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STRIPED BASS UPDATES

Posted By Toby Lapinski, May 11, 2020
STRIPED BASS UPDATES
It’s not just the coast with big bass right now, TJ Dubay was fishing well up the Connecticut River last week when he landed this 39.5-inch, 28-pound striped bass.

Last week saw more widespread striper activity on striped bass in the surf, and this week saw increased size. In this week’s report we have 20-inch-class stripers on the North Shore starting to mix-in with mackerel which will surely attract bigger fish, bass to the 20-pound class in the Canal, stripers to 50-plus inches in Rhode Island feeding on bunker, and Connecticut had 30- and 40-pound class fish from the salt and tidal rivers. If you’re waiting for that “good report” to make your first striper trip of 2020, consider this it!

One surprising factor that keeps coming up, however, is the seeming disregard for (or lack of knowledge of) the new striped bass regulations for 2020. This subject has been covered almost to death by us here at The Fisherman, but apparently it still warrants a reminder.

Back in February the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council’s (ASMFC) Striped Bass board met in Arlington, Virginia as part of the annual Winter Meeting, and it finalized the slate of regulation options approved by the Technical Committee for each state to then choose from.

That meeting was the result of a meeting of the ASMFC held in October in response to the Atlantic striped bass benchmark stock assessment which found the resource to be overfished and overfishing occurring back in May where the Board approved Draft Addendum VI to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass.

That's enough back-tracking, let's look forward. A few items of note before you read on:

  1. The symbol < means ‘less than’ (see note #4)
  2. The symbol </= means 'less than or equal to'
  3. When determining the harvestable range for noted slot limits, fish which meet the lower limit (28 inches for example) may be harvested unless otherwise noted
  4. When determining the harvestable range for noted slot limits, fish which meet the higher limit (35 inches for example) may NOT be harvested unless otherwise noted.

So, with that out of the way, here is what has been approved in regard to recreational Atlantic striped bass measures effective on April 1, 2020, traveling from north to south along the Striper Coast.

  • Maine: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
  • New Hampshire: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
  • Massachusetts: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
  • Rhode Island: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
  • Connecticut: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
  • New York:
    • Ocean & Hudson River below George Washington Bridge: 1 fish, 28 - 35 inches from 4/15 - 12/15.
    • Hudson River above the George Washington Bridge: 1 fish, 18 - 28 inches from 4/1-11/30.
  • New Jersey: 1 fish, 28 - <38 inches.
    • Striped Bass Bonus Program: 1 fish, 24 - <28 inches with a season of 5/15 - 12/31 for tag holders, only.
  • Pennsylvania:
    • DE Estuary: 1 fish 28 - <35 inches (1/1 – 3/31, 6/1 – 12/31); 2 fish 21 - <24 inches (4/1 – 5/31).
    • DE River (non-tidal): 1 fish 28 - <35 inches.
  • Delaware:
    • Ocean: 1 fish, 28 - 35 inches.
    • Delaware Bay, River, Tributaries: 1 fish, 20 - <25 inches (7/1 – 8/31).
    • No harvest permitted in spawning grounds from 4/1-5/31
  • Maryland:
    • Ocean: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
    • Chesapeake Bay: 1 fish, 35-inch minimum (5/1 – 5/15); Shore/Private Boat 1 fish, 19-inch minimum (5/16 – 8/16, 9/1 – 12/10); For-Hire 2 fish, 19-inch minimum with only 1 fish >28 inches (5/16 – 8/16, 9/1 – 12/10).
  • Virginia:
    • Ocean: 1 fish, 28 - </=36 inches (1/1 – 3/31, 5/16 – 12/31).
    • Chesapeake Bay: 1 fish, 20 - </= 36 inches (5/16 – 6/15, 10/4 – 12/31).
  • North Carolina: 1 fish, 28 - <35 inches.
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