Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips Fishing in July...
Fishing in July...

“We’re down here on vacation and want to try some fishing. What do you catch
in July? What should I use?

In July, we’re into the full swing summertime fishing mode. That means
there’s lot of choices. You can fish for pan-size fish and just let the
kids or yourself have fun. Or you can put on bigger baits and fish for
larger game. You can cast in the inlet or the surf, or you can fish in the
bay. There’s something biting almost anywhere! You can catch spot fish in
almost any lagoons and canals around Ocean City. You can even go crabbing!

In July, anglers enjoy surf fishing. You can walk right up on the beach and
cast your line in the ocean before 10 A.M. and after 5:30 P.M. when the
lifeguards are off duty. During the day you can pay and go to the Delaware
Seashore State Park or Assateague State or National Park if you want to fish
all day.

Surf fishing is usually best early in the morning and late afternoon until
dark. From dawn until around 8 or 9 A.M. is when anglers tend to see the
most striper action in the surf. Even though we don’t see many “keepers” in
the summer months, it is a lot of fun to catch and release the “short”
stripers. Anglers generally fish for the stripers with cut chunks of finger
mullet, cut bunker, bloodworms, or lures. Don’t use a surf float if you are
targeting the stripers. A plain leadered hook on a top and bottom rig, (or
better yet) a Fish Finder Rig, is the way to go for stripers. While you are
at it, you may catch a snapper blue, flounder, shark, or ray.

“What kind of lure will work for the stripers?”

A Rebel Windcheater, Rattletrap, MirrOlure, or Swimming Shad lure will work.
Some anglers simply use a lead head with a soft body such as a Zoom, Bass
Assassin, or a Sea Striker curl tail grub. (Hint: If you cast a lure in the
surf, you need a 7 to 9 foot medium weight rod with a reel filled with 10 to
15 pound test.) Do not add a sinker to a lure. If your rod and reel is too
heavy to throw a light lure, stick to the bait.

July is the month when we see little fish in the surf. Norfolk spot,
kingfish, and croaker like size #6 hooks with bloodworm, Artificial
Fishbite Bloodworm Alternative, or little pieces of squid or cut bait. I
like to combo the Artificial Fishbite Bloodworm Alternative with a little
strip of squid or fresh cut bait such as bunker, spot or mullet. Use the box
squid over the pre-cut stuff for surf fishing. Spot and kingfish like the
“dirty squid.”

Snapper blues are usually around on an easterly breeze. I usually rig up one
rod with a finger mullet rig and a whole finger mullet and another shorter
rod with a pre-made Sea Striker kingfish rig and the FishBites Bloodworm
Alternative with some kind of cut bait. That way, you can see what’s biting.

Anglers are allowed to surf fish up to midnight. After dark fishing can be
good in July. That’s when we see some pretty good croaker runs, sand sharks,
and sometimes bluefish. Occasionally someone will catch a “keeper striper”
after dark. A pre-made high/low kingfish rig will work for the croakers. So
will a pre-made high/low bluefish rig. (Use the smaller version.) I like the
Sea Striker DT34 Bluefish Rig. After dark, don’t worry with using worms for
bait; go right to cut bait such as squid or mullet.

“I want to fish in the bay!”

The rule of thumb is this. The bigger fish are in the deeper water down town
from 9th Street to the Inlet. The smaller fish and crabbing is all up-town.
There are three public fishing and crabbing areas in North Ocean City. The
water is not deep in these areas; so you are going to catch little fish such
as Norfolk spot, sand perch, croakers, and baby flounder and blues. Small
hooks and sinkers with strips of Fishbite Bloodworm or real bloodworm tipped
with squid strips (if you like) is all you really need to use.

We have the Recreational Pier at 127th Street (that closes for a few days
before and after the 4th of July for fireworks), the pier behind the
Conventional Hall at 41st Street, and the Observation Pier at the Isle of
Wight that is located in the island between the two spans of the Rt. 90
Bridge at 62nd St. (Go across the Rt. 90 Bridge heading West, make a left at
the light in the middle island- there’s a sign for the Isle of Wight- and
you are there!)

“I want to catch bigger fish!”

For the serious anglers, fishing in Ocean City means driving downtown if you
are staying in North Ocean City. The Route 50 Bridge is really good. It has
a catwalk where anglers can fish day and night. During the day flounder
fishing can be good, though there may be lots of throwbacks in July. Minnows
or shiners on top and bottom rigs are the basic baits for flounder. If you
want to fish for any ol’ thing, bait up with squid strips, Artificial
Bloodworms, or little sand crabs and fish for the small sea bass that are
plentiful around the pilings of the bridge. You may also pick up a tautog or
a little black drum. Croaker come and go around the bridge, and can be
especially good after dark.

Fish for these same types of fish with the same baits from the 9th Street
pier on the bayside, the 2nd to 4th Street Bulkhead along the bayside and
the Oceanic Pier at the very end of Philadelphia Ave.

After dark, fishing changes. Anglers use lures such a Got-cha Plugs,
swimming shad lures, bucktails with plastic worms, and spec rigs to catch
blues, stripers, and trout. Croaker bite at night on lures or bait such as
squid strips. What you want to do at night, is fish under the lights, and
catch the incoming tide. Incoming tide is between low tide and high tide. If
you fish about three hours into the incoming tide, the high tide, and the
beginning of the outgoing tide, you will be fishing the premier night
fishing tide. The Rt. 50 Bridge, the Oceanic Pier, or either Ocean City or
Indian River Inlet is best for nighttime lure throwing.

Party boats are a great idea in July. Decide whether you want to fish in the
bay or ocean, then decide if you want to fish just for a few hours or all
day, grab the Coastal Fisherman and make some phone calls. Sea bass,
flounder, croaker, and triggerfish are the fare in the Ocean. Bay fishing
means flounder, croaker, and maybe snapper blues. Half-day ocean boats
usually fish for 4 hours while all day party boats fish for 8 hours. Hint:
At least 2 hours may be spent going to and from the fishing grounds. Bay
Party boats generally fish for 4 hours. There are a couple boats that offer
two-hour trips. These are nice if you are taking very young children. (It
doesn’t take long to get where the Captain wants to go in the bay!)

July is a good month to teach the kids or friend how to fish or crab,
because there’s a variety of fish to catch.

Good fishing….