Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips Drifting Easy - Frequently Asked Questions" and several links to marinas, rentals, DNR sites, and Parks.
Drifting Easy - Frequently Asked Questions" and several links to marinas, rentals, DNR sites, and Parks.

Well, it's the last Coastal Fisherman for the year, at least until the very
popular "Winter Edition" hits the streets. I spend some time, deciding what
to write about for the last issue every year. Since I spend a good part of
my time answering questions in my stores and also over the Internet in the
form of "e-mails," I've decided that a good "ending note" would be
"frequently asked questions."

The most asked question I receive is: "Do I need a license to fish in the
Ocean City area?"

No, here in Ocean City, our bays are tributaries of the Atlantic Ocean, not
the Chesapeake Bay, so we do not need licenses to fish. Maryland
Department of Natural Resources refers to us as "Coastal Bays." Some of our
rules and regulations are different than the Chesapeake Bay, so if you are
calling or surfing the Internet, look for rules and regulations concerning
Maryland's Coastal Bays.

"Do we need a crabbing license here?"

No, as of this time, only the Chesapeake Bay requires crabbing licenses. We
can handline; use 12 inch collapsible traps, and run a trotline with no
license. However, we are not allowed to take commercial crab pots out into
the bay and set them.

"Can't we buy a license to do this?"

No. There are no licenses available.

Licenses, size limits, and laws and regulations are always frequently asked
questions. And it is a good idea to ask them, because laws and regulations
change from year to year. They are also different state to state, and when
it comes to Maryland, Chesapeake Bay laws are different than
Maryland Coastal Bay laws
. On top of that, state laws and federal laws can differ.
Federal waters are considered 3 miles and out to 200 miles. State waters
are out to 3 miles.

Some vacationers think the regulations are too complicated and they decide
not to fish at all. It's can be confusing, but it's not that bad. Just go
to your favorite local tackle store and get the size and creel limit
information, (with pictures if you don't know your fish), keep it with you,
and refer to it while you are fishing. You can always ask other anglers,
and in this day and age of the cell phone, you can make a phone call to your
favorite tackle store while you are fishing.

Delaware Regulations. Be sure to refresh!
Maryland Coastal Bay's Regulations. Be sure to refresh!

Many anglers come to Ocean City and want to launch their boat. "Where are
the public boat ramps? anglers ask.

The best boat ramp in Ocean City is at the Commercial Harbor. It is free,
big, and you can park your vehicle and trailer. It is close to the Ocean
City Inlet and the incline is friendly for larger or "hard to launch" boats.
To get there cross the Route 50 Bridge going west, and make a left next to
Delmarva Sport Center at Golf Course Road. On the north side of the harbor,
you will see a large public boat ramp.

There is one smaller public boat ramp at Bering Road in North Ocean City.
Going north, take a left on 94th Street. Take another left on Caribbean.
You will see the boat ramp, but keep in mind that you cannot leave your
trailer there, and it is open from 8 A. M. until 8 P.M. only.

You can pay to use most boat ramps at most any of the marinas, such as Bahia
Marina at 22nd Street, Advanced Marina at 66th Street (lots of trailer
parking here), and Action Marine off Rt. 54 (next to Harpoon Hannas
Restaurant.) There is also a pay ramp behind Smitty McGee's off Rt. 54. If
you come in the summer and need a place to pay and store your trailer, you
can also ask at these Marinas, and walk your fingers through the Boat
Storage and Boat Dealer page of the yellow pages.

