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Vol 45 | Num 4 | Jul 1, 2020

The Offshore Report Ocean City Report Delaware Report Fish Stories Ship to Shore Chum Lines The Galley Issue Photos
The Offshore Report

Article by Larry Budd

This Week Last Year

• The yellowfin bite definitely slowed this week last year. Boats were catching tuna, just not 15-18 a trip.
• A lot of boats opted to stay inshore and look for bluefin tuna in the Massey’s Canyon and inshore lumps. Several bluefin tuna over 100 lbs. were reported. Bigeye tuna were also reported in the 70 lb. range.
• White marlin releases were plentiful as anglers looking for tuna connected with the whites up and down the line from the Wilmington to the Norfolk Canyons.
• There were many mahi that hit the scales and the average size was definitely increasing.
Weather played into this week’s offshore action. The active Father’s Day weekend was followed by south winds and a first quarter moon. That combination usually flattens the fishing a little as the wind driven water and brighter moon spreads out when the fish feed. Overall it appears the fishing has moved a bit north from last week.

Tuna & Mahi

The bite slowed down a bit for the earlier part of the week. Yellowfins were still being caught, just not in the high numbers per trip of the previous weekend. Some were also catching them inshore. Capt. Joe Drosey on the charter “Rhonda’s Osprey” bucked the trend however bringing 6 yellowfin and 3 bigeye tunas on June 21st. Capt. Mike Burt on the charter boat “Pumpin’ Hard” also did well early in the week hitting 5 for 5 on yellowfins when he was just north of the Baltimore Canyon on June 22nd. Other captains such as Keith Beebe on the charter boat “Surface Tension” trolled up 2 yellowfin tunas Thursday and Corey Kennington on the “Lucky Duck” landed 4 yellowfins last Friday, each weighing an average of 40 lbs. Both were in the Baltimore Canyon. Capt. Eddie Zajdel on “The Zipper” had a good day Friday landing 8 yellowfins in 71° water in the Washington Canyon. The crew on the “Primary Search” with Capt. Austin Ensor caught 9 yellowfin Friday, also in the Washington Canyon.

The drop in yellowfin action was offset a bit by the increase in quantity and size of the bigeye bite. Specifically, the Baltimore Canyon was the place to be on Thursday and Friday. Capt. Larry Richardson on the charter boat “Always Late” hit the dock Thursday with 14 bigeye tuna he found in 200 fathoms. They were all caught at the same time first thing in the morning. Charter boat “That’s Right” with Capt. John Oughton brought in 7 bigeyes the same day with 4 of them over 200 lbs. In general anglers were dropping deep for the larger bigeyes. Longfin tuna reports are still infrequent; however, Tim Romberger was in between the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyon when his son Jared boated a 61.5 lb. longfin. That one set our new MD heaviest fish record for the season. We are still waiting on reports of keeper bluefin tuna, but I believe some might have been caught last Monday.
Mahi reports have been few, and the ones to date have been on the smaller side. We did get a report this week of a 19 lb. mahi caught in 500 fathoms in the Baltimore Canyon.

Billfish

White marlin releases are still consistent, usually mapping to the success, or not, of the tuna bite. Lots of single catch and releases like Ryan Ribb, who released his first white marlin last Friday on the boat “Brenda Lou”. They were down south in the Norfolk Canyon in 1,000 fathoms. A highlight of the week was the landing of a 620 lb. big blue marlin from the Baltimore Canyon. The crew of the boat “Bird Dog” out of the Indian River Marina connected with the blue at 5AM and it took until 11:30AM to get it to the boat. There is also a trickle of swordfish catches being reported. Charter boat “Primary Search” brought in a nice sword they caught on a drift during an overnight charter in the Washington Canyon. Capt. Mike Weber on the boat “Fine Line” also went to the Washington and brought back a 129 lb. swordfish. Bert Adams of Hook’em and Cook’em” also reported a swordfish at the Indian River Marina.

Wahoo

Only one wahoo reported to us this week. Nick Craven snatched one while fishing 2 miles west of the Poor Man’s Canyon early in the morning.

Shark

Several makos were brought in from overnight charters in the Washington Canyon. Charter “Primary Search” caught a nice mako on the troll at dusk last Friday. We had reports of a mako brought into the Indian River Marina as well.

COVID Information

I am unaware of any changes to the guidelines from last week, so they are repeat here for reference. According the latest guidelines for Maryland from June 22nd, “Commercially licensed fishing charter boats can carry their U.S. Coast Guard approved capacity but must follow CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidelines”, This would include head/party boats and individually chartered boats. Due to the CDC guidelines I would not expect head boats to be able to operate anywhere near their coast guard capacity. As always it is advised to check directly with the charter for details and any policies they have in place to comply with the CDC and Maryland Department of Health guidelines.

As of publishing date, Delaware has a restriction for head/party boats of 60% of US Coast Guard rated capacity with social distancing requirement. No restriction on individual charter boats.

Beaches, ramps, tackle shops and fuel docks are open in both states. Check our charter section for boats and details.

Until next week, I’ll see you at the docks.


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