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April 24, 2014

Spring Rockfish Season Kicks off in Maryland’s Portion of the Chesapeake Bay

by kking
Captain Keith Allston Jr. and Junior Abell showcase a rockfish  caught during opening day aboard Rod Bender Charters out of Solomons. Photo by Ashley Abell.

Captain Keith Allston Jr. and Junior Abell showcase a rockfish caught opening day aboard Rod Bender Charters out of Solomons. Photo by Ashley Abell.

The spring recreational fishing season for Maryland’s iconic Striped Bass, better known as rockfish has sport fishing anglers out on the water hoping to reel in a big one. The State’s Chesapeake Bay spring Striped Bass season runs from April 19 through May 15 with a one fish per person per day limit and a minimum size of 28 inches.

“The spring season offers recreational anglers a great opportunity to enjoy time on the water with friends and family and share the excitement of fishing for trophy-size rockfish,” said DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell.

Anglers without a boat looking get out on the water are invited to check out DNR’s online Map of Licensed Charter Boats & Fishing Guides in Maryland at dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/charters/map.asp.

The Striped Bass recreational fishing regulations for Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay are listed below by season date and fish limit per angler, per day. Size is measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. 

  • April 19 – 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, tributaries, creeks and rivers in order to avoid disrupting their spawning activity.
  • May 16 – May 31, two fish, minimum 18 inches, with one more than 28 inches. Legal Striped Bass Fishing area expands slightly; check the online Striped Bass Fishing Maps at dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/mapindex/bass.asp.
  • June 1 – December 15two fish, minimum 18 inches, with one more than 28 inches. All Maryland Chesapeake Bay and tributary waters open for Striped Bass fishing. 

DNR reminds anglers to consider all Striped Bass fishing opportunities to be potentially catch and release considering the relatively high size limit and low possession limit. For an overview of prudent catch and release practices, including tips to minimize harm to the fish, visit dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/cr.

Striped Bass fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, and Maryland’s coastal bays and coastal 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, Broadford 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 sport fishing species, and fishing regulations and licenses, visit the digital Maryland Fishing Guide at eregulations.com/maryland/fishing.

Anglers who register a Striped Bass 40 inches or longer (36 inches in nontidal waters) at any of the more than 60 Angler Award Centers across the State will receive free admission and a chance to win prizes at the 2014 Maryland Fishing Challenge Finale. The event will take place in early September at the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park. Prizes include tackle packages from Bass Pro Shops and Bill’s Outdoor Center, a boat/trailer from Tracker Marine, a vacation from the World Fishing Network, Under Armour shirts 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 seeking trip information for Bluefish, Blue Crabs, Striped Bass, Summer Flounder, Yellow Perch, shad, Smallmouth Bass, tournament Largemouth Bass.  

The Maryland Anglers Log is a family-friendly fishing report page where anglers share what they are catching, fishing hotspots and techniques.

Keep up with DNR Fisheries news on FacebookTwitter and through email subscription.

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