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Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Season

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the US. It’s an ideal area for fishing with more than 300 aquatic species. Some live in the estuary year-round, while others emigrate to the area for breeding.

The striped bass or Atlantic striped bass is among these species. You can find this species anywhere along the Atlantic coastline, but the Chesapeake Bay is one of the most important breeding areas for the striped bass.


catching striped bass


When Is the Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Season?


In 2020, the Chesapeake Bay striped bass season lasted from May 16th to August 15th for the summer season and from September 1st to December 10th for the fall season.

You couldn’t target striped bass during the closure period between the two seasons. Authorities also banned catch-and-release fishing during this period.


Are There Any Changes for 2021?

The Chesapeake Bay striped bass season will last from May 1st to June 15th in 2021. There is a proposal to establish a closure period from July 16th to July 31st.

There are no words on dates for the fall season yet, but fishing could resume earlier than last year if the proposal for a closure period that would end on July 31st goes through.


Final Thoughts

There are a few restrictions you should know about when fishing for striped bass. There are limitations on using eels as bait and on fishing at night. You can’t use a gaff or snag a striped bass intentionally.

Even though you can catch-and-release in some areas before the beginning of the fishing season, you can’t use this technique in designated spawning areas between March and May.




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