If you like bottom fishing but you want to catch something bigger, book a deep drop trip.
Deep dropping combines some of the best aspects of bottom fishing (you hold the rod, you hook the fish) and offshore trolling (bigger fish, blue water). Ocean City, MD has been gaining popularity as a deep-dropping destination over the past few years, and we’ve still only scratched the surface of the fishery.
We mainly target blueline tilefish, which grow to around 20 pounds, and golden tilefish, which can grow to 60 pounds or more. That’s one fish, multiple fish fries right there, and it’ll be some of the cleanest, whitest meat you’ve ever tasted. While deep dropping for tilefish, we also regularly catch black-bellied rosefish, jumbo sea bass and occasionally a snowy grouper or a wreckfish.
Obviously, it’s called “deep drop” for a reason. So exactly how deep do we drop? For these species you’ll be fishing in depths ranging from 275 to 900 feet.
900 feet is a lot of line to reel in just to check your bait. Thankfully, the Fin Chaser carries a full lineup of Daiwa electric deep-drop reels that enable you to reel up your bait and sinker from the depths with the flip of a switch. You might think that sounds like it’s for wimps, but that’s because you haven’t reeled up a 40 ounce sinker from that deep before. We also carry very specific manual reels for deep drop fishing if you prefer that or you are targeting state or IGFA records.
We fish for tilefish right on the bottom, using big hooks and big baits, including clams, squid, sardines, and bluefish. Blueline tilefish live in rocky areas, and are generally more plentiful and easier to catch. Golden tilefish dig burrows in the clay, and big golden tilefish are notorious for holding themselves in their tunnels once they’ve been hooked. Wrestling them out often turns into a battle of wills.