Chesapeake Bay Seasons, Sizes & Limits

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

Chesapeake Bay & Its Tidal Tributaries


Minimum Size Limits


Creel Limit


American Eel 9 inches Jan 1–Aug 31, except open year round for spears and baited traps or pots Daily—25
Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth) 15 inches
March 1–June 15
Open Year Round Daily—5 in aggregate
12 inches
June 16 through last day in February
Black Drum 16 inches Open Year Round Daily—1

Boat Limit—6

Black Sea Bass 12.5 inches May 15–Dec 31 Daily—15
Bluefish 8 inches Open Year Round Daily—10
Catfish None Open Year Round None
Chain pickerel (Pike) 14 inches CLOSED March 15–April 30 Daily—10
Cobia 40 inches

June 1–September 30

Daily—1 Boat limit—3
Croaker (Hardhead) 9 inches Open Year Round Daily—25
Northern Snakehead None Open Year Round None Illegal to possess live snakehead fish.
Red drum (Channel Bass or Puppy Drum) 18–27 inches Open Year Round Daily—1
Sharks See Highly Migratory Species Section
Snapper species (includes many species, please see list) Snapper species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=
Subject to change. Refer to online regulations for updates eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/
Spanish Mackerel 14 inches Open Year Round Daily—15 Must be landed with head and fins intact.
Spotted seatrout 14 inches Open Year Round Daily—4
Striped Bass See Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Section
Summer Flounder (Fluke) 16.5 inches Open Year Round 4/person/day
Tautog 16 inches CLOSED May 16–June 30 January 1–May 15, 4 fish/person/day

July 1–October 31, 2 fish/person/day

November 1–December 31, 4 fish/person/day

Walleye 15 inches Open Year Round Daily—5
Weakfish 13 inches Open Year Round Daily—1
White perch None if caught with hook and line; 8 inch minimum if caught with other gear Open Year Round None
Yellow perch 9 inches Open Year Round Daily—10
Alewife Herring, American Shad, Atlantic sturgeon, Blueback Herring and shortnose STURGEON CLOSED
Areas Closed to Fishing—Feb, March and April:
1. Magothy River from Lake Waterford dam downstream for 3,300 feet.
2. Severn River and Severn Run from the Route 3 Bridge downstream for 2,400 feet.