As the summer weather remains hot, the offshore fishing is following suit, yielding one of the best seasons the area has seen in years. Even the little guys are getting in on the action, including 3-year-old Matthew Gessler, who recently got his first mahi.
The Baltimore and Wilmington canyons are still a hotspot, according to Hook ’Em and Cook ’Em Bait and Tackle Shop, while yellowfin and bluefin tuna are still hanging around the Poor Man’s Canyon, the Hot Dog and the Hambone. Though the numbers are as high as they were at the start of the season, the fish being reeled in are still impressive ones.
A trip to the Baltimore Canyon was successful for the Mega-Bite, which returned with eight yellowfin. The Wilmington Canyon was the site of choice for the Stress Reel-ief, which pulled in a pair of bigeyes, weighing 137 and 150 pounds. It was also the site where Tony Burr and C.C. Lee of the Liquid Handler found a 157.6-pound bigeye, a 90.6-pound yellowfin and a gaffer mahi.
Skipjacks, false albacore and chopper bluefish are also out in the canyons.
The crew aboard the Boy’s Toy came back last week from Poor Man’s with the biggest bluefin tuna of the year, weighing in at 108 pounds. They also hooked a 40-pound wahoo and four other yellowfin tuna.
Charter boats, such as the American Ambition and the Capt. Ike II, are returning to the Indian River Inlet after some successful outings. Most charters are returning with five to seven tuna on average, and a number of wahoos and mahis, too.
While trolling is still the preference, more reports are coming in that they’re being caught on the chunk with butterfish and sardines overnight and trolling during the day. Sandy Panik of Frederick, Md., landed a 49.8-pound swordfish from Poor Man’s while aboard the Panik Time with her husband, Barry.
Big offshore action is gearing up once again, as the 2011 White Marlin Open readies for Aug. 8 through Aug. 12 in Ocean City, Md., at Harbour Island Marina.
The inshore bite is remaining consistent, too, with a mixed bag of spade fish, trigger fish, tautog and flounder keeping anglers happy. Other head boats, such as the Judy V., are finding some sea bass hitting, as well. The Miss Ene II even found some Atlantic cod.
Back in the Indian River Inlet, the flounder continue to bite on live spot and minnow, though don’t be surprise if you find yourself coming across a number of throwbacks. But, most of the time, keepers are coming in every few catches, according to most reports. Reports from the Old Inlet noted that white 4-inch mullet Gulp find the flounder quickly. Randy Colona of Rehoboth Beach used a fly off the rocks to snag a 12-pound, 31-inch flounder last weekend.
With hot and humid air temperatures, the evening and nighttime hours still offer the best rockfish bite, with catches typically weighing anywhere between 9 and 15 pounds. The incoming tide is moving in some blues, and toggers have been reeled in on live fleas and green crabs.
The Delaware surf is quiet, for the most part, with some reports of spot, kings and sand perch. Fishbites bloodworm alternative and fresh bunker seem to be the priority baits off the beach.
In Ocean City, it’s a lot of the same. Croakers are hanging around the bay, but are typically scarce. Most anglers are going with Berkley Gulp and live minnows as bait, with decent-sized spot being scooped up, as well.
Off of the Route 50 bridge, bluefish are biting at night.
The Ocean City surf is seeing a little more action, with kingfish in the early morning and bluefish, spot and croakers coming by, as well. Skates and sharks still seem to be the popular catch off the beach at night time.