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Maryland Fishing Report – July 21

Photo of boy holding channel catfish

Ethan Zlokovitz caught this channel catfish from shore on a menhaden chunk near the mouth of the Magothy River.

With the striped bass fishery currently closed, anglers are targeting alternate species such as catfish, perch, spotted sea trout, red drum, bluefish, cobia, and Spanish mackerel.

Anglers are reminded that the striped bass fishery is closed in the Chesapeake Bay until August 1 to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Throughout the summer be sure to also check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species during harsh conditions.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 14

Photo of woman holding up a snakehead

Dien Mbaku spent a summer day fishing for northern snakeheads near the Blackwater River in Dorchester County. Photo courtesy of Dien Mbaku

Summer heat is upon us and many are seeking relief near waters across the state, from cool mountain streams of Western Maryland to the surf and offshore sites of the Atlantic Ocean. This is a good opportunity to seek and pursue the wide variety of fish found in our waters.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay begins July 16 and runs through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Throughout the summer be sure to also check the striped bass fishing advisory forecast to help protect this iconic species during harsh conditions.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 7

Photo of man on a boat holding a black sea bass

Photo by Monty Hawkins

July is providing some exciting promise for Chesapeake Bay anglers as reports of cobia, bluefish, and Spanish mackerel entering the lower Bay are becoming more common. Offshore of the Atlantic Coast, fishing for sea bass is excellent right now.

Anglers are reminded of the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay from July 16 through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass.

Hot summer weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival, which is also why DNR introduced its striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the warmest months each year, so anglers can better plan their fishing for striped bass to lessen mortalities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 30

Photo of boy holding a yello perch

This young angler proudly displays his catch at Gunpowder Falls State Park. Photo by Ranger Angela Crenshaw.

It’s the Fourth of July weekend, a time of family and friends getting together to enjoy each other’s company and the great outdoors. People naturally gravitate to water this time of the year, and our younger anglers are enjoying fishing for anything that will bite.

The last Maryland license-free fishing day for the year is on July 4, presenting a great opportunity to take someone on their first fishing adventure without needing to purchase a license. 

Anglers are reminded of the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay from July 16 through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Hot summer weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival, which is also why DNR introduced its striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the warmest months each year, so anglers can better plan their fishing for striped bass to lessen mortalities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 23

Photo of boy holding a largemouth bass

Young Brayden Pielert got to go fishing with his dad at a nearby pond and the smile on his face says it all. Photo by Noah Pielert

Summer is in full swing and those who have been sequestered by pandemic, work, or school are flocking to the outdoors. Maryland State Parks are having another busy season, and just viewing the weekend traffic headed towards the beaches or western mountains makes it clear folks want to get out and do something.

Many Marylanders are also finding plenty of outdoor recreation close to home; fishing in small ponds and similar waters offers plenty of exciting fishing fun.

The last Maryland license-free fishing day for the year is on July 4, presenting a great opportunity to take someone on their first fishing adventure without needing to purchase a license. 

Anglers are reminded of the upcoming striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay from July 16 through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass. Hot summer weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival, which is also why DNR introduced its striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the warmest months each year, so anglers can better plan their fishing for striped bass to lessen mortalities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 16

Photo of man and two boys with a basket of blue crabs

Carson and Conner Hoffmaster went crabbing recently with mom, dad, and granddad (who flew in from Wisconsin). Photo by Brad Hoffmaster

All of us at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources wish all the dads and grandfathers out there an enjoyable Father’s Day this Sunday, June 20. A major part of this celebration for many is spending time outdoors — including a lot of fishing — with their youngsters. 

The last Maryland license-free fishing day for the year is on July 4, presenting a great opportunity to take someone on their first fishing adventure without needing to purchase a license. 

Anglers should take note of a striped bass closure period in the Chesapeake Bay from July 16 through July 31, to lessen catch-and-release mortalities of undersized striped bass during warm water and depleted oxygen conditions. Hot summer weather creates tough conditions for striped bass survival, which is also why DNR introduced its striped bass fishing advisory forecast for the warmest months each year, so anglers can better plan their fishing for striped bass to lessen mortalities.

Image of striped bass 7-day fishing advisory forecast, with green flags Wednesday through Saturday, yellow flags Sunday and Monday, and a green flag Tuesday

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 9

Photo of girl holding a bluegill fish

Young angler Lucy Perez recently caught this bluegill, which are found in quiet waters such as lakes, ponds, and slow-flowing rivers and streams.​ Photo by Nick Perez.

Summer weather is upon us and many are seeking a little relief near water. That little bit of sanctuary can range from enjoying the ocean waters of Ocean City and Assateague Island to exploring small creeks and streams from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has two more free fishing days coming up, which allows folks to fish anywhere in Maryland without a fishing license, on June 12 and July 4. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce someone new to the world of fishing.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 2

Photo of boy sitting on a dock with large striped bass

Richard Hoene was sitting at a dock in Ocean City on Memorial Day weekend and, being an ever hopeful and dedicated angler, cast a line into the water. His efforts were rewarded with this large striped bass. Photo courtesy of Richard Hoene

One of the most important lessons in any kind of fishing is the value of eternal hope — and that no matter the conditions, you do not stand a chance of catching a fish unless you have a line in the water.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has some free fishing days coming up, which allows folks to fish anywhere in Maryland without a fishing license on June 5, June 12, and July 4. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce someone new to the world of fishing.

All areas in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal rivers are now open to striped bass fishing. The minimum size for striped bass is 19 inches with a limit of one fish per day. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 26

Photo of youth holding a largemouth bass

Angler Hajime Toya caught this 21.7-inch largemouth bass recently at Pine Lake, Montgomery County.

The Memorial Day weekend is upon us, and families and friends will be celebrating with picnics and family gatherings in the great outdoors. We should all take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the occasion and remember those who sacrificed everything to assure us the freedoms we all enjoy. Many Marylanders and visitors will be enjoying a long weekend traveling to beaches and our state and local parks. Warmer water temperatures will have many species of fish ready and waiting for them.

Please join us May 27 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest Jacob Shaner of the Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Program. As part of the busy fishing season, anglers and boaters may see marine animals and sea turtles. Join us to learn more about our program and what you should do in the event you find a stranded marine animal in Maryland waters. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has some free fishing days on the horizon, which allows folks to fish anywhere in Maryland without a fishing license on June 5, June 12, and July 4. This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce someone new to the world of fishing. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – May 19

The Berlin family caught a great mix of fish during a recent day out near Havre de Grace. Photo by Brandon Berlin

The Berlin family caught a great mix of fish during a recent day out near Havre de Grace. Photo by Brandon Berlin

There are few joys more satisfying than seeing the excitement of a child enjoying the wonders of nature — and especially fishing. Sharing the experience with a young and new angler is a lasting moment for any parent or mentor.

Please join us May 27 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest Jacob Shaner of the Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Program. As part of the busy fishing season, anglers and boaters may see marine animals and sea turtles. Join us to learn more about our program and what you should do in the event you find a stranded marine animal in Maryland waters. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

Striped bass fishing entered a new phase on May 16, as anglers in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay may keep one striped bass per day with a minimum size of 19 inches. Some restrictions continue in many of the tidal river areas until May 31, after which all tidal areas in Maryland will be open to fishing for striped bass. Details on areas and dates for striped bass fishing can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 12

Photo of brook trout

Ryan Cooper takes a look at a brook trout before gently returning this beauty to the water. Photo by Ryan Cooper

The Maryland outdoors has many beautiful treasures to behold for those who look. It can be a quiet time sitting on a river bank watching nature, gazing upon the Chesapeake Bay, or hiking up a mountain stream and soaking up all that nature can share. Few fish in Maryland are as beautiful and treasured as our native brook trout and if you find one, you are well rewarded with a spectacle of color.

This Saturday, May 15, will be the last day of trophy striped bass season in the main stem Chesapeake Bay, The 2021 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, and resume Aug. 1 through Dec. 10. Further information on areas and dates for striped bass fishing can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Please join us May 27 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest Jake Shaner of the Maryland Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Program. As part of the busy fishing season, anglers and boaters may see sightings of marine animals and sea turtles. Join us to learn more about our program and what you should do in the event you find a stranded marine animal in Maryland waters. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 5

Photo of woman with striped bass on a boat

Nicole Anderson is a very happy angler with her impressive catch of a post-spawn striped bass. Photo courtesy of Nicole Anderson

This week holds the promise of fishing for a variety of species. The trout put-and-take areas have been generously stocked and blue catfish and northern snakeheads are very active. Chesapeake Bay anglers are excited to be able to fish for the large post-spawn striped bass as they exit the spawning rivers and head out of the bay for the northern waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Chesapeake Bay is now open for striped bass fishing from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line, excluding all bays (other than the main stem), sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers, except Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound, is open to striped bass fishing for fish 35 inches or larger, with a one fish per person per day creel limit. Further information on areas and dates for striped bass fishing can be found on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 28

Photo of boy holding largemouth bass

Sulley and Oli Francis went fishing with their dad at Loch Raven Reservoir recently and each caught their largest largemouth bass to date – pictured is Sulley with his catch. Photo by Steve Francis

This promises to be an exciting week for fishing, no matter what species of fish you hope to catch. The trout stocking program is finishing up an intensive stocking program this week, warm summer-like temperatures beckon all to the outdoors, and the trophy striped bass season begins in portions of the Chesapeake Bay May 1. 

Starting Saturday, the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line, excluding all bays, sounds, tributaries, creeks and rivers, except Tangier Sound and Pocomoke Sound, opens up to striped bass fishing for fish 35 inches or larger, with a one fish per person per day creel limit. 

Please join us on April 29 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest biologist Jim Thompson of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources fish passage program. We will discuss the efforts to encourage anadromous fish populations to reach their spawning grounds via fish ladders and dam removals. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

DNR has recognized a new state record fallfish that was caught by 13-year-old angler Maxwell Diegel in Harford County. More information about this great catch is available on the department’s website.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 21

Photo of man holding a northern snakehad

Joshua A. Campbell was fishing near the Conowingo Dam when he caught this whopper of a northern snakehead. Photo courtesy of Joshua A. Campbell

There are a lot of exciting fishing opportunities in Maryland right now — the trout stocking crews are busy stocking trout in the put and take areas, hickory shad runs are underway, and warming waters have many fish species active.

A reminder to anglers that all fishing for striped bass, including catch-and-release, is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tidal rivers — except the main stem of the Potomac River — for the month of April. The main stem of the bay will open to striped bass fishing on May 1 south of the Brewerton Channel.

Please join us on April 29 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar with guest biologist Jim Thompson of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources fish passage program. We will discuss the efforts to encourage anadromous fish populations to reach their spawning grounds via fish ladders and dam removals. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 14

Photo of girl holding a trout on a fishing line

Emma Ka enjoyed catching a rainbow trout at Halcyon Pond near Gaithersburg recently. Photo courtesy of Emma Ka

Warm spring temperatures are inviting anglers of all ages to step into the outdoors and enjoy wonderful fishing opportunities. Many of the community ponds near suburban areas hold excellent populations of stocked trout and other species, and provide a perfect fishing environment for our younger anglers. 

A reminder to all anglers that striped bass fishing and targeting is closed throughout the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, and will reopen on May 1. For more information on striped bass seasons and closure areas, please visit the department’s striped bass maps page.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 7

Angler Kate Morrison holds an invasive blue catfish she caught on the Nanticoke River -- and destined for the dinner table. Photo by Sean Morrison

Angler Kate Morrison holds an invasive blue catfish she caught on the Nanticoke River — and destined for the dinner table. Photo by Sean Morrison

April offers many fishing opportunities to anglers, ranging from trout to invasive species such as northern snakeheads and blue catfish.

A reminder to anglers that all fishing for striped bass, including catch-and-release, is prohibited in the Chesapeake Bay or any of its tidal rivers — except the main stem of the Potomac River — for the month of April. The main stem of the bay will open to striped bass fishing on May 1 south of the Brewerton Channel.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 31

Photo of woman holding a rainbow trout

Gracie Ray is all smiles as she holds up one of the larger rainbow trout that are stocked. Photo courtesy of Gracie Ray

Put-and-take trout anglers had a wonderful opening day, the weather cooperated, and there was plenty of room for anglers to spread out and enjoy a day of fishing with family and friends.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has issued the 2021 regulations for recreational striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay, available on the DNR website. Striped bass regulation maps — showing the bay’s regions and their open and close dates — can also be found on the department website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 24

Photo of two brothers with trout they caught

Photo by Tom Marble

To anglers and hunters, a traditional opening day can be described as Christmas and your birthday rolled into one. This Saturday, March 27, marks what many consider the opening of the spring trout season in Maryland. The trout hatchery and stocking program has worked hard under some tough conditions to bring the public the best trout possible so don’t miss the fun this weekend and for the next couple of months. This is a wonderful way for families and our younger anglers to enjoy fishing.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 17

Photo of brook trout in the water

The picture reveals why the brook trout is one of the most beautiful trout species. Photo by Ryan Cooper

The brook trout is Maryland’s only native trout and because it demands cool, clear water its range has been greatly impacted by environmental changes, natural and manmade. It is now mostly found in the most pristine waters of western Maryland. Fishing for brook trout is restricted to catch and release only and fishing tackle is often limited.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 10

Photo of young girl holding a white perch

Photo by Montana Grant

Warmer weather has everyone thinking about getting outdoors, and fishing is often at the top of the list. The yellow perch spawning runs are starting in the upper sections of a number of tidal rivers, and this weekend is a wonderful time for everyone to get in on the action.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 3

Maria Ricasa is all smiles with her first rainbow trout. Photo by Czarlite Ricasa

 

Welcome to March! In a couple of weeks spring will be here, and the warmer periods will become longer than the cold stretches. There is plenty of good fishing out there now; the yellow perch runs will start soon and the trout program is stocking generous numbers of fish at a location near you. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is recruiting participants for the shad volunteer angler survey. This brief online survey is smartphone compatible and provides valuable information for the restoration of these prized fish. Anglers are invited to log their shad fishing trips, even if you don’t catch any shad.   

Also, please join us on March 11 at noon for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative, known as MARI. Coordinator Mike Malpezzi will discuss Maryland’s artificial reef program and its importance for the angling community. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Feb. 3, 2021

Photo of woman holding a perch she caught.

Photo by Monty Hawkins

Despite cold mid-winter weather, anglers across Maryland are enjoying fun fishing experiences ranging from the preseason stockings of trout, to chain pickerel and blue catfish, to tautog in the offshore waters off our coast.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 9

Photo of man holding a largemouth bass

David Shaw shows us some of the rewards that can be found when fishing this time of the year as he caught and released this largemouth bass in the Sassafras River recently Photo by David Shaw

This week concludes our Maryland Fishing Report for 2020 — look for our winter update in early February, and for our weekly reports to resume in March 2021.

