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Fishing Route 50 Bridge Ocean City, Maryland
The Rod | The Line | The Baits | Nets | Techniques
Fishing from the Route 50 Bridge in Ocean City, Maryland, involves a little more skill than just throwing the proper bait down to the water ... it also involves knowing how to fish around the bridge's base, around the pilings, and how to bring the fish up to the bridge once you've hooked it.
Johnny Meushaw of former Skip's Tackle Shop has fished the bridge for many years and offers these tips to anglers planning to fish off the bridge during their stay here.
"If you do all of these things, you'll be doing pretty good," he says.
Use nothing less than a 7-foot rod, and if you decide to go only with a 7-foot rod, it must be a good one. Ideally, the rod would be of the quality of a Penn Power Pole, a Star Rod, a Penn Slammer, or a one-piece ugly stick slated for 40-pound test medium heavy.
"If you're not fishing with that kind of quality rod, you need to use an 8- to 9-foot rod," says Meushaw. "When the fish goes under the bridge, your rod has to be at an angle so that your line doesn't rub the concrete bottoms. If you don't (work at an angle with a longer rod), your line will be flush against the concrete."
You should use 30- to 50-pound test on the bridge. The most popular among experienced bridge anglers is Stren 40-pound magna-thin. "It allows more line on the reel because it has a 30-pound diameter," said Meushaw. "It's more expensive, but the last three or four years, it's been the line of choice up there."
The three best baits for the bridge, Meushaw said, are a 2-ounce leadhead with an 8-inch twister tail, a 1.5-ounce white bucktail with a 6-inch twister worm, and a 1.25-ounce Gotcha plug with a red head and a white body.
"The B2 Squid (a new bait by Reef Fishers Products) shows a lot of promise, too," said Meushaw of the soft rubber bait that "swims good and looks like a squid."
You must use a bridge net to land the fish. You'll never be able to lift a fish all the way up to the top of the bridge with just your rod. So, either take your own bridge net or fish with a buddy who already has one.
Meushaw recommends fishing with "your drag locked down tight. You want to keep the fish from going under the bridge because the current goes really fast and it's tough to get them out."
Fish congregate on the bottom, too, so if you're not getting snagged here and there, you have no chance of catching fish, Meushaw says.
"There's a guy here, Tim Bohle, who catches more fish than anyone off the bridge," says Meushaw. "He takes a couple of guys out each year to teach them how to fish the bridge and the first day, all he lets them cast is a 2-ounce sinker because you have to learn to fish the bottom.
"You have to put the time in and learn how to get your speed up and get your bait up over that spot (that snags). I can cast all night and get snagged only once, but it takes time for people with less experience to learn how to fish the bottom."
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