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From what I'm experiencing on the bay right now, there are a lot of slot fish being thrown back. Leads me to believe that in the next couple of years we are going to be loaded up with 40+ inch fish. Thoughts? Personally, I say this slot limit is one of the best moves we've made in the rockfish management in some time. Obviously we will have to wait and see, but I think the future is bright.
 

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Even speaking as a guy whose two fish this year were both 38", I think it's a terrific management tool. Both were gorgeous, fat, healthy-looking fish, and I didn't feel the least bit bad sending them back. Hopefully, their pea brain quickly forgot all about the trauma of being hooked and they were right up the river and still feeling frisky.

The slot limit allows this to truly be a trophy season, allowing anglers to keep such fish as the fish-of-a-lifetime 65lber that the young man got last weekend, while preserving fish in the prime of their breeding years.

It even appears to me anecdotally that many anglers are choosing to release their "overs" while keeping only the "unders" for the table.

Time will tell, of course, but looking at it from a mathematical perspective it appears to "cut a hole in the net" that preserves the set of fish with the best long-term potential to breed.
 

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It even appears to me anecdotally that many anglers are choosing to release their "overs" while keeping only the "unders" for the table.
Released a beautiful 46" fish yesterday. Felt awesome!
 

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http://www.onthewater.com/2015-striped-bass-regulations-by-state/
I wish that were true but unless they regulate the entire Striper fishery as a whole on the east coast then I don't see it happening. The boys up north are about to fill their livewells with 36"-40" fish out the ying yang. Maybe if the spawn went well this year we will see some nice 20" fish in several years.
Camronz, I did a quick Google search and found that New York state has a slot system similar to ours, Connecticut and Massachusetts are both minimum of 28". All three are 1 fish limit, with a few exceptions for a special permit.

I think good things will happen with the rockfish finally. Just all depends on how many years they can keep the current slot and limits in place.
 

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The spring fishery has always been dominated by the 34-40 inch fish. My concern with the slot is that you are seeing an increase in the older breeding stock removed due to the slot and the delayed spawn due to the cooler than average spring. These fish are the future of the fishery and when you exempt the slot fish you increase the number of those breeders that are taken. If the powers to be prioritized the fishery itself and not the special interest groups the rockfish would have a much better chance of recovering to the levels that were in place twenty to thirty years ago.
 

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I agree surfbass. We released a lot of beautiful healthy fish this year. Only have one 30 inch keeper. I think it's a good thing. But boy is it tough watching then swim away after keeping them all the years past. Will change my cook outs this year.

John
 

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Anyone seeing floaters in the water? I have only fished 3 times since opening day and haven't seen a dead rockfish yet. If these throwbacks are dying wouldn't we see them floating somewhere in the bay?? I think the slot is a great start to conservation and even better that people seem to be releasing the 40"+ fish as well.
 

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I have not seen a single floating dead rockfish in 5 trips this Spring. So far, 13/24 fish on my boat have been in the no-take slot. I'd say it is saving more than the targeted 25%.
 

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He starts a thread titled "Screw the slot!!!". My guess is either he fabricated the story of 3 for 9 floaters, or he was pissed and just ripped the hook out. Hoping to prove a point...
You know you're probably right, I've seen LOTS of guys on this site posting lies just to try and get their point across.
 

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4 of 5 fish I have caught have been slot. Only keeper had swallowed the entire parachute to the gills, glad he didnt have to go back. I had to cut the rig out back at the dock. All others released safely. Been out 5 times and have seen 0 floaters. I really think the jellies will help keep catch down too. Still gumming up my lines yesterday. If this doesnt work I'm all for a catch and release couple of years. The mid 90's were awesome fishing.
 

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We've got a snag with Virginia. Virginia Spring Chesapeake Bay"Trophy" season 1 fish over 36 in. What Maryland fishermen are releasing(36-40in.)..They're keeping..What Virginia fishermen are releasing(28-36) ,Maryland fishermen can keep?This is why it's important for Maryland & Virginia to work out regulations together so we can achieve our goals in the Chesapeake Bay for fish and crabs.
 

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We've got a snag with Virginia. Virginia Spring Chesapeake Bay"Trophy" season 1 fish over 36 in. What Maryland fishermen are releasing(36-40in.)..They're keeping..What Virginia fishermen are releasing(28-36) ,Maryland fishermen can keep?This is why it's important for Maryland & Virginia to work out regulations together so we can achieve our goals in the Chesapeake Bay for fish and crabs.
Capt - I think they worked it out pretty well. VA is allowed to keep those 36" fish "after" Md releases them as they should then be post spawn. They can't keep them before MD because their season does not start until May 1st. The idea was that by waiting till May 1st those fish will have gotten by VA and on their way to spawn. My guess is that should Md have decided to delay their opening till May 1st, they could have met the same reductions by using the same size limit as VA. My guess is the problem was Md had too much static about shortening the season, so they went with the slot.
 

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Capt - I think they worked it out pretty well. VA is allowed to keep those 36" fish "after" Md releases them as they should then be post spawn. They can't keep them before MD because their season does not start until May 1st. The idea was that by waiting till May 1st those fish will have gotten by VA and on their way to spawn. My guess is that should Md have decided to delay their opening till May 1st, they could have met the same reductions by using the same size limit as VA. My guess is the problem was Md had too much static about shortening the season, so they went with the slot.
I believe you are correct. Their delayed May opener makes better sense conservation wise..So for Maryland's earlier pre spawn spring Striper season .. As the saying goes, You can't have your cake and eat it to. We will see what changes are made in the Maryland Spring Striped Bass Season "In years o come"
 
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