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Maryland Fishing Report – July 10

Photo of girl holding a fish

Ron McClain loves taking his granddaughter Savannah fishing and she has earned the nickname “Rockfish Barbie,” as evidenced by this keeper-size striped bass. Photo by Ron McClain

It is time for summer vacations. Our youngest anglers are off from school and many parents and grandparents are creating lifetime memories with them, often through fishing together.

As a reminder, all striped bass fishing in the Chesapeake Bay will be on hold from July 16-31 , in order to protect the fishery during what is statistically the hottest part of the year. But even when it is legal to catch one keeper-size striped bass per day, the Department of Natural Resources advises following our Striped Bass Forecast Advisory and avoiding catch-and-release fishing for striped bass on hot days. 

Anglers should also be aware of Myobacteriosis, an infectious disease often seen on striped bass when fish are more stressed by high water temperatures. Infected fish may show visible signs of disease including skin ulcers and severe muscle loss. Anglers should release diseased fish when caught, and take precautions when handling fish to avoid infection. Washing hands or using waterless hand sanitizer after handling diseased fish is advised. More information on Myobacteriosis is found on the Department of Natural Resources website.


Maryland Fishing Report – July 3

Photo of man on a boat holding a blue crab

Rich Watts holds up what every crabber is looking for, a heavy jumbo blue crab. Photo by Rich Watts

It’s the Fourth of July – time for family gatherings and barbecues, and steamed blue crabs will be on the most wanted list for many. Blue crab catches have been good recently, so we wish all our recreational crabbers the best of luck. 

On July 4, unlicensed anglers are free to fish anywhere in the state without a fishing license – so feel free to take someone fishing.


Maryland Fishing Report – June 26

Photo of girl holding a fish

Blue catfish, photo courtesy of Chandlier Dominick

It is now officially summer, but with this heat we didn’t need a calendar to tell us that! The early mornings and evenings offer some relief for anglers —  wading or an overhead canvas, T-tops, or the simple shade of a shoreline tree, or wading can offer a cool and peaceful place to fish. July 4 is coming up and provides a license-free fishing day in Maryland – a great opportunity to introduce someone to fishing for the first time.

For anglers who catch striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, remember that summer heat can be deadly for fish that are not keeper sized and must be released. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides a weekly striped bass fishing advisory forecast during the hottest months, using “warning flags” to let anglers better plan their fishing to help protect our state fish.

 

Striped Bass 7-Day Fishing Advisory Forecast for June 19-25, with a green flag day Wednesday, yellow flag Thursday, red flags Friday through Sunday, yellow flag Monday, and green flag Tuesday.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 19

Photo of man and boy holding a fish near a lighthouse

John Miller celebrated Father’s Day with his son Garret and father Jack, three generations of anglers doing what they love. Photo by Jack Miller.

Father’s Day was a wonderful day for people to spend time with family – and many chose to go fishing and enjoy the day together. As summer officially begins this week, we can look forward to many more opportunities to join friends and family in the great outdoors.

For anglers who catch striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, remember that summer heat can be deadly for fish that are not keeper sized and must be released. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides a weekly striped bass fishing advisory forecast during the hottest months, using “warning flags” to let anglers better plan their fishing to help protect our state fish.

 

Striped Bass 7-Day Fishing Advisory Forecast for June 19-25, with a green flag day Wednesday, yellow flag Thursday, red flags Friday through Sunday, yellow flag Monday, and green flag Tuesday.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 12

Photo of man on a small boat with a fish

Bret Grossnickle found some quiet time and this beautiful smallmouth bass at Liberty Reservoir. Photo by Bret Grossnickle

Summer breezes and warm temperatures set the stage for all kinds of fishing this week. Whether fishing in the Atlantic Ocean or Chesapeake Bay, or just lazily watching a fishing rod nestled in a forked stick at your favorite freshwater fishing hole, it’s all good. We can all find a bit of peace and reflection wherever the outdoors takes us.

