Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips Homer Gudelsky Park- Ocean City MD
Homer Gudelsky Park- Ocean City MD

I was fishing down Homer Gudelsky Park in West Ocean City, MD the other day. I was catching spot on bloodworms and just chilling out after a long week of work. I watched boaters come by and catch lots of bait for flounder fishing. They were hook and lining little spot next to the bulkhead close to the entrance to the Fishing Center. The spot were so little that it definitely took a tiny hook to catch them. I bet one boat caught 50 spot in about a half an hour. A couple of guys early in the morning had a cast net and caught a whole load of finger mullet. Pretty amazing how much bait was in the water. The flounder weren’t cooperating that morning, probably because there was so much natural bait in the water. But there sure was plenty of bait around. It was early morning and the tide was still pretty low.

I noticed that when the tide got high there wasn’t as much mullet around but the guys were catching spot pretty good. Once the tide got high slack, the spot fishing slowed way down.

That being said, if you are going out in your boat and want to catch bait for flounder fishing, give yourself ample time to catch bait. Early in the morning is a definite plus for several reasons. There’s been less boat traffic and the bait is still in large schools undisturbed. The bait is closer to the surface before the sun gets overhead. Once the sun gets up, the bait can go down. It certainly is easier to see the bait when the bright sun is not in your eyes and it definitely is easier to cast net bait when the sun is not overhead because the mullet can see a cast net coming in the bright sunlight!

Peanut bunker are popular baits for flounder fishing and are flickering around in most lagoons, creeks and marina basins early in the morning or late afternoon. Put on your polarized sunglasses and you can see the bait a whole lot better than with non-polarized sunglasses. Peanut bunker swim in huge schools and you only want to keep enough to fish with. It’s almost impossible to keep them overnight as they are so delicate. If you get a whole net full, let most of them go before dragging the net on board so they won’t get beat up by the weight of each other. About 2 to 3 dozen in a five gallon bucket with an aerator are all you want to try to keep at a time. Then go fishing!

“I see fish jumping out of the water!”

Well, that’s probably finger mullet. They swim fast and you can see them swirling. You have to be pretty good with a cast net to catch up with them but it is worth the chase as they make excellent flounder baits. They jump, so you need to keep a lid on your aerator bucket or live well or they will jump right on out! I like finger mullet because mullet is a very lively bait and lasts longer on a hook than a spot. But most people don’t sell live finger mullet, so you have to catch them yourself. They don’t take bait on a hook like spot so a cast net is a must.

You can catch them in lagoons, marshes, marina basins and on the edges of sandbars. I saw lots of them swim by that day when I was on the beach at Homer Gudelsky Park. Some anglers go up to Northside Park at 125th Street to catch finger mullet for bait. One often sees schools of mullet early in the morning near a boat ramp. Many anglers actually get out of their boats and wait on the edge of a sandbar for the mullet to come by. Be quiet and still because the mullet are very spooky. If you’re not a pro it’s easier to net and snare the mullet in a cast net in shallow water on the edge of a sandbar rather than deep water off a boat. Be careful where you use your net. Some canals in Ocean City have snags on the bottom that will ruin your new cast net.

It’s easy to catch live spot if you have little hooks and tiny pieces of bloodworm, night crawler or artificial bloodworm. Anglers make or buy a 3-hook spot rig or Sabiki rig and bait up with the tiny pieces of bait and catch them in canals, lagoons, marina basins or any pier in Ocean City that is not too deep. Keep the baits small to catch the smaller spots. Anglers in boats stop by the Route 90 Bridge on their way to the fishing grounds and fish in 3 to 5 feet of water for spot. Anywhere next to a green marsh will usually be a good place to catch spot. If you start catching little sea bass, move further away from the green marsh. I ride my bike to the end of Captain’s Hill most mornings before work and I often see some boat creeping up close to the green marshes there to either cast a net or set up to catch spot.

Get your kids to catch the spot. They love it! Anglers can keep the spot in the water overnight in a spot keeper, or in anything big and round with lots of holes to keep the water flow moving. Spot don’t live long in a flow troll over night. It’s just not big enough!

If you catch a spot or a cob mullet (big mullet) don’t throw it back! You can scale and cut them up into long strips of meat and hook it on your flounder rig or on the end of a Spro Bucktail. That’s an excellent flounder bait.

If you catch one of those prehistoric looking lizard fish, don’t throw that back either. Flounder love them. If it is small, you can live bait it. If it’s larger, fillet and strip it up for perfect flounder bait!

Good fishing…

Sue Foster is an outdoor writer and owner of Oyster Bay Tackle in Ocean City, MD and Fenwick Tackle in Fenwick, DE.