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Catch and Release Best Practices to Conserve Striped Bass

It’s easy to understand why striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are known as “everyman’s fish.” They’re fun to catch and are one of the most accessible fish for anglers to target. Add on the variety of different methods you can use to successfully catch striped bass—live bait, trolling, bottom fishing, artificial lures, and fly fishing—it’s easy to understand why they are referred to as “everyman’s fish.”

Migratory, marine striped bass in Virginia (those in the Chesapeake Bay, its tidal tributaries, and along the Atlantic Coast) are managed by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) in collaboration with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). In addition to the migratory striped bass stock, Virginia boasts some of the best inland, land-locked striped bass opportunities you can find in the east in lakes and reservoirs that are managed by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR).

Whether you are fishing in fresh or saltwater, striped bass are incredibly popular in the culinary industry. In fact, all of our inland striped bass fisheries in Virginia are managed for some level of angler harvest. Eating a fish that you have just caught on rod and reel can be one of the most satisfying accomplishments an angler can have. However, many anglers prefer to practice catch and release to promote conservation of the resource. Catch and release is even required by regulations in many instances if the fish you have caught does not meet a slot or minimum length requirement or perhaps you have already caught your limit.

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