As the weather gets warmer, so does the water temperature. Summer heat can be damaging to fish, and for the striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, certain conditions can be deadly for fish that are caught and released. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides a weekly striped bass fishing advisory forecast during the hottest months, using “warning flags” to let anglers better plan their fishing to help protect our state fish. 

Striped Bass 7-Day Fishing Advisory Forecast for June 12-18, with green flag days every day except Thursday and Friday, which have yellow flags..

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 5

Photo of woman on a boat holding a fish

Chesapeake Channa, photo courtesy of Brooke Wolf.

Although the season doesn’t officially change until June 20, it sure feels like summer, and everyone is enjoying the outdoors, especially their favorite fishing adventures. A popular pastime is fishing for invasives like blue catfish and Chesapeake Channa, also known as northern snakeheads, which provide a wonderful dinner item. 

Maryland Department of Natural Resources fisheries biologists are busy studying striped bass; interested anglers can keep up on the latest striped bass findings and other current news on our website.

Two license-free fishing days remain for the 2024 fishing season, on June 8 and July 4. This is a wonderful opportunity to invite someone who has never fished before or has given it up, don’t let the opportunity pass – you just might find a new fishing buddy.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 29

Photo of girl holding a small fish on a line

Everleigh Zerance is all smiles with her bluegill. Photo by Kayleigh Zerance

Maryland anglers have a wide choice of fishing adventures this week, whether in the Atlantic Ocean, the Chesapeake Bay, or the fresh waters of our western counties. One thing that many recall is the first fish they caught, which for many was the feisty bluegill sunfish.  

Maryland offers license-free fishing days for all state residents and visitors on June 1, June 8, and July 4. These annual events provide anyone a unique opportunity to explore the state’s diverse fishing without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration. It’s a great opportunity for anglers to introduce someone to fishing. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 22, 2024

Photo of boy holding a fish

Matt Ferenschak has a good reason to smile with this whopper of a Chesapeake channa (snakehead) that he caught in the Middle River. Photo courtesy of Matt Ferenschak

With Memorial Day weekend, the traditional beginning of the summer season is upon us. Remember to take a moment to reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, including the ability to enjoy the outdoors with families and friends. 

Striped bass season opened with a couple good days until some wind and rain put a damper on weekend fishing. With the return of fair weather, anglers are enjoying a chance to land Maryland’s state fish. 

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources urges everyone to familiarize themselves with the 2024 striped bass regulations. The DNR website also has a map site link that shows the areas of the Chesapeake Bay where anglers can fish for striped bass as the season progresses. And you can keep up with the latest news and information about striped bass in Maryland. 

Maryland offers license-free fishing days for all state residents and visitors on June 1, June 8, and July 4. These annual events provide anyone a unique opportunity to explore the state’s diverse fishing without needing a fishing license, trout stamp, or registration. It’s a great opportunity for anglers to introduce someone to fishing. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 15

Photo of woman on a boat holding a fish

Sarah Yow holds up a beautiful speckled trout she caught in  Tangier Sound. Photo courtesy of Sarah Yow

There are lots of great fishing opportunities this week, from freshwater to the coastal waters of Ocean City. The first segment of Maryland’s striped bass season starts May 16 in the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay below the line from Hart-Miller Island to Tolchester. Summer migrant species including spot, red drum, and speckled trout are arriving in the lower Bay, creating exciting fishing opportunities.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 8

Photo of man holding a fish hooked to a line

Angler Randyka Pudjoprawoto caught a 22-inch largemouth bass on Lake Bernard Frank near Rockville on May 3. Photo courtesy of Randyka Pudjoprawoto.

Spring is spreading its blanket of new growth and warmth across the Maryland landscape this month. The black locust trees are blooming, signaling the first blue crab shed of 2024. These warm and sunny days beckon anglers of all ages and skill levels to seek out the excitement of fishing in every corner of Maryland – don’t miss it!

