2018 Maryland Striped Bass Regulations

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In Maryland, anglers can expect new regulations on striped bass for the 2018 fishing season. If approved, the new regulations will include a lower minimum size and tackle-specific requirements.

Spring Trophy Striped Bass Season

Maryland’s 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. Starting May 16, fishing locations and daily creel limits will expand through May 31.

Summer – Fall

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.

chesapeake bay striped bass
Striped Bass

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is moving forward with emergency regulations that will reduce the minimum size of striped bass for charter boat and recreational anglers in the summer and fall fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from 20 to 19 inches.

This action comes after the state’s proposal was approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in February 2018.

“Following a series of robust conversations and discussions with anglers, charter boat captains, conservationists and other stakeholders, the department believes that moving to a 19-inch rockfish, with corresponding conservation actions and efforts, will reduce striped bass mortality in the bay and provide additional recreational opportunities for anglers,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said.

The emergency regulations have been submitted to the Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review, which has jurisdiction over regulatory changes. The department anticipates approval before the start of the summer fishing season.

The proposal seeks to reduce the minimum size of striped bass from 20 to 19 inches with corresponding changes to bait, gear, and season, including the requirements that circle hooks be used when chumming and live-lining, and “J” hooks less than or equal to 1/2-inch gap (#1/0) when fishing with bait.

In anticipation of the proposed changes, DNR launched a provocative education and public relations campaign to ensure that anglers, charter boat captains and bait-and-tackle retailers understand the new minimum size and gear requirements so they can properly prepare for the start of the season. The Natural Resources Police have also been briefed on the changes so as to provide for a smooth transition.


Maryland reservoirs such as Broadford Lake, Conowingo, Jennings Randolph, Liberty, Piney Run, Rocky Gorge, and Triadelphia are open to striped bass 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, visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website (dnr.maryland.gov)

source: Maryland Department of Natural Resources

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