Despite colder temperatures there is still plenty of good fishing ahead in the winter months. Many will now shift their focus to freshwater and ocean fishing — with freshwater providing the easiest opportunities and definitely the more comfortable.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 2

Photo of father and daughter holding a pair of yellow perch

Chloe Campbell and her dad got to enjoy some fun fishing for yellow perch at Deep Creek Lake recently. Photo by Gary Campbell

With December’s arrival it is getting chillier outside, but there is still plenty of wonderful fishing to be had from offshore of Ocean City to Deep Creek Lake.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 25

Photo of girl holding string of crappie

Young angler Lucy Perez holds a string of crappie caught in the Susquehanna River. Photo by Nick Perez

From all of us at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, we wish you a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday. Many will take advantage of some time off to go fishing or enjoy other outdoor activities. There are so many fishing options from the mountain streams of western Maryland to the waters off Ocean City.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 18

Photo of man with a nice largemouth bass

Photo by Eric Packard

The recent cold front that has descended on Maryland seems like a knock on the door for what is coming. There are still plenty of wonderful fishing opportunities to be had — always be safe and make sure to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while out on the water.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 11

Photo of boy holding a chain pickerel

Young Fhinn Zeender-Lawrence holds up a beautiful chain pickerel caught on the lower Eastern Shore last weekend while fishing with his dad. Photo by Nathan Zeender

On this Veterans Day, let us all take a pause to thank our veterans for their service and sacrifice — to them we owe gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy. 

Marylanders have been treated to some beautiful weather recently and many enjoyed a wonderful weekend in the outdoors.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 4

Photo of woman holding a blue crab

Laura Sullivan is comfortably bundled up for a fun day crabbing on the water.

As we enter November there is plenty of fun to be had in the outdoors, we just have to dress a little warmer as the month progresses. Those wishing for some fresh blue crabs are enjoying good recreational crabbing this week.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 28

Photo of young boy with a bluegill on the end of his fishing rod

Rory Zeender-Lawrence gives a “thumbs up” with this bluegill he caught recently. Photo by Nathan Zeender

We have some rain in the forecast, but pleasant weather is just around the corner so try not to miss a single day of it. Taking youngsters out for a little fishing fun is often at the top of the to-do list.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 21

Photo of man holding up a large striped bass

Photo courtesy of Herb Floyd

The month of October is offering Maryland anglers some of the best fishing opportunities to be found at any time of the year. The fall trout stocking program is in full swing, other freshwater fish are feeding aggressively, and fishing for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay is at its zenith.

As we all know, Maryland has taken numerous conservation measures to protect the Chesapeake Bay striped bass population. Anglers now have an opportunity to comment on striped bass closure period options for summer 2021. Comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020. Read about the options and comment online at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 14

Photo of boy and father holding a yellow perch

Bergan Kline spent a day fishing with his dad on Deep Creek Lake when he caught this 14-inch yellow perch. Photo by Sean Kline

One of the most spectacular times of the year is upon us, but it will not last long — daylight hours become shorter as leaves burst in color before falling to the ground. All kinds of fishing awaits those that take the time to pursue it — the fall trout stocking program is in full swing, and other species of freshwater and saltwater fish await.

Please join us for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar Oct. 15 at noon. We will discuss the ongoing fall trout stocking season with Coldwater Program Manager Marshall Brown. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced results of the most recent juvenile striped bass survey, which showed a below-average spawning rate in the bay this year. Striped bass are known for highly variable annual reproduction that is often influenced by environmental factors. Maryland has implemented sound conservation measures to enhance the striped bass population in recent years, and it’s up to all of us to protect this important and iconic resource.

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Maryland Fishing Report – October 7

Photo of man in a boat holding a huge blue catfish

George Monk Jr. managed to enjoy a great day of fishing for blue catfish and is all smiles as he holds up a whopper. Photo courtesy of George Monk Jr.

There is a lot of exciting news this week for put-and-take trout anglers as the fall trout stocking program has begun. In the Chesapeake Bay, striped bass along with many other species of fish are providing wonderful fishing opportunities — don’t miss it.

Please join us for a Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar Oct. 15 at noon. We will discuss the ongoing fall trout stocking season with Coldwater Program Manager Marshall Brown. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 30

Photo of a woman holding up a Spanish mackerel

Eva Register holds up a nice Spanish mackerel caught while fishing out on the bay. Photo courtesy of Eva Register

September and early October are noted for the beautiful and mild sunny days that grace us, so make sure to take advantage of them and enjoy the Maryland outdoors with family and friends.

Please join us as we resume our Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar series Oct. 15 at noon. We will discuss the anticipated fall trout stocking season with Coldwater Program Manager Marshall Brown. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 23

Boy holding a large carp he caught

Young Fhinn Zeender-Lawrence joined family for fishing in the upper Choptank River, and shows off a 20-pound carp he caught before releasing it. Photo by Nathan Zeender

Welcome to the first week of fall! The cooler transitional days ahead are a delight for anyone who loves the outdoors. The leaves are beginning to show a hint of color in the western region of the state, so make sure to get outside and enjoy this special time of the year.

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 16

Photo of young boy holding a blue crab in a trap

Photo by Jim Livingston

CLICK HERE FOR THE SEPT. 23 MARYLAND FISHING REPORT

September always holds promise for the outdoor enthusiast, as the cooler nights and days are like a sweet whisper in the ear about wonderful things to come. Recreational crabbing is at the season’s peak as blue crabs are plentiful, large, and heavy. Do not miss venturing out to enjoy the bounty of the Chesapeake.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Sept. 9

Photo of man holding a blue catfish in the early morning hours

Bruce Strickland caught this blue catfish in the Chaptico Bay’s Bankhead Cove. It was 26.25 inches long and weighed about 10 pounds. Photo by Bruce Strickland.

With warm and dry summer weather through the Labor Day weekend, some anglers targeted the bay’s summer species such as Spanish mackerel and red drum, while others have gone back to targeting striped bass. All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers have reopened for striped bass fishing until Dec. 10 with a size limit of 19 inches and a daily bag limit of one fish per angler.

Targeting invasive species such as blue catfish and northern snakehead remains popular. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – Sept. 2

Photo of man holding a large Spanish mackeral.

Angler Tim Campbell qualified for the FishMaryland expert angler award when he caught this 24-inch Spanish mackerel, his fifth unique trophy species, in the Chesapeake Bay on Aug. 25. Photo courtesy of Tim Campbell

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers have reopened for striped bass fishing until Dec. 10 with a size limit of 19 inches and a daily bag limit of one fish per angler. 

Many summer species should continue to be available for anglers the next few weeks. 

On Sept. 3 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts its final weekly Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. Biologist Chuck Stence will speak about his team’s efforts in both hickory and shad restoration. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 26

Photo of woman holding a dolphin fish

Melissa Schworm is all smiles with this beautiful dolphin caught on an Ocean City party boat. Photo by Monty Hawkins

Fishing opportunities abound in Maryland waters from the far western region to the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you are vacationing at Deep Creek Lake or Ocean City, be sure to make fishing part of your vacation plans — you will not regret it.

On Aug. 27 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts its weekly Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission member and recreational angler Eric Packard will discuss his fishing adventures throughout southern Maryland and all points in between. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers are closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31. This closure is done to lessen catch-and-release mortality that can be caused by high water temperatures and low oxygen values.

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 19

Photo of boy holding an eel

Anyone who has encountered an American eel knows there is hardly anything harder to hold onto. Young Fhinn was fishing with his dad for northern snakeheads when he caught this American eel and he seems to be doing a pretty good job of hanging onto it. Photo by Nathan Zeender

Summer fishing trips with the kids are always filled with fun — one never knows what will occur.

On Aug. 20 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts another Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. Biologist Matt Sell will discuss the unique and world-class fishing that can be found from Deep Creek Lake to some of western Maryland ‘s rivers and streams. Details for joining the webinar are on the department’s online calendar.

For anglers who also enjoy catching Maryland’s natural beauty on camera, the Department of Natural Resources 17th Annual Photo Contest is taking entries through Aug. 31. Instructions, rules, and other details are available on the DNR website.

All areas of the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers are closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31. This closure is done to lessen catch-and-release mortality that can be caused by high water temperatures and low oxygen values.

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 12

Travis Lewis spent some time fishing in lower Dorchester County and caught this large northern snakehead. Photo courtesy of Travis Lewis.

Travis Lewis spent some time fishing in lower Dorchester County and caught this large northern snakehead. Photo courtesy of Travis Lewis.

Fishing opportunities are being found throughout Maryland during these warm days of August. From the smallest freshwater ponds to the Atlantic Ocean, all promise adventure and fun for those who take the time to seek them out.  

On Aug. 13 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts another Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. This week, DNR biologist Josh Henesy discusses Upper Potomac River fishing opportunities in Maryland. You can join the discussion through a link on the department’s online calendar.

Remember that all areas of the bay and tidal rivers will be closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31.

Throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

 

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 5

Photo of young girl next to her father and holding a fishing rod with a white perch

Mia Spiker traveled to lower Trappe with her family to enjoy some fishing for white perch – and was delighted with the first fish she has ever caught. Photo by Herb Floyd

August seems to have arrived in the blink of an eye, and families are doing their best to fit in some outdoor summer recreation time. Be sure to stay safe and follow the latest COVID-19 guidelines for outdoor recreation

On Aug. 6 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hosts another Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. This week, DNR biologist Mary Groves discusses blue catfish populations in Maryland, and you can learn how to fish for this invasive species from our recreational fishing experts. You can join the discussion through a link on the department’s online calendar.

Remember that all Maryland areas of the bay and tidal rivers will be closed to striped bass fishing from Aug. 16 through Aug. 31.

Throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Striped Bass Fishing Advisory Forecast showing green flag days Wednesday through Sunday, yellow flag days on Monday and Tuesday

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 29

Photo of boy holding two white perch

White perch are a perfect species to target while fishing with your kids. Dylan Tawney caught these two nice white perch while fishing with his family. Photo by Andrew Tawney

Hot and dry weather continues across Maryland. These conditions put heat-related stress on the summer striped bass population, especially in the upper Chesapeake Bay. We ask anglers to focus their fishing on early morning hours, or target other species during the heat wave. Throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

On July 30 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is hosting our fourth Maryland Fishing Roundtable webinar on summer fishing. This week, the Maryland Fishing Report team — including Maryland recreational fisheries specialist Erik Zlokovitz, Tom Parham of DNR’s Eyes on the Bay, and biologist Steve Doctor — will give tips on fishing in the Ocean City area. You can join the discussion through a link on the department’s online calendar.

All anglers can feel free to send any pictures of your catches to fishingreports.dnr@maryland.gov for possible inclusion in our fishing report or the daily Angler’s Log.

Striped Bass advisory forecast showing yellow flag days on Wednesday and Sunday; red flag day on Thursday; green flag days on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 22

Photo of boy holding a fish on the end of his line

Fhinn Zeender-Lawrence caught this nice pumpkinseed, along with croaker and catfish this weekend with bloodworms off a dock in Edgewater. Photo by Nathan Zeender

The weather is putting a lot of heat-related stress on both anglers and the summer striped bass population. We ask anglers to focus their fishing on early morning hours, or switch to other species during the heat wave. Throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

On July 23 at noon the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is hosting a webinar on summer fishing conditions, giving striped bass a break, and targeting alternative and invasive species. The Maryland Fishing Report team — including Maryland recreational fisheries specialist Erik Zlokovitz, Tom Parham of DNR’s Eyes on the Bay, and moderator Eric Wilson of Fishing and Boating Services — will discuss summer fishing opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, Dr. Joe Love will tell you everything you need to know about snakeheads. You can join the discussion through Google meets or by phone at  1-443-671-4706, and use the PIN: ‪674 636 739.  Details are also found on the department’s online calendar

And don’t forget to take the kids fishing, even if it’s a short trip to a local dock. All anglers can feel free to send any pictures of your catches to fishingreports.dnr@maryland.gov for possible inclusion in our fishing report or the daily Angler’s Log.Striped Bass 7-day fishing forecast showing red flag days on Wednesday and Monday; yellow flag days Thursday through Sunday and on Tuesday

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 15

Photo of girl holding a northern snakehead

Lucy Perez holds up her first northern snakehead and it is a whopper! Photo by Nick Perez

Taking kids fishing during the summer is a rewarding pastime — whether helping them fish for bluegills with a worm and a bobber at a local pond, or as they become more skilled, watching them cast their own lures and land their own fish.

Don’t forget that throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Image of Striped Bass 7-day Fishing Advisory, with one green flag day on Thursday; yellow days on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; and red flag days on Sunday through Tuesday.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 8

Photo of man holding a large blue crab.

Todd Clark went crabbing near Kent Island  and is all smiles with this large blue crab. Photo by Rich Watts

This is a marvelous time of year to enjoy Maryland’s outdoors, and recreational crabbing is just one way to get onto the quiet tidal creeks and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. 

Fishing the Chesapeake Bay is a time-honored tradition. While anglers often set their sights on striped bass there are several other species which provide just as much if not more excitement. Join the Maryland Department of Natural Resources July 9 at noon for a virtual discussion on summertime fishing — including alternative fish species, how to plan fishing trips at the most appropriate times, how to properly catch and release, and how to fish with circle hooks.

Our Maryland Fishing Report team – recreational fisheries staff Keith Lockwood and Erik Zlokovitz, with Tidewater Ecosystem Assessment Director Tom Parham — will discuss how to reduce striped bass mortality during the summer.

You can join the discussion through Google meets or by phone at  1-443-671-4706, and use the PIN: 674 636 739.

Don’t forget that throughout Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Striped bass fishing advisory forecast showing yellow days Wednesday and Saturday through Tuesday, green days on Thursday and Friday

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 1

Photo of girl holding a large blue crab she caught

Elizabeth Lee went crabbing with her parents and is contributing to the crab feast with this catch. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Lee

The Fourth of July holiday weekend means outdoor adventure seekers will be out in droves. Be safe and use common sense — if you’re boating, use a personal flotation device and never boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For all anglers, remember also to keep a social distance and avoid crowded areas.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a final license-free fishing day for 2020 on July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

Biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs.

As we enter Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 24

Photo of man with two young sons showing a fish they caught.

Bryan Brainer spent a fun day with his two young sons fishing for blue catfish in the Chester River. Photo courtesy of Bryan Brainer

Many dads, daughters, sons, and moms spent a special Father’s Day enjoying time together in that special setting that fishing provides.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a license-free fishing day July 4 — an opportunity to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

As we enter Maryland’s warmest months, the department’s online striped bass fishing advisory forecast provides a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

Striped Bass forecast chart showing green fishing days Wednesday through Friday, yellow days Saturday and Sunday, and green days Monday and Tuesday.

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 17

Photo of man and two boys catching with a flathead catfish they caught

Angler Brett Poffenberger took his nephews Eli and Dakota fishing in the upper Potomac and pulled an invasive flathead catfish out of the water. Photo courtesy Brett Poffenberger

A recent trip to the fishing tackle section of a large discount store showed a lot of empty space on the shelves. Everyone is excited about getting out and enjoying the outdoors safely and fishing seems to be at the top of the list. Children are perhaps the most anxious to get outside, and taking them fishing is a wonderful thing to share together.

Check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for the latest updates on expanded opportunities for outdoor exercise and recreation in Maryland.

DNR is now offering appointments at most licensing and registration centers. Appointments can be scheduled online.

