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How To Measure Striped Bass?

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Apologies if this is posted in the wrong forum or if it has been brought up before. I did a search on SOL but could not find a definitive answer. Google didn't help much either. Found mostly descriptions but no pics. So I figure I would ask the knowledgeable folks at SOL.

 

Winter fishing doldrums led my buddy and I to browse through pictures of old catches and we record length of the striped bass caught. It led to a discussion on the fish measurement. It turns out my buddy measures his catch diagonally whereas I measure mine straight across. I told him he's wrong, he told me I'm wrong. :confused: Which is the correct method? I know mouth closed and to the farthest extremity with the tail pinched. But is it a diagonal line or a straight line? I found a pic off the internet (attached) and drew a red and yellow line on it. Which one is correct: diagonal (red) or straight across (yellow) ?

 

1000

 

Thanks!

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Information taken from Mass Wildlife website

 

How to measure finfish For Massachusetts marine waters, the minimum size for fish (exceptions listed below) is the greatest straight line length (not curved over the body) from the anterior tip of the jaw or snout (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail. Fish should be firmly grasped with both hands for proper measuring. Care should be taken so that the head firmly contacts the zero mark on rulers and tapes simultaneously with the tail extremity. For fish with forked tails, the upper and lower fork may be squeezed together to measure the tail extremity.

 

Black sea bass if the tail filament (tendril) is present, it is not included in the total length measurement.

 

Billfish (swordfish, sailfish, marlin) are measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the tail fork

 

Sharks are measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail.

 

Tunas measurement is taken in a line, tracing the contour of the body from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail, which crosses the dorsal insertion of the pectoral fin and the dorsal side of the caudal keel.

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If you have to try and squeeze out a keeper, throw it back and try again

 

That is easy to say here and even these days in NJ, but this WAS an issue when NJ had their "fake" slot limit and you could keep a fish that was 24" - 28", had to release a fish between 28" and 32", and could keep a fish above 32".

 

If you had a fish that was just about 28", it was important to squeeze the tail......if you measured it that way and it was 28" plus a hair, it had to go back to be within the law. The EPOs could get you if you measured it at 27 7/8" without the tail squeeze.

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I can tell you how an EPO is going to measure it. He has a sliding board, along the same idea as your local shoe salesman. With the lip against one end he brings in the other until it touches the tail anywhere. If it's a hair short he may squeeze the tail to give you the benefit of the doubt.


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I can tell you how an EPO is going to measure it. He has a sliding board, along the same idea as your local shoe salesman. With the lip against one end he brings in the other until it touches the tail anywhere. If it's a hair short he may squeeze the tail to give you the benefit of the doubt.

 

so straight line then?

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It's great of you to suggest he throw away a 28 inch fish. I release most legal fish I catch, but have to disagree. A fish 28-32 inches is perfect for eating. It's the bigger fish that I prefer to let swim away. Personally, if I could keep one 22-26 inch fish a week I'd be satisfied to throw all the rest back. I'm certainly not the best fisherman, but I certainly catch my fair share. I mention that only because I don't want to be mistaken as someone struggling to catch a 28...

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Also remember that a 28" fish will not be 28" an hour or so later. If you have to "stretch" it to make 28 let the little guy live to fight another day

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I usally lay the striper flat, and then lay down my tape meaure on the ground below it. I measure from the lower tip of jaw to the tip of its tail. If its a close call I put him back, rather not deal with fines from the warden.

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