Striped Bass Fishing Advisory Forecast
The Striped Bass Summer Fishing Advisory Forecast is an awareness campaign
aimed to reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.
A color-coded recommendation system will advise of fishing conditions,
allowing anglers to plan their striped bass fishing trips up to seven days in advance.
The department will monitor temperature forecasts and announce a general recommendation each day during the summer months, from mid-June until Labor Day, using the following advisory system:
Air temperatures are forecast at 95 degrees or higher. Anglers are encouraged not to fish for striped bass after 10 a.m. and should target other species of fish.
Air temperatures are forecast at 90-94 degrees. Anglers should use extreme care when fishing for striped bass; fish should be kept in the water when caught and released on these days.
Green: Fishing conditions are normal. Proper catch-and-release practices are encouraged.
The department utilizes the National Weather Service's temperature forecast for Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) as its indicator. Information gathered during a 1999 catch and release study also used the National Weather Service's airport forecast as its benchmark, this is the
study used to determine the temperature range for the three advisory levels.
In order to heighten awareness, advisory flags are also flown at state parks with boating access facilities throughout the bay region. The daily flag color will coincide with the advsory system described above.
Seasonal high water and air temperatures as well as low oxygen can cause fish to become sensitive and stressed, with increased mortality during catch-and-release fishing. Larger striped bass – 24 inches or larger – have the most difficulty with these conditions.
Maryland continues to address one of the most pressing problems facing the Chesapeake Bay’s striped bass population: the significant volume of “dead discards” in the recreational fishery, this is where striped bass are caught and released, but do not survive when they are returned to the water.
As a reminder, non-offset circle hooks are required to be used in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, regardless of targeted species, from May 16 through December 15 when live-lining, chumming, or chunking. Live-lining is the use of any live fish, such as a minnow, bluegill, or spot, as bait on a hook. Chumming or chunking is placing fish, parts of fish, or other natural or manmade attractants in the water, not attached to a hook, in order to attract fish to a particular area. When using cut bait, crabs, worms, or other types of bait, a non-offset circle hook or a J hook must be used.
The department further encourages all anglers to do their part by implementing voluntary conservation measures, including handling fish more carefully and reducing the number of fish they catch and release. The department has several recommendations and resources, including new videos, available online for easy reference.