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Maryland’s License-Free Fishing Days Provide Access to Angling for All

Photo of man and boy fishing from a rocky jetty

Maryland Department of Natural Resources photo

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will offer license-free fishing days for all state residents and visitors on June 1, June 8, and July 4. These annual events provide anglers a unique opportunity to explore the state’s diverse fishing without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration. 

The department hosts license-free fishing every year on the first two Saturdays of June and on the Independence Day holiday to take advantage of peak spring and summer fishing. On these days, any individual may catch and possess finfish for recreational purposes in any tidal and nontidal waters of Maryland. All anglers must follow all current regulations, including size and catch limits found in the department’s fishing and crabbing guide

The department also has dozens of other resources to help new or experienced anglers, including angler access maps and fish identification charts. In addition, anglers of any level are encouraged to sign up for the weekly Maryland Fishing Report, which provides up-to-date fishing information. 

This year the department is encouraging anglers to catch invasive species such as snakeheads and blue catfish, which are affecting the overall Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Both fish are great options for eating and a wide variety of recipes are available on the Maryland’s Best website.

Aside from these free fishing days, and certain license-free areas, anyone 16 or older fishing in Maryland must possess a license, which can be obtained or renewed online, through the department’s mobile app, or in person at a department service center, a participating retail sports license agent in the state, or by calling 866-344-8889 during normal business hours.