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 1

Photo of woman on a beach holding a fish

Ivanna Harshman holds up a large bluefish caught near Ocean City. Photo by Mary Harshman

As we celebrate the beginning of May, balmy weather makes for comfortable fishing from the mountains of western Maryland to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Summer migrant species are showing up in the Ocean City area; among the arrivals is the spring migration of bluefish.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 24

Zach Bennett caught this northern snakehead in the Patapsco River. Photo courtesy of Zach Bennett

Zach Bennett caught this northern snakehead in the Patapsco River. Photo courtesy of Zach Bennett

The weather forecast for the next week promises mild and sunny conditions, perfect for venturing into the outdoors for fishing with family and friends. Trout continue to be stocked each week in the put-and-take trout waters, and a wide variety of fish are active, including the northern snakehead.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 17

Photo of two men holding a catfish

Tim Wills was out on the Bay recently fishing for blue catfish with his friends and enjoyed a great day on the water together. Photo by Bob Neighoff

We are in store for some nice weather this week, so be sure to get outdoors and enjoy some of the many fishing opportunities in Maryland. Trout fishing is bolstered with continuing stockings, other freshwater species are active, and blue catfish can be found in every tidal water of the Chesapeake Bay.

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 10

Photo of boy holding a fish

Joey Davis caught this white catfish – qualifying him for a FishMaryland award certificate – in an upper Bay tidal river. Photo by Lora Davis

Maryland anglers are taking advantage of pleasant weather to fish for a variety of species this week. Trout, largemouth bass, and blue catfish are at the top of the list, but fun fishing is where you find it. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – April 3

Photo of man by a stream holding a fish

Matt Ferenschak took his son and his son’s friend trout fishing and although the boys both caught their limits, dad had to show them how it’s done with his trophy-sized rainbow trout. Photo by Tyler Ferenschak.

Trout anglers enjoyed their traditional opening day last Saturday and the fun fishing will continue for the next few months, as stocking crews release more trout into Maryland’s put-and-take waters.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 27

Photo of young boy holding two trout

Luke Bradford’s smile says it all about his first youth trout fishing day. Photo by Jason Bradford

Many parents, mentors, and young anglers braved the cold rain for Maryland’s first youth trout fishing day. Our young anglers, despite cold fingers and wet weather, had a great time, and it is sure to be a day everyone involved will long remember.

You can check out our online collection of photos of smiling young anglers on Youth Trout Fishing Day

On Saturday, March 30, the fun and excitement starts all over again with Maryland’s traditional opening day of trout season. Anglers young and old will be fishing for put and take waters generously stocked with trout by the trout hatchery program and biologists. Fishing starts at 6:30 a.m.

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 20, 2023

Photo of woman on a kayak with a catfish

Lindsey Straiton may need a larger kayak if she keeps catching blue catfish this large. Photo courtesy of Lindsey Straiton

Anglers have a lot of fishing opportunities to look forward to this week. For our trout anglers under the age of 16, Maryland’s first youth-only trout fishing day occurs this Saturday, March 23. Anglers are still catching white perch in the upper sections of spawning rivers, and largemouth bass, crappie, and blue catfish are providing good fishing.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 13

Photo of young boy holding a fish

Angler Talan Scott Vrablic holds a chain pickerel. Photo by Raymond Vrablic III

As we inch closer to spring, anglers are enjoying fishing for a variety of species this week. The white perch spawning runs are in high gear, the preseason stocking of trout is taking place, blue catfish are abundant, and our resident species such as the beautiful chain pickerel are providing plenty of fun fishing opportunities.

Catch and release opportunities for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay begin below the Brewerton Channel and extend south to the Virginia Line. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources website includes maps and information on areas open to catch and release until March 31. All catch and release of striped bass will be prohibited from April 1 until May 15

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Maryland Fishing Report – March 6

Photo of man holding a large fish in a boat

Blue catfish, photo courtesy of Rich Gray.

