Ask Outdoors Girl: What are the new rules for catch-and-release striped bass fishing?

March 21, 2010|By Candus Thomson

Eric Hayden of Bowie writes: This has felt like the longest winter on record because my cabin fever is raging. I know I must have missed it earlier, but could you please remind me about the new rules regarding catch-and-release striped bass fishing this spring?

Outdoors Girl replies: When it comes to cabin fever, join the club. The winter of 2009-2010 is now in the books, at least as far as the equinox is concerned. Let's hope the weather gods can read the calendar. The new catch-and-release rules for the Chesapeake Bay go into effect Monday and continue until April 17, when the spring trophy season starts. The catch-and-release area extends from the Brewerton Channel at the Patapsco River to the Virginia line, including Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound. The Department of Natural Resources hopes the restrictions will reduce the stress on pre-spawn female fish, and will evaluate the situation before the 2011 season. Until then:

Each trolling boat may have no more than six lines out, regardless of the number of anglers on board. Anglers trolling must use barbless hooks. Trailing hooks, also called stingers, are illegal. When using natural bait (as opposed to artificial lures), anglers must use non-offset circle hooks or J hooks with a gap of less than a half-inch.

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