Also, our striped bass fishing advisory forecast begins this week, providing a seven-day outlook to help anglers reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 10

Young Ian Brainer admires his mom Sarah’s snakehead catch

Young Ian Brainer admires his mom Sarah’s catch, and we’re sure it will not be long before he has a fishing rod of his own in his hands. Photo courtesy of Sarah Jane Brainer

The summer-like weather is bringing families out to enjoy the outdoors. What could be better than being out on a fishing adventure with mom, especially if you catch a strange-looking fish like a northern snakehead!

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers two more license-free fishing days on June 13 and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

As we all start spending more time on the water, a reminder that our biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 3, 2020

Photo of a boy holding a crappie

Eight-year-old James Ricasa proudly holds up a crappie he caught while fishing with his family. Photo by Czarlite S. Ricasa

The weather forecast for the next week predicts summer temperatures and offers a wonderful time to bring our younger anglers outdoors for some family fishing fun.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers license-free fishing days on June 6, June 13, and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

Finally, a reminder that the Department is encouraging all anglers to target and harvest invasive fish species such as northern snakeheads, blue catfish, and flathead catfish. DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are supporting an invasive fish tournament from now through Dec. 5 in partnership with the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 27

Photo of young man holding a largemouth bass

Christian Gruber managed to spend some time fishing for largemouth bass in a local pond — and came up big with this 23-inch largemouth bass that he released after a quick picture. Photo courtesy of Kirk Groves

Maryland is beginning to settle into something resembling summer, and anglers are out safely enjoying the outdoors.

As we continue doing our part to keep transmission of COVID-19 to a minimum, please remember to check our website to find the latest guidance on a variety of outdoor activities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 20

Photo of boy with a golden trout in his net.

Braden Walsh is all smiles with the first golden trout that he caught last weekend. Photo by Gary Soukup

It may be hard to believe, but Memorial Day weekend approaches. Folks are seeking rejuvenation in the outdoors, which is encouraged as long as we’re being safe and considerate in regard to social distancing.

As we all start spending more time on the water, a reminder that our biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs.   

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is working to help the public navigate through these trying times, and our website will continue offering guidance on a variety of outdoor activities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 13

Photo of two boys in a truck holding trout

Brothers Cole and Isaac Marble got to enjoy some trout fishing recently with their dad and take some trout home for dinner. Photo by Tom Marble

What strange and difficult times the past two months have been for all — if it has been inconvenient for some, remember that it has been devastating to others. With the allowance of additional outdoor recreation under the governor’s stay at home order, we can enjoy fishing as long as we follow social distancing guidelines and stay safe. Answers to some frequently asked questions about outdoor activities are on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.

Starting on May 16, the size and bag limit for striped bass in the bay and tributaries (excluding the Susquehanna Flats) will be one fish per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches. On the Susquehanna Flats, the limit will be one fish between 19-26 inches. 

Charter boats participating in a pilot program of the E-reporting with FACTS system will be allowed to keep 2 striped bass per guest per trip. Only one of those two fish may be greater than 28 inches. 

Also, remember that all conservation efforts implemented by the department last year, including the required use of circle hooks, remain in effect. More information on how to properly catch and release can be found on our website.

The department has posted a new map with color-coding which shows areas open to fishing (green), catch-and-release only (yellow), and closed areas (red).

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 1

Photo of Chesapeake Bay Bridge

Photo by Lauren Moses

None of us has ever experienced anything like the COVID 19 pandemic, and we must focus on the safety of ourselves, our families and the safety of others. We are all in this together.

Governor Hogan has issued a Stay at Home Order in response to the global COVID-19 public health crisis. While there are certain exceptions for essential functions, the primary intent of the order is for people to stay at home in order to limit the spread of the virus. 

As we have temporarily halted our routine water monitoring due to the current health emergency, our weekly fishing report will be on hiatus.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has provided some additional guidance online as to what activities qualify as essential. Limited subsistence fishing is allowed if you are seeking food for you or your family — basically you intend to keep what you catch as long as it’s legal.

Social distancing guidelines and the prohibition on social gatherings must be strictly followed. Recreational boating is prohibited until the governor lifts the executive order or until the State of Emergency has ended.  However, you can use a boat if you’re seeking food for you or your family. 

Also remember that all season, size, and creel regulations are in place and will be enforced. 

Venturing out to go fishing in these times is a serious endeavor that should be planned carefully and thoughtfully, and done only if you need and intend to bring some fresh fish home. Otherwise, please observe the state’s directives on keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe.

Please stay at home and limit the spread of the virus. Take care and be safe through this crisis.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 25

Photo of boy holding red-eared sunfish

Mason Bair went fishing with family and caught this large red-ear sunfish. Photo by Zack Stough

A lot of people find themselves with extra time on their hands. We encourage anglers to take advantage of the incredible fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer, provided everyone practices social distancing, avoids crowded areas, and minimizes social interaction. This is an especially good time to safely take youngsters out of the house to enjoy some fishing together, again being careful and thinking everything through when planning your trip.

Department biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs. This information is very important to the biologists who manage the species listed in the surveys, which are available on our website. 

Anglers are reminded that all catch and release of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay ends March 31 and will not open to striped bass fishing of any kind until May 1. A review of catch-and release-tips can be viewed on our website

In order to protect public health and safety and to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, all Licensing and Registration Centers are now closed. Governor Hogan has issued an executive order related to licenses, permits, registrations, and other authorizations that may be expiring or up for renewal during the state of emergency. The executive order immediately grants a grace period of 30 days after the date of termination of the state of emergency — this includes fishing and boating licenses.

Our online COMPASS portal provides 24/7 self service access to our entire product catalog of recreational licenses, permits, and stamps plus many other Maryland Department of Natural Resources programs. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 18

Photo of boy holding a crappie he caught

Michael Novak Jr. caught this beautiful crappie recently while fishing with his dad. Photo by Michael Novak

We face extraordinary times and everyone must make decisions regarding the safety of ourselves and those we love. Given Maryland’s current State of Emergency, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has made adjustments as well.

After careful consideration, the department decided to suspend spring trout stocking to protect the health and safety of our state employees and also the public and angling community. We need to avoid a situation that encourages anglers to gather near stocked locations. The department may also cancel or postpone fishing-related events this spring, including youth fishing rodeos and fishing tournaments due to the Executive Order prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t go fishing. In fact, the department has already stocked 82,700 brown, golden, and rainbow trout across the state. While it is unknown at this time when trout stocking will resume, we do encourage anglers to safely take advantage of incredible fishing opportunities Maryland has to offer.

For those looking for ways to occupy children stuck at home, consider a peaceful fishing adventure — obviously taking care to keep your proper social distance from others and avoid unnecessary exposure. 

Please keep an eye on the department’s website and social media for updates, and we will resume regular operations once we are safely able.

Be safe, be responsible, be kind to each other, and we will get through these trying times together. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 11

Photo of girl holding a fish she caught

Julia Kennedy got to spend a fun afternoon fishing with her mom and sister on a sunny afternoon and caught her first bluegill sunfish. Photo by Carrie Kennedy

The signs of spring are everywhere and the warm sunny weather has families outside, enjoying the outdoors together. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is busy stocking local waters with trout and all are preparing for the grand event — the traditional opening day of trout season at 5:30 a.m. on March 28. Local community ponds are an ideal place to enjoy family fun and get our younger anglers started. Bluegill sunfish have been the most common fish youngsters start out with, they are feisty and usually a sucker for a garden worm and bobber.

The Chesapeake Bay striped bass catch-and-release season is underway and will be open through March 31. Regulations can be found on the department’s website.

When using fish, crabs, worms, or processed bait, recreational anglers in the Susquehanna Flats and Northeast River may only use a circle hook, or “J” hook with a gap of less than or equal to 1/2 inch between the point and the shank. Eels may not be used as bait.

For trollers, stinger hooks are prohibited, barbless hooks are required, and no more than six lines are allowed while trolling.

The proposed summer-fall Chesapeake Bay striped bass regulations are in the scoping stage and comments are being solicited at this time. The comment period is open now and will close at 11:59 pm on March 18, 2020. Send your comments to the department by email to  fisheriespubliccomment.dnr@maryland.gov  or submit online.

And finally, our biologists have instituted several volunteer angler surveys to help them understand and better manage some of the important fish species to anglers as well as blue crabs and horseshoe crabs. This information is very important to the biologists who manage the species listed in the volunteer angler surveys. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 4

Photo by Eric Packard of a nice yellow perch

Photo by Eric Packard

There are many different signs of spring that we notice — for some, it might be the first blooming daffodil or spotting the first osprey. One of the most popular harbingers of spring in Maryland for anglers is the much anticipated yellow perch spawning runs that occur in many of the Chesapeake Bay’s tributaries this month. Those spawning runs are underway and should peak within the next week.

This should be a very good year for Maryland anglers based on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources survey results. Fisheries biologist Paul Piavis reports that the 2011 year class of yellow perch was a strong one, and those perch will measure 13 inches or more this year. He also reports a strong 2015 year class, and those perch will measure 10 inches or better, followed by a strong 2014 year class.

Yellow perch fillets are a real treat and are often fried. If you have a pre-spawn yellow perch, try and find a home for the roe, which many people enjoy eating.

There are a few different ways to fish for yellow perch based on where they are holding. In the more open waters, they tend to hold in deep channels before they get the urge to spawn and ascend the tidal rivers. Fishing with enough weight to hold bottom and a two-hook bottom rig baited with small minnows, grass shrimp, or perhaps small jigs is a good way to catch them.

As the yellow perch move far up the rivers and into small and more confined waters, fishing with ultra-light tackle is the name of the game. Casting small shad darts, beetle spins, and small grub-type jigs is a fun way to catch them. Fishing small minnows and grass shrimp on a small shad dart or a bait hook is also very effective. Thin, low-poundage braid line with a 4- to 6-pound fluorocarbon leader is a real asset for casting light jigs — some can be as light as a 1/32 ounce. It also pays to have a lightweight fluorocarbon leader to break off from snags. There usually are a lot of hidden submerged branches and tree limbs in the more confined waters that tend to gobble up anglers’ lures.

When fishing with lightweight jigs, it pays to cast slightly upstream and walk the jig along the bottom in a sweeping motion, keeping a slight belly in your line to detect twitches that indicate a strike. Placing a little piece of red felt that has few dabs of anise or your favorite fish attractant can also provide an advantage. A small section of fresh minnow placed on the shad dart hook is one of my favorites, especially when the action is hot and heavy and you’re watching your bait supply evaporate.

Keep an eye on fishing conditions. Check the tide tables listed on the department website for where you want to fish – a low flood tide is best. Generally, 46 degrees is when yellow perch feel the urge to move into the spawning areas, and once the water hits 48 degrees it is on. The run can happen fairly quickly, often at night, and once it is over the post-spawn yellow perch depart quickly. Anglers who arrive late are often greeted with, “you should have been here yesterday, you really missed it.”

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Maryland Fishing Report – Jan. 29

Photo of boy holding trout

Photo by Gregg Salsi

Even though it’s winter, periodic warm spells and days when there is little wind and plenty of sunshine afford fishermen a chance to wet a line. The pre-season trout stocking program is well underway and trout management waters are being stocked every week.

January through March is the time of the year when many attend outdoor shows to view or purchase new fishing tackle, or even book that fishing trip to a dream destination. The department’s Fishing and Boating Services will have staff present at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg from Feb. 1-9 at Maryland FishHunt booth 2521 in Fishing Hall. We hope you’ll come see us!

Many anglers have questions about what is going to happen in regards to management decisions and new regulations concerning striped bass. The entire striped bass fishery of the East Coast is impacted by the need to meet conservation targets established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. In Maryland, commercial quotas are being cut 1.8 percent and there are several proposals concerning the recreational fishery. You can follow the most recent regulation changes and proposals and find up-to-date questions and answers on the Department of Natural Resources website. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – Will Return in 2020

Maryland Fishing Report is on break for the winter, and will resume in early 2020. For the latest information on fishing and water conditions in Maryland please sign up for our email newsletters at dnr.maryland.gov Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 11

Photo of sunset over the Chesapeake Bay, from the back of a fishing boat.

Photo by Keith Lockwood

This is the final weekly Maryland Fishing Report of 2019 — we will return in 2020.

While everyone is caught up in the pre-holiday rush, those looking for a little respite will find plenty of fun fishing opportunities this month. The pre-season stocking of trout has begun and walleye, chain pickerel, yellow perch and catfish are all eager to entertain those who fish for them. The Chesapeake Bay striped bass season will come to a close on December 15, and the past couple weeks have been like the grand finale at a fireworks display. As the sun sets on the 2019 season, we look ahead to 2020.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has produced a fact sheet, available online, to address the many questions recreational anglers may have concerning future striped bass regulations and management. 

The Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission recently created an annual recreational fisheries achievement award, to be given once a year. This is a great opportunity to recognize someone you know who goes that extra distance in volunteering their services to aid in promoting and conserving our recreational fisheries resources in Maryland. For more information and to nominate someone, find everything you need on the department’s website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Dec. 4

Photo of man holding a chain pickerel

Mike Crocetti made the trip to Tuckahoe Lake to enjoy a beautiful day and a chance to catch and release a nice chain pickerel. Photo courtesy of Mike Crocetti

There is no doubt the hand of winter is passing over Maryland. Despite colder weather, there is plenty of fun fishing to be had from the sheltered shores of the many ponds, lakes, reservoirs, creeks, and rivers throughout Maryland. The preseason stocking of trout has begun, and other fish such as chain pickerel are active and waiting for you.

The Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission recently created an annual recreational fisheries achievement award, to be given once a year. This is a great opportunity to recognize someone you know who goes that extra distance to volunteer their services to help with the promotion and conservation of our recreational fisheries resources in Maryland. For more information and to nominate someone, find everything you need on the Department of Natural Resources website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 27

Photo of young man holding up a beautiful fall striped bass

Nick Long spent a quiet evening on the bay fishing with his dad and holds up a beautiful fall striped bass as the sun sets. Photo by Travis Long

Although the mornings can be a bit nippy, good fishing opportunities exist from the mountains of western Maryland to the waters of the Atlantic. The Chesapeake Bay striped bass season has a little more than two weeks to go before it closes, and anglers are bundling up and enjoying the fun.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 20

Photo of man holding a nice striped bass

Photo courtesy of Eric Packard

The chill of late November is beginning to lay its hand upon the Maryland landscape. Freshwater species such as trout, walleye, and chain pickerel seem to love the cold. Our blue crabs are seeking the perfect mix of deep water sand and mud to take a winter’s nap.

