Ocean City is located on the barrier islands that protect Maryland’s mainland from the Atlantic. It’s a great destination for the fishing adventure that you have always wanted.
Ocean City’s fishing charters have everything anglers want, from legendary bluefish and sharks spots to tournaments that are well-known around the globe.
If you are a fan of striped bass, there is no better place than this to practice your skills!
Top Fishing Charters from Ocean City
Fishing in Ocean City
Ocean City’s fishing charters rank among the top in the mid-Atlantic. The area’s captains are skilled at making the most of the beautiful waters Ocean City has to offer. You can be certain that you will have the fishing adventure you desire, whether you are looking for short trips to catch flounder or legendary day trips to the Jackspot to King Mackerel.
Isle of Wight Bay
The shallow, green-gray waters of Isle of Wight Bay are a great habitat for flounder. Charter fishing trips are possible with the captains of the area.
They know where to find monster flatfish, so they can take you out on the water whether you want to go for a morning paddle or an afternoon adventure.
8.4 miles from Ocean City is the Bass Grounds artificial reef, which provides habitat for large schools of baitfish.
Prey is always more abundant than predators.
Bluefish are a big part of the Bass Grounds. They produce countless bluefish weighing between 12- and 16 pounds. This reef is also home to Bulls, Hammerheads and Blacktips. An experienced captain will be able to tell you where to find them if you are looking for the adventure of a lifetime.
Experienced charter captains know that the Bass Grounds is a great place to retreat when the wind blows over Baltimore Canyon.
Little and Great Gull Banks
Little and Great Gull Banks rise between 50 and 60 feet of water and about half the height, creating an ideal environment to house baitfish that feed large numbers of bluefish and other striped bass.
These bars make a great destination for day-long or short trips. They are only a few minutes away from the inlet.
The Jackspot, a natural reef that has been enhanced with sunken boxescars, is one of the most well-known fishing spots along the east coast.
The seafloor is relatively shallow at 19.4 nautical miles away from Ocean City. King Mackerel, monster Blues, Wahoo and Mako and many varieties of charter captains and tuna anglers break the monotony year after year.
The Jackspot is only about an hour away from the inlet and offers unparalleled fishing that’s easily accessible on a short trip.
Baltimore Canyon, a deep cut in the seafloor located approximately 60 nautical miles from Ocean City Inlet, is a prime hotspot to find pelagic species such as tuna, blue marlin and albacore.
Mako and Hammerhead are also common in Canyon, and charter captains will gladly help you locate them.
You’ll find many charter captains available for overnight or all-day excursions from Ocean City.
Captains will be seen fishing Green Machines for albacore or tuna on 100- to120-pound test. Night fishing is also common in Baltimore Canyon with bright lights to lure bait fish.
Tuna are often caught with large circle hooks and bait. There are many trolling lures for species such as mahi-mahi and wahoo.
Blues are best caught with cut baits such as bunker or spot-on spinning equipment. Although striped bass prefer spot, menhaden and mullet, they can be fished in the same manner.
You can also expect light spinning gear to flounder with a variety double-rigs or jigs.
Rules & regulations
Many charters offer licenses. However, if it doesn’t, all anglers over 16 years old will require one. A valid license is required if you plan to go out on your own. You will be informed about the regulations regarding bag size and weight limits by your captain.
Ocean City Fishing Seasons
Ocean City’s New Year can be windy and cool, but the striped basse don’t mind. You can have Little and Great Gull Banks all to yourself if you find a charter captain willing to risk the weather.
Fishing is less efficient in cold water or wind, making it difficult to catch mako and striped bass. This is not the best time to go out on the water. Wait for the warmer months!
Inshore, the water temperature increases a little in March. Inshore fishing picks up as female flounder begin to migrate into Isle of Wight Bay. If the weather is good, Mako fishing can be done over the Canyon and on the Jackspot.
Ocean City is great for visiting in the spring. The water is warm enough to allow flounders to feed aggressively inshore. The blues and mako hunt the reefs offshore for easy food. The summer crowds are yet to arrive in Ocean City.
Fishing is great all year round, as there’s plenty of sunshine to warm the waters. The flounder season is nearing its peak inshore. The bite from blues and sharks, seabass, and striped basses is heating up offshore.
June is the peak bluefish season. Every charter captain heads to the Bass Grounds or Jackspot to chase them. It’s a good idea to be there, too. The flounder are still not feeding yet, but reds and black drum are eating well inshore. It’s also a great time of year to search for bluefin tuna and mahi-mahi. For Mako fans, June is the Mako Mania Shark Tournament. This tournament offers prizes for blues as well as thresher sharks.
July is a hot month for offshore fishing. The blue bite is a little lower than it was in the past, with sharks, mahi-mahi, wahoos and marlins at their peak. Inshore, Isle of Wight Bay’s flounder population is at its best. The Ocean City Tuna Tournament, as everyone knows, is full swing in July. You can expect plenty of charter captains to take you out to enjoy the adventure.
August is a great month to fish in Isle of Wight Bay, as it has warm water all year and plenty of food. Blackfin tuna and mahi-mahi are all peaking offshore, while Jackspot and Baltimore Canyon are busier. White marlin fishing has reached its peak every year, which is, as everyone knows, the Ocean City White Marlin Open.
The flounder bite is still excellent, even though the water hasn’t started to cool down in earnest. It’s a great time for charters close to shore, as reds are also present. Although mahi-mahi offshore and marlins still exist, the peak time for pelagic species is over.
The cool water can send flounder out to sea. But the blues really kick up at the Banks or the Bass Grounds. The best time to visit Ocean City is October when black sea bass are at their peak. Bluefin tuna and mako are also enjoying last hunting trips, so it’s a great time to head offshore.
As the water cools, the sea bass will still be in their prime. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find good fishing days offshore and the charter industry is slowing to a halt.
The striped bass is at its peak in December’s frigid temperatures. Captains and crews are expected to head to the Bass Grounds, Little and Great Gull Banks to search for them.
Ocean City’s Top Targeted Specie
- Striped Bass (Rockfish).
- Blue Marlin
- White Marlin