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moody photo of the Ocean City BoardwalkFishing, Crabbing & Clamming

Ocean City has lots to offer in the way of fishing and crabbing. Whether you seek a casual day of fishing off a pier or crave the adventure of world class off-shore marlin fishing - you will be sure to catch a great time fishing in OC.

Ocean City Catches

Going fishing in Ocean City? Be prepared for some choices.

Fish the ocean for yellow fin tuna, blue or white marlin, bigeye, or mako - or fish the surf for bluefish, kingfish, or sea trout.

Fishing the bays will get you trout, flounder, croaker, and sea bass.

Casting a line off a pier will net you some blues, spots, flounder - and lots of blue crabs.

Finally, a rake through some quiet sands will reward you with some fresh clams.

A real bonus is that no license is required for fishing in the ocean, bays, or inlets of Ocean City.

Fishing

Deep-sea, Inshore, and Offshore Fishing Charters

Select a local marina that offers charters to find the best ocean fishing. Ocean City has about 75 charters and excursions with Coast Guard-licensed captains. Expect to pay about $400 for a half-day charter trip on a six- passenger boat. Most charters also offer full-day and overnight options. All offer lots of personal service, including bait, rods, tackle, and ice.

  • Bahia Marina, 410-289-7438
  • Fisherman’s Marina, 410-213-2478
  • Ocean City Fishing Center, 410-322-3065
  • Sunset Marina, 410-213-9600
  • Talbot St. Pier, 410-289-9125

Headboats.

These large fishing boats (that charge by the head) are another option.

Reserve space on headboats because they fill up quickly. Most headboats offer free bait and lend a hand on some catch services. Rates vary.

  • Angler, 410-289-7424
  • Bahia Marina, 410-289-7438
  • Bay Bee, 410-213-1121
  • Happy Hooker, 410-289-9125
  • Morning Star, 410-520-2076
  • Ocean Princess, 410-289-6226

Surf Fishing.

You can surf fish along Ocean City’s ten-mile coast between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in season. Anglers must stay at least 50 yards clear of swimmers and other beachgoers. You can also surf fish the 35-mile long Assateague Island.

Fishing From Piers, Shores, Small Craft.

You can choose a spot on a bridge, pier, or riverbank. Or borrow a friend’s skiff or canoe. Gather up your gear or rent it from tackle shops, often located in local marinas.

Public boat ramps are located in the commercial harbor in West Ocean City, Assateague Island and Gum Point Road off of Rt. 589.

Fishing from a pier? Public piers are located at the Inlet in Ocean City as well as on the bay at 3rd St., 9th St., and Northside Park at 125th St. Other favorite spots are the Route 50 Bridge, the Ocean Pier (off the Inlet Parking Lot), and Isle of Wight (off Rt. 90).

For more information on fishing, check out coastal fisherman - their free newspapers circulate Ocean City year round.

Crabbing and Clamming

Favorite spots for crabbing are Bayside at 41st and 127th streets, Isle of Wight, and Assateague Island. Assateague also has good clamming.

Tournaments

The White Marlin Open

Ocean City hosts a number of fishing events, but none is as popular as the annual White Marlin Open which gives OC its reputation as the “White Marlin Capital of the World.” Harbour Island Marina, 410-289-9229

The 5-day August tournament is the world’s largest billfish tournament with more than 400 boats, 1500 anglers, and thousands of dollars in prize money. Anglers compete for white marlin, blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, dolphin, and shark. Spectators enjoy watching the boats go out, attending weigh-ins, drinking and celebrating the victories.

Other Tournaments of Interest

  • June: Shark, Small Boat, Tuna, and Flounder
  • July: Canyon Kick-Off, Tuna, Kids’ Classic, Blue Marlin, Ladies
  • August: White Marlin, Poor Girls, Mid-Atlantic
  • September: Labor Day White Marlin, Wahoo & Flounder, Beach-N-Boat, Flounder
  • October: Surf-Fishing, Rocktoberfest
  • November: Rockfish

Ocean City’s marinas and organizations host a number of other special interest tournaments from June - November.