It was an excellent week for sea bass and offshore bluefishin in Ocean City.
O.C. party boats had much success with large sea bass. R. W. Hess of McConnellstown, Pa., on the newest party boat, the O.C. Princess, hooked one weighing 6 pounds 2 ounces.
Julie Bunting said, "Some anglers caught as many as 200 bass, (( though they released the smaller ones. It was a great catch."
Offshore bluefishing also were biting. Gene Racz, owner of R and R Fishing Center in Rehoboth, Del, said, "It was a major mugging of bluefish at the Jackspot." Boats fishing the area, which is about 24 miles southeast of the Ocean City Inlet, reported that the blues were "boiling" on the surface, and were taking any type of lure thrown to them. These blues were especially large, averaging 10 to 12 pounds.
Bluefish also hit closer inshore this week. Anglers reported catching bluefish at the Bass Grounds for the first time this year. One boat had 30 fish. To the north, anglers did well trolling between A and B buoys offshore Indian River.
Small blues in the 1- to 2-pound range have also invaded the Indian River Inlet. Again, the best area for these have been on the north side, just west of the bridge. Anglers are casting small bucktails or spoons.
Tautog fishing in Ocean City has also picked up. Anglers casting from the end of the north jetty are picking up some good-sized ones with sand fleas. Anglers continue to do well fishing out of boats on the south side of the south jetty. Flat or trolling sinkers are the best weights to use to avoid hopeless snags.
Flounder fishing was only fair this week in O.C. The best fishing continues to be in the Thorofare area on live minnows. Charles Lewes of Ocean Pines weighed in one of the week's largest -- 6 pounds -- at Rainy Day Canoe. It was caught in the Thorofare on a minnow and squid combination.
Max Angel of Paul's Tackle Shop said, "The Thorofare is good, but anglers are starting to pick up flounder in other areas also. The Route 50 bridge, the area between Route 50 bridge and the inlet, and the channel in front of Hooper's Restaurant have seen some nice fish. The party boat Tortuga running out of Bahia Marina at 22nd Street had some 2- and 2 1/2 pounders over the weekend."
Flounder fishing in Virginia slowed up this past week, though some anglers did report some good fishing at Metomkin and Gargatha. Rodney Banks of Seahawk Sports Center in Pocomoke blames the slower flounder fishing on the spring crab "bust." When the crabs shed, the flounder move into shallow water and feed on the tasty soft crabs.
The "hot" fishing spot this week, though, was in Delaware.
Mr. Racz of R and R Fishing Center said, "There is a lot of weakfish being caught in the Broadkill River and off Broadkill Beach. Roosevelt Inlet is also seeing a good many weakfish. In these two areas, you have to have peeler crab for bait. If you do not have peelers, you might as well stay home!"
Anglers fishing in the Delaware Bay around the Brandywine Light are catching 4- to 6-pound weakfish on bucktails with plastic worms attached. Many anglers like to add a section of peeler crab right to the bucktail.
Indian River Inlet saw some decent weakfish action this past week. According to Scott Baltz of Old Inlet Bait and Tackle in Indian River, "Anglers caught weakfish during the day on the south side of the inlet by the campground. One man had six. These fishermen were using bucktails. At night, the best spot has been on the north side. Either casting just west of the bridge where the "pole" used to be, or out on the jetty itself, anglers are doing best with a black mirrolure. The best tide at night has been the bottom of the outgoing tide."
Some area anglers are trying for shark offshore. One boat out of Ocean City reportedly hooked a mako for a short period of time before losing it. The charter boat Reelistic out of Indian River landed two blue sharks this past weekend. Continued hot weather should make the offshore shark fishing come alive.