Ocean City deep sea fishing trips are not for the faint-hearted. The best big game action happens way out on the continental shelf, in the deep canyons which scar the edge of America. The fishing is well worth the journey, though, with Blue and White Marlin, Bluefin and Yellowfin Tuna, Swordfish, Mahi Mahi, and monster Sharks packing into the sheer walls of these deep-water chasms. After all, you’ve got to have some seriously good fishing to earn the name “White Marlin Capital of the World”.

What can I expect from a deep sea fishing trip?

Local captains don’t mess about when it comes to deep sea fishing. The best spots are a solid 60 miles from the calm shallows of the Ocean City inlet, and you won’t usually find an offshore trip lasting much less than 10 hours. Make your peace with the long trip and travel times, though, and you are in for a treat.
 
The fishing itself will take place out at spots like the Baltimore and Poor Man’s Canyons. The wild mix of depths here can have you fishing in anywhere from 200 to 700 feet of water within a couple of miles. This allows you to target a huge range of species on a single trip. 
 
If you can’t take the long journey or just don’t have the time, there are several spots closer to land that also offer great fishing opportunities. Jackspot is just over 20 miles from town and was a top White Marlin spot for decades. Marlin are less common now, but Mahi Mahi, Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, and Sharks still love to hang out here, feeding on the big Bluefish which frequent the area.

Fishing Techniques

If you are targeting Tuna or Sharks, you will most likely be chunking, using 30-50-pound rods and reels with leaders ranging anywhere from 30 to 80-pound test, depending on the size of the fish. Wire leaders are obviously a safer bet when targeting Sharks, but you'll need fluorocarbon when going after Tuna due to their keen eyesight. You can easily go through 100 pounds of cut Butterfish or Menhaden over the course of the day, keeping your best baits back to rig onto beefy 8/0 circle hooks.
 
Fishing for Ocean city’s famed White Marlin could not be more different. You will usually be trolling, using a mix of blue-and-white Ilander surface teasers and dressed Ballyhoo, or daisy chains of pink squids and strip bait. Because of the way the canyons are formed, you can troll across hugely different depths by criss-crossing their sharp walls. This always turns up a few surprises and sends you packing with more than enough to fill your freezer.

How much will it cost?

10-hour trips start at just over $1,500, with larger vessels charging a few hundred more to account for the fuel burn. 12-hour trips don’t cost much more, starting at around $1,700 and working their way into the low 2000s. This is well worth the money, considering you could be spending four hours of your trip in transit.
 
For serious sportfishers, the best option has to be an overnight charter. These are very common out of Ocean City, and with good reason. Troll the day away for Marlin, Mahi, and more, then chunk through the night for Sharks and Tuna before heading home with aching arms and what could quite literally be a ton of great fish!

Ocean City

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Top Targeted Deep Sea Fishing Species in Ocean City

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Marlin (Blue)

Tuna (Bluefin)

What People Are Saying About Deep Sea Fishing in Ocean City

"Half-day trip with Thayer"

Yusuke Sagawa fished with Chasin' Tides Charters on September 5, 2018

My fiancee and I took a half-day deep sea fishing trip with Thayer. Although kind of quiet and reserved, he was very pleasant and helpful, and it appears he even gave us some extra time to fish, especially since we didn't catch any of our targeted species. It was a great day to be out on the boat and overall we truly enjoyed the trip. Will be back later to break the dry spell!

Top Deep Sea Fishing Charters in Ocean City