The target ships near Tangier are popular fishing spots. There are 2 ships above water in the area. Both ships have been virtually obliterated from bombing activity. The eastern ship also holds a barge, submerged just below the water level nearby. The obstruction is a hazard and has damaged and even sunk several boats.
The western ship sits in about 15 feet of water. The wreck can hold a variety of fish including trout, striped bass (rockfish), croaker, spot, black sea bass, red drum, cobia, and sheepshead.
Fishing either wreck is somewhat hazardous as the area is a maze of jagged metal and subsurface obstructions. To make matters worse, live ammunition is on the bottom and anglers have been known to pull bombs up with the anchor.
Some anglers use a special rig in areas like this. An “anchor” is made from a plastic jug filled with water. Boaters motor close and pitch the jug into the wreck or a rockpile. The jug catches in the tangle and can be pulled free later.
Regulations concerning the Tangier Island target ships can be found in the Coastal Pilot.