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September can be great for fishing when the wind isn’t blowing - Ocean City Sentinel: Fishing

September can be great for fishing when the wind isn’t blowing

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Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 2:16 pm

Wind is one of the worst four-letter words for fishermen. 

While the air may be cooler in the fall, windy days are much more likely. September can be a great time for fishing, with the beginning of the fall migration of many species. The back bays are full of mullet, peanut bunker and snapper blues. Flounder are staging up close to the inlets and near shore structures before heading for deeper water for the winter. Tuna make their move back down the coast, with traditionally good catches in the canyons from the Hudson to the Washington. Also, there is usually a good chance of seeing white marlin schooling up on bait pods in the canyons before they head south. 

For the offshore fishermen, this is a great time to get some big number catches. Recently we have seen some great days of yellowfin and big-eye tuna, with many boats bagging their limits. Also, the white marlin fleet has had some great days with outriggers full of release flags. So keep your eyes on the wind forecast and if you see a break from the blowing, get out there and take advantage of some good fishing.

The 36th annual Challenge Cup between the Cape May Marlin and Tuna Club and the Ocean City, Md., Marlin Club was held over the weekend. Fishing was canceled for Friday, so it was a one-day tournament. Cape May was victorious this year, with 1,900 points to Ocean City’s 1,200. The top boat was Tom Byrne’s Insure, with six white marlin releases.

Fishing reports


Jim’s Bait and Tackle: Matt Slobodjian, “The wind this week kept most boats at the dock however a few charter and head boats did make it out. Most of the boats fished the Cape May Reef and some of the inshore spots. The fluke are still there but the fishing was tough with the heavy sea conditions.

Some of the larger boats made it offshore this weekend and it sounds like there is still a decent White Marlin bite just north of the Washington Canyon. There were also some Whites caught in the Baltimore along with some nice Dolphin. Didn’t get any good Tuna reports this week from the local Canyons.

In the surf the Mullet run has started and the blues have come in with them. Most of the fish are in the 1-3lb range a few small bass are mixed in on the beach. The inlet rock piles have given up a few keeper Bass most are still shorts. These fish can be taken on any artificial that imitates a Mullet including top water baits. A few nice Fluke have been taken from the Point on live Mullet along with some good sized Weakfish. Hopefully the run will last a while.”

Off The Hook Bait and Tackle: Rusty Zeigler, “It was a rough week for anglers trying to make it out this week due to the weather. With the wind and the wind direction out of the east, paired with the full moon. The flood tides and ripping currents made it really tough for most anglers.

Some guys toughed it out sticking to the back bays. Bill Torchiana and his crew gave it a shot on Saturday ending the day with 6 keepers to 22”. There are reports of Mullet starting to gather around the inlets ready to embark on their run south. This run triggers some good fishing for anglers looking to target Stripers, Weakfish, Bluefish and Red Drum. Late September and early October is a good time to look towards the inlets for these fish that prey on the mullet.”


Sterling Harbor Bait and Tackle: Cathy Algard, “Fishing reports have slowed since Labor Day weekend with folks getting back into their fall routines, however flounder fishing remains excellent at the Cape May Reef, Reef Site 11 and the Old Grounds when anglers are able to get out. The fall migration has started with mullet and peanut bunker pouring out of the back bays and small bluefish chasing them everywhere along the beachfront. Striper action remains excellent in the back bays with fish being caught while chunking sardines or on surface poppers along the sod banks. Offshore at the canyons, fishing is picking up with some nice yellowfin being caught on overnight chunking trips or daytime trolling. There are also some marlin, mahi-mahi and an occasional wahoo in the mix. Crabby Jack gives the crabbing 4 Claws this week! Our fall kayak clearance sale is in full swing! Stop by soon for the best selection as we make room for our 2015 fleet of Hobie Kayaks, Wilderness Systems and Ocean kayaks!”

Grassy Sound Marina: Debbie Mooers, “Loads of bait fish in the water.  Large pods of mullet and peanut bunker, spearing and minnows.  Stripers, snapper blues, sea bass, flounder, blues, and kings off the fishing pier.   Mackerel and clams are doing well with peanut bunker for flounder.   Weakfish are being caught in the back during the evening hours.

EJ Pellecchia, Hatboro, Pa. was fishing for stripers and catching flounder instead.  He could see them coming up behind the stripers.  He had 3 keeper fluke on peanut bunker near the marina. 


Corona Joe, Atco, NJ caught his share of snappers, sea bass and king fish.  He was fishing from the pier with clam, top of the outgoing.  His first time out there and had a great day.

Greg Berry, Phila., Pa. caught a keeper flounder and some snapper blues.  He was fishing off the pier with minnows & squid for the fluke, top of the outgoing. 

Bill Chalmers, Phila. , Pa. had a nice blue fish from the pier on mackerel.”


Ray Scott’s Dock: Robin Scott, “As summer wanes and 75 degree days take over from the intense summer heat, fishing by boat or land behind Margate is the place to be.  Something as simple as flicking a small silver lure, over a bulkhead, will produce a snapper blue or two, for eating or shear enjoyment of the catch.  Flounder season remains open until September 27th. and those in pursuit are rewarded nicely. Jeff Writerle and family of Philadelphia took to the bay on a whim and returned to the dock with a five pound flounder and a couple of dozen blue claws. The flounder netted them a $100.00 gift certificate so they can go out and nab another one! Bridget Collins and her family caught two nice flounder in a couple of hours on a spectacular afternoon, dispelling the notion that the keeper flounder have moved on. To the contrary, there often are fewer anglers on the bay to report in this time of year once school activities fire up. Tog season is heating up as water temps drop and anglers targeting striped bass with surface plugs can be seen at daylight and dusk around the marshes. Many see autumn as the best time of the year.”


News from the Ocean City Fishing Club: Ocean City Fishing Club’s 47th Annual Invitational Tournament Set for Oct. 18

The Ocean City Fishing Club (OCFC) is extending a broad invitation for anglers to participate in its 47th Annual Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament on Saturday, October 18.

“This is an opportunity for anyone interested in fishing to come out and have fun competing in our tournament,” said Tournament Chairman Kieth Van Laarhoven, of Ocean City and Browns Mills. “This event is open not only to members of the fishing clubs throughout our area but also to individuals and families.”

Fishing will take place along a swath of beach from 15th Street south, with 200 feet separating each position.

On the day of the tournament, registration will be held from 5:30 am to 7 am at the Ocean City Intermediate School, 18th Street and Bay Avenue. 

The first fishing session will be from 7 am to 9:30 am, followed by a half-hour break and a second fishing session from 10 am to 12:30 pm.

At the end of the second session, participants will return to the Intermediate School for a free lunch, door prizes, and presentation of awards to the winning teams and individuals. 

The fee is $60 for teams of up to six members. Individuals can sign up for $15 per person. 

The tournament, under the aegis of the Association of Surf Angling Clubs, is co-sponsored each year by the Ocean City Department of Recreation.

The Ocean City Fishing Club is celebrating its 101st year as the oldest, continuously operating fishing club in America.

For more information about the Oct. 18th surf-fishing tournament, contact Kieth Van Laarhoven at (609) 893-5916 or ocfcitasac@aol.com.

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