Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips I’m coming to Ocean City in July. What should I expect? What should I fish for?
I’m coming to Ocean City in July. What should I expect? What should I fish for?

“I’m coming to Ocean City in July. What should I expect? What should I fish

Let’s face it. More people come to Ocean City to fish in July than any other
month of the year. Whether it is the best month to fish or not, it’s when
families have off from work or school. So let’s see what we have to offer!

If you have a boat, July is a good month to drift for flounder, croaker, and
spot in the bay. Flounder bite in the main channels from the Route 90 Bridge
to the Thorofare on the West side of the bay. On the east side of the bay
drift anywhere from buoys #13 to #9 offshore of the Conventional Hall at
41st St. The main east channel from 14th Street to the draw of the Route 50
Bridge is good when the tide is “slacking.” The bay behind Assateague all
the way south to buoy #13 produces flounder as long as the water is “clean.”
Even the inlet gives one flounder in July. And if your boat is big enough,
drift the Artificial Reef sites offshore for flounder.

Flounder take top and bottom type rigs or single long leadered rigs made
with size #1, #1/0, or #2/0 Wide Gap type hooks. Live minnows or frozen
shiners with a strip of squid attached beside it ON THE SAME HOOK is the
usual flounder bait. If you are fishing out in the ocean, flounder will also
take a long strip of fresh bluefish fillet (my favorite), sea robin belly
(plenty of those out there), or fresh spot fillet (they can’t resist it.) I
like to drift a whole small Calamari squid offshore for big flounder. (The
ones you buy in a blue, white, or red box that comes from California and is
packed for human consumption.) Hook it thru the tail and drift it on a big
hook (size #3/0 to #5/0) on a single rig. Set up this single rig with an egg
sinker or a fish finder rig as the squid will “spin” otherwise and give you
a “line twist” dilemma. If you want to buy a rig, just pick up one of the
Eagle Claw Brand set ups for striper fishing. It’ll work just fine for large
flounder offshore.

“I got a bunch of kids I need to entertain!”

July’s the month for you then! If you are in a boat, set up with some size
#6 hooks on a basic top and bottom rig and fish with a combination bait of
bloodworm and squid, OR use the new bloodworm Fishbites (bloodworm
alternative). Fish near the channel and the pilings of the Route 90 Bridge
with light rods and you can have a ball catching croaker, spot, and
blowfish. Occasionally a nice flounder or bluefish is caught. Sometimes we
have small sea trout mixed in with the croaker as well.

When the croaker come into our bay the schools of fish move around. Sometime
they bite like mad around the Thorofare and just north or south of the
Thorofare. Other times they bite in the Inlet, or south of the south jetty
if it’s calm enough to fish there. Near the sand bar just offshore of 9th
Street can be a “hot spot” for croaker, spot, and blowfish. The bay behind
Assateague usually holds croaker, spot, small trout, blowfish, and other
small critters. Drifting the buoys from #10 to #14 and down by the
Assateague Bridge usually produces pan fish of some sort. If you have a
fish finder you can see huge schools of the fish. They fight hard and the
kids can have a ball.

But, if you are targeting flounder and don’t want the croaker bites, fish
the deepest holes. Croaker (usually) bite in water 8-15 feet when they are
in the bay.

“I don’t have a boat!”

Without a boat, the Oceanic Pier, Route 50 Bridge, and the Ninth
Street Pier are the best places to toss in a line for flounder. The Homer
Gudelsky Park on the West side of the bay is also a nice place to fish for
flounder as long as you have a rod that you can cast out far enough to reach
the channel.

If you have kids and just want to catch a few croaker, spot, or crabs you
can try the pier behind Convention Hall at 41st Street, the Pier behind the
Recreational Center at 127th Street, or the Isle of Wight Pier that is
located in the island in the middle of the Route 90 Bridge. Use worms or
Fishbites in these areas. There are definitely crabs there as well. Fish the
higher tides from these piers for the best results.

Both the Ocean City Inlet and the Indian River Inlet will
also produce all kinds of fish, but you do have to deal with snags in the
rocks. If you have kids, I’d suggest going to one of the piers.

Surf’s up! Surf fishing is fun and productive in July as long
as you don’t try to fish with HOOKS THAT ARE TOO BIG! Anglers are allowed
to surf fish in Ocean City, Fenwick Island, and Bethany Beach before 10 A.M.
and after 5:30 P.M. When the lifeguards are working and “on guard” you
cannot surf fish. If you want to fish all day simply go to Assateague
Island (State or National Park) or go to the Delaware Seashore State Park.

“What should we use?”

In the summertime most of the fish are on the small size.
Norfolk spot, kingfish, small trout, snapper blues, croaker, blowfish and
sand perch are all biting. Sometimes one catches a nice flounder. Stripers
bite at dawn or dusk. Sharks and skates are usually always around whether
you want them or not! For the most action, use kingfish rigs or small
bluefish rigs in July and bait them up with bloodworm and squid
combinations, Fishbites (bloodworm alternative), squid strips, fresh bunker
strips, spot strips, or mullet chunks. Cast out, and then reel in slow back
towards shore for the most action. Try to fish on a beach that has a hole,
drop off, dip, or slough. A flat beach is not a good surf fishing beach.
Remember- white crashing water is shallow. Rolling darker water is deeper
and that’s where you want to cast!

Night fishing! Night fishing is July is good on snapper
blues, sea trout, croaker, and stripers. Anglers cast four and five inch
Swimming Shad Lures, Got-cha Plugs, Spec Rigs, and jig heads with soft
bodies. Fin-S Fish soft bodies are popular in the Ocean City, Maryland area.
Many anglers tie these lures in tandem and cast and jig them. The Ocean City
and Indian River Inlets, the Route 50 Bridge and the Oceanic Pier are some
of the most popular spots. Some anglers cast off 2nd thru 4th Streets or 9th
Street Pier, but if there aren’t lights where you are fishing, you might not
have the best action. Some anglers have good luck at the Homer Gudelsky Park
that is located on the West side of the bay (the Old Stinky Beach.)

July is a good month to go out on one of Ocean City, Maryland’s bay
party boats for flounder (check out the ads in the Coastal Fisherman!) Or to
go offshore on one of the ocean going party boats for sea bass, croaker and
flounder. You’ll catch more fish on a full day ocean trip but if you just
want a boat ride and a “taste” of fishing then the half-day trip will do.

Fishing in July… What fun!… Good fishing…