Tons of Sea Bass and A 10 Pound Monkfish

By Scott Lenox

Tons of Sea Bass and A 10 Pound Monkfish

Hit the vid for the Angler’s Advantage at Atlantic Tackle!

There are some pretty wicked thunderstorms rolling through Ocean Pines and Ocean City as I write this on Monday evening at 7.  Heavy rain, fog and pea sized hail in some spots have caused a little headache, but so far there hasn’t been much wind damage in most spots.  These storms are rolling through pretty quickly and should be well offshore by tomorrow’s fishing so the timing wasn’t all that bad.

Flounder fishing in the back bays has been pretty good despite the wind and rain we had last week.  Captain John Prather of Ocean City Guide Service had a quick trip this morning where he put his angler on two nice keepers.

I fished the Thorofare this afternoon and found a nice fat 18″ flounder that fell for the Fish in OC Deadly Double in white.

Cali Smith, center, with her sister Keri and her dad Brian, caught her first ever keeper flounder in the Thorofare yesterday with the Fish in OC Double Trouble in white.  Cali then netted her dad’s 21.5″ keeper that was also caught on the Double Trouble in white.

Sea bass fishing was ok today, but with the bottom all stirred up from last week’s nor’easter, it’s going to take a couple of days for things to settle down.  There were still plenty of fish on board for Captain Chris Mizurak and the crew of the Angler, and they also caught a nice 10 pound monkfish.

Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters filled the dock with tasty sea bass and added a bonus tog on yesterday’s trip.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star saw some decent fishing today with some nice sea bass despite the murky bottom.

Nice to have some visibility this day – no fog. Ocean plenty calm in the AM with a nasty afternoon forecast; our lady anglers, Patricia & Ragia, gave today’s blocks a mighty heave — we soon began fishing. Not on fire. I fear the major storm just before season pushed sea bass to who knows where; or at least kept em offshore a while more. I did limit all my clients yesterday & a third of them today. Todd from Millsboro took the first of today’s six limits. Jack from Lancaster boxed the pool fish in the last moments of the day. We also had a rod go by the rail–overboard. Nice stick. I dropped back some anchor line, pushed the boat into the current some; then had everyone wind up ..and there it was. Jigmaster Tom caught the line on a hook baited with clam. It was a sweet rig too. Clam looks to be the hot bait for avet reels on custom sticks. See? Most any angler know rods left in a dark garage or closet will breed. It’s just amazing. Three fluke sticks next to a sea bass rig will invariably produce a tog stick or two. Worse still is trolling gear. Don’t even turn the lights off if you can’t feed em. Now I can also tell my gal it wasn’t unplanned breeding or spontaneous generation; “Those rods?” “I was fishing for em Hon & clam was hot!” Can a storm throw sea bass anglers a curve ball? You bet. These days when we have a big blow (sustained 35+ E or NE) there’s a lot of muck (dead algae) on the seabed that gets mixed far up into the water column. Was trying to discover the extent of sea floor habitat damage after hurricane Sandy. We successfully filmed atop Jackspot Shoal  eight or nine days after the blow. Inshore at the Bass Grounds, however, in 70 feet of water our GoPro cameras, (which scuba divers swear see better than we do) went completely pitch black just 25 feet down. Jackspot, once home to the world’s finest white marlin fishing, benefits more from flushing.. I call the affect ‘black water’ because visibility can be reduced to zero. The live algae we see plainly produce what we call “green water.” That’s why Jackspot no longer has a marlin fishery. Ocean water with very little algae is bluewater–what marlin want to feed in. Sometimes today’s anglers have to venture beyond the canyons to find bluewater fit for billfishing. What was once a two hour steam in a ten knot boat for world class angling has long-since become a competition to see who could run far enough, fast enough, and still have time to fish. While trying our new camera rig out yesterday we found under two feet of vis, even with a lot of lights on. Without lights I’m sure it would’ve been pitch black.  Sea bass do much better with black water than tog or flounder, but they’re certainly not fans either. It’ll settle in time. Meanwhile, oyster restorationists are having their greatest successes ever. We should urge them on. When boats are again regularly targeting white marlin at Jackspot, a whole lot of marine water quality restoration will have occurred. Hope I get to see it. Cheers Monty 

Captain Marc Spagnola of Dusk to Dawn Bowfishing is doing damage on the river again now that things have settled down from last week’s weather.  His shooters are seeing great action with gar, snakeheads, carp and some big catfish.

James Weller caught a couple of shad that are still hanging around down at Porter’s Crossing.

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