Ocean City, MD  - Vacation Travel Guide

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Ocean City Area Features

“Cast” Away! On a Fishing Expedition

Amazing fishing opportunities lie in the waters all around Ocean City, MD. Venture into the Atlantic to hook a sport fish such as the white marlin or mako shark off the coast of this resort city, which is known as the “White Marlin Capital of the World.” Sail up the Chesapeake Bay in search of the delicious rockfish or croaker. Perhaps even go crabbing on Ocean City’s bayside. With all of these options, it may be hard to decide where you want to cast your line!

Regardless of your choice of scenery, several marinas in Ocean City offer charter fleets. About 90 boats total—all with U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains—run charter fishing trips. Most boats carry a maximum of six passengers and offer half-day excursions for about $650 and up, full-day trips for about $1,200, and overnight trips for $2,500 to $4,500. Some captains even offer 2-3 hour trips starting at only $250. However, if you’re looking to get a nice introduction to fishing, need assistance and advice, or would simply like to save money, there are a few vessels that take out larger groups of people but only charge individual rates. A fishing license is not required and the cost is usually for under $50 for a half day. Of course, you can save even more with a coupon for one of these headboat excursions by using your Sunny Day Guide! Ask the captain or crew about coolers, food and beverages that you should bring, and definitely don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunblock. Non-marking, slip-resistant shoes are a must, and bring a light jacket if rain’s in the forecast. Tip your mate for a job well done. The going rate is 18 percent.

If you’d rather keep your feet on shore, surf fishing on Ocean City’s 10 miles of beach can net you flounder, bluefish, sea trout and kingfish. Surf fishing is allowed on the beach in Ocean City with a saltwater fishing license, but only between 9am and 6pm and you must stay at least 50 yards away from swimmers or people on the beach. Surf fishing is permitted on Assateague Island except on guarded beaches and in surfing zones.

The bays are teeming with striped bass, flounder, bluefish, sea trout, spot, croaker, and of course, blue crab. For a small fee, you can fish from the Oceanic Pier (southern end of Philadelphia Avenue near the inlet). This is a great place to catch flounder, bluefish, trout and crab, and a fishing license is not required. Ocean City has two other “License Free” fishing spots: Northside Park, which is a town-owned pier and park at 125th Street & Chicago Avenue, and the Bulkhead, between 2nd and 4th Streets. Everywhere else, anglers need a MD Tidal Fishing License to fish.

Some free public fishing spots requiring a license include the Ocean City Inlet, the Route 50 Bridge, the 9th Street Pier, the public bay bulkhead behind the Ocean City Convention Center on 40th Street, and the Isle of Wight on 62nd Street after crossing Route 90 Bridge westbound.

If you’re interested in competing for large cash awards, countless fishing tournaments take place in Ocean City. Try your luck and enter one of these famous contests—particularly the White Marlin Open.

The White Marlin Open is the “granddaddy” of the Ocean City fishing tournaments. This is the tournament that awarded the very first million-dollar prize for catching a fish to a winner. Since 1974, the White Marlin Open has been a highlight event that draws people from around the nation. With its most recent purses at nearly $5 million, it has also gained the title of World’s Largest and Richest Billfish Tournament.

In 2018, the 45th Annual White Marlin Open is scheduled for Aug. 6-10 and offers a lot of fun for everyone. Even if you’re not an experienced angler, the Open provides opportunities for people of all levels of experience to enter and win! For example, in 2003, Doug Remsberg took home $1.3 million for the 78.5-lb. billfish he caught—his first ever! If you’re new to fishing, it’s crucial to hook up with an experienced captain and crew, so start your charter boat search early. A variety of added-entry levels are also offered ranging from $50 to $10,000, and you only need to fish one of the three fishing days to be eligible for prizes. There is no limit on boat size and there are several small boat categories for boats under 40 feet. Anglers can choose their fishing days and enter the levels that best match their skill level and budget.

Even if you’re not on one of the competing boats, the Open provides quite a show. Weigh-ins are held each evening of the tournament from 4-9:15pm at Harbour Island Marina at 14th St. & the Bay and are open to the public, free of charge. It’s a great place to bring the whole family to watch beautiful boats, view the day’s catch, and join in on the excitement. Visit www.whitemarlinopen.com for more information and for tips on parking during this event.

Another popular fishing competition is the OC Tuna Tournament. In 2018, Ocean City’s largest fishing tournament for tuna will be held July 13-15. With a purse of approximately $750,000, anglers will be casting lines in the sea with vigor. Weigh-ins are Fri.-Sun. beginning at 4pm at the Ocean City Fishing Center in West OC. Even if you’re not fishing, come by to see the day’s catch and marvel at the size of these fish. This is the 31st year of the OC Tuna Tournament.

Check our Fishing Guide for more information and links to prime fishing spots and marinas. If you need more information on fishing regulations and license information go to www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing.

Enjoy your day on the water. Hopefully your line will get a few bites and a big catch!

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