Welcome to March and the first signs of spring – including our first fishing report for the 2024 season. Blooming daffodils, departing Canada geese, the arrival of ospreys, and the spring spawning runs of yellow and white perch are happening all around us. Many anglers have been fishing through the winter months due to the generous preseason trout stocking program and the abundance of blue catfish that we encourage everyone to help remove.

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Maryland Fishing Report – Winter Preview 2023-24

Photo of man on a boat holding a fish

Black sea bass are a popular cold-weather species, and can be caught in Maryland waters through December 31. Photo by Monty Hawkins

With the start of winter and the end of some fishing seasons, Maryland’s anglers can rest assured that there is plenty of good fishing to be found this season if you know where to look!

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Maryland Fishing Report – December 6

Photo of man holding a fish

Chain pickerel, photo by Eric Packard

Welcome to December, there are some wonderful fishing opportunities to be found this week for many anglers fishing close to home. The chain pickerel stands out for pure fun and excitement.

This will be the final weekly Maryland Fishing Report for 2023. We will be checking in with occasional winter reports and look forward to starting again weekly in spring. On behalf of all of us at DNR, we wish you a joyful holiday season and a healthy and happy 2024!

As a reminder, striped season in the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries closes Saturday, December 10.  Look for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ announcement of seasons and limits for 2024 sometime over the winter. In response to five years of below average spawning success for striped bass, DNR  is submitting emergency regulations to help bolster the species’ spawning population. We all share the goal of making sure striped bass fishing is available for future generations of Marylanders.

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Maryland Fishing Report – November 29

 Photo of woman on a boat holding a fish

Black sea bass, photo by Monty Hawkins.

The weather is getting colder but if you bundle up there is plenty of good fishing to be had throughout Maryland. One example is fishing offshore of Ocean City, where anglers are catching limits of hefty black sea bass.

In response to five years of below average spawning success for striped bass, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is submitting emergency regulations to help bolster the species’ spawning population. This includes extending closure dates during the 2024 season. These changes, if formally approved, will close the May trophy season. While recent research has suggested that environmental factors, such as warm winters and low water flows, are significant factors influencing spawning success, DNR scientists and fishery managers believe it is critical to take additional measures to reduce fishing mortality associated with harvest along with fish that die after being caught and released. We all share the goal of making sure striped bass fishing is available for future generations of Marylanders.

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Maryland Fishing Report – November 22

Photo of man in a boat holding a fish

Herb Floyd took a break from fishing for striped bass and enjoyed some great chain pickerel action. Photo courtesy of Herb Floyd

The Thanksgiving holiday gives us all a chance to reflect on all the things we are grateful to have. Family and friends always top the list, and for many of us they are followed by the opportunities we have to enjoy the outdoors.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – November 15

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Sara LaMonica is all smiles with this large crappie she caught at Prettyboy Reservoir recently. Photo courtesy of Sara LaMonica

The weather is a bit chilly, but the fishing remains good. Anglers can be seen switching their footwear from sneakers to waterproof and insulated boots and warmer outdoor clothes. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – November 8

Photo of man in a boat on a river holding a fish

Steve Kartalia holds up a beautiful smallmouth bass before releasing it back into the waters of the upper Potomac River. Photo by Bob Easton

Fall colors are at peak in much of Maryland, and the mild weather has made outdoor recreation like fishing a wonderful experience.

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Maryland Fishing Report – November 1

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Amy Fradiska holds up a largemouth bass she caught and released recently. Photo courtesy Amy Fradiska

The colors of fall are all around, water temperatures are cooler, and it is a wonderful time to go fishing for a variety of freshwater, Bay, and marine fish.

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Maryland Fishing Report – October 25

Photo of man in a kayak holding a fish

Eric Packard enjoyed a day fishing for snakeheads in his kayak. Photo courtesy of Eric Packard

Recent chilly temperatures are causing anglers to replace their sneakers and T-shirts with rubber footwear and flannel shirts. Cooler water temperatures have fish in a very active feeding mode, which makes for great fishing.

