Home Drifting Easy - Fishing Tips Where can I go flounder fishing in North Ocean City with my boat?.
Where can I go flounder fishing in North Ocean City with my boat?.

"I just moved to North Ocean City with my boat and I want to catch flounder
in the bay. Where do I go?"

When new anglers come to Ocean City and try fishing for the first time,
they sometimes feel lost. The boater has to learn the waters, and also
learn where the good fishing is. The first thing the boater should buy is a
chart of the bay. The only chart that is available that shows the whole bay
from the Verrazano Bridge (bridge going to Assateague Island) to the
Delaware line is the ADC Ocean City Visitor's Map. It shows the depths of
the water, the main channels, and the buoys. It also shows Ocean City and
the streets so you can pinpoint where you are in the bay in relation to
Ocean City and the surrounding areas. It's not perfect, as sand bars shift
and buoy markers may be moved a few feet over the winter, but it's the only
thing we got! (The chart is updated every couple of years.) You can buy it
in paper or in a laminated version.)

To buy an ADC Ocean City Map stop by our stores or pick up on Online.

The most important thing to know about the Ocean City bays is that there
are a lot of sand bars and it is a good idea to stick close to the channels.
On your first few voyages out into the bay, go at high tide. This is
usually when fishing is best anyway. Fish two to three hours before high
tide and one or two hours after high tide.

"I live in North Ocean City and want to get to the main fishing grounds!"

If you live between the Rt. 90 Bridge and Montego Bay, follow any markers
out into the center of the bay and head straight towards the main channel
running through the East span of the Route 90 Bridge. You will see a green
light and wooden pilings marking the main channel. The upper bay is not deep
at all, only about 4 to 5 feet, but once you are out in the middle of the
bay, it is relatively safe and of a consistent depth on the north side of
the Route 90.

(Note: If you live near 115th Street you will see an island called Horse
Island on the chart. It is shallow near the island, so avoid it when
boating. It is deep next to the bulkhead just North of this island. Hug
the bulkhead and get north of the island before shooting out into the main
part of the bay.)

You can stop and fish here, especially on the high tide. Anglers here
drift from the buoy just north of the Route 90 Bridge towards the main
channel of the Bridge, or they drift from the main channel of the Bridge and
drift south. Don't spend too much time here flounder fishing. Fish here
are usually biting or they are not!

Next you can head in either of two directions. Once you pass under the
Route 90 Bridge, the next buoy markers are about a mile away. You can look
towards the right and pick up buoy #16 that will take you to the famous
"Thorofare." Or you can head towards the left and pick up the next buoy on
the east channel (#14) and fish the popular "Convention Hall Channel." If
you don't see this buoy right away, head for the big Ferris wheel at Jolly
Rogers Amusement Park until you can see the buoy.

This East Channel is easier to follow and negotiate to the inlet if you are
venturing further. It can also be more crowded and have more "jet ski"
action than the west channel. This is mainly because it is on the more
populated side of the bay!
This is also the more popular spot for the boat rentals to fish, as it is
closer to the marinas. So if you are looking for a quieter place to drift,
go towards the west channel.

"What and where is the Thorofare?"

A lot of people call any place on the west side of the bay "the Thorofare."
The real Thorofare is the deep water that flows between Dog Island and a
residential area called Captain's Hill. (There used to be two islands here
(Dog and Bitch Islands), but now there is only one.) It is a green marshy
island that is followed by a sandy shoal (the chart calls this Puppy Island)
just to its north. If you go close to the island or sandy shoal and drift
off of it you will see on your depth finder that there is an abrupt drop
off, going from 3 or 4 feet to 25 foot in a matter of seconds. I can't tell
you how many big flounder are caught in this little area on these drop offs.
You have to kind of bounce your sinker down these slopes because there is a
danger of snags on such a quick drop off. In the deep water just offshore
of the green island is an obstruction of some kind. I have been told a boat
was sunk there. There is a good snag where you will lose some rigs if you're
not careful, but there is also some good fishing near this snag.

If you fish on the west side of the Thorofare you will find the same kind of
water. Go up close to the marsh, and drift off. You will go from 3 or 4
feet of water to about 20 or more feet of water. Any time you have a change
of bottom depth like this you will find flounder. You may find it next to a
green island or next to a sandy shoal. Sometimes you will find these bottom
changes on the edges of boat channels or just out there in the middle of the
bay. Watch your depth finder and always work these changes of bottom depth
and you will catch flounder!

If you drift from the north end of the green marshy island called Dog Island
towards the north, you will also drift a nice hole. The water will go from
25 foot to 15 foot to 8 foot. Keep drifting until you get into 4 foot or
less, and then make the drift again. When anglers drift through this deep
water and slip into this shallower water, they say they are drifting the
"flats" of the "Thorofare."

"What buoy markers am I looking for?"

Work the area around #2, #6, #8 and #10. Note on the ADC chart the little
tiny black dots that designate shoal water. This means underwater sandbars,
and the chart isn't just kidding about them!

The Thorofare and the area around the Thorofare are full of little short
drifts that produce flounder. Anglers drift between all the buoys on the
west side by the marshes all the way to #16. The higher and cleaner the
water, the better the fishing will be north of the Thorofare. Drifting
between the marsh and buoy #10 has produced some large fish over the year.
(Jim Walters from Fenwick Island has taken his share of flounder from this

"Can we fish on the south side of the Thorofare?"

Sure, just follow the buoys (#4 and #7) and watch your water depth.
Sometimes there is tremendous amount of boat traffic on the north side of
the Thorofare and very little on the south side. This is when I'd try at
least 3 or 4 drifts on the south side between the next point of green marsh
(Drum Island it is called on the ADC map) and Dog Island. I spent half my
childhood drifting around here, and yes, there are still some nice flounder
there. Go right up to Drum Island on its north end and drift off. You will
go from 4 or 5 foot to a quick drop of 20 foot. (There are a couple areas of
rough clamshell bottom between Drum Point and Dog Island that will make you
think you are having bites.)

"I heard there's a couple good holes near Horn Island on the west side of
the bay."

This is near Sneaky Pete's Restaurant. Yes, there are, but it is not well
marked and has filled in over the years. If you have a larger boat and are
not familiar with this area, I would stay away from it and follow the
channel to the east side of the bay.

The Convention Hall Channel on the east side runs from buoys #14 through #8.
Work between these buoys, or between the bulkheads that run from 28th to
32nd Street to the buoys, or from the sand bars to the channel. There are
lots of areas of bottom changes that produce good flounder. Drifting near
the tip or just inside of 33rd Street where the townhouses jut out is also
very good.

Experiment, move around, and watch the depth finder, and you'll catch some
fish. Buy a chart, follow the buoys, and fish the high tide (at least at
first) and you will have good experiences.

Good fishing..

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 June 2009 18:19