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Ocean City Fishing Article

Ocean City Fishing

Ocean City may be known as the “White Marlin Capital of the World,” but surf fishermen and those who ply the nearby coastal bays know it’s home to more than just marlin.

For deep-sea, inshore and offshore fishing, several marinas in Ocean City offer charter fleets. About 90 boats – all with U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains – can be found there. Most boats carry a maximum of six passengers and offer half-day excursions for about $600 and up, full-day trips for about $1,200 and overnight trips for $2,500 to $4,500.

The major marinas in Ocean City are: Bahia Marina (2107 Herring Way, 410-289-7438 or 800-575-DOCK (3625)), offering 25-to-50-foot vessels; Fisherman’s Marina (12806 Sunset Avenue, West Ocean City, 410-213-2478); Ocean City Fishing Center (12940 Inlet Isle Lane, 410-213-1121 or 800-322-3065); Sunset Marina (12911 Sunset Avenue, West Ocean City, 410-213-9600 or 877-514-FISH (3474)); and Talbot Street Pier (311 Talbot Street, 410-289-3500 for schedules or 800-659-7703 for reservations).

Don’t forget to bring a box lunch on your trip, as well as 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 15 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, 62nd St. (first left after crossing Route 90 Bridge westbound).

Public boat launches include Gum Point Road off Route 589, West Ocean City; Ocean City Commercial Harbor, Sunset Ave., West Ocean City; and Assateague Island Park, Route 611. For a map of public ramps in Worcester County, go to
http://dnr2.maryland.gov/boating/pages/water-access/worcester.aspx.

Boat trailer parking is available at the 100th Street Municipal Parking Lot for a fee. Small boats can be rented at a number of Ocean City businesses. A fishing license is required for Atlantic Ocean and coastal bays, unless you’re fishing off a licensed boat for hire or a private vessel with a Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License. For fishing regulations and license information go to www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing.

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