Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Spring Rockfish Season Opens April 16
4/16/2011 | Posted by jdavidsburgTags: Recreational, Striped Bass
The eagerly-anticipated spring season for striped bass, known locally as rockfish, opens at 5:00 a.m. this Saturday, April 16 in the main stem of Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay south of the mouth of the Patapsco River.
“Saturday’s opening day for striped bass marks the start of the sport fishing season on the Chesapeake. For a few weeks, anglers and their families will have the opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime, perhaps break a record and enjoy our State’s bountiful natural resources,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John R. Griffin.
The legal fishing areas for striped bass include the waters of the main stem of the Bay stretching from the Brewerton Channel at the mouth the Patapsco River south to the Virginia line, including Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds. To protect fish that may spawn later, some tributaries to the Bay are closed to striped bass fishing until June 1.
The use of eels as bait is prohibited until May 16. Additionally, DNR fisheries biologists recommend the use of a de-hooking tool to release the striped bass at the side of the boat without lifting the fish from the water. This improves the survival chances of the released fish.
Beginning Saturday, anglers are allowed one rockfish per day of 28 inches or longer measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail through May 15. From May 16 through December 15, the limits change to two fish per angler per day measuring 18 inches or more with only one of those fish measuring more than 28 inches. Possession of striped bass onboard between midnight and 5:00 a.m. is illegal all year.