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Maryland Fishing Report – October 18

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Marty Zupancic fished the lower Bay recently for bluefish on his jet ski and cradled one while taking a selfie. Photo by Marty Zupancic

The middle of October is upon us and there are wonderful fishing opportunities throughout Maryland. The fall trout stocking program is underway and Chesapeake Bay anglers are enjoying good fishing for a variety of species.

New state records were set recently for two southern species, a barracuda and a pompano dolphinfish, which decided to wander north. This infrequently happens towards the end of summer when southern species catch a ride on the northbound Gulfstream and wind up a lot farther north of their normal range. Scientists and anglers alike are observing some changes in fish species’ range as water temperatures are generally getting warmer.
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Maryland Fishing Report – October 11

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Mike Biskup holds up a whopper-sized largemouth bass he caught and released from a Chestertown pond recently. Photo courtesy of Mike Biskup

Fall’s cooler weather is driving many of our freshwater and marine fisheries into increased activity. The fall trout stocking program is underway, providing fun put-and-take trout fishing.

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Maryland Fishing Report – October 4

Photo of woman in a boat holding a fish

Ivanna Harshman enjoyed a nice day fishing from her kayak and caught this summer flounder. Photo courtesy of Ivanna Harshman

Pleasant weather returns this week, making it a wonderful time to go out and do some fishing – don’t miss the opportunity while so many species are available and active. 

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 27

Photo of man holding a large snakehead fish

Alvin Holland Jr. recently caught this huge northern snakehead in the lower Susquehanna River. Photo courtesy Alvin Holland Jr.

The winds, rain, and cool temperatures of Tropical Storm Ophelia set the stage for a transition to fall fishing. Those scorching summer days will mostly be a memory as a new season of exciting fishing in Maryland begins.  

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Maryland Fishing Report – September 20

Photo of boy and girl each holding a fish

Peter and Camile Schwarb enjoyed some fun fishing for white perch recently at Loch Raven Reservoir. Photo courtesy Peter and Camile Schwarb.

September weather makes for comfortable fishing, and cooler water temperatures often mean better fishing opportunities.
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Maryland Fishing Report – September 13

Photo of man and woman on a boat holding a fish

This large red drum was caught and released recently. Photo by Travis Long

Hopefully we have endured the last heat wave of the 2023 summer season. Cooler weather is predicted in the coming days and soon cool nights will begin to lower water temperatures. In the meantime, there is plenty of fun and exciting fishing to be had.
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Maryland Fishing Report – September 6

Photo of man and boy with a fish on a boat

Matheo Korin and his dad teamed up recently on this nice cobia. Photo courtesy of Chris Korin

Although schools are now open and vacation season is mostly done, good summer fishing continues across Maryland. Take some time on the weekends and after-school hours to enjoy fishing together. Read more…


Maryland Fishing Report – August 30

Photo of boy holding a fish on a boat

Logan Zupancic got to go fishing with his dad recently and is very happy to hold up his first Spanish mackerel for the camera. Photo by Marty Zupancic

As we go into the Labor Day weekend, there is still plenty of summer fishing action to be shared with family and friends.

Remember that while you are fishing, you can also be a citizen scientist! Take a few minutes to help Department of Natural Resources biologists monitor our various fish populations by filling out a volunteer angler survey on the species you’re catching. On the department website, just search for volunteer angler surveys to find your fish and enter the requested data. For ease of use, you can also access the surveys through the free AccessDNR app.


Maryland Fishing Report – August 23

Photo of boy on a boat holding a fish

This young angler caught a Spanish mackerel, photo by Travis Long

As we approach the end of August, fishing in Maryland could hardly be better, so be sure to get outside with friends and family.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has developed an online striped bass habitat conditions mapping tool on our website, applying newly developed water temperature and dissolved oxygen-based thresholds for Maryland’s resident striped bass. This tool will help you identify current conditions at your local fishing hotspots so you can fish at the most suitable locations.

