canyon and fished a pocket of water whee water temp was between 55 and 60 degrees.  They had steady bluefin bites the entire time they were there.  They caught their 2 under bluefins and 1 over, releasing the rest that were all in the 40-45 inch range.  The 60-68 degree break they found had no life, bait or fish.

Anglers on the charter boat, "On the Run" caught 3 tautog around the South Jetty that measured up to 18-inches.  All on crabs.

Drew Henninger caught a 43 1/2-inch striper while fishing with frozen mullet at 3R's Road.

Anglers on the "Reel Tight" fished in the Baltimore and caught their 2 under bluefins and 1 over.  They released  20 more.  500 fathoms in 63-degree water.

Katie and Tanner Thatcher and Nate Gregory caught 2 flounder in very dirty water conditions in the Thorofare.  Largest fish measured 21-inches.  All on Gulp.

FRIDAY, May 10, 2019

9:43 AM - Updated yesterdays report.  Check out the big striper caught in the inlet.

Warm water in the canyons... could see first yellowfin this weekend!  Hopefully, the weather forecast keeps a window open.

THURSDAY, May 9, 2019

8:57 AM - Updated yesterdays report. 

NOTE - On the Maryland Regulations page in this weeks Coastal Fisherman, I had a typo under "Tautog".  It should have read that the tautog season is closed from May 16th to June 30th.  I accidently typed June 16th to June 30th.  Sorry!  

3:51 PM - Anglers on the "Helbent" caught a pair of 17-inch flounder and 12 throwbacks during the incoming tide, south of the Rt. 50 Bridge.  Water temp was 58-degrees.  Hooked on flounder rigs tipped with Gulp artificial baits.  They also caught a load of bluefish.

UPDATED:  The bluefish bite continues to be fantastic with fish being caught all over the bay.  Could be why we have seen the flounder bite slack off a bit.

Christopher Phanousith and Jason Bouaphakeo caught their limit of 20 bluefish withing 35 minutes of fishing.  They ranged in size between 18 and 25 inches.  All caught around the Rt. 50 Bridge.

MacKenzie Cathell caught and released a 25-inch striper after hooking it on an artificial lure by the Rt. 50 Bridge.

On "Helbent Charters" Jeff Grimes and Walter Havran caught a pair of 17-inch keeper flounder and had 12 throwbacks.  They also caught a load of bluefish.

Dan Rivera caught a 46-inch striper (37 lb.) off the Oceanic Pier last night.

WEDNESDAY, May 8, 2019

Yesterday, anglers on the charter boat, "Restless Lady" brought back the first bluefin tuna of the season, a 55-incher caught in the Wilmington Canyon.

12:00 PM - NOAA just adjusted bluefin tuna regulations.  For the Angling Category (recreational), effective May 11th, anglers can keep 2 bluefins (27"<47"} and 1 bluefin 47"<73).  For charter boats, anglers can keep  3 bluefins (27"<47"} and 1 bluefin (47"<73").

1:44 PM - Mike Lupiwok, Jr. & Sr. stopped by the Coastal Fisherman office to have their picture taken with a limit of 20 bluefish caught on Roy Rigs and bucktails around the Rt. 50 Bridge.  The sandbar south of the bridge was hot this morning!

3:53 PM - Congratulations go out to Hank Isherwood of Lewes, DE who caught a personal best 12 lb. tautog during a trip on the charter boat, "Fish Bound" today.  Fish ate a green crab in 65-feet of water.

Updated:  Allen Sklar not only caught the first black drum a couple of weeks ago, he also just caught the first red drum of the season while surfcasting off Assateague.

Capt. Drew Zerbe reported that he along with 4 other anglers caught 16 bluefisn while tossing Gotcha plugs, Snapper Zappers, Roy Rigs and assorted other jigs on both the north and south sides of the Rt. 50 Bridge.

TUESDAY, May 7, 2019

11:53 AM - If you have any questions you would like to pose to area captains, you can email them to coastalfisherman@comcast.net

The first bluefin tuna of the season was caught today.  Stay tuned for details.

Reports came in about bluefish are being caught off the beach outside Indian River.

1:16 PM - Amber Ewing was caught a 27-inch bluefish on a silver spoon tossed in the suds off Indian River with baby in tow.

Luke Matsko, with a little help from his dad, caught a bluefish on a gold spoon while surfcasting off Indian River.

