One of the largest breeding grounds for the striped bass, The Chesapeake Bay system has been one the largest breeding grounds for the striped bass, the other largest the Hudson River, and then a distant Delaware River. There are other natal rivers in this state and up and down the coast, all the way up into Cananda.
Each year the MDNR conducts its juvenile striped bass survey. This years index is 2.5, far below the mean of 11.5. The last decent year was 2015, a very good year 2011, and the last great year was 2001.
There are several versions of the striped bass charts out there. But if we look at the 2015 class, a 5 year old fish would be around 25 inches, exactly what we have catching, and what seems to be in decent numbers in those fish pinch points, like currently in Montauk. Below is a pic from John Papiak from North Abr Media, recently shot at "The End"