White perch and resident striped bass are moving into the deep waters of the Chesapeake to snooze out the cold winter months. The late fall offers plenty of good fishing as fish feed heavily to build up winter stores, so don’t miss it.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 13

Photo of boy holding up a crappie

This fine looking crappie is held up by a proud Henry Gessford who was fishing in a lower Dorchester County river recently. Photo by Jody Gessford

The colder weather has descended upon the Maryland landscape and few know it better than our furry, finned, and feathered friends who call the outdoors their home. All are on a bit of a feeding binge to prepare for the cold winter months ahead.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Nov. 6

Photo of man holding state record gray triggerfish

Photo courtesy of Mike Glyphis

November has started off with lots of exciting fishing opportunities. Maryland Department of Natural Resources crews have stocked generous amounts of trout in waters throughout the state, as our fall stocking program comes to an end. Chesapeake anglers are enjoying fishing for striped bass and coastal anglers are experiencing excellent fishing for sea bass. Mike Glyphis was fishing 16 miles off Ocean City when he hooked up with a 5.6-pound gray triggerfish, which is now recognized as a new state record inching out the previous record of 5.2 pounds set in 2014.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 30

 Photo of striped bass being carefully released to fight another day

Herb Floyd takes one last look at this Choptank River striped bass being carefully released to fight another day. Photo by Herb Floyd

As October comes to a close, Maryland anglers will find there are plenty of treats and no tricks awaiting them. The fall stocking program has released a very generous amount of trout across Maryland; Chesapeake Bay anglers are enjoying some of the season’s finest light-tackle action; and sea bass fishing off Ocean City has been excellent.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 23

Photo of State record Atlantic Tripletail

Photo by Steve Doctor

The stormy weather during September and October often bring fishy friends from southern waters to the coast of Ocean City. Don Whittington of Bivalve, Wicomico County, was fishing near some offshore lobster pot buoys recently when he caught an 11-pound tripletail, a new addition to our state record species list.
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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 16

Photo of three people holding a basket full of blue crabs

Photo courtesy of Jim Livingston

Without a doubt we are now in a fall weather pattern, and those sunny days will become less and less frequent. Some are taking advantage of these remaining warm days and catching the last of the Chesapeake Bay’s summer bounty of blue crab. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 9

Photo of girl holding a northern snakehead

Sarah Chlebnikow is all smiles after catching her first northern snakehead. Photo by Barry Browning

Pleasant daytime temperatures make ideal conditions for taking our younger fishermen out for some family fun close to home. Community ponds usually offer plenty of freshwater species such as bluegill sunfish. The fall trout stocking program is underway and community ponds are one of the many places fish will be stocked near your home. Northern snakeheads offer some exciting fishing this time of the year as they have moved out into more open waters, and a simple bobber with a minnow offer plenty of fishing fun for our younger anglers.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Oct. 2

Photo of man with large red drum he caught and released

The catch-and release fishery for red drum is particularly exciting as evidenced by that big smile on Tim Campbell’s face before he slips this beautiful fish back into the Bay. Photo courtesy of Tim Campbell

As we transition to October, summer-type weather has continued to hold on and everyone would agree we could use some rain. Fishing conditions are very good in most areas and the Chesapeake Bay could hardly be better with an abundance of Spanish mackerel, and red drum to please any angler.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Sept. 25

Photo of two men as they hold up a pair of red drum.

Travis Long and Justin Beam quickly hold up a pair of huge red drum before slipping them back into the bay. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

As summer slips into history and we step into fall, there is a lot of exciting fishing in Maryland. Trout fishermen are getting ready for the fall stocking program that begins in October. The Chesapeake Bay is teeming with Spanish mackerel and behemoth red drum, providing some amazing catch-and-release fishing.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Sept. 18

Photo of Two boys with their crab traps

Photo by Jim Livingston

The change of seasons is always a push-and-pull affair – recently it seemed that summer was just not ready to let go. This is a wonderful time of the year to still enjoy the outdoor activities Maryland’s warm weather affords, and is perhaps the best time of the year to enjoy large and heavy crabs as they fatten up for a winter’s rest — don’t miss it.

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 11

Photo of Man holding a large Spanish Mackerel

Photo by Captain “walleye” Pete Dahlberg

September is an exciting month for those who love the outdoors and fishing is usually at the top of the list. Mild late summer weather is providing exciting fishing opportunities across the Maryland landscape from the western mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. In the Chesapeake Bay, we have relatively warm water, higher salinities, and a very strong run of Spanish mackerel which is delighting those who are able to get out and fish for them.

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 4

Photo of Spanish mackeral

Marty Zupancic decided to show us the toothy face of a Spanish mackerel he caught recently. Photo by Marty Zupancic

Now that Labor Day activities are behind us, anglers can focus on fishing more with family and friends. Cooler weather will begin to show its face and Maryland waters will begin to shake off the summer heat. Fishing for Spanish mackerel has been very popular in the bay.

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 28

Photo of people with bushels of crabsThe recent cooler weather has been a welcomed relief for all, and the hot summer months are beginning to fade into memory. Fishing has been good and recreational crabbers, in particular, are enjoying the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay, providing healthy and heavy crabs for crab picking with family and friends.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Aug. 21

Photo of boy in boat crabbing

Memories are made while fishing and crabbing and this guy is lucky enough to have a grandfather to take him crabbing. Photo by Jim Livingston

We are on the back end of August and there are signs everywhere that the summer season is coming to a close — but there’s still time for families to spend some quality time together fishing. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 14

Photo of man with northern snakehead

Photo by Michael Carr

No matter how seasoned one is as a fishermen, catching a noteworthy fish brings out excitement that is too often suppressed deep within us. Our daily trials can take a toll on our sense of childlike fun. This photo made me smile and caused me to relive a few moments that I shared with friends when catching a truly exciting fish. Fishing brings joy, no matter how the fish is taken or if it is an invasive fish that carries the distinctive name of northern snakehead.

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 7

Photo of Boy with a snakehead he caught

Photo by Eric Packard

Just like us humans, fish are seeking relief from the summer heat wherever they can find it, and some fish are more tolerant of high temperatures than others. Many anglers have chosen to curtail fishing for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay this month and are enjoying other fishing opportunities.

Spanish mackerel, bluefish, white perch and spot are providing plenty of fun fishing action for bay anglers. There is plenty of fishing action to be had in the Ocean City area, and species such as northern snakeheads, blue catfish, and other freshwater fish are providing plenty of often overlooked opportunities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 31

Photo of angler with state record 72.8 lb. dolphinfish

Jeff Wright was fishing off Ocean City recently when he caught this 72.8-pound bull (male) dolphin, a massive fish by any standards. Congratulations to Jeff, captain and crew for such a fine catch. Photo by Alfred Hughes.

Maryland offers a wide variety of exciting fishing opportunities to those who fish her waters. We are pleasantly reminded of the amazing resources that are available to us when an extraordinary specimen is recognized as a state record. These listings keep a permanent record and help promote those resources.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 24

Photo of men on a boat with a golden tilefish

Jeffery Peregoy shows us what can be pulled from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean with this large golden tilefish. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Peregoy

Maryland offers a wide variety of fishing adventures right now, from the western mountains to the deep ocean waters of the Atlantic.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 17

Young Isaac had a great day fishing for white perch recently in his own kayak.

Young Isaac had a great day fishing for white perch in his own kayak. Photo by Eric Packard

Summertime fun is settled in throughout Maryland. It’s great to see children whose parent, relative or guardian can take them fishing or crabbing, enjoying all that the Maryland outdoors has to offer.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 10

Photo of boys with a jumbo blue crab

Brothers Andrew, Nikolaus and Nathan Vogel enjoyed some crabbing off their grandparents’ dock on Rock Creek in Pasadena, and pose with a jumbo 8.5-inch crab. Photo by Josh Vogel

Few things in Maryland speak of summer more than Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, although local sweet corn might be a close second.

 

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 3

Photo of a man fishing from a kayak

This confident angler among the larger boats reminded fishing report author Keith Lockwood of an old verse. Photo by Keith Lockwood

Anyone who has ventured to the Bay Bridge in the past few weeks knows you will see all kinds of boats fishing the bridge piers. Some remind one of the opening verse of the Fisherman’s Prayer, which President John F. Kennedy kept inscribed on a block of wood on his desk in the Oval Office, and Admiral Rickover was rumored to present it to every new submarine captain: “Oh Lord thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” Whatever means you have, it’s a great time to get out fishing.

July 4 is the last free fishing day of the 2019 season. This is a great opportunity to take someone who has shown some interest in fishing but has been hesitant to give it a try. It’s a golden opportunity to take someone fishing without them worrying about buying a fishing license.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 26

Bob Bruns was fishing recently and found this beautiful striped bass at the end of a rainbow

Bob Bruns was fishing at the Bay Bridge recently and found this beautiful striped bass at the end of a rainbow. Photo by Travis Long

We’ve all heard the saying about finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In the past couple weeks, fishermen on the bay and freshwater areas have been dodging passing rain clouds, but were blessed with the sight of a pretty rainbow.

A serious problem that pains any fisherman to see is dead striped bass floating in the bay, and the scene becomes more common as air and bay water temperatures rise. This time of the year some of these fish are dying not so much from hook injury, but the stress of being brought to the boat. Studies have shown that decreasing the time one takes to bring a fish to the boat can improve fish survival. Use heavy tackle, flattening the barbs on your jigs or lures to quicken your release, and also release the fish without removing it from the water.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is launching a new awareness campaign to reduce striped bass mortality during the summer fishing season. A color-coded recommendation system will advise of fishing conditions, allowing anglers to plan their striped bass fishing trips up to seven days in advance. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 19

Five year old Vinny Spilker caught this white perch while visiting his uncle recently.

Five year old Vinny Spilker caught this white perch while visiting his uncle recently. Photo by Herb Floyd

When introducing young children to fishing, it’s important they see action to keep their attention. Go after species such as bluegills and white perch, which are always ready to step up to the plate.

One more license-free fishing day is scheduled this year on July 4. It’s a perfect opportunity to get someone started on their own fishing adventures!

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 12

Photo of a man and his son hauling in a big catch

Photo by Keith Lockwood

This is a special weekend for sons and daughters to celebrate their love for the fathers – or father figures in their lives — who help them to appreciate the gifts of the outdoors. No doubt many will take out the gear this weekend and share that special time together that fishing provides. Happy Father’s Day!

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 5

The look on Dexter Webster’s face says it all after a day trout fishing with his grandfather.

Photo of boy with several trout he caught

There is a special bond between grandparents and their grandchildren, and some children are lucky enough to have a grandpa or grandma to take them fishing. Lothar Weber recently took his 5 year old grandson Dexter trout fishing near Little Falls. Grandpa brought his fly fishing outfit, Dexter dug up his mom’s garden to collect some worms for bait. The results of their trout fishing trip together was described as: Dexter 5, trout and Grandpa 0.

Two more license-free fishing days are scheduled this year on June 8 and July 4. These are perfect opportunities to get someone started on their own fishing adventures!

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 29

Photo of man Fly fishing on the Savage River in Garrett County.

Kenny Wampler found solitude while fly fishing on the Savage River in Garrett County. Photo by Alan Klotz

Summertime temperatures are settling in this week and many will be looking for some relief from the heat — water provides that and fun as well. Many will be headed to Maryland’s state parks, the Chesapeake Bay or Ocean City, while others will seek the solitude and cool temperatures of western Maryland. 

Also, the state is hosting three license-free fishing days on June 1, June 8 and July 4. These annual events allow everyone the chance to test their fishing skills or reinvigorate their love of fishing without needing a license, trout stamp or registration. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 22

Photo of two boys fishing

This little guy seems plum tuckered out while leaning into his older brother after a family fishing outing with dad.

Memorial Day weekend is upon us and many Marylanders will be headed to local festivities, to the mountains or to the beaches for family fun and relaxation. Fishing rods will be seen everywhere, poking out of campers, pickup trucks and roof racks. Fishing offers time for reflection, so please take a moment to remember those who sacrificed for the freedoms we all enjoy today.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 15

Photo of Kids at a fishing rodeo

Photo by Letha Grimes

While recent rains caused swollen streams and rivers and left everything a bit soggy, the weather for the coming weekend is predicted to be sunny and warm – and it should be a wonderful time to be outside with family and friends. There are several youth fishing opportunities called fishing rodeos where kids line up along grassy community ponds and soak a worm under a bobber with dreams of fishing trophies and the excitement of catching fish.

This is a great opportunity for families and if you’re not sure what to do, there are always plenty of volunteers on hand to help. Our website lists upcoming events by county so you can find one near you. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 8

Photo of two boys with their catch of crabs

Photo by Jim Livingston

The black locust trees are blooming and for many old timers this heralds the first blue crab shed of the year – starting many to think about getting their gear ready and enjoying some recreational crabbing and the bounty it provides.

There is good news for all wishing to enjoy a crab feast. The results of the 2019 blue crab winter dredge survey show populations in the Chesapeake Bay are up approximately 60 percent! 

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 1

Photo of Boy holding fish

Photo courtesy of Jayden Venable

Welcome to May — a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors with family and especially children. There are few things more fun than taking children to any of Maryland’s many fishing derbies or rodeos. These events are usually held at a community pond and sponsored by a local service organization. Trophies and prizes for various categories are handed out, and it is just a great time for all.

The department has a schedule of fishing rodeos posted online. Gather up your kids and enjoy some of these events. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 24

Three-year-old Benjamin Hudak proudly holds up his first fish

Three-year-old Benjamin Hudak proudly holds up his first fish, caught it at the youth-only fishing area at Carroll Creek in Frederick. Photo by Brandon Hudak

There are a lot of exciting fishing opportunities in Maryland and perhaps one most dear to any parent is helping a son or daughter catch their first fish. Our hatchery and trout stocking crews work hard to provide wonderful trout fishing for everyone. There are special areas spread around the state that are stocked with trout and set aside just for our younger anglers.

The much anticipated opening day of the 2019 spring trophy striped bass season has come and gone without much fanfare, and now fishermen can settle down and wait for the post-spawn striped bass to exit the spawning rivers in the next couple of weeks.

If you’re catching and releasing your striped bass, be sure to follow measures for helping protect the population.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 17

Photo of man holding up a striped bass he caught.

Matt Beam holds up a striped bass caught this past weekend during the catch-and-release season. Photo by Travis Long

Saturday, April 20, marks the much-anticipated opening day of the 2019 trophy striped bass season. Captains and crews have been working overtime getting their boats ready for this weekend, from the largest charter boats to private boats parked on trailers in driveways. Good luck to all but be patient — many post-spawn striped bass are still making the journey downriver from their spawning sites.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 10

Photo of boy holding trout

Five year old Emmett Jackson got to go trout fishing on the Patapsco River with his older brother Hunter and dad recently. Emmitt proudly holds up some of the trout he caught. Photo by John Jackson

The generous stocking of trout by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources hatchery program has brought countless smiles to the faces of trout fishermen, young and old. These fish are being stocked in waters near you.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 3

Photo of girls with Trout

Photo by Shawn Campbell

Put-and-take trout fishermen had a successful opening day of the 2019 trout season. Beautiful weather prevailed, the trout hatchery program provided generous stocking of healthy trout and a great time was had by all!

Fishing for a variety of catfish species is very good right now. Channel catfish are spread throughout the upper Chesapeake Bay and most all of the tidal rivers flowing into the bay. Blue catfish can be found in the Potomac River from the St. Georges Island area north to the Wilson Bridge. They can also be found in the Patuxent and Nanticoke rivers and are starting to show up in the Choptank River. Flathead catfish can be caught in the Conowingo Dam pool and the lower Susquehanna River. Fresh cut bait is standard fare for successful fishing for catfish.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 27

Photo of Fishermen enjoying some trout fishing.

Photo by Joe Evans

The traditional opening day of trout season is this coming Saturday, March 30. Anticipation is always high for any opening day, and Maryland’s put-and-take trout fishermen will be out all across the state.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 20

Father and son with Walleye.

