Striped bass are streamlined fish with a silvery-white body that is marked with longitudinal stripes that start at their gills and run to the base of their tail. As an anadromous fish, striped bass can live in freshwater or saltwater similar to rainbow trout, which are called steelhead when they travel to saltwater. Striper are found on the Atlantic Coast, from Nova Scotia to Florida, but are most popular north of South Carolina. These fish live their entire lives in the ocean and only enter the freshwater rivers to spawn. Striper have been introduced to the Pacific Coast as well and can now be found from Canada to Mexico. The average-sized striped bass is 10 to 30 pounds and 20 to 35 inches long, but they can grow much bigger over the course of their 30-year lifespan.
The striped bass season in New York runs from April 15th through December 15th. Anglers are allowed to keep one fish within the slot limit per day. In New York, the striped bass slot limit requires fish to be at least 28 inches, but less than 35 inches long to be legally harvested.
The New Jersey striped bass seasons are segmented by area. The initial season runs from January 1st until February 28th and applies only to Atlantic waters within three miles of shore. Inlets and bays are closed and the boundary is set by a COLREGS Demarcation line. The other season begins April 1st and ends May 31st. This season opens fishing for striped bass in all waters except the Delaware River and its tributaries downstream from the Calhoun St. bridge. Fishing is also closed in the Salem River and its tributaries.
During either season, striped bass must be at least 28 inches long, but not more than 38 inches long to meet the slot limit requirements for legal harvest. Daily bag limits are set at one fish per person.
In Virginia, striped bass fishing is regulated by three separate seasons with different slot limits. The Coastal season runs from January 1st to March 31st. The striped bass slot limit has a minimum length of 28 inches and a maximum length of 36 inches. The daily bag limit is set at one fish per person.
The spring season for striped bass runs from May 16th to June 15th. The striped bass slot limit has a minimum length of 20 inches and a maximum length of 28 inches. The daily bag limit is set at one fish per person.
The fall season runs from October 4th to December 31st. The striped bass slot limit has a minimum length of 20 inches and a maximum length of 36 inches. The daily bag limit is set at one fish per person.
The is no closed season for striped bass fishing in Massachusetts. Fishing the harvest of striped bass is limited to fish 28 inches or longer, but no more than 35 inches. The daily bag limit for anglers in Massachusetts is one fish per person.
Updated on December 6, 2022
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