"Where can I charter a boat?" is another frequently asked question. The
large marinas for chartering a boat to go offshore for tuna, marlin, and
shark are: Sunset Marina - 12911
Sunset Ave. West Ocean City- (877-514-FISH.);
the Ocean City Fishing Center that
is located at Rt. 50 and Shantytown Road. (410-213-1121 or 1-800-322-3065);
Talbot St. Pier located at
Talbot St. that is one block South of the Route 50 Bridge (1-800-659-7703);
the White Marlin Marina at Somerset St. (410-289-6470);
Fisherman's Marina
at the Commercial Harbor (410-213-2478).
and Bahia Marina
at 22nd Street( 410-289-7438)

If you want to go on a ocean party boat you will want to contact the O.C
Princess or Miss Ocean City
located at Shantytown Pier (1-800-631-4848.)
There is the "Angler" party boat on Talbot Street
(410-289-7424.) There is ½ day offshore and inshore fishing at Bahia Marina
at 22nd Street (410-289-7438.) And there is ½ day offshore fishing at the
North Indian River Marina (302-226-2214.)

For Delaware Bay Fishing and night fishing, you need to go to Lewes, De
Fisherman's Wharf (302-645-8862) or Angler Fishing Center (302-645-5775.)

Bay party boats have become very popular in Ocean City. The two largest
party boats go out of Shantytown Pier (Bay Bee) 410-213-1121 and Bahia
Marina at 22nd Street. (410-289-7438.) There is the "Pony Island Express"
out of Dorchester Street's Old Town Marina (410-289-2565 or 410-289-6720)
which goes out for 2 hour trips.

Most questions that people frequently ask are where the public fishing areas
are. It is a good idea that if you have never been to Ocean City before to
purchase an ADC Recreational Map of Ocean City. Whether you are renting a
small boat, running your own boat, or just driving around, this $3.50 is a
good investment. It shows the ramps, marinas, channels, streets, piers, and
water depths. To buy one of these maps go to our
On line Mall.

As in any small resort town, there are only so many public fishing areas
that anglers can get to from the shore. (Without a boat.) Most good tackle
stores will have a listing of these public locations for you. We will
briefly go through them. The Ocean Pier that is located parallel to the
Ocean City Inlet, the Ocean City Inlet and sea wall, the Oceanic Pier (pay
pier which is located at the Southern most end of Philadelphia Ave., the Rt.
50 Bridge, the Shanytown Pier (pay pier), the 2nd thru 4th Street Bulkhead,
the 9th Street Pier, the pier behind the Convention Hall at 41st Street, and
the pier behind the Northside Park at 127th Street. Anglers can fish the
surf. In the spring and fall, anglers can surf fish all day. During the
summer season, anglers can surf fish before 10 A.M. and after 5:30 P.M.

The Assateague National Park
has fishing (both bayside and ocean side),crabbing and clamming areas.
The Delaware Seashore State Park also has
fishing, crabbing, and clamming areas. Both these Parks offer 4-wheel Drive
permits at the Ranger Stations. Four-wheel drive questions are frequently
asked. Four-wheel drive permits are available for a full season only. The
days of the weekly passes are gone. They cost anywhere from $50 to $100.
Brochures and maps are all readily available at the Park Offices and Ranger

Anglers frequently ask about the tides. "When is the best tide to go

Fish can bite at any time, but the best rule of thumb is to fish 3 hours
before high tide and two hours after high tide. Low tide is usually not
quite as good, but one hour either side of low tide is still a fair tide.
Low tide is better in the spring and fall then it is in the heat of the

"When is the best tide to go crabbing and clamming?"

Crabbing two or three hours before or after high tide is the key here.
Clamming is obviously best at low tide.

"What are the best baits around here?" Is obviously a most asked question?
One could write books on this so a quick synopsis is this: Live minnow and
squid strip or frozen shiner and squid strip for flounder is good bait.
Bloodworm and small squid strip for small fish such as spot, croaker, small
trout, and blowfish. Finger mullet for bluefish, and any kind of crab or
clam for tautog. The best all around bait is squid, but it is best used in
combination with some other kind of bait on the same hook. If you fish at
night, use lures.

"What bait stays on the hook the best?"

Well of course, squid!

We could go on and on. But we're done for this year. (Until the Winter
Edition.) Hum. wonder what I should write about..

Good fishing.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 18:20