March 2017 Striped Bass Catch & Release Update
March 2017 Striped Bass Catch & Release Update - With unseasonably warm temps in February, Mid Atlantic anglers had high hopes for an early Striped Bass catch & release season on the Susquehanna Flats and lower Susquehanna River. The first rockfish of the year that made the Fishzoo Board was caught on the flats by Mudpuppy February 28th.
There were also reports of some "cows" being caught up river above the legal catch & release line around the same time. Within a week the weather turned cold and water temps dropped back to around 40 degrees. Though there were a number of reports from diehard Fishzooers who attempted to fish the cold water, the rockfish had likely pushed out to deeper more comfortable water temps in the bay as only a few had been reported like this catch by Mike o in the middle bay area posted March 20th.
There were also posts and treads circulating the fishing boards that Maryland DNR officers were handing out $250 fines for anglers removing rockfish from the water to get a picture. Apparently - at least some of those cases were anglers fishing above the legal striped bass catch & release line and others were keeping the fish out of water for a long enough time to significantly decrease their likelihood of survival when released. Bottom line is it appears that the season is back on schedule. What is "on schedule"? Looking back on the last few years the last week in March first week in April have consistently been productive for large rockfish in the river and flats. This cow below was caught April 3rd 2016 by Liquidaddicted in the lower Susquehanna River.
If that holds true this year and if the snow up north melts slowly the next few weeks should be good Catch & Release Striped bass fishing on the Susquehanna flats and the river.