My inlaws live there full time now if that counts. Check striperonline too, some guys on their reguarly. Plus there is the Saltwater Fly rodders of DE that fish around the area too. I'm looking forward to perfecting the night time boat dock fishing in Ocean City this spring/summer and fall. I had my best outing two years ago during Thanksgiving weekend for plenty of fish well inside the bay, at night, on a moving tide under the lights. Water temp was about 50.
When my uncle owned a place on the DE beach, we'd fish the surf and the sounds/back bays reasonably near the inlets. The very first fall outing to the surf just south of IRI, we simply walked out having done no particular planning to find low west winds, calm seas, gobs of southward-swimming bait, diving gannets, and breaking stripers... a few of which (after literally running them down) were also close enough to catch from a wading position. Very exciting and satisfying, and as I came to find after several years and many attempts to try and repeat that experience, even more rare (even at dawn/dusk on 'good' tides). Went many times after that and NEVER saw or caught another striper (in the surf, on the fly at least). So that singular surf experience was basically winning the lotto, I guess. By day at least, inside IRI was also spotty whether wading or fishing out of various small, paddled craft. Mostly flounder, some shad, occasional trout or small stripers. And once, what might have actually been a record northern stargazer - and they can generate a mild electric shock, I was surprised to discover! Inquiring around, were repeatedly told by different sources I believed to be reliable that this area was primarily a night bite venue, but was personally unwilling to give up my zzzzz's to give that op a fair chance to really produce.
In the last year we had a place to stay, we fished inside OCI in the fall, both from a friend's center console and via canoe (the latter used for transportation only), and did pretty well on stripers and on shad by day, around Thanksgiving. Fond memories in the light rain and medium tailwinds (also rare) of wading to the hilt near the sandbar just north of the U.S. 50 bridge (near the west end) on a hard-running outgoing tide and steadily wearing out some clousers and small half-n-halves with a fish on almost every cast, when suddenly some observant passenger caught in a slow-down (presumably another angler) rolled down their window to give a big thumbs-up and holler approvingly "You're an A......NI.....MAL. Yeah!!!"
Well, maybe. Sometimes you're the windshield... We'd paid a LOT of fishless dues (mostly in late summer) before this, however. Less fond memories (also while wading too deep) of stepping into a mucky hole at the bottom of the tide, from which I could not readily manage to get out without assistance, so wade with caution and a partner, just in case. Other than that one incident, all other bottoms I'd tried were firm.
My own take-home lessons? I'm certainly no expert at the salt, but if there are no obvious signs of bait being present where you'd hoped to find it, just keep moving and looking widely, else you can burn a whole lot of time in just a place or two with nothing much to show for it beyond casting practice/exercise. And have a spinning rod along just in case the combination of depths, winds, and currents make the use of the fly less than optimal. Can also waste a lot of time simply barking up the wrong tree even after fish and bait are found. No point in being stubborn about it, really.
Even without a 'free' place to hang my hat, and making about the longest possible drive in MD to do it, I would go back again to OC (under decent fall wx forecast and using SOT kayaks to get around) if I reliably heard the bait and therefore the fish were 'in'. Else, I'd go to NC sounds. Just my .02
For hitting the surf you might also try wading to a bar and casting back shoreward into a trough and working the flow. Nice thing is there's nothing to hang up on and you don't have to worry about your back cast hitting anyone.
Back when I was a kid visiting OC regularly, before there was such a thing as 'beach replenishment', stone or wooden groins, etc I remember there being plenty of the sorts of bars you just refered to Jacksdad. Seemed like the typical condition, no matter where my family went swimming or walking. Especially at low tide, the waves more or less spent themselves on that outer bar and only comparatively minor wave wash came through the trough and washed onto the sand.
Then, several decades later when I once again was able to visit down that way, such beach structure seemed much more the exception than the rule... full fledged waves ran all the way to the sand in most places (this surely can't be good in a storm, except as a perpetual make-work arrangement). But when once I'd gone down to Assateague, there once again these parallel bars were common, and the slope of the beaches seemed flatter too.
So the question is, are such bars still present off the OC reach, or have we essentially eliminated them? Without much structure/funneled flows to exploit, its a wonder that many/any gamefish might actually linger around. I no longer get to visit this area, but is this the case, or if not, in general what's the present deal (what do resident beach oriented fish do/how does on pattern them?). I'd LOVE to still be able to wade out to those bars and cast back in like you suggest (less wavy surface, and more like fishing a river), or work the places where those parallel currents make a break for the deeper water outside/between adjacent bars. TIA for any insights.
Well it's been some time since i've done it so not sure which streets are good but i'm sure there are plenty of spots. just look for a steep beach/water transition then try to find where the bar is and the area that the water funnels in to the dip. Assateague likely has plenty of spaces for this as well.
I'll be doing my best from a boat this year. won't be moving in that close but am going to try different things to get hooked up on the fly. drifting the inlet with a fly rod is a busy venture as you're constantly adjusting to get close enough to the rocks to pull fish out but keep far enough away to avoid damaging the boat. not to mention it gets busy in there!