Matt Sell and his son Lucas recently enjoyed fishing for walleye together on the upper Potomac River. Photo by John Mullican

It’s the first full day of spring — winter is losing its grip on the Maryland landscape and warmer weather is tangible. The honking of migrant Canada Geese has been replaced by the chirping of ospreys, heralding a changing of the guard. Although the Western Maryland counties may be the last to give up to winter’s grip, those living there are using it to the last to enjoy family fun while enjoying the outdoors.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 13

Yellow Perch

Photo by Alan Klotz

March is a time of fluctuating weather, a sort of back-and-forth pull between seasons. Spring is beginning to win out and signs are seen everywhere. Daffodils are opening up, spring peepers are calling out on warmer nights and anglers are fishing for stocked trout and other freshwater fish and even trying their luck on the spring spawning runs of yellow and white perch.

Yellow perch are being caught and may hit their peak towards the end of the week. The peak of the spawning runs is governed by warming water temperatures and increased daylight periods.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Feb. 20

Photo of man with large tautog

James King of Richfield, N.J., caught this 18.5-pound tautog near Ocean City, tagged it and returned it to the cold depths.

February is often thought of as a time for fishermen to keep busy by going over tackle, fly tying or attending outdoor shows. But others know there are fish out there and many know how to find them.

The preseason trout stocking program has started in earnest, and there is good fishing for yellow perch and a mixed bag of freshwater fish.

Off the coast of Ocean City, fishermen come from far and wide to pursue trophy-sized tautog.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Jan. 23

Man holding brook trout

John Mullican spent a brisk January day fly fishing on the Savage River, and takes one last look at a beautiful brook trout before releasing it. Photo by John Mullican.

Maryland is home to a relatively small fish that inhabits only streams with the best water quality. It’s a beautifully colored fish called the brook trout, Maryland’s only native trout. He is feisty, guarding his territory during the fall breeding season. Anyone who has caught and handled a brook trout or seen one holding in a stream often feels they have been touched by a wonder of nature. Read more about Maryland’s brook trout program online.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Dec. 12

Photo of Santa Claus holding a fishThis will be our last fishing report for 2018, but we will return in mid-January with a report on winter fishing activities and some news about upcoming outdoor shows.

The 2018 striped bass season closes Dec. 15. The season ends a few days earlier than last year, as part of the conservation-minded regulations that included reducing the minimum length for Chesapeake Bay rockfish to 19 inches. The Potomac River below the Woodrow Wilson Bridge will be open to striped bass fishing until Dec. 31. Our readers should also keep in mind that there are other species that will still be in season for die hard cold-weather anglers.

Happy holidays from everyone at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources!

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Maryland Fishing Report: Dec. 5

Photo of A catch of hand-tonged oysters on the deck

Daniel Irons tried his hand at recreational oystering, hand-tonging a nice pile of large oysters that may wind up stewed or fried. Photo by Mike Irons

We are approaching the end of the 2018 striped bass season, which closes Dec. 15. The season ends a few days earlier than last year, as part of the conservation-minded regulations that included reducing the minimum length for Chesapeake Bay rockfish to 19 inches. Of course there are other species that will still be in season for cold-weather anglers.

Expanding your outdoor experiences is a new, learning adventure. It may involve trying a new sport such as bow hunting for a traditional firearm hunter or perhaps fly fishing when you’ve always used spinning gear. There is always something new to explore.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Nov. 28

Photo of Man holding up a beautiful fall striped bass

Travis Long holds up a beautiful fall striped bass to prove there is still good times to be had out on the water. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

Cold winds are blowing and minds are beginning to drift from fishing, but there will still be days where the outdoors call us away from the holiday rush. For those times, there are plenty of good fishing opportunities to be found from the streams and lakes of western Maryland to the offshore waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Nov. 21

Photo of Kayak fishing at sunset

Don Goff and Chris Walker found their special place on a calm morning while fishing from their kayaks. Photo by Todd E. Burnett

As the month of November approaches its end, we have a lot to be thankful for here in Maryland. Outdoor opportunities abound from the mountain streams of western Maryland to the Chesapeake Bay and coastal beaches. Here’s hoping you find your own place in nature for reflection during this special time of the year.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Nov. 14

Photo of Boy holding channel catfish.

Young Isaac looks like he was having a great time catching catfish recently. Photo by Eric Packard

As cold weather prevails, water temperatures are dropping, which is limiting some fishing opportunities but is expanding others. Many of our resident fisheries are in transition — striped bass fishing is still good but slowing down, white perch are active but now are schooled up in deeper water. Trout fishing is very good as is fishing for walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and chain pickerel. At the coastal areas, summer species are being replaced by cold water fish such as sea bass and tautog.

An often overlooked species is our catfish in Maryland, and cooler water temperatures tend to kick their feeding activity into high gear. We have two native species of catfish in Maryland, the white and the bullhead. Introduced catfish species are the channel, flathead and blue catfish.

Whether you choose to eat them or just catch them, they can provide some exciting and fun fishing from docks and piers, a favorite shoreline or a small boat. They can be caught by watching a baited line while relaxing along a sunny shore and they provide plenty of enjoyment for our younger anglers. If a good tussle and plenty of fishing action that is easy to arrange sounds good to you, give it a try.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Nov. 7

Photo of Rainbow trout with fly rod.

Brian Morgan sent in this picture of a rainbow trout caught recently. Photo by Brian Morgan

Frosty mornings are now common, the Canada geese are arriving and the fall foliage is in various stages of color change throughout the state. Old man winter is beckoning off in the distance and soon will be knocking on our door. Colder weather will be here soon, so be sure to enjoy the outdoors during this special time of the year.

Anglers continue to enjoy the results of the fall trout stocking program. Many trout management waters have been stocked and offer quality fishing, often close to home.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Oct. 31

Photo of man holding striped bass

Shane Cole caught a nice striped bass near Chesapeake Beach on a jig with pink plastic trailer. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

Happy Halloween! A Nor’easter last Saturday kept many anglers off the bay. However, some boaters were able to find a lee area on the Eastern Shore, or they fished Friday or Sunday. These die-hard anglers were rewarded with good striped bass fishing, with most folks now jigging or trolling with artificial lures.

On the freshwater scene, many anglers are finding good trout fishing and more activity from coldwater species such as yellow perch, pike, walleye and pickerel in Western Maryland.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Oct. 24

Photo of Man holding striped bass.

Photo by Travis Long

We are now deep into a fall fishing pattern, with classic cold fronts and gusty northerly winds. This past weekend, anglers who were able to get out before or after the winds found good striped bass fishing over a wide area of the Chesapeake Bay, from Love Point down to the Calvert Cliffs gas docks area.

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Maryland Fishing Report: October 17

Photo of Boy losing his grip on a trout.

One of the first things any young angler learns is to get a good grip on that trout! Photo courtesy of Nathan Williams

This week offers some exciting fishing opportunities for Maryland anglers – the weather is just about right, the changing color of the leaves paints a beautiful backdrop to outdoor activities and there are plenty of eager fish to catch. 

For the next few weeks, state hatcheries are stocking most trout management waters throughout Maryland. The trout are providing quality fishing close to home and allowing success on a fishing adventure, especially for our young anglers. 

At the Atlantic coast, sea bass, flounder and dolphin are biting.

And in the Chesapeake Bay, autumn is one of the most anticipated times for striped bass fishing. Rockfish like the cooler water temperatures and begin to feed aggressively to build up lost body stores. Cooler water also forces baitfish in the form of bay anchovies, juvenile menhaden and silversides to exit the tidal rivers and head down the bay.

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Maryland Fishing Report: Oct. 10

Photo of man with snakehead

Grant Morris caught this nice snakehead while kayak fishing. Photo by Don Goff

We have been in a warmer, dry “Indian summer” weather pattern. Many anglers have been getting out on the bay to enjoy action with top water striped bass, late season bluefish and the last of the Spanish mackerel.


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Maryland Fishing Report: Oct. 3

Photo of four anglers with their striped bass catch

Photo by Rich Watts

Welcome to “Rocktober!”

Heavy rains continued through much of last week, but we finally had some beautiful sunny weather over the weekend. Many anglers got out on the bay to enjoy action with striped bass, bluefish and southern visitors such as speckled trout and red drum.


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Maryland Fishing Report: September 26

Photo of Sunset over the Tred Avon River.

As the sun sets in all its glory over the Tred Avon River, it seems to say goodbye to summer. Photo by Keith Lockwood

With the fall equinox behind us, the days are getting noticeably shorter. There’s no sweeter time of the year – or place to be — than late September and October in Maryland, whether you are a fisherman or a hunter or just someone who likes to enjoy the sights and sounds of autumn.


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Maryland Fishing Report: September 19

Photo of fish courtesy of La’Tanya Demory

La’Tanya Demory recently had a favorable day of fishing at Perry Point on the lower Susquehanna River. Photo courtesy of La’Tanya Demory

For those who work hard, a day off is a precious opportunity to spend time the way we want. Few activities afford us the peace to be had dangling a line in the water and being with our thoughts. Sometimes fate smiles on us and we actually have one of those days where everything works in our favor.

Some upcoming events offer some opportunities for anglers of all ages.

National Hunting and Fishing Day will be celebrated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22 at the Washington County Izaak Walton League in Clear Spring. Maryland Department of Natural Resources staff will be there to run a casting clinic and answer questions about fishing around the state, along with shooting sports demos and hunter safety clinics.

The Second Annual Rod and Reef Slam Tournament will be held Sept. 22 at various artificial and restored oyster reef sites along the Eastern Shore.  This is a catch, release and photo tournament.

Note to anglers: The Talbot County section of Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park will be closed to the public until further notice while the staff installs new lighting fixtures. The trails and parking lot will remain open.


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Maryland Fishing Report: September 12

Photo of Boy with a channel catfish on a rainy day.

Young Isaac rose to the occasion when grandad asked if he wanted to go fishing in the rain, and he loved every minute of it. Photo by Eric Packard

Living close to the water gives one an interesting perspective on impending storms. At ports all-around the bay and coastal areas, boat owners have been lining up at boat ramps and moving their vessels to safer areas. Low-lying areas can expect flooding and it sounds like we may in for some more rain, which is nothing new. Please pay close attention to the forecast and any safety advisories issued for Maryland waters before fishing this weekend. 

The fact is most fishermen seem to have a disdain for fishing in the rain but others just make the most of it — the fish don’t care, since they’re already wet.

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Maryland Fishing Report: September 5

Boy and his grandfather on a boat.

Photo by Meredith Bradshaw

Labor Day weekend is a fleeting memory now and although we are under an intense heat wave cooler weather is anticipated as we move through September.

There is still plenty daylight at the end of the day to spend some time in the outdoors with family and friends.

Children love adventure and when Vincent Casagrande of Frederick went crabbing for the first time with his grandfather in the South River, it was a time he’ll never forget. They managed to catch a bushel using collapsible crab traps. Vincent even got to drive the boat under grandad’s supervision.

You can read their story and others in the Angler’s Log.

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Maryland Fishing Report: August 29

Photo of children and parents fishing from a pier.

Photo by Eduardo Marte

Labor Day weekend approaches and many of us are wondering, “How did we get here so soon?”

The kids will be going back to school and we will slowly start to see cooler temperatures in September. If you’re trying to fit in some family fishing time, remember who your audience is – kids just want to have fun. They will enjoy the action fishing for bluegill sunfish in a local pond or for white perch in a nearby tidal river. Leave your own fishing rod at home and give them your full attention, and just enjoy the smiles.

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Maryland Fishing Report: August 22

Fishing Rods at sunset

Photo by Andrew Ashby

This past weekend, I happened to pull up behind a pickup truck at a traffic light and I could not help but notice something about the license plate that impressed me.

First off, there was a bumper sticker that said “Stress is caused by a lack of fishing” and there were several years’ worth of ramp passes stuck one on top of each other, but what impressed me most was the license plate.

It was an older Maryland plate and it looked like it had been attacked by a gorilla with a 5-pound ball peen hammer. That relayed to me that this guy had spent a lot of time hooking up a boat trailer by himself and the trailer tongue hit the license plate now and then signaling “far enough.” The plate showed years of this and that this guy spends a lot of time fishing out of his boat.

As he pulled away, I gave him a mental salute. Here was a guy who knows how to handle stress.

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Maryland Fishing Report: August 15

Photo of Man holding large red drum

Travis Long was enjoying catch-and-release fishing for large red drum in the Chesapeake Bay recently and holds up a prize caught while jigging, before slipping this big girl back into the bay waters. Photo courtesy of Travis Long

One of the fun and exciting things about fishing is you just never know what surprises await when you cast your fishing line into the water. Some have been surprised with a record-breaking catch, a novelty catch or just a fun encounter with a fish to help round out a peaceful day. Enjoying the outdoors tends to be that way; you never can be sure what is around the next bend in a trail, or what a day out on the water has in store for you.

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Maryland Fishing Report: August 8

Photo of Little girl with white perch

Poppy Lewis is all smiles with her white perch that she caught all by herself. Photo by Keith Lockwood

It is often said that summertime is for kids, and truer words could not be spoken this month.

August will be gone in a flash so don’t delay getting any youngsters you know out or near the water to enjoy some fun fishing.

Two fish that are always ready to accommodate our young anglers are bluegill sunfish and white perch. Kids need plenty of action to keep them interested and these two species can provide that if you take the steps to ensure success.

It is pretty hard to beat worms and a bobber for bluegills at a local pond or fishing under a dock with grass shrimp and a simple one-hook bottom rig for white perch.

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Maryland Fishing Report: August 1

Picture of Debris in the water of the bay.

Photo by Kevin McMenamin

Recent heavy rains caused a lot of changes to our Chesapeake Bay waters. Large volumes of water coming down from Pennsylvania necessitated the opening of more than 20 gates at Conowingo Dam, causing high water levels in the lower Susquehanna River and floating debris entering the bay.

Boating will be difficult in the upper and middle bay, and water contact should be kept to a minimum. Boaters should report any navigation hazards to the Maryland Natural Resources Police at 410-260-8888, or the U.S. Coast Guard at 410-576-2693.

One positive side effect of the water release is that the striped bass in the upper bay got a break with cooler temperatures and mixing of oxygenated water.

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Maryland Fishing Report: July 25

Photo of woman holding blueline tilefish

Jane Millman made time to go fishing with friends off Ocean City and holds up a beautiful blueline tilefish she caught. Photo by Kevin Thomas

We all face daily challenges that tug at how we spend the dear time that is given to us. All anglers and outdoor enthusiasts know how hard it is to follow their favorite pursuits.

Summer is fleeting, make time.

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Maryland Fishing Report: July 18

Photo of Sandy Point full of patrons

Sandy Point State Park

We’ve all learned in our lives that nothing ever stays the same, and this certainly holds true for the Chesapeake Bay. She started out as a river valley and became flooded after the last ice age to become the largest estuary in the United States.

The view from a drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge shows how much this treasure means to so many people — bulk carrier ships anchored and waiting to pick up their cargo, fleets of sailboats off the mouth of the Severn River, commercial crab boats tending their strings of traps, anglers fishing near the piers and throngs of people enjoying Sandy Point State Park.

More than 18 million people live in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The bay has had a difficult time putting up with us, but she always promises hope and keeps showing us that she is resilient.

