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Striped Bass

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

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 Chesapeake Bay waters and the Potomac River 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.

Mar. 1–Mar. 31

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.

Apr. 1-Apr. 30

All areas closed to striped bass fishing.

CLOSED

No catch and release fishing. Attempting to catch striped bass is illegal during this time period.

May 1-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

Susquehanna Flats, Lower Susquehanna River and Northeast River

Season

Fishing Locations Allowed

Creel and Size Limits

Regulations

Restrictions and Remarks

Jan. 1-Mar. 31

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.

Apr. 1-May 15

Susquehanna Flats closed to
striped bass fishing

Closed

No catch and release fishing.
Attempting to catch striped bass is illegal during this time period.

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

1 fish per person per day. Must be a minimum of 28 inches and may not exceed 35 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

All nontidal reservoirs, lakes, and ponds. 18 inch minimum size; 2 fish per person per day—
only 1 of those fish may be larger than 30 inches
Open Year Round

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.

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

Rules for the Summer and Fall Fishery are still being developed and will be posted as soon as possible.

Susquehanna Flats, Lower Susquehanna River and Northeast River

Rules for the Summer and Fall Fishery are still being developed and will be posted as soon as possible.

Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays and their tributaries

Rules for the Summer and Fall Fishery are still being developed and will be posted as soon as possible.

 

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

 

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.