Skip to Main Content

Eighth Angler Earns FishMaryland Master Angler Award

Jason Michalski of Cecil County recognized as a Master Angler

Photo of man holding a large fish

Photo courtesy of Jason Michalski.

Jason Michalski of Rising Sun, Cecil County, has earned a Master Angler Milestone Award under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ FishMaryland program

The award recognizes recreational anglers who catch ten different trophy-sized species of fish in Maryland. Michalski is the eighth Master Angler since the program began in 2019. 

The FishMaryland program includes dozens of species from both salt and freshwater. Michalski submitted entries for all ten catches and received individual certificates for each catch. The department plans to present the Master Angler Milestone Award certificate along with a gift card prize from Bass Pro Shops at its Arundel Mills store.  Michalski caught his tenth FishMaryland eligible fish, a 30.25-inch carp, on Sunday, March 24.

“After a heavy rainstorm, I was sitting at home wondering if I could catch the tenth fish I needed, and said to myself, you don’t know unless you go,” Michalski said.  Even with the high and muddy water conditions from that March 23 rainstorm, he was able to catch the carp and the award. After getting a quick picture and confirming the length, he released the fish “to become bigger for next time, for someone else to catch!”

Michalski’s qualifying catches were:

  • Northern snakehead, 33.5 inches
  • Smallmouth bass, 21 inches
  • Crappie, 16.25 inches
  • Rainbow trout, 27 inches
  • Striped bass, 45 inches
  • Pumpkinseed, 10 inches
  • Yellow perch, 14 inches
  • Bluegill, 11 inches
  • Hickory shad, 20 inches
  • Carp, 30.25 inches

Michalski’s fishing life started at the age of 3 when his grandmother took him for the first time to a small pond in Harford County, and ever since then he has been hooked on fishing. His favorite fish to target is the northern snakehead, but any fish will do as long as he is outdoors. “Fishing gives me relaxation and I really just love the time out there. I took this as a challenge and did it for my grandmother. Thanks to Maryland DNR for this awesome program, it was a lot of fun!”.

FishMaryland is Maryland’s recreational fishing award program and is a fun way to explore year-round recreational fishing and enjoy affordable, accessible, diverse, and high-quality fishing opportunities. More information on the Master Angler Milestone Award and the FishMaryland program is available on the program’s website.