Opening weekend 2015

Picture perfect weather greeted us Opening Day AM 2015.  But the new “slot” limit kicked our butt! In an effort to reduce harvest MD and the Feds have employed a new size restriction this Spring that requires all recreational fisherman in the MD Chesapeake Bay to release any Striped Bass between 36 and 40 inches.  For years there was just a 28 inch minimum size requirement.  Saturday AM trip we landed a total of 14 Trophy Striped Bass, 7 we of legal size (28″ to 36″ or over 40″) and 7 in the slot (36″ to 40″).  Saturday afternoon we landed 6 Trophy Striped Bass (3 slot fish and 3 keepers).  Sunday AM we had 8 big fish bites and landed 5 trophies (4 slots and 1 keeper fish).  Sunday afternoon we landed 6 trophies (4 over the 40″ upper slot and 1 under the 36″ slot and we also tossed back 2 slot fish).  Tough weekend of fishing overall, seems the weather conditions have the vast majority of the fish on the spawning grounds or at least in the staging areas waiting for the water to warm a few degrees.  As soon as the big fish lay their eggs, they will be feeding their way out of the Chesapeake Bay and fishing will get red hot.  But this slot limit is certainly making things more difficult.  Hopefully it does some good and the population of large Spawning fish gets back to the hights of 6 or 7 years ago.  Just a few more good spawns like 2011 and things should certainly improve.