Image of weekly forecast August 23-29, featuring green flag fishing days Wednesday and Thursday, yellow on Friday, and green Saturday through Tuesday

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Maryland Fishing Report – August 16

Photo of young man holding a large trout

Photo by Rebecca Krampf

Fishing is good this week in all parts of the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Coastal Bays, and the many freshwater areas throughout the state.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ biologists are looking to better understand the striped bass recreational fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and are asking for your help. Biologists have set up an online survey site where anglers can enter fishing data from a smartphone or computer. All you need to record is the length of the striped bass you catch and whether you kept or released them. On the department website, search for volunteer angler surveys to find the striped bass survey and others that may interest you. For ease of use, you can also access the surveys through the free AccessDNR app.


Maryland Fishing Report – August 9

Photo of man in a small boat holding a fish

Jake Prior holds up a big northern snakehead he caught in an upper Bay tidal river. Photo courtesy of Jake Prior

Fishing is good this week in all parts of the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and Coastal Bays, and the many freshwater areas throughout the state.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ biologists are looking to better understand the striped bass recreational fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and are asking for your help. Biologists have set up an online survey site where anglers can enter fishing data from a smartphone or computer. All you need to record is the length of the striped bass you catch and whether you kept or released them. On the department website, search for volunteer angler surveys to find the striped bass survey and others that may interest you. For ease of use, you can also access the surveys through the free AccessDNR app.


Maryland Fishing Report – August 2

Photo of girl on a boat holding up a fish

This young angler caught a spot. Photo by Tom Cole

Spend your time enjoying family and friends, as the end of summer now looms on the horizon. Before they go back to school, load up your young’uns and take them on some summer fishing adventures. There is plenty of fun to be had out there and plenty of fish to keep them busy and build lasting memories.

Striped bass fishing has resumed in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The July two-week closure, in place to protect the resource during the hottest part of summer, has ended but the Department of Natural Resources still advises you to take caution when targeting striped bass. Please check our weekly Striped Bass Advisory Forecast to make sure weather conditions are safe for the fish you catch and release. 


Maryland Fishing Report – July 26

Photo of man on a boat with a large fish

This huge bluefish is an example that you never know what can happen when you cast a line. Photo by Travis Long

Summertime fishing is in full swing, and anglers have been finding many adventures with other species of fish during the two-week striped bass closure in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 19

Photo of man and son on a boat in the ocean, holding a fish

Summer vacations are in full swing, the perfect time for fishing trips such as this father and son on a charter boat off Ocean City. Part of their catch was this delicious triggerfish. Photo by Monty Hawkins

There is plenty of fishing to entertain anglers during these hot summer days. As a reminder, all areas of the Chesapeake Bay will be closed to any targeting of striped bass from July 16 through July 31 to protect the species during this hottest part of the year. 

Fishing for a variety of species can also earn you an award. Congratulations to Maryland’s two new FishMaryland Master Angler award recipients, David McCollum of Bel Air and David Moore of Salisbury. Each angler caught ten different species that all met the minimum size requirements in the Department of Natural Resources fishing award program. An award presentation by Fishing and Boating Services was held at Bass Pro Shops in Hanover, which presented each Master Angler recipient with a $250 gift certificate, and included a behind the scenes tour and fish feeding session at the large aquarium. Dave Mccollum, also known as the “Conowingo Fish Whisperer” does a lot of casting for both walleye and striped bass below the Conowingo Dam in the Susquehanna River. David Moore is an avid surfcaster that catches striped bass, red drum, and various shark species from the beach at the Assateague National Seashore. He also participates in the NOAA volunteer angler shark tagging program. More information on the FishMaryland awards is on the Department of Natural Resources website.

