Ocean City Maryland Striped Bass Fishing
At Ocean City Maryland, fishing for striped bass, also known as rockfish, occurs on a year-round basis. Ocean City anglers catch striped bass around bridges, jetties, fishing piers, beaches, tide rips, shallow water areas, and other locations. Striped bass caught around Ocean City range from school-sized fish to trophy-class cows.
Popular Fishing Locations
Popular areas for striped fishing include oceanfront beaches, Assateague Island beaches, Ocean City Jetty, Ocean City inlet, Rt. 50 bridge, Rt. 90 bridge, Verrazano Bridge (Assateague Island), Oceanic Fishing Pier, OC Fishing Pier, Isle of Wight Bay, Sinepuxent Bay, inshore shoals, artificial reefs, and other areas.
Each spring, striped bass show up along Ocean City beaches as they migrate north. Fishing can be hit or miss but when striped bass show up, anglers stand a chance at catching several fish in succession. Although most striped bass continue northward, some fish take up residence around jetties, bridges, and coastal bays.
During summer, fishing for striped bass slows down in Ocean City. Much of the effort occurs during the evenings, when boat traffic is less frequent. Although the migratory striped bass are gone, resident fish are available, some of which can be quite large.
During the fall season, striped bass begin migrating down the Mid Atlantic Coast. As migrating fish move southward, schools begin showing up at Ocean City. In the ocean, striped bass are found along the beaches, around ocean shoals, wrecks, reefs, and other structure. Closer to Ocean City, anglers target stripers at the inlet, jetties, bridges, and piers.
Winter is the season most people stop fishing around Ocean City. Still a few hardy anglers continue fishing. Unlike most fish, striped bass remain active throughout much of the winter. Winter fishing consists of casting lures along rocks, pilings, and other areas where resident fish are found.
Bait and Tackle
Depending on location, season, and other factors, anglers may use artificial lures, live bait, cut bait, or a combination of lures and baits.
In many areas, bucktails and jigs rigged with soft plastic bodies are the most popular choice for casting. Other effective lures include topwater lures, swimming plugs, crankbaits, spoons, and metal jigs. Gotcha-type plugs are popular with anglers fishing from atop the Rt. 50 bridge or local piers,.
Fly fishermen catch striped bass, often employing streamer patterns that match local baitfish. When conditions are right at the jetty and other local structures, fly-fishing tackle can be extremely effective for stripers.
Striped bass are also caught with a variety of baits. For surf fishing, spot, menhaden, mullet, and bloodworms are popular. Fishermen targeting striped bass around the inlet and its jetties use eels, spot, or other live baits.