We all know Ocean City, MD, is the White Marlin Capital of the World, but most of us don’t have the equipment to catch one ourselves or the money to charter a boat for that purpose. Fortunately, there are many other species available that don’t require a big boat or a second mortgage on the house. Head boats out of Ocean City often collect big sea bass. I would guess that summer flounder are the number one fish for many of the folks who fish out of Ocean City. The expansive flounder habitat that extends from south of the inlet past Assateague Island and north to Assawoman Bay provides plenty of opportunities for bottom bouncers. Last fall my friend Harry Yingling and I spent the day fishing here in Harry’s 16-foot tin boat. After launching at the ramp in West Ocean City in front of Sunset Marina we started to the south drifting with squid and Gulp! shrimp on jigs heads. The water down there tends to rise up quickly from the channel to shallow sand bars, and we had our best luck working those edges. The catch was a mixed bag of flounder and small blues. Unfortunately, none of the flounder measured past the 17-inch minimum size. We picked up and ran back to the inlet working just past the junction of the inlet and the channel back to Assateague. This location proved barren, so we ran under the Route 50 Bridge and all the way up almost to the Route 90 Bridge stopping along the way to fish the channels by the condos. Here too we caught blues and flounder and once again no keepers. Speaking of the Route 50 Bridge, it is one of the best fishing locations in town. It does take some experience to work the structure and the channels either from the bridge or from a boat. I have had my best luck using an old flounder spreader with both hooks baited with live minnows. I drop the rig straight down and let the current move the bait along a channel edge. Raising and lowering the rod tip just a bit will help move the rig along. When working from a boat you will want the bait or jig to come as close to the piling as possible. To this end, a jig baited with a live minnow or Gulp! and cast close to a piling on the upcurrent side will make a natural presentation. Flounder, striped bass, and blues will hold in the current in order to ambush any hapless bait that washes past. Another land-based location is the rip-rap found along the bank at Second Street. I have not fished there, but certainly have seen photos of fish caught by folks who have. Tog are a big attraction to this rocky spot. They can be caught on green or white legger crabs or sand fleas. The Oceanic Pier is right at the inlet and produces a wide variety of fish. Flounder, blues, trout, and tog are all caught here. It does take a bit of experience to be successful at any pier, but the reward is worth the effort. It is pretty easy to access the bays behind Ocean City. There are boat rentals at Bahia Marina on Herring Way between 20th and 21st streets. You can choose between a 16-foot skiff and a 17-foot Southern Skimmer. There are two head boats that fish out of this marina. Tortuga works the back bays for flounder, and Judith M sails into the ocean for flounder, sea bass and tog. Two more head boats fish the ocean: Morning Star and Angler. The latter sails from the Angler Dock at the end of Talbot Street. Morning Star is found on Shantytown Lane in West Ocean City almost as soon as you cross the Route 50 Bridge heading west. Of course no discussion of fishing out of Ocean City would be complete without mentioning the offshore action. White marlin lead the list with blue marlin, dolphin, wahoo, tuna, and sailfish in the mix. There are many charter boats here, and all are run by experienced captains. Lodging and restaurants abound in Ocean City and cater to all pocketbooks. Naturally the rates are cheaper during the offseason, and often the weather is better and the fishing pressure is less at that time of year. If you are looking for a change of pace from fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, Ocean City is a good bet. by Eric Burnley