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Striped Bass

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

It is Illegal:

  • To possess any cut up or filleted striped bass at any time aboard any boat on the tidal waters of Maryland. Striped bass must be landed whole.
  • To use more than two hooks or two sets of hooks for each rod or line. Artificial lures or plugs with multiple hooks are considered 1 set of hooks.
  • To use eels as bait while fishing for striped bass with hook and line from Dec. 16–May 15, inclusive, in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
  • To cull striped bass.
  • To possess striped bass while fishing in the Chesapeake Bay or its tidal tributaries from midnight to 5 a.m.
  • To use a gaff to land striped bass.
  • To take or shoot striped bass with a spear gun and spear in the tidal waters of the state.
  • To fish for striped bass by any means or practice catch-and-release of striped bass in designated spawning areas from March 1–May 31.
  • To intentionally snag a striped bass.

Striped bass may not be caught, harassed or possessed in the Exclusive Economic Zone, which stretches from
3–200 miles off the coast.

Chesapeake Bay and Tidal Tributaries
(excluding the Susquehanna Flats, Lower Susquehanna River and Northeast River)

Season

Fishing Locations Allowed

Creel and Size Limits

Regulations

Restrictions and Remarks

Jan. 1–Feb. 28 All Maryland portions of Bay and Potomac are open to
catch and release fishing only
No harvest Catch and release only
  • Directed catch and release of striped bass in the Potomac requires barbless hooks.
  • Eels may not be used as bait.
Spring Catch and Release Season

March 1–APRIL 20

Chesapeake Bay from the Brewerton Channel to the Virginia line including Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. No harvest
  • Stinger (trailing) hooks are prohibited.
  • Barbless hooks are required when trolling.
  • Non-offset circle hooks or
    J hooks with a gap of less than ½ inch are required when using natural bait.
  • No more than 6 lines may be employed while trolling regardless of the number of anglers on board.
  • These restrictions apply in all open catch and release areas from March 1 until 5:00 a.m., April 21
  • Spawning rivers and the Upper Bay spawning area are off limits until June 1 to striped bass fishing.
  • Eels may not be used as bait.
  • See maps at: dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/pages/striped-bass-maps.aspx.
Spring Trophy Season
APRIL 21–May 15
Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the MD-VA Line, excluding all bays, sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers, except Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound 1 fish per person per day
Minimum size 35 inches
May 16–May 31 Chesapeake Bay downstream from a line drawn from the south corner of Hart-Miller Island Dike to the end of MD Route 21 at Tolchester and south to the MD/VA line, excluding all bays, sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers. EXCEPT: Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound; Chester River and its tributaries downstream of a line drawn from Hail Point to Long Point to Ferry Point; Patuxent River and its tributaries downstream of a line drawn from Point Patience to the west point of land at the entrance of Little Kingston Creek; and Choptank River and its tributaries downstream of a line drawn from Holland Point to a point of land at the west entrance of Chapel Creek are open. 2 fish per person per day between 19-28 inches OR 1 fish between 19-28 inches and 1 fish over 28 inches See maps at: dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/pages/striped-bass-maps.aspx.

Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming; Anglers must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait, or when using processed baits

Summer/Fall Season
June 1–Oct. 12
All Maryland Chesapeake Bay waters
and tributaries open to fishing
2 fish per person per day between 19-28 inches OR 1 fish between 19-28 inches and 1 fish over 28 inches See Interactive Map at: http://gisapps.dnr.state.md.us/StripedBass/

Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming; Anglers must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait, or when using processed baits

Oct. 13–Dec. 15 All Maryland Chesapeake Bay waters and tributaries open to fishing 2 fish per person per day between 19-28 inches OR 1 fish between 19-28 inches and 1 fish over 28 inches See Interactive Map at: http://gisapps.dnr.state.md.us/StripedBass/

SUSQUEHANNA FLATS, LOWER SUSQUEHANNA RIVER and NORTHEAST RIVER

Season

Fishing Locations Allowed

Creel and Size Limits

Regulations

Restrictions and Remarks

DEC 20–May 3 Susquehanna Flats, upstream of a line from Sandy Point to Turkey Point and the Susquehanna River downstream from a line connecting the Susquehanna State Park boat ramp at Lapidum to Twin Rocks to Tomes Wharf in Port Deposit; and the Northeast River Catch and Release only
  • Stinger hooks are prohibited.
  • Barbless hooks are required when trolling.
  • Non-offset circle or J hooks with less than ½ inch gap are required when using bait.
  • No more than six lines per boat are allowed when trolling.
  • Eels may not be used as bait.
May 4–May 15 Susquehanna Flats closed to
striped bass fishing
Closed No catch and release fishing
May 16–May 31 Susquehanna Flats reopen to
striped bass fishing
1 fish per person per day between 19–26 inches Eels may not be used as bait.

Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming; Anglers must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait, or when using processed baits

June 1–Oct 12 Susquehanna Flats and all Bay waters including tributaries open to striped bass fishing 2 fish per person per day between 19–28 inches OR 1 fish between 19–28 inches and 1 fish over 28 inches

Anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming; Anglers must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs or worms as bait, or when using processed baits

Oct 13 – Dec 15 Susquehanna Flats and all Bay waters including tributaries open to striped bass fishing 2 fish per person per day between 19–28 inches OR 1 fish between 19–28 inches and 1 fish over 28 inches

Atlantic Ocean, COASTAL BAYS and THEIR TRIBUTARIES

Season

Fishing Locations Allowed

Creel and Size Limits

Regulations

Restrictions and Remarks

Jan. 1–Dec. 31 No area restrictions in state waters 2 fish per person per day. Must be between 28 inches and 38 inches, inclusive, or greater than or equal to 44 inches Striped bass may not be caught, harassed or possessed in the Exclusive Economic Zone, which stretches from 3–200 miles off the coast.

reservoirs

Season

Fishing Locations Allowed

Creel and Size Limits

Regulations

Restrictions and Remarks

Reservoirs Broadford Lake, Conowingo Reservoir, Jennings Randolph Reservoir,
Liberty Reservoir, Piney Run Reservoir, Rocky Gorge Reservoir,
and Tridelphia Reservoir.
18 inch minimum size;
2 fish per person per day—only 1 of those fish may be larger than 30 inches
Open Year Round

Be on the Lookout for Tagged Fish!

The success of tagging studies relies on anglers like you. If you catch a tagged fish, please follow the instructions printed on the tag, or call Fishing and Boating Services at 800-688-3467. Please record the tag number, capture date, fishing location, and total length.

 

Striped Bass Tournament Authorization is Required

Striped bass tournament organizers need department authorization to hold a tournament.

Submit requests including name of the tournament, date(s), location of check-ins, qualifying area, expected number of participants, and charity (if applicable) to fishingreports.dnr@maryland.gov.

Striped bass tournaments held prior to May 1 must be catch & release. Each tournament is provided a data sheet to record all striped bass caught. Tournament organizers are responsible for submitting the completed data sheet to the department.