George Trout and Steve Cardano were fishing on the west side of the Thorofare and ended up with a fat, 20-inch flounder, a bluefish and 17 throwback flounder.  All on white Gulp and minnows.

5:10 PM - On the charter boat, "Fish Bound", Eddie Santiago caught a 20 lb. tautog with a green crab  on a wreck in 50 feet of water.

MONDAY, May 6, 2019

Buddy Martin reported that he and his son, Cody were fishing off the North Jetty yesterday afternoon and they lost count of the number of bluefish they hooked.  They kept 16 of them with the largest measuring 24-inches. All on Gotcha plugs at the middle of the outgoing tide.  they also caught 20 hickory shad.  Once the tide slowed, so did the fishing.

Nick Ager caught a 32-inch bluefish off the Rt. 50 Bridge.

SUNDAY, May 5, 2019

9:50 AM - Updated yesterdays report.

Last night saw an epic snapper bluefish bite around the Rt. 50 Bridge.

Very gloomy morning in Ocean City.  Anglers may be able to get some fishing in before he skies open up.

Don't forget the Ocean City Reef Foundation Annual Fundraising Dinner is this afternoon at Seacrets.  Doors open at 4:30 PM.  Food, live, silent and Chinese auctions.  50/50 raffle.

11:17 AM - Bluefish are snapping at the Rt. 50 Bridge.  Anglers are hooking them on Gotcha plugs.

Scott and Liz Dolmetsch caught about a dozen bluefish on Gotcha plugs around the Rt. 50 Bridge this morning.

SATURDAY, May 4, 2019

12:52 PM - Updated yesterdays report.

2:31 PM - Anglers on the charter boat, "Get Sum" just returned with 6 flounder in the box after drifting the Thorofare flats during the outgoing tide.  They also had 15 throwbacks.  All were caught on Gulp artificial baits in 6-feet of water where temps registered 69-degrees.

3:55 PM - Big Bird Cropper and Neighbor Dave Leizear returned with their limit of 20 bluefish, measuring upt o 26-inches, after fishing at the South Jetty and the sandbars, both north and south of the Rt. 50 Bridge.  The big chopper came from the South Jetty.  They also caught MANY other bluefish during the trip... so many they ran out of Roy Rigs.

Both bluefish and stripers were caught in the OC Inlet and on the outside of the South Jetty.  I heard of at least 1 keeper striper caught by the Rt. 50 Bridge today.

Elizabeth Chilton and George Trout caught 4 keeper flounder and had 8 throwbacks while fishing in the Thorofare today.  All on Gulp and minnows.

Peter Pennise caught a pair of tog, weighing up to 7 lbs., during a trip on the headboat, "Angler".  Caught on green crabs at an artificial reef.

Lauren Ward and Katie Ward got into some flounder and bluefish south of the Rt. 50 Bridge at the beginning of the outgoing tide.

Dustin Mullins and Mike Douglas drifting around the South Jetty in the morning and got into snapper bluefish and short stripers.  Bluefish wer between 14 and 24-inches.  Largest striper was 25-inches.  Also saw a load of shad.

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019

Gary Tanner fished the Chesapeake Bay and released a 45-inch striper.  It hit a 9-inch Sassy Shad on a 6 oz. parachute rig.

1:24 PM - Capt. Nick Clemente on the charter boat, "Get Sum" just reported in that they are having a good afternoon trip in the Thorofare.  His anglers have already caught 4 keeper flounder and have had around 17 throwbacks.  All were hooked while drifting white Gulp Swimming Mullets.

3:27 PM - Capt. Nick Clemente said that his anglers on the charter boat, "Get Sum" are now catching bluefish and herring by the Rt. 50 Bridge.  Blues are between 12 and 20-inches.

4:17 PM - Owen, Jameson and Jonias Melvin swung by the Coastal Fisherman office with their 3 keeper flounder that they caught in the Thorofare on PINK Gulp artificial baits.  They also hooked 9 throwback flounder around the South Jetty.

4:43 PM - Willie Poole fished with his grandfather Tim Apollo today and they got into a lot of   bluefish and shad at the tip of the South Jetty.  They kept 8 bluefish, measuring up to 25-inches and released 55 shad.  All on the outgoing tide.

5:38 PM - Anglers on the charter boat, “Get Sum” had a good day drifting the Thorofare and tossing spec rigs at the Rt. 50 Bridge.  They ended up with 4 flounder in the box and 17 throwbacks, measuring up to 21-inches, along with 19 snapper bluefish.  The flatties were hooked on white Gulp Swimming Mullets.  The largest flounder weighed 3 lbs. 10 oz.