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Maryland Fishing Report: July 11

Underwater photo of striped bass school

Photo by Mike Eversmier

If you spend enough time hanging around seasoned commercial or sport fishermen, you’ll often hear that it’s impossible to figure out why finfish and blue crabs are in certain places at certain times.

These thoughts came to mind this week as I spoke to some of the most respected captains on the Chesapeake about how this season’s fishing is shaping up. There is not enough space to share all of the classic statements, but many captains repeated the two that I have heard throughout my life on the water: “No two years are the same,” and “Just when you think you have them figured out, they make a fool of you.”

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Maryland Fishing Report: July 4

Boy holding a blue crab

Ryan Bishop is all smiles as he holds a big jimmy destined for some crab picking. Photo by Sherry Bishop

The Fourth of July is upon us, and although it falls on a Wednesday — missing that three-day weekend luster – it’s still a little extra time off to enjoy family and friends. Here in Maryland a lot of activities will focus on a nearby body of water, from Deep Creek Lake to the Atlantic Ocean and everywhere in between.

For those living near the bay or coastal waters, the Fourth of July often means crabs and sweet corn. Judging by early observations of recreational crabbers, there were a lot of crab feasts promised, and hopefully the gatherers will be able to deliver.

Recreational crabbing continues to slowly gain momentum as more crabs enter the legal fishery after shedding – and most likely last week’s full moon was a big shed.

Those crabbing in less than 12 feet of water tend to be catching the most crabs in the lower and middle bay. Razor clams tend to top the list as the best bait.

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Maryland Fishing Report: June 27

Photo of boy holding a nice striped bass

Nick Pirchio caught this striped bass fishing with his dad in Chesapeake Bay, when they tried some jigging after spotting some bait. Photo courtesy of Nick Pirchio

We’ve all heard it – 10 percent of anglers catch 90 percent of the fish. Good fishermen are often able to anticipate or adjust to changes in conditions or fish behavior. This trait lies deep in that hunter-gatherer instinct of those who can read the signs that Mother Nature provides them.

This kind of savvy and experience is usually part of what you’re paying for when hiring a charter or guide. Of course it is all the more exciting and certainly more rewarding when we can figure it out by ourselves.

In this first full week of summer, our freshwater fisheries have settled into a predictable pattern. Chesapeake Bay and ocean fisheries are usually in a state of flux and that is especially evident at the moment.

Don’t forget there is one more free fishing day coming up July 4. If you can think of someone who might like fishing, this is a great opportunity for someone to try the sport without buying a license.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: June 20

Photo of girl with two fish by Karl Krasauskis

Ava Krasauskis enjoying a day fishing with her father. Photo by Karl Krasauskis

Fishing offers many things to many people, and they all have their own reasons why it’s so special.

For some it’s an adventurous location or pursuit of a certain fish, usually preceded by a lot of study and anticipation before the big trip. For others it may be the unwinding process from a stressful day.

One thing many anglers get particular joy out of is sharing the experience with others – often the sign of a true sportsman is when they involve first-time anglers or children.

That’s why in these fishing reports we like to show our fishing community holding large, admirable fish, to inspire us all and to highlight the bounty we have available to us here in Maryland. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: June 13

Photo of boy holding bluegill

Photo by David Jackson

Many of us who have spent a lifetime fishing remember the first fish we ever caught. For some, that memory might include a tough and pugnacious little rascal called the bluegill sunfish. It has a habit of attacking most any bait with total abandon and have the fighting strength of a bull – making it a perfect target for our youngest fishermen. A simple bobber-and-worm rig cast into a local pond is just the right recipe for impatient youth.

Maryland state fish hatcheries do a little genetic engineering to create a hybrid bluegill by crossing it with a green sunfish, sort of the Jack Russel terrier of the sunfish world –making an even feistier adversary for the bobber-and-worm crowd. Our department has a program that stocks these hybrid bluegill sunfish in ponds for youth fishing events.

If you want to enjoy a fun day with young aspiring anglers, check out our fishing rodeo schedule

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: June 6

Photo of man holding state record snakehead

Photo courtesy of Andy Fox

Note: If you’re looking for the June 13 report, please click here.

The northern snakehead has gotten a lot of press attention and has been called “Frankenfish.” It inspired a movie called “Snakehead Terror” about 8-foot long fish terrorizing a lakeside community, which helped create a common belief that snakeheads can walk on land.

In reality, snakeheads are an invasive species that is spreading quickly through the Chesapeake Bay watershed. They eat anything that moves within their watery environment and they grow large. One saving grace is they make excellent eating and are often what’s for dinner for many fishermen.

The use of any legal recreational gear is considered eligible for a Maryland state record in the invasive division of state records. A Virginia angler currently holds the world record for a hook-and-line snakehead at 17 pounds, 12 ounces. Maryland anglers have taken several larger than that with bow and arrow, including our new state record of 19.9 pounds set on May 24 by Andy Fox in Charles County.

Now we need someone to top these records with hook and line and bring Maryland the bragging rights for the world record – so here’s a tip: Northern snakeheads are aggressive predators and nothing seems to drive them crazier than a buzzbait over or near grass beds.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: May 30

Boy with fish

Photo by Letha Grimes

Memorial Day weekend is now behind us – an important pause to remember and reflect on those who gave their lives for the freedoms and rights that we all enjoy. It also means the “summer” season has begun.

The fishing rodeo season is in full swing. For those not initiated, these are free youth fishing events held around the state by civic organizations and partners for the enjoyment of children and families. The sites are usually well stocked with fish and it is great fun with a little bit of a competitive edge tossed in for the kids, with prizes and trophies.

Gather up your kids – or perhaps a group of neighborhood kids – and head out to one of these fun events near you.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: May 23

Photo of other fishing with children from pier

Photo by Letha Grimes

Many of us found ourselves fishing in the rain last week. I was with a friend on the lower Choptank River last week enjoying some striped bass topwater action — the fishing was fun and the overcast weather showed us one of nature’s many moods to be enjoyed.

Often less-than-perfect weather gives us a unique perspective on the world around us. As we all know, the fish do not care if it’s raining and low light conditions can be beneficial.

Heading into Memorial Day weekend it looks like we’ll have a little respite from the rain. Whether you will be heading to the mountains of Maryland, to the coastal areas, or staying closer to home, be sure to spend close-up time with those dear to you. There is no better way to do that than fishing together.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: May 16

Photo of man holding largemouth bass

Rodney Butler got to spend a fine day with his brother Derrick while fishing at Piney Run Park. Photo by Derrick Butler

Most anglers know we had been going through a bit of a dry spell for several weeks, but, oh boy, did that come to an end. The heavy rains and stormy conditions moving through the state the past few days are expected to last through the weekend.

But the sun will shine again and it will be time to share the outdoors with family and friends. Fishing offers family time – catching up or reminiscing about growing up together – like no other activity.

There are some free fishing days coming up June 2, 9 and July 4. If you can think of someone you might like to introduce to fishing, this is a great opportunity for someone to try the sport without buying a license.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: May 9

Boy holding striped bass

Nick Long had some topwater catch and release fun while fishing with his mom and dad on the Chesapeake Bay this past weekend. Photo by Travis Long

Those who fish know that the waters they love have many moods, and perhaps one of our favorites is when they are quiet and calm.

This past weekend with overcast skies and little wind was one of those times that the waters we fish seem to talk to us – from the bubbling mountain streams, to the calmer waters of ponds, lakes and Chesapeake Bay.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report Now Available as Amazon Alexa Skill

Innovative Partnership Enhances Communications and Customer Service

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announced today that it is expanding its communications channels and services to include Amazon Echo.

Through an innovative partnership with NIC Maryland, the department will now offer the Maryland Fishing Report, which provides anglers with the latest fishing hotspots, catch of the week, water and weather conditions and more, as an Alexa Skill.

Anglers can use the new Skill on a desired Amazon device by simply saying “Alexa, open Maryland Fishing Report.” Then they can choose to hear the entire fishing report or information for specific areas or regions, including the upper, middle or lower Chesapeake Bay, freshwater fishing or Atlantic Ocean and coastal bays.

Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report: May 2

Photo of mom and daughter with a trout

Violet Sisler spent a fun time with her mom using her Barbie fishing rod to catch her first trout. The smiles say it all! Photo by Rebecca Sisler

Warmer and more seasonable weather has finally descended upon the Maryland landscape, offering a wonderful time to enjoy the outdoors. The warm air temperatures and sunny weather, along with relatively cool water temperatures make for perfect fishing conditions in many local waters.

Community ponds, trout management waters and lakes offer fun shoreline fishing adventures that are particularly tuned for children. Many are stocked with bluegills, and some are stocked with trout and set aside for youth fishing. There are also fishing rodeos and other youth events held all over the state.

Read more…


Natural Resources Police Report — June 2021

Photo of two NRP officers on boat patrolThe Maryland Natural Resources Police recently charged several individuals throughout the state for illegal activities including weapons charges at a state park, operating watercraft while intoxicated, illegal fishing, and more.  Read more…


Citations Issued for Poaching, Illegal Fishing, and Other Violations

Photo of police truck at Patapsco Valley State ParkAs more people head outside for warm weather activities, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) have remained busy protecting the state’s wildlife, fisheries, and public lands. The following individuals were recently cited for a variety of conservation law offenses in Maryland: Read more…


Horseshoe Crab Migration Arriving on Maryland Shores

Annual Event Spawns New Generation of ‘Living Fossils’

Photo of horseshoe crabs on beach at nightMaryland’s shores welcome back the annual return of the horseshoe crabLimulus polyphemus — in one of the world’s oldest and largest wildlife migrations. 

For an estimated 350 million years, these prehistoric creatures have migrated into Maryland’s coastal bays from their winter habitats to spawn along the coastline and subtidal habitats. Although called “crabs” they are in fact arthropods.

The height of horseshoe crabs spawning revolves around late spring and early summer high tides, culminating on or around each full and new moon in June.  On average, one spawning female horseshoe crab will deposit 20,000 eggs into the sand.   Read more…


Maryland License-Free Fishing Days Offered in June and July

Opportunity for New and Returning Anglers Statewide

Photo of woman and daughter fishing from a bridgeThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces upcoming license-free fishing days for 2021 on June 5, June 12, and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration.

Maryland hosts license-free fishing days annually on the first two Saturdays in June and on the Independence Day holiday. On these days, any individual may catch and possess finfish in any tidal and nontidal waters of Maryland, as long as it’s for recreational purposes. All anglers must follow current size and catch limits found in the department’s fishing and crabbing guide Read more…


Maryland Joins Cooperative Largemouth Bass Management for the Potomac River

Tagging Program to Help Regional Effort for Popular Fishery

Photo of fish being studied in the river

Photo by Karin Dodge/Maryland DNR

Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia have agreed to a cooperative management plan for Potomac River largemouth bass, one of the most popular sport fisheries in the mid-Atlantic region. 

To help seek a unified assessment of the fishery, state agencies and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission —  who share authority to manage the river system for largemouth bass — are jointly collaborating on monitoring and assessing the fishery with an update produced every three years. Work begins in March 2021, though planning for the project has been underway for more than a year. Read more…


Open Water: Kayak Fishing Offers Pursuit of Sport and Serenity

Photo of kayak angler

Kayak Angler Bruce Kellman

It’s 5 a.m. The sun hasn’t yet ventured above the horizon. Just minutes ago, the last bits of waning moonlight flickered sparingly along the shoreline and gently lit the glassy calm waters that now await me. The rhythm of the waves pairs with a cooling sea breeze and my thoughts steady. Until this moment, my mind has been aflutter—intensely focused on pre-launch routines and equipment checklists.

I’m not even in the water yet—my fish box is empty—but I know already it’s going to be a spectacular day. Without question, kayak fishing has changed my life. Read more…


Maryland’s Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Program is Operational

Public Should Report Stranded Marine Animals to 24-hour Hotline

Photo of dolphin swimming in water not far from a boat

Photo by Mark Odell

During the summer months, marine mammals and sea turtles are making their seasonal return to the Atlantic coast, the Chesapeake Bay, and its tributaries. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources requests people report any distressed or deceased marine mammals or sea turtles in Maryland waters to the Natural Resources Police hotline anytime at 1-800-628-9944.

Maryland’s most common visitors are bottlenose dolphins and loggerhead sea turtles, although more than 25 other marine mammals and four species of sea turtles have been recorded in state waters. While these ocean-dwelling creatures often enter our waterways and can survive in brackish water for several days to weeks, they may be at risk Read more…


Free Fishing Days Scheduled in June and July

Annual Opportunity to Discover Fishing in Maryland

Photo of man fishing along riverside

Photo by Stephen Badger

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers license-free fishing days on June 6, June 13, and July 4 — a free option to explore Maryland’s diverse and unique fishing experiences without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration. Read more…


Flow of Information: Surveying the Health of Maryland Streams

Photo of river running through forest

Gunpowder River by Tim Ray

Maryland has more than 10,000 miles of freshwater streams—an extensive system of waterways flowing downstream where (depending on their geography) they ultimately contribute freshwater to the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Coastal Bays, the Ohio River, or the Delaware River. The condition of these streams is vitally important to downstream waters. But these streams also possess significant inherent value. Read more…


Department Names First FishMaryland Master Angler

Nottingham Resident Catches Ten Species to Earn Award

Photo of man holding carp

Gary Simpson caught this carp on his way being named a FishMaryland Master Angler.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has recognized its first FishMaryland Master Angler Award recipient. Gary Simpson of Nottingham, Baltimore County, caught a total of 10 different species meeting all the minimum set requirements of the department’s new recreational fishing award program. 

Simpson’s award-sized catches include: chain pickerel, largemouth bass, white perch, walleye, striped bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, blue crab, red drum, and the common carp. Read more…


Easton Angler Sets Maryland Record for Florida Pompano

Youth Claims Species’ First Entry

Photo of  Scott Hartzell Jr. with his state record Florida pompano. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has officially recognized 14-year-old Scott Hartzell Jr. of Easton as the first official state record holder for a Florida pompano. Hartzell caught the 3.375-pound fish on Stone Rock near Tilghman Island. Read more…


Maryland’s Regular Striped Bass Season Opens

State Expands Conservation Message and Outreach

Photo of various types of hooksMaryland’s regular striped bass season gets underway on May 16, and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds anglers that conservation regulations put in place last year are in effect through the end of 2019.

When fishing in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, anglers must use non-offset circle hooks when live-lining or chumming, and must use circle hooks or “J” hooks when using fish, crabs, worms, or processed baits.

The minimum size striped bass that may be kept is 19 inches. Catch limits are two fish per day between 19-28 inches, or one fish between 19-28 inches and one fish over 28 inches. Read more…


Natural History: Centuries of Maryland conservation laws in one document

photo of complex from air

Albert Powell Hatchery; by Jim Thompson

In 1967, a retired Maryland fisheries manager felt compelled to tell the full history of fishing regulation in the Old Line State. Albert Powell wrote a 369-page report with the weighty title and subtitle, “Historical information of Maryland Commission of Fisheries, with some notes on game: Based on Annual Reports, legislative enactments and personal observations; also the compiled laws of the Game and Inland Fish Commission, 1654-1965.” Read more…


Enhanced Effort to Curb Illegal Fishing and Hunting

Maryland Wildlife Crimestoppers Can be Reached Anytime, Anywhere

Photo of Maryland Natural Resources Police officer and vehicleThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police is cracking down on the illegal killing of fish and wildlife through a partnership with Maryland Wildlife Crimestoppers. This newly established nonprofit organization serves as the state affiliate of International Wildlife Crimestoppers, a group dedicated to stopping illegal hunting and fishing across the globe.

