With the spring season opener kicking off tomorrow, Maryland’s iconic striped bass, better known as rockfish, has area anglers preparing to get out on the water in hopes of reeling in a big one. Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay spring Striped Bass season opens at 5 a.m. on Saturday, April 20 with a one fish per person per day limit and a minimum size of 28 inches through May 15.
“The third Saturday of April marks the moment Bay anglers await to test their skill and luck in catching a trophy-sized rockfish,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell. “It’s a great time to join friends and family in pursuit of our State fish.”
The Striped Bass regulations for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay are listed below by season dates and fish limit per angler, per day. Size is measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.April 20 – May 15, one fish, minimum 28 inches Fishing for Striped Bass is restricted to Chesapeake Bay waters from the Brewerton Channel to the Virginia Line, including Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. Fishing for Striped Bass is not allowed in any other bays, sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers in order to avoid disrupting striped bass spawning activity. May 16 – May 31, two fish, minimum 18 inches, with just one over 28 inches Legal Striped Bass Fishing area expands slightly; click here to check the online Striped Bass Fishing Map. June 1- December 15, two fish, minimum 18 inches, with just one over 28 inches All Maryland Chesapeake Bay and tributary waters open for Striped Bass fishing.
DNR reminds anglers to minimize the harm to fish when engaged in catch and release fishing. You should consider all striped bass fishing to be potentially catch and release considering the relatively high size limit and low possession limit. Click here for an overview of prudent catch and release practices.
Striped Bass fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, Maryland’s Coastal Bays and coastal tidal tributaries is open year round with a two fish daily limit and a minimum size of 28 inches.
Maryland’s reservoirs (Liberty, Piney Run, Tridelphia, Conowingo, Bradford Lake, Jennings Randolph and Rocky Gorge) are also open to Striped Bass fishing all year with an 18-inch minimum size, two fish per day creel limit, with only one of the two being longer than 30 inches.
For detailed information on Maryland regulations, sport fishing species and fishing licenses, check out the new digital Maryland Fishing Guide.
Anglers who register a Striped Bass of 40 inches or more (36 inches in nontidal waters) at any of the more than 60 Maryland Angler Award Centers across the State will receive free admission and a chance to win prizes at the 2013 Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale. The event will take place at the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 7. Prizes include tackle packages from Bass Pro Shops and Bill’s Outdoor Center, a boat/trailer package from Tracker Marine, a vacation from World Fishing Network, Under Armour gear and other great prizes.
DNR invites all anglers to help in the fisheries management process by participating in the online Volunteer Angler Survey. The department is looking for trip information for Bluefish, Blue Crabs, Striped Bass, Summer Flounder, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass and tournament Largemouth Bass. The Maryland Angler’s Log is a family-friendly fishing report page where anglers share what they are catching, fishing hotspots and techniques. For DNR Fisheries Service updates, sign up to receive the Maryland Fisheries News email and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Image courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources