Striper Fishing Tips for Chesapeake Bay

Anglers enjoy the sport of catching striped bass, also called "stripers," while fishing the Chesapeake Bay. Striped bass are abundant within the Chesapeake Bay area and grow up to 33 inches and weigh over 40 pounds. In spring and fall, anglers catch striped bass regularly. While fishing for stripers in Chesapeake Bay, anglers should remember basic striped bass fishing tips.

  1. Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

    • Maryland--Chesapeake Striped Bass
      In the portion of the Bay in Maryland, striped bass is common known as "rockfish." Adult striped bass average 32 inches and are most plentiful near the upper portions of the Bay, where they hang around the Bay Bridge and rocky structures.

      Virginia--Chesapeake Striped Bass
      In Virginia, the striped bass is known as a "striper" and averages around 36 inches. Stripers live within the entire southern shore, but fish for them around Virginia Beach where there is a large population. Virginia stripers congregate around bridges and feed close to shore. Catch stripers consistently around structures such as rocks and sand bars within strong flowing current.

    Acquiring a License to Fish the Chesapeake Bay

    • To fish for striped bass within the Chesapeake Bay area, purchase a state license from either Maryland or Virginia since a license from either state covers fishing within the entire Chesapeake Bay area. Resident and nonresidents of Maryland or Virginia can pick up a license at local bait and hardware shops.

    Fishing Season for Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass

    • The spring season runs from April to June in both states but is dependent on the temperature of the water. Early spring and fall generally are the best times to catch striped bass on the Maryland side of the Chesapeake Bay. In April and May, fish for stripers on the Virginia Chesapeake Bay side, as the bay waters warm up and fish become increasingly active.

    Tackle Selection

    • Chesapeake anglers should use thick, long rods when fishing for stripers because they provide strength and can withstand the power and weight of a hefty striped bass. According to "Chesapeake Angler," use a 9- to 11-foot deep-sea fishing rod when fishing deep water for stripers. When hooking a big striper, users of this rod report that the rod will not break. In addition, use strong fishing line and sinker weights that are heavy enough to cast when fishing the Chesapeake Bay.

    Striper Fishing Tips

    • From a boat, Chesapeake anglers employ the technique of trolling, in which you allow your bait to trail behind the boat in the water, to catch striped bass. Utilize various rigs and baits such as both live and dead fish and artificial lures. Stripers will strike the bait hard, thinking it is a fast-moving baitfish. Anglers in the area also use a technique called "jigging," in which you dangle a small plastic jig in the water and jerk it up and down, simulating a darting fish.

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  • Photo Credit Fish on ice image by tarheel1776 from

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