Coastal Fishing Reports

Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, December 8 Update:

December has arrived and it has brought some great fishing with it. Readers are reporting some awesome action along the coast from Delaware down to Virginia, with the arrival of some hefty migratory stripers and the surprise appearance of bluefin tuna mostly in the 80- to 150-pound range but some larger ones as well. Trollers have been catching the rockfish pulling Stretch 25s along the shoals just a few miles off the coast, and the bluefin have popped up in the same areas sometimes even pouncing on the rockfish lures. Reports are that the bait is thick, and the predators have moved in to take advantage of its presence. Fish In OC reported that one boat headed out to the offshore lumps around 10 miles off the beach in search of bluefin tuna, but instead hooked up with some quality stripers. They did see some bluefin on the surface but couldn’t get them to bite. They ended up catching and releasing six stripers between 38 and 50 inches that ate a combination of ballyhoo and nomad lures meant for tuna.

Bluefin tuna inshore
Bluefin tuna have arrived along the coast, including mixed in where there are big rockfish. (Old photo)

Captain Monty on the Morning Star has continued to enjoy excellent action including boat-limit catches along the wrecks and reefs out of Ocean City. A few porgy have been in the mix as well. Virginia sea bassers also report excellent action, with a wider range of species including bluefish, ribbonfish, and an occasional flounder popping up as well. A few of the offshore boats have also started to target tautog now that the water temps are colder. The sea bass still outnumber the tog at the wrecks, but a few nice fish are being caught. This bite will continue to develop.

Fishing at the OC Inlet is still providing good action for anglers going out in the colder weather. The south jetty has been holding good numbers of fish including striped bass, red drum, black drum, and tautog. One angler reported in after fishing the jetty and catching several under-slot stripers and one 35-incher.

Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, December 1 Update:

November treated us to some great fishing in our coastal areas and December is looking to offer up some great opportunities too. It looks like phenomenal black sea bass action isn’t letting up at the inshore wrecks and reefs, and Captain Monty on the Morning Star has continued to enjoy excellent action including limit catches. Keeper flounder and tautog are also being caught at the bass grounds. Fish In OC checked in with an epic late season report from the offshore grounds. Angler Robert Lamoreaux checked in with them after catching nine yellowfin at the Poorman’s canyon. Robert was fishing on board the private boat Bad Habit when they found a 59-to-67-degree temperate break where they “killed them on the troll.” Now that is awesome!

black sea bass caught off the coast
It's been a spectacular fall for sea bass fishing, and the catches continue. Photo courtesy of Capt. Monty Hawkins.

Surf fishing has taped off for the moment on the northern beaches, but a reader casting from Sandbridge said roundhead (kingfish) and puffers were still biting small doodlebug rigs baited with Fishbites bloodworm. We did have one successful report from a surf angler that spent a day fishing the north end of Ocean City where he caught a spiny dogfish, a clear nose-skate, and one bluefish using shrimp. He then headed down to the inlet where he landed one under-slot rockfish, two tautog, and a few eels using both shrimp and swim jigs.

Fishing in the back bays and around the inlets has been good for anglers braving the colder weather. We saw a report from a kayak angler that hit the south rock jetty at the OC inlet and had a fantastic day. He caught a limit of slot rockfish, a limit of tautog, a keeper black drum, and a keeper red drum. Fish will be on the dinner menu for a few days after a trip like that. Another group of anglers fishing both jetties at the inlet caught four keeper tog up to 18 inches during a mid-week trip. Bridge anglers at the Route 50 and 90 bridges are still catching rockfish while casting artificials around pilings and rock structure. Most fish are under the slot, but a few fishing meeting the 28 - 31 inch requirement have been caught.

November 3, 2023
Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, November 24 Update: One thing we can be thankful for is the number of great fishing opportunities we have so close to home, and while water temperatures are cooling off, there were still some hot fishing days… Read more...
October 5, 2023
Coastal Fishing Report, October 27 Update: Summer temperatures are making a return to end this week and I don’t think any of us are complaining about it. The forecast looks very favorable for anglers this weekend with near record high temperatures… Read more...
September 1, 2023
Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report September 29 Update: The arrival of Fall has not brought the good fishing weather anglers were hoping for. It’s been tough to get through the inlet lately, which means oceanic intel is in short supply. We likely… Read more...