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Chesapeake Bay Striper Fishing

Morone saxatilis
(Rockfish, Rock, Striper)


  • Chesapeake Bay Stripers are a silvery fish that gets its name from the dark, stripes along both sides of its body.
  • The body of the fish is stocky.
  • The Dorsal fins are separated,
  • Caudal fin is , green, blue, or black.

Where To Find Stripers

  • Striped bass range from the St. Lawrence River, Canada to Florida, although they are mostly  from Maine to North Carolina.
  • Striped bass move north to costal waters of New England during the summer time , and south to the North Carolina during the winter.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Striper is part of the 3 migratory populations - Hudson, Chesapeake, and Roanoke.
  • The Chesapeake Bay Striper
    • Stripers within Chesapeake Bay are composed of pre-migratory fish  and coastal migratory striped bass which range in age from 2 to more than 30 years of age.
    • Mature resident and migratory Chesapeake Striped Bass striped move into freshwater in early spring to spawn.
    • After spawning, Chesapeake Bay Stripers return to the ocean.
    • They spend the summer and autumn months in New England in shallow waters.
    • During the late fall and winter months, striped bass migrate south to North Carolina.


  • Striped bass can grow as long as 60 inches.

Striped Bass Habitat

  • Chesapeake Bay Stripped bass live in coastal waters and are commonly found in bays but may enter rivers in the spring to spawn.
  • There are also some landlocked Striped Bass.

The Spawn

  • Female striped bass mature at about age 4; but usually they don't start spawning until 8 years of age
  • 2 year old males are considered mature.
  • Spawning  occurs in April, May and June in Chesapeake Bay.
  • After they arrive in the tidal areas they mature into juveniles.
  • They usually remain in Chesapeake Bay for two to five years, then migrate into the Ocean.
  • When the water temperatures warm in the spring, mature fish begin their spawning runs in freshwater.
  • Chesapeake Bay Stripes make up 70-90% of the Atlantic coast stocks of striped bass.

Fun Facts

  • Chesapeake Striped bass (Rock Fish) is Maryland's state fish.
  • Stripers are Maryland's most popular recreational sports fish.
  • The Atlantic striped bass management program has grown from about 20 million pounds to an historic high of 160 million pounds.
  • The record for Chesapeake Bay striped bass is 67 pounds, 8 ounces.
  • The largest striped bass was a 125 pound female caught on the North Carolina coast in 1891.
  • The current Maryland Chesapeake Bay Bay striped bass is 67 lbs., 8 oz.

Striped Bass Family: Moronidae 

Order: Perciformes 

Class: Actinopterygii 


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