Coastal Fishing Reports

Coastal Fishing Reports presented by Intrinsic

Coastal Fishing Report, May 14 Update:

While blue waters are quiet as of yet, the surf bites are heating up! Coastal Correspondent John Unkart checked in to let us know he landed a beautiful 46.5-inch striper last weekend during the dead low tide in Assateague surf. Flounder, blues, and even a shad were in the mix. The rockfish was tempted by a sand flea, which has also been a popular bait for black drum. Then mid-week this week he picked up a pair in the mid-30s rock followed by a 40-incher, on peeler crab chunks. The drum bite continued to quiet down this week, although a few were still being caught. While stripers and drum are a favorite target right now, other reports indicate that the surf also is producing a few flounder, skate, bluefish, and even a kingfish this week. Flounder are hitting squid strips, and bluefish are stealing cut baits (like usual). Most of the blues reported this week were small, with the occasional outlier. In the coming weeks we’re hoping to see more move up the coast, hopefully alongside some extra founder. Still, not all is sunshine in the surf. When Angler-and-Chief Lenny Rudow headed down to Assateague with daughter Mollie, Finn the fish-dog, and dinghy-sailor Ryan, they struck out and despite fishing alongside our Coastal Correspondent, the day produced only one skate.

surf fishing anglers caught a lot of fish
The surf has been producing a wide range of fish lately, including some very nice ones.

If you’re in OC and itching to catch a striper, they can also be found around the route 50 bridge. Soft plastics and Roy Rigs are getting them biting. Some keepers are coming out of the water there among the many throwbacks, and the bite is more reliable than in the surf. Additionally, shad are hanging around the inlet.

At the wrecks, tautog (which closes Sunday) has slowed down quite a bit. Anglers who headed out this week reported lower catches than usual and slower days. We haven’t heard of anything exciting happening offshore as of yet and neither had the OC Fishing Center when we checked in with them. Reports from Virginia indicate that there are still black drum moving through some of the inlets and a report from Wachapreague stated there were few boats out, and dogfish, skate, hake, and croaker were in the mix along with the flounder. Few boats are making limit catches of the flatfish but most are getting at least a couple-few per outing.

There have also been a number of reports of small weakfish being caught in the VA and MD surf and in multiple inlets. Most of the catches have been incidental by anglers searching for other species, fishing peeler crab or bloodworm baits. It sure would be nice to see this species bounce back!

For those who tried to tune in to Live With Lenny last night we apologize for the technical difficulties, evidently we broke the internets. The show has been rescheduled for next Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m, when we'll have a striper season update and discuss targeting invasive species like snakeheads and blue cats with David Sikorski from the CCA.

Coastal Fishing Report, May 7 Update:

Anglers enjoying some surf fishing continued to have the drum bite this week, although it has dropped off. Soaking clams and crab baits is common and producing the fish. Multiple anglers reported catching bluefish in the Virginia surf — in the next week, we should see them moving into Maryland waters, and soon after Delaware as well. Stripers are also popping up in the suds up and down the coast and though the vast majority are short, we did hear of a couple of keepers this week. There’s also an abundance of skates in the surf right now!

coastal striper anglers
First Light Charters has been picking up some stripers near Indian River this week.

At the wrecks, tog are in abundant supply. Boats that hit the inshore wrecks reported some great days as we approach the end of the spring season. Even when the fishing was slow, multiple boats reported that they were still catching steady. Captain Cook on First Light Charters also reports that striper night-fishing trips in and around Indian River are proving successful, with some shad (which have also been reported at the OC inlet) in the mix for anglers casting fly gear.

Flounder are making their spring invasion along the coast. Anglers hitting the bays and inlets are enjoying a steady bite when the conditions are right and less action when they are not; a few are also coming off the close wrecks and surf. FishTalk team member Zach Ditmars is currently at Wachapreague and after arriving late yesterday they saw one keeper fish enter the box. As of an 11:00 check-in, this morning had produced three more keepers and a throwback plus some hake between two boats, but he reports that dogfish are getting in the way, too. We had a reader check in earlier this week and report that when the waters were riled by the winds fishing was tough, so focusing your efforts when the winds are down and the water is clear counts. Drifting squid strips is frequently being employed.

While we didn’t get any reports of offshore action as of yet this week, we do want to note that NOAA has announced a change in bluefin regs running through 2021: rec anglers will now be allowed two fish at 27 to 47 inches, and one fish 47 to 73 inches.

January 1, 2021
Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, January 29 Update: High winds and cold temperatures made fishing off the coast downright dangerous much less comfortable most of this week, and as a result, our Coastal reports are quite thin. We’re hoping that… Read more...
December 4, 2020
Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, December 25 Update: Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and welcome to the final fishing report of 2020. Considering how this year has been we’re thrilled to see it finally end, and we’re wishing everyone a happy… Read more...
November 6, 2020
Coastal Mid-Atlantic Fishing Report, November 27 Update: Hi anglers, we hope you all enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving! Offshore reports were mostly MIA this week, and while we heard rumors that a swordfish or two came in for deep-droppers at the… Read more...