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Spring Trophy Striped Bass Season Starts April 21

Time to Catch up with Maryland’s State Fish

Photo of striped bass being caught

“Rockfishing” by Roy Julie

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces the 2018 Spring Trophy Striped Bass season begins at 5 a.m. April 21 in Maryland’s portions of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.

The fishing season will continue through midnight May 15, with a catch limit of one fish daily with a size limit of 35 inches or larger.

“The beginning of trophy rockfish season generates a lot of excitement for anglers,” Fishing and Boating Director David Blazer said. “All fishing provides fun and challenges, but there’s something about trying to make that trophy catch of a striped bass that stands out from other experiences.”

Starting May 16, fishing locations and daily creel limits will expand through May 31. Beginning June 1, the entire Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries will be open for the summer and fall season, which ends Dec. 20. 

The department has proposed regulations that would reduce the minimum size of striped bass for charter boat and recreational anglers in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from 20 to 19 inches. These regulations, if enacted, would not affect the spring season.

Striped bass fishing in the Atlantic Ocean and Maryland’s coastal bays and tributaries is open year-round with a two-fish daily limit. Stripers on the coast must be between 28 and 38 inches or larger than 44 inches.

Maryland reservoirs such as Broadford Lake, Conowingo, Jennings Randolph, LibertyPiney Run, Rocky Gorge and Triadelphia are also open to fishing year-round with an 18-inch minimum size, two-fish per day possession limit, with only one of the two fish being longer than 30 inches.

More information on Maryland fishing opportunities and regulations is available online. The department has also launched a real-time striped bass map where you can view regulations in current time.


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