2018 may have been short of clear weather weekends and limit days of keeper flounder, but it was full of opportunities to learn and tons of loss lead. Without a doubt, the tides play a significant part when drifting for the flatties. Here are a few other items to note if you plan to work the inlet.
A good flounder drift is around 1.2 – 1.5 mph but the inlet can easily produce drift speeds upwards of 3mph. To approach a particular day, I began to setup a drift as “test run”, tipping the bucktail with Gulp and seeing how fast the drift was. Once I got a feel for the water current and speed, I reset at the beginning of the drift again and would compensate a fast drift by placing the motor in gear opposing the flow in order to reduce my drift speed (if needed). I did have plenty of success with drifts nearing 2mph.
Jigging For Flounder
Jig, jig and jig some more. The Ocean City, Maryland inlet bottom is very rocky and will eat your lead or bucktail with ease. Keep your bucktails moving and dancing along the bottom.
Awareness In The Inlet
The final item of interest is to keep your head on a swivel. Don’t forget, the Ocean City, Maryland inlet is a very popular inlet for recreational, charter, and commercial vessels. There is always movement in or out and as you will see, it’s not a straight shot out for the larger guys. They must weave around the buoys which place large sportfishers near to the Southern jetty which is often where the current will push you while on a drift. The rocks of the Ocean City, Maryland Inlet South jetty will come at your quickly and are unforgiving. The South jetty is also NOT a straight jetty, it curves and can mislead your eyes as you drift in or out. Finally, any smaller boat 28 foot or less can easily drift anywhere within the jetty, but those buoys will come up quickly. Be aware of your surroundings, be courteous to the larger boats (stay out of their way) and jig until your arms are tired.
My Flounder Setup For The Ocean City Inlet
My go to for flounder rigs was The Mid-Atlantic Flounder Killer bucktails with teasers and SPRO glow 2 oz single buck tails. These produced the best results but are costly to get snagged on the rocks. A cheaper option and maybe one best to use if you are new to jigging would be a pre-rigged high-low rig with 2 oz bank sinker on 10lb mono. Not-So-Pro-Tip! Your mono test holding the sinker should be the easiest to snap when using a high-low rig…. why? Well if you snag bottom, I’d rather loose the $.20 cent lead than the hole rig and terminal. I run 15lb braid to a snap swivel, rigs typically are tied with 30+ lb mono, then tie on a bank sinker with 10lb mono.
Hope these bits of info help you enjoy and become more productive fishing the Ocean City, Maryland inlet. See you on the water (not soon enough)!