As the largest estuary in the United States, with over 150 different freshwater river systems emptying into it, Chesapeake Bay is where the majority of striped bass stocks spawn. Many rockfish winter a little bit south of here, off Virginia Beach and North Carolina, but the Chesapeake is the first spot to hit on their migration northward. As bass set up and enter the Susquehanna River to spawn, the shallow flats are the perfect place for them to gather the sun’s rays to warm up and gain energy. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, with 5,198 pilings, adds 17.6 miles of striper-magnet structure inside the bay. Rockfish pick off the mussels, clams, crabs and baitfish that hang around the pilings, while the structure provides ideal ambush cover.