UPDATE:  Katie Thatcher and Nate Gregory trolled the Thorofare flats in dirty water and had 2 nice size keeper flounder and a dozen throwbacks.  All on Gulp.

Chuck McKenzie caught a 10 lb. 8 oz. bluefish on cut mullet in the surf off Cape Henlopen.  He caught several others in the 2-3 lb. range.

THURSDAY, May 2, 2019

Beautiful day today.

Anglers fishing off Assateague are getting into bluefish, black drum and an ocassional striper.  Most of bluefish are in the 5-7 lb. range.

Yesterday, Zoe and Cherry Martin caught their very first bluefish while tossing Gotcha plugs in the OC Inlet during the incoming tide.  The girls, along with their 2 brother and father hooked 10 blues and 7 hickory shad.  The largest bluefish was 22-inches.

2:42 PM - George Trout and Chuck Baker drifted the Thorofare flats at the beginning of the outgoing tide and caught their limit of flounder in only a couple of hours.  They used white Gulp and minnows for bait with their largest fish measuring 22-inches. George said they were fishing in only 4-feet of water.

WEDNESDAY, May 1, 2019

It looks like this season you will be able to pick-up a Coastal Fisherman on Tuesdays.  Our printer is getting the papers back to us on Tuesday morning, instead of Tuesday afternoon, so we are going to try to get the papers out on the streets late morning and early afternoon on Tuesdays.

Anglers got into bluefish and stripers at both the North and South Jetties today.  The size of the bluefish is increasing.

In the bay, short stripers are still being caught around the Rt. 90 Bridge and there is herring all over the bay.

Bluefish and stripers were also caught by surfcasters tossing baits and lures off the beach in North Ocean City.  If you remember last season, the surf bite off the beaches of midtown and north Ocean City seemed to be better than what we saw coming off Assateague.  Hopefully, this season the bite will be strong up and down the line.

TUESDAY, April 30, 2019

Beautiful day today.

The first issue of the season hit the streets today!  Hope you all enjoy it!  If you have any questions you would like to ask area captains, please email them to coastalfisherman@comcast.net.

MONDAY, APRIL 29, 2019

8:13 AM - Updated yesterdays report.

On Saturday, some anglers went out to 1,000 fathoms outside the Washington and caught a couple of dolphin in 74-degree water.

SUNDAY, April 28, 2019

Mike Johnston had another good day trolling for flounder across the Thorofare flats.  Mike caught his limit, with fish up to 21-inches.  The fish were fat, so they are obviously eating well.  Mike likes to troll Gulp artificial baits or bellies with a spinner blade.

UPDATED:  Nate Gregory and Katie Thatcher trolled over the Thorofare flats and caught 5 keeper flounder on Gulp artificial baits.  Nate had the largest fish, a 23-incher.  Water temp was 62-degrees and the water was very dirty.

Anglers in the bay are still finding bluefish around the South Jetty and the Rt. 50 Bridge. 

Short tautog are being caught along the rocks off Martha's Landing (big houses just south of Ocean City Fishing Center entrance in West Channel).  

SATURDAY, April 27, 2019

An incredibly windy day today.  I am surprised that with all the wind we have had that the flounder are still snapping.

THURSDAY, April 25, 2019

Small bluefish seem to be all around the bay behind OC and I also had reports that they are  in the back bays in Southern Delaware.  Fish aren't huge with most in the 20-inch range.

Flounder are still snapping on the Thorofare flats.

I received a report from Rich Watts who ventured down to Wachapreague on Tuesday and caught a pair of 5 lb. flatties.  He hooked them on bucktails tipped with Gulp shrimp.

Capt. Matt at Seahawk Sports Center in Pocomoke said that anglers have been getting into flounder in Wachapreague for the last 3 weeks.  Nothing red hot, but his charter had 7 keepers on Tuesday and a fun fishing trip yesterday produced 4 keepers. They had between 15 and 20 throwbacks as well.  The best results came from Gulp and shiner combinations.  Their largest fish measured 21.5-inches. Water temp at the end of the outgoing was in the mid-60's.  The incoming was in the 50's.

1:26 PM - Larry Slater jumped on the charter boat, "Get Sum" this morning and ended up with a 17 1/2-inch keeper flounder and 6 throwbacks

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