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What is the Legal Size for Striped Bass in Massachusetts?

Brian Nagele holding a striped bass

The joys of striped bass fishing don’t change over time, but the related regulations are a different story. States have unique rules and standards that can frequently change based on fish populations. Before heading out, you may want to familiarize yourself with the laws, including the legal size for striped bass in Massachusetts.


Striped bass aren’t as heavily regulated as other types, but there are some legal restrictions. Thankfully, it’s legal to fish for striped bass year-round in Massachusetts, but the state sets other limits. Unfortunately, you can only have one striped bass in your possession, and it’s illegal to discard dead ones that meet the legal size requirements. Likewise, you can’t discard a legal-sized striped bass in exchange for a larger one.


The legal size for striped bass in Massachusetts is 28 inches to less than 35 inches. An accurate measure of a striped bass is from the tip of the snout (with the mouth closed) to the farthest end of the tail. Of note, you must keep the striped bass whole so that the head, body, and tail are intact, though evisceration is permitted.


Massachusetts provides additional direction regarding hooks and bait when fishing for striped bass. These terms apply to all recreational fishing, whether on land or boat. You must use inline circle hooks with natural baits unless you use an artificial lure designed for cast and retrieval. Further, you must use non-lethal devices to pull the striped bass from the water. 


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