Maryland Wildlife Crimestoppers was established to increase public awareness of the impact of potential poaching on fish and wildlife populations, and encourage anyone with knowledge of these activities to connect with Maryland Natural Resources Police. Neighboring states Delaware and Pennsylvania host similar partnerships with International Wildlife Crimestoppers. Read more…


Fall Foliage and Festival Report: Nov. 10-11, 2018

Fall Foliage Map for Nov 10-11, 2018

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The good news is that leaf peepers have an excellent chance of catching fall foliage at its peak in many parts of the state. However, predictions are that this is a very small window of opportunity. So plan to get outdoors in the next few days and catch the best color for autumn 2018. Read more…


Maryland Coastal Bays Report Card Shows Historic High Score

Scientific Collaborative Sees Best Bay Progress in Decades

Photo of Coastal Bays Report CardMaryland’s Coastal Bays have received their highest grade ever reported according to the new 2017 Coastal Bays Report Card from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, a snapshot assessment on the health and resiliency of the coastal bays surrounding Ocean City and Assateague Island. The “B-” grade reflects the positive trend nutrient reductions have shown  in many locations since 1999.

“Maryland’s Coastal Bays are an integral part of our region, and are unique ecological treasures in the landscape of the Eastern Shore and our great state,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “The marked improvement we see in the bays’ health is the result of significant state investment, as well as the work and dedicated stewardship of many Marylanders.” Read more…


Fall Foliage and Festival Report: Sept. 29-30

Map of fall foliage and festivalsWelcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the first full weekend of fall, Sept. 29 and 30, 2018, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

As September comes to a close, it appears the rain will diminish and we’ll have some partly cloudy to sunny days to look forward to this weekend. Reports out of Western Maryland confirm the first signs of the season, as the region’s early reds, yellows and oranges are starting to pop, particularly visible in Garrett County’s higher elevations above 2,500 feet. Read more…


Fall Foliage and Festival Report: Sept. 22-23, 2018

Map of MarylandWelcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the first weekend of fall, Sept. 22 and 23, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Soon the landscape will explode with vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow. Kids will be jumping into leaf piles you just raked and we’ll all “fall” back, setting clocks back an hour and grabbing that extra bit of sleep.

Having sweated our way through a typically hot and humid Maryland summer – exceptionally wet as well – you might be looking forward to the autumnal equinox (also called the September equinox) happening Saturday at exactly 9:54 p.m. This is also the best time to view Mars as the planet will be at its brightest. Join the Westminster Astronomy Club at Cunningham Falls State Park Saturday night to see the stars!

 Sign up to receive weekly reports showcasing the Old Line State’s vibrant fall foliage and the best autumn festivals at dnr.maryland.gov.

Read more…


Youth Fishing Rodeos Reach Thousands of Anglers

Sponsors Should Sign up Now for 2019

Photo of a young anglerDespite record rainfall throughout much of the state, more than 3,500 aspiring anglers participated in Youth Fishing Rodeos this spring and summer, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

These free events were held throughout the Old Line State, with more than 30 different nonprofits organizations and partners from 11 counties participating this year. Read more…


Wicomico County Man Charged for Illegal Fishing Guide Service

Photo of Nicholas George Ager

Nicholas George Ager

A Wicomico County man who billed himself as “OCSharkHunter” on social media was charged Sunday with guiding fishing trips without a license.

Nicholas Ager, 43, of Willards, was cited after a two-month investigation of complaints about offers of paid shark fishing excursions on Assateague Island.

Maryland Natural Resources Police officers were able to identify Ager as the unlicensed guide and administrator of “OCSharkHunter” social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram. Those accounts had been reported for displaying pictures of Ager with illegally beached species of sharks taken from waters off Worcester County. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: April 25

Photo of boy with a huge striped bass he caught

Gregory Martin was fishing the area where Nanticoke River striped bass exit into the bay and caught this beautiful 51-inch, 48-pound striped bass. Photo by Brad Martin

Patience is supposed to be the hallmark of an angler, but many had theirs strained this past opening weekend for trophy striped bass season. Most understand it has been a chilly spring, and low water temperatures have delayed striped bass spawning in the tidal rivers.

In the past couple of days we have seen water temperatures finally reach acceptable temperatures for the fish. There was a big spawn on the Choptank River, and the Nanticoke, Patuxent and Potomac rivers should be on the same general schedule.

The striped bass that have spawned in the past few days will make their way down the tidal rivers and should hit bay areas in a few days. There is warmer weather predicted so there will be more spawning action – meaning the 2018 trophy striped bass season should kick into gear this weekend and for the next couple of weeks. Good luck out there and remember fishing is supposed to be fun.

Read more…


Maryland’s Underwater Grass Exceeds Record 60,000 Acres

Baywide Total Breaks 100,000 Acres

Photo of underwater grassesThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources reports 2017 was the third consecutive record-breaking year for underwater grass abundance in Maryland’s portion of Chesapeake Bay.

An annual baywide survey showed 62,356 acres of underwater grasses were mapped in Maryland’s tidal waters, a 5 percent increase from 2016. This is the fifth straight year of expansion for Maryland’s underwater grasses, which surpassed the 2017 restoration goal of 57,000 acres in 2015 and continues to rise.

Baywide, the total acreage of underwater grasses exceeded 100,000 for the first time, reaching 104,843 acres​. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: April 18

Photo of man and son reeling in a big one

Photo by Keith Lockwood

This coming Saturday, April 21, is a big day for those who dream of catching a trophy striped bass. More than a few anglers will spend the night before checking alarm clocks just to find themselves waking up a half-hour before the alarm is set to go off anyhow.

Weather is predicted to be a little nippy in the morning but should warm up as the day progresses. It will be a wonderful day to be out on the water with family and friends.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: April 11

Man holding Striped Bass in Kayak

Photo courtesy of Mike Otto

Cold nights and chilly days have prevailed far too long in the past couple of weeks, but change is on the way, with air temperatures of 80 degrees promised for the weekend.

We are a little more than a week away from the opening day of the trophy striped bass season and it would be safe to say that fishermen and charter boat captains are anxious and ready, even if the striped bass may not be.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: April 4

People holding striped bass

This impressive catch of trophy striped bass is from last year’s trophy season (2017). Photo by Geri Shupe

It continues to be a chilly spring and there seems to be no immediate end to it. We’re a week into April and water temperatures are considerably lower than usual — in the mid-40s in the tidal rivers and bay. By comparison, last April 5, the bay was just about 50 degrees and the tidal rivers were in the upper 50s.

Even so, just as trout fishermen anticipated the opening day of trout season last Saturday, striped bass fishermen are crossing off the days on their calendars until the opening of the trophy striped bass season April 21.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: March 28

Photo of boy with trout

Photo courtesy of Sherry Bishop

It’s safe to say that more than a few trout fishermen will spend a restless Friday night glancing at their alarm clocks. Opening Day holds all the promise and anticipation one can imagine, like something out of our youthful fantasies.

A carnival-type atmosphere will greet most anglers as they arrive at the more popular and heavily stocked locations. There can hardly be a better time to gather up young anglers and have them take part in such a great fishing opportunity, and find success in catching some stocked trout.

Here’s hoping everyone enjoys their opening day experience.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: March 21

Photo of Lefty Kreh

Photo by John Bildahl

Most everyone in the fishing community has heard the news by now: an iconic figure has passed to what he referred to his “spirit spring.”

The world will not be the same without Lefty Kreh, the Maryland hometown boy who shook up the fly-fishing world like nobody else ever has or possibly ever will. Lefty was one of kindest guys you could ever meet, with a heart of gold and a country-boy sense of humor that never left him throughout his life.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: March 14

Photo of happy girl with yellow perch

This happy girl was lucky enough to get out with her dad for a little yellow perch fishing. Photo by Rich Watts

We are less than a week from the official first day of spring, and the recent switch to daylight saving time gives us an extra hour of daylight to enjoy some fishing after school or work. Daffodils are blooming and so are the fishing prospects.

There is plenty of fun trout fishing to be had, and your favorite fishing hole has a variety of freshwater fish that are raising up their activity levels after a cold winter. There is still good fishing for post-spawn yellow perch and the white perch runs will start soon.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: February 28

Photo of man holding two yellow perch

Photo by Brett Coakley

Most everyone has some observations they consider harbingers of spring. It could be as simple as crocus or daffodils popping up in the yard, geese flying north or even the sound of spring peepers in a nontidal wetland, singing the evening away.

For many anglers spring means fishing for yellow perch and white perch as they begin their annual spawning runs in Maryland’s tidal rivers – and they take center stage for the next couple of weeks. Both yellow and white perch are now being caught in various tidal rivers and creeks, but the best is yet to come.

Read more…


Midwinter Fishing Report: January 31

Photo of trout stocking in ice

A member of the department’s trout stocking crew uses a chainsaw to cut into the ice at Greenbrier State Park.

Maryland started off 2018 with a deep freeze, and it remains to be seen what old man winter has in store for us in the next month. But as long as temperatures remain relatively moderate, there are all kinds of fishing adventures out there from the Atlantic Ocean to Mountain Maryland.

Anglers in the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay are mostly pursuing yellow perch and catfish species in the middle to upper regions of the tidal rivers. Water temperatures are holding in the mid to upper 30s in most tidal rivers and yellow perch are holding in some of the deeper areas, waiting for warmer water temperatures next month. Often these deeper holes can be found near narrow bends in the rivers and a good depth finder can help locate where the perch are stacked. A bottom rig baited with a minnow is always a good bet to catch them.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: December 20

Santa with a trout

Photo by Eric Wilson

This fishing report will close out 2017, but there are plenty of fishing opportunities for all regions of Maryland through the winter. The preseason stocking of trout has begun and will pick up pace in January and February. Yellow perch are moving into the upper reaches of the tidal rivers while crappie, chain pickerel, catfish and walleye will stay active. The months of January and February often present the best opportunity to catch trophy-sized tautog off Ocean City.

Happy Holidays from all of the staff at Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services; enjoy the best of family and friends through this wonderful time of the year, and enjoy the great Maryland outdoors together.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: December 13

Man holding striped bass

Photo by Travis Long

Winter’s grasp on the Maryland landscape is steadily getting tighter and windows of mild weather are becoming less frequent. This week high winds could make for a tough time on open water. If you do go out, be careful and wear your life jacket.

Trolling along deep channel edges in the upper Chesapeake Bay region has become the most popular and productive way to fish for larger resident striped bass this week. The fish that measure longer than 20 inches tend to be holding in about 40 feet of water. Hefty inline weights are being used to get tandem rigged lures or umbrella rigs down close to the bottom where fish are holding. A mix of parachutes, swimshads, bucktails, red surge tube lures and spoons have been popular choices. Water clarity has been very good, so white has been a good color to use for lures, as are silver spoons. Now that some large fall migrant striped bass have shown up in Maryland waters, anglers could reap huge rewards placing a couple of large parachutes or spoons in a trolling spread.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: December 6

Photo of two men holding a 51 inch striped bass

This 51-inch fish was caught in Eastern Bay while trolling a spoon, and was quickly released. Photo courtesy of Bradley Smith

The striped bass fishing community always anticipates the possible appearance of large fall migrant striped bass in our portion of the Chesapeake Bay.

The fall migration was late this year, but the first confirmed report came in over the weekend — so there is hope for anglers wishing to catch a trophy-sized striped bass before our season closes on Dec. 20.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: November 29

Photo of angler Karon Hickman holding up a nice striped bass he caught

Karon Hickman holds up a nice striped bass he caught while casting in the Patapsco River. Photo courtesy of Karon Hickman

Water temperatures in Maryland continue to drop as the weather turns colder. In many areas, fish are seeking out warmer temperatures found in deeper waters. The tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay are seeing surface water temperatures in the mid-40s while the bay itself is around 50 degrees.

The upper bay region has been providing good fishing for a larger grade of striped bass, primarily by trolling along deep channel edges in the bay and lower sections of the region’s tidal rivers.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: November 22

Photo of man holding striped bass

Jay Bernstein and friends found some time to get out and jig for a few Chesapeake Bay striped bass. Photo courtesy of Jay Bernstein

Extremely strong winds last weekend made for a tough time fishing on the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay, and kept most boats at the dock. Along with that, a lot of boats were taken from the water and put to sleep for the winter months, now parked and covered in boatyards and backyards.

That being said, weather conditions have been more favorable so far this week. Anglers that can chisel out a little time might be thankful they did, enjoying good fishing for striped bass and white perch.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: November 15

Photo of man holding striped bass

Jeremy Kaltreider was fishing with his older brother in the Chesapeake Bay over the weekend when he caught this beautiful striped bass. Photo by Joshua Kaltreider

Cold weekend temperatures have descended on just about every location in Maryland, putting an end to any summer plants and many of those pesky insects that were lingering into November. Cold weather is also pushing freshwater and saltwater fishing closer to a winter pattern. This is a time of great transition and great opportunity for those prepared for the change in weather.

Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: November 8

Photo of Rainbow TroutThe fall colors are in full swing throughout much of Maryland this week, offering some added delight to fishing experiences; the leaves won’t last much longer so don’t miss out.

Meanwhile, many of the best fishing opportunities are occurring this month, as fish feel the need to feed and prepare for the winter.

Read more…


Fall Foliage and Festival Report: November 11-12

Maryland Map with leaves marking weekend events

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Nov. 11-12, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

In western Maryland it appears that everything is happening at once, as eastern Allegany, Washington and Frederick counties are all reporting peak conditions, although muted. Weather has been a factor, especially around South Mountain. Washington County from Clear Spring west is just past peak.

How long the leaves will last is anyone’s guess…


Weekly Fishing Report: November 1

Fishing at sunset on the bay

Photo by Travis Long

The fall months offer some exciting fishing opportunities for anglers across Maryland, from the trout management waters of Garrett County to the shores of Ocean City.

Daylight is getting sparser and this weekend the clocks fall back an hour, making it a little harder to get some fishing time after work and school. We’re all looking to stretch out fishing time as much as we can, always thinking: “Just one more cast.”

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Weekly Fishing Report: October 25

Photo of: Child holding stringer of trout

Waylon, age 4 sure is happy with his stringer of trout; photo by Harry Wachter.

It seems hard to believe but the month of October is slipping away and November is just around the corner. Temperatures continue to be somewhat mild, and it is a wonderful time to take the young ones out fishing after school or on the weekends.

The fall trout stocking program for October is almost over; these put-and-take areas offer some of the best opportunities for young anglers to enjoy success. Many thanks to the efforts of the trout hatchery and stocking biologists.

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Weekly Fishing Report: October 18

Herb Floyd caught this nice striped bass and also a picture of what the striped bass have been eating.

Herb Floyd caught this nice striped bass in the lower Choptank recently and also sent in an accompanying picture of what the striped bass have been eating. Photos courtesy of Herb Floyd

The much anticipated annual striped bass young of the year survey results have been released and they are positive.

