The Oceanic Fishing Pier is one of Maryland’s most popular saltwater fishing piers. Located near the inlet in Ocean City, the Oceanic Pier is a well known landmark. This L shaped pier features a full service tackle shop, bait, rod rentals, bathrooms, sinks, benches, and other amenities.
Anglers fishing on the Oceanic Pier catch flounder, bluefish, spot, croakers, northern kingfish, seatrout, red drum, black drum, striped bass, hickory shad, tautog, black sea bass, sheepshead, porgy, puffers (swelling toads), sharks, rays, and other species.
After making a hard turn southward, the pier extends along the shoreline to the inlet. The area just off the west side of the pier is hard sand which drops off into a channel. At the southern end of the pier, the bay bottom varies from rocky near the western end of the Ocean City Inlet jetty to deep and sandy on the southwest corner.
Due to the pier’s strategic location, tides tend to have a strong impact on fishing. During incoming tides, water rushes through the inlet where the flow splits into two directions. As the tide rises, the area just off the pier contains an incredible mix of calm water, eddies, and strong currents.
During the incoming tide cycle, anglers use a variety of tackle and techniques to target their preferred species. Some anglers prefer to fish straight down, catching spot, croakers, black sea bass, puffers, tautog, or other species.
Others cast baits into the channel in hopes of catching flounder and bluefish. The pier is also suitable for casting artificial lures, especially small jigs, shiny spoons, and a local favorite called a “gotcha plug”.
Slack tide rarely lasts more than a few moments before beginning to flow outward. As the outgoing current increases, fishing conditions can change dramatically.
In contrast to the incoming tide, anglers on the pier’s T section often find that they must constantly increase their sinker size in order to hold bottom. Eventually, bottom fishermen cannot overcome the rushing water.
During these periods, anglers either move farther North along the pier, away from the inlet, or switch over to fishing at mid-depth. Although the extreme currents during the outgoing tidal cycle can be a nuisance to bottom fishermen, productive fishing is often available.
During spring, anglers often catch hickory shad and bluefish during the outgoing tide. As the summer season wears on, more and more bluefish are caught. When currents are strong, Carolina bait rigs or simple jigs work well for catching bluefish, flounder and other species.
To rig a Carolina rig, an egg sinker or torpedo sinker is rigged inline about 18 to 24 inches above the hook. For this style of fishing, circle hooks are particularly effective. Top baits include squid strips, or strips cut from freshly caught spot.
An alternative to Carolina rigs is the classic bucktail jig. Bucktails or other skirted jigs work well when tipped with bait strips. When either rig is used, it may be necessary to experiment with weights, increasing weight as the current increases.
A good rule of thumb is to let the rig back until it is out of sight. Another technique is to drop a heavy rig to the bottom and then adjust the line until the rig rises slightly off the bottom. When few anglers are fishing, it may be possible to fish two or more lines by varying the weight and amount of line out.
Oceanic Fishing Pier
710 South Philadelphia Ave.