The number of two-year-old striped bass that are being encountered in all three regions of the bay also bode well for the future of striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay.

At present the two- and three-year old rockfish are feeding heavily on bay anchovies and gaining in size. As most anglers know, bay water temperatures have been a bit warmer than normal for this time of the year, and because of that the anticipated fall run of baitfish leaving the tidal rivers is behind schedule. Recently we have begun to experience some chilly nights so perhaps this will begin to drive water temperatures in the tidal rivers down into the low 60s and kick the annual fall event into gear so we can enjoy some fun jigging action.

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Governor Larry Hogan Announces Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission

Will Strengthen the Outdoor Recreation Industry, Boost Rural Maryland Economy

Photo of a boy fishing

Sunset Lure by Laura Brown

Governor Larry Hogan today announced Executive Order 01.01.2017.24 establishing the Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission (MORE). This commission will be responsible for developing strategies and making recommendations to the governor to strengthen the state’s outdoor recreation industry and help ensure increased investment in our state’s outdoor recreation resources.

“Maryland is abundant with natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources that contribute significantly to our economy and quality of life,” said Governor Hogan. “This commission will help ensure that our state’s natural heritage is strengthened, bringing new businesses, increased tourism, and ultimately preserving our resources for future generations.” Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: October 11

Angler with two nice striped bass

Jim Byrd caught these two nice striped bass while trolling spoons and Tsunamis off Deale recently. Photo courtesy of Jim Byrd

Recent warm weather has caused Chesapeake Bay and tidal river water temperatures to be rather stagnant this week. Water temperatures in all three regions of the bay are holding around 73 degrees to 75 degrees and the tidal rivers are running about 3-5 degrees cooler. It is going to take a prolonged cool front to drive water temperatures down to the upper 60s, which will then cause baitfish to move out of the tidal rivers and into the bay. Striped bass will be waiting for them and hopefully the fall fishery for Maryland’s state fish will finally kick into gear.

Vertical jigging in the upper bay region is becoming more popular each week, and some nice fish are being caught at Podickory and Love Point channel edges as well as near the Bay Bridge piers, rock piles and some of the shoal areas in the upper bay. Soft plastic jigs tend to be the favorites with Gulps and BKDs being at the top of the list.

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Weekly Fishing Report: October 4

Photo of angler holding a Big Black Drum

Bill De Carlo and Matt Kropp’s big black drum. Photo by Bill De Carlo

The recent cold evenings this week are beginning to have an effect on water temperatures in the Chesapeake Bay and tidal rivers. Bay surface water temperatures are down to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the tidal rivers are in the mid to upper 60s. As a result, the upper bay region striped bass fisheries are starting to see some water temperature-dependent changes in fish behavior.

Spot are still available this week at the Sandy Point area, and also the mouth of the Magothy and Chester rivers but are showing signs of being on the move so this week may be your last chance to fill a dockside pen with some live spot to take you through the next week or so for your live lining trips. If you do, make sure to wire your lid down to protect your spot from a four legged bandit — river otters are very skilled at slipping in and out of lids held down with bungee cord!

Bait will soon begin to exit the tidal rivers and it will be “game on” for jigging along steep channel edges. Jigging is already gaining momentum at Podickory and Love Point as well as various shoals, reefs and knolls out in the middle of the upper bay region. Trolling a mix of umbrella rigs, spoons and bucktails has also been productive at these same areas but will take some weight or planers to get down to where fish are suspended.

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Weekly Fishing Report: September 27

Eric Zegowitz is very happy with this nice striped bass he caught

Eric Zegowitz is very happy with this nice striped bass he caught recently. Photo courtesy Eric Zegowitz

The heat and humidity hanging over Maryland continues to hold a grip on us, but it won’t be long before fall is here to stay.

The striped bass fishing in the upper bay remains rather stable this week due to warm weather keeping water temperatures in the mid-70s. However, at some point in early October we usually get a combination of cold fronts with strong northerly winds, cooling air temperatures, and rainfall which will cause a drop in water temperature and salinity in the upper bay.

At present, spot are still available on many shallow hard-bottom areas but are showing a propensity for being on the move. The mouth of the Magothy River, Chester River, Sandy Point and shallower ends of the Bay Bridge have been locations to look for spot. The channel edges at Swan, Love and Podickory points continue to be good places to live line spot but shoals, knolls and other channel edges in the region can also be worthwhile places to find suspended striped bass.

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Police Charge Virginia Man with Spearfishing in Potomac

Photo of spear gun and gogglesMaryland Natural Resources Police officers patrolling the Potomac River in Montgomery County Sunday charged a Virginia man with fishing with a spear gun and fishing without a license.

Witnesses said two men were in a boat and one man caught a smallmouth bass with a spear gun. The officers questioned the two men, who denied the account. However, officers found fishing gear and a set of wet goggles in their vehicle and a smallmouth bass in their cooler. Then, they found a spear gun in the tall grass near the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: September 20

Family on dock with Eel Catch

Anglers Esther and Veronica Cooley and their eel. Photo by Jamie Cooley

Many would agree we are entering one of the most beautiful times of the year in Maryland. Mornings are cool and daytime temperatures are inviting for outdoor activities. Where I live crops are being harvested, wildlife is on the move, bait in the tidal rivers is beginning to feel the urge to move out into the bay, and fish such as striped bass are enjoying the cooler water temperatures and ready to intercept the schools of bait. Some vegetation is starting to show color and the daylight hours are decreasing by about two and a half minutes a day.

Marylanders are on the move also, family schedules have adjusted to school and the weekends present a precious time to be with family and friends in the great Maryland outdoors. This is a great time of the year to visit your favorite fishing hole whether it is a creek or pond in western Maryland or just fishing off a dock in the Chesapeake Bay.
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Fall Foliage and Festival Report: September 23-24

Map with leaves marking events

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for the weekend of Sept. 23 and 24, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Office of Tourism.

It’s official! It’s autumn in Maryland.

When this weekend rolls in, thoughts will begin to turn to the sights, sounds and scents of the season: fan-filled football stadiums, bright orange pumpkins, cinnamon and cider warming on the stove and the welcomed return of Canada geese.

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Weekly Fishing Report: September 13

Vince Roberts holds up a northern snakehead he caught

Vince Roberts holds up a northern snakehead he caught in the lower Susquehanna recently. Photo by Josh Cofiell

After being away for two weeks, I’m struck by the changes that are occurring as we drift out of the grasp of summer. We all need to thank Erik Zlokovitz for doing such a great job covering the fishing report and keeping you informed of our fishing opportunities in Maryland while I was away.
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Fall Foliage and Festival Report: September 16-17

Burnside Bridge on Antietam National Battlefield, photo by National Park Service

Burnside Bridge, Antietam National Battlefield, photo by National Park Service

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for Sept. 16 and 17, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

You know summer’s almost over when local county fairs fill up with farm animals, 4-H kids, arts and crafts, fall harvest exhibits, midways and cotton candy. This weekend, you can choose from the Anne Arundel County Fair (Sept. 13-17) in Crownsville, the Charles County Fair (Sept. 14-17) in La Plata, or the Great Frederick Fair (Sept. 15-23), which runs for nine days. Read more…


Fall Foliage and Festival Report: September 9 and 10

Defenders Day Celebration at North Point, Woodmont Lodge Open House

Lone man fishing from rock in early autumn

Solitude by Joseph Halpin

Welcome to the Fall Foliage and Festival Report for Sept. 9 and 10, brought to you by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Office of Tourism.

It’s been a long, hot summer in the mid-Atlantic but with just a handful of days left, Marylanders will begin to sense the changing season – shorter days, longer nights, fatter crabs, football, chirping crickets – and one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the autumn season, the appearance of fall foliage. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: September 6

Nora Long with a bluefish she caught

Nora Long with a bluefish she caught in the Bay. Photo by Travis Long

This is Erik Zlokovitz filling in once again for Keith Lockwood on the weekly fishing report.

The big weather story this week is Hurricane Irma, which is making landfall in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean islands. The storm made landfall as a Category 5 on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale, making it the most powerful hurricane on record to ever form in the open Atlantic Ocean. With Florida in Irma’s path, some residents will inevitably see a lot of wind and rain. Irma or her remnants won’t affect Maryland if at all until next week, setting up a fair to good forecast for the weekend, with light northerly winds on the water. Those cool winds are ushering in a taste of fall, lowering water temperatures across the region.

You should get out soon if you are interested in targeting our warm water visitors such as Spanish mackerel, red drum and bluefish.
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Natural Resources Police Report Seven Boating Accidents During Holiday Weekend

Natural Resources Police LogoA Talbot County waterman died and seven boat accidents were reported across the state during the extended Labor Day holiday weekend, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said.

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Weekly Fishing Report: August 30

Stella Amoriello with her first catch, a largemouth bass.

Angler Stella Amoriello with her first catch, a largemouth bass, on a friend’s rod and reel. Photo by John Amoriello

This is Erik Zlokovitz filling in for Keith Lockwood on the weekly fishing report. As I write this report, there is a disturbance bringing in some rain and winds along the mid-Atlantic coast, but it is nothing compared to the historic flooding being experienced now by the folks in the Houston area, southeast Texas and western Louisiana. The weather forecast here in Maryland is fair to good for the next few days, with rain in the forecast Saturday. We may be entering into a slight cooling pattern, which means that fishing will gradually shift into early fall mode. Take your kids out fishing at least one more time before school starts! Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: August 23

Little Girl with White Perch

Photo by Joe Caccamisi

As the summer vacation time for kids begins to approach the end, I could not help but notice many of them are enjoying more simple things to do with the week or so left before they go back to school. Summer camps and other organized types of children’s activities are winding down, or already over for many families. With the exception of some last minute family vacations, parents and kids are left to do simple things together, and closer to home. While taking an evening cruise around local waters I could not help but notice more than a few docks were occupied by kids and adults fishing or crabbing, and the number one fish for entertaining kids in the Chesapeake Bay is the white perch. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: August 16

Photo of: Child on pier holding up a striped bass

Brody Laffoon proves that you can also score while fishing from shore as he holds up this nice striped bass he caught off the Downs Park Fishing Pier. Photo by Kevin Laffoon.

Although the waters of the lower Susquehanna River and Flats area are still showing some stained water, it is a big improvement from last week’s conditions. Slowly the early morning striped bass bite at the dam pool is improving. Around the edges of the Susquehanna Flats, the early morning topwater action has been a mix of striped bass and largemouth bass. There are plenty of channel catfish in the area and those fishing with other lures mention that hungry catfish will chase down a soft plastic swimshad, a crankbait or even a jerkbait in a heartbeat. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: August 9

 

Both lower and high tier views of the Bay Bridge at sunset.

Both lower and high tier views of the Bay Bridge at sunset. Photo by State of Maryland

As I was coming across the Bay Bridge yesterday evening, I could not help but marvel at the schools of juvenile menhaden plying along the calm surface of the bay and drifting along in the currents on both sides of the bay. The bay is truly a bountiful basin of life and on this evening there did not seem to be any hungry striped bass or bluefish nearby. All was calm on the Chesapeake this evening, at least at this area.

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Weekly Fishing Report: August 2

Joseph Eccleston V and Great Grandpa with a nice fish

Joseph Eccleston V and Great Grandpa with a nice catfish; Photo by Joseph Eccleston IV

Welcome to August! As many of us know, in a blink it will be Labor Day weekend. Although we are more than halfway through the summer there is still time to plan large scale or small scale fishing outings with youngsters. If headed to the beach for vacation, consider bringing a hefty surf fishing outfit and let them enjoy some catch and release action in the evenings with inshore sharks and sting rays. Kids are always fascinated with sharks. If you are more local, consider white perch and channel catfish if you’re near a tidal river. For those more inland there are bluegill sunfish in just about every pond or lake that dot the Maryland landscape. The key to any youth fishing experience is to get them on fish to keep their interest up.

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Weekly Fishing Report: July 26

Photo of: Boys on boat with striped bass

Anglers Daniel Irons (L) and Jonathan Irons (R); Photo by Mike Irons

As most of us know it was pretty darned hot last week and those hot temperatures are driving up water temperatures and having a profound effect on fish and fishing. Unfortunately those hot temperatures can also result in violent storm activity when a cool front comes through as it did Sunday. I happened to be able to witness the tornado devastation on Kent Island Monday morning and my heart goes out to those affected. I also noticed large patches of discolored water from runoff which does not help the fishing situation in the bay. This runoff may also impact your favorite impoundment, stream or river. Sound advice is to keep close watch on summer storm activity out on the water and wear those lifejackets, they don’t do any good stashed in a boat locker.

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Online Fishing Tool Helps Anglers Find the Fish

Using Science to Increase Fishing Success

Click Before You Catch online fishing tool flowchart“Where are the fish?” The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is helping anglers answer this age-old question with a new online tool, “Click Before You Cast.”

The tool provides a simple-to-follow, eight-step process to help anglers identify the best places to fish based on a number of scientific data points, be it clarity, habitat, oxygen levels, salinity or water quality. Click Before You Cast seeks to enhance the fishing experience and help anglers find and catch the species they are seeking.

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Early July 2017 Hypoxia Report

photo by by Krystle Chick

Dissolved oxygen conditions in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay mainstem were much better than average for early July, reports the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The hypoxic water volume (areas with less than 2 mg/l oxygen) was 0.78 cubic miles, which is much smaller than the early July 1985-2016 average of 1.3 cubic miles. No anoxic zones (areas with less than 0.2 mg/l oxygen) were detected. Crabs, fish, oysters and other creatures require oxygen to survive with levels above 5 mg/l considered optimal to support aquatic health. Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: July 19

Our friends at Eyes On The Bay have always had valuable information about bay conditions that help fishermen, ranging from information on water quality to satellite imagery. They now have added a wonderful new site called Click Before You Cast which uses a simple to follow, step-by-step process to help anglers identify the best places to fish based on the water quality and habitat preferences of the fish they are trying to catch.  Read more…


Weekly Fishing Report: July 12

Jonathan and Daniel Irons got to go fishing with their dad and grandparents and caught this nice group of striped bass and a catfish; by Mike Irons

Fishing is one of those activities that is often so much better when shared with family and friends; memories of those adventures together can last a life time. Recently Jonathan and Daniel Irons got to go fishing with their grandparents that were visiting from Pennsylvania and with dad at the helm they had a rewarding trip that goes far beyond the bountiful catch of striped bass on that day.

In the far upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay, there continues to be an early morning topwater striped bass bite around the edges of the Susquehanna Flats. Poppers tend to be the best lures to use and the best fishing is usually before the sun clears the horizon. In the Susquehanna River the best action is at the Conowingo Dam pool at sunup. Casting heavy swimshads into the boiling water during early power generation has been accounting for some nice striped bass catches. Channel catfish can be found in the lower river and upper bay channels. Read more…


Maryland Natural Resources Police Respond to 15 Boating Accidents this Holiday Weekend

Partners with U.S. Coast Guard for Operation Dry Water

For the second consecutive year, the Fourth of July holiday ended without a boating fatality, the Maryland Natural Resources Police reported.

Statewide there were 15 boating accidents, an increase of three over 2016, and officers arrested 12 boaters for operating under the influence of alcohol, the same number as last year.

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