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Maryland Fishing Report – July 12

Photo of girl holding up a fish she caught

Caroline White is all smiles with her first fish. Photo by David Storr III

It is time for summer fun and taking a youngster fishing is always a joy for parents, especially when the kids are excited about catching their first fish. Bluegill sunfish and white perch are often ready to oblige.

As a reminder, all areas of the Chesapeake Bay will be closed to any targeting of striped bass from July 16 through July 31. As we advise anglers every year, high summer air and water temperatures increase catch-and-release mortalities in striped bass. This closure takes place in the hottest part of the year. 

Image of Striped Bass 7-Day Fishing Advisory Forecast showing yellow flag conditions representing elevated risk Wednesday through Saturday, and the Striped Bass Fishery being closed beginning Sunday


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Maryland Fishing Report – July 5

Photo of father and daughter on a small boat in a creek

Taylor Ward went fishing with her dad and caught this large northern snakehead. Photo by Mike Ward

The summer season is now in full swing, and anglers are enjoying good fishing adventures with family and friends this week.

As we advise anglers every year, high summer air and water temperatures increase catch-and-release mortalities in striped bass. The Striped Bass Summer Fishing Advisory Forecast on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website is an awareness campaign aimed to reduce striped bass mortality during times when conditions are most dangerous for the fish.

For that reason, all areas of the Chesapeake Bay will be closed to any targeting of striped bass from July 16 through July 31, statistically the hottest part of the year in Maryland.

Image of Striped Bass 7-Day Fishing Advisory Forecast showing safe striped bass fishing days for the week of July 5-11


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Maryland Fishing Report – June 28

Photo of man in small boat holding a large snakehead fish

Bryce Schmitt enjoyed some time on the middle River while fishing for largemouth bass and northern snakeheads. Photo courtesy of Bryce Schmitt

We wish you a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July holiday with family and friends. Many anglers will take advantage of a little time off to fish and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with fishing. As a reminder, July 4 is the last free fishing day being offered in Maryland for 2023.

As we advise anglers every year, high summer air and water temperatures increase catch-and-release mortalities in striped bass. The Striped Bass Summer Fishing Advisory Forecast is an awareness campaign aimed to reduce striped bass mortality during times when conditions are most dangerous for the fish. A color-coded recommendation allows anglers to plan their striped bass fishing trips up to seven days in advance.​

Image of Striped Bass 7-Day Fishing Advisory Forecast showing safe striped bass fishing days for the week of June 28-July4

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 21, 2023

Photo of man and daughter holding a catfish

David Springham and daughter Phoebe went fishing together after dad got off from work, and they caught this blue catfish near the Conowingo Dam pool. Photo courtesy of David Springham

Often it is those small moments spent together with our loved ones that turn out to be special and long remembered. Fishing together definitely provides those moments, especially with our youngest anglers.

July 4 is just around the corner and with it the last free fishing day being offered in Maryland for 2023. Think about taking a friend, neighbor, or relative on a holiday fishing trip and introduce them to this wonderful pastime.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 14

Photo of girl on a boat with a fish

Sydney Cochrane went fishing with her dad near Poplar Island when she caught this nice striped bass. Photo by Rob Cochrane

This weekend, fathers across Maryland will be celebrated and many will choose to go fishing with their sons and daughters on this special day. Parents who take their children fishing share the kind of intimate experience together that few other activities offer. Lifelong bonds are formed that will stand the test of time and help set an example for the time when they become parents in later years.

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Maryland Fishing Report – June 7

Photo of woman on a beach holding a large striped bass

Kristen D’Amore-Benko caught and released this 40-inch striped bass in the surf on Assateague Island in mid-May. Remember that under new coastwide regulations, striped bass longer than 31 inches in length must be released. Photo courtesy Kristen D’Amore-Benko

Graduations and school dismissals are setting our younger anglers free to spend more time outdoors. Be sure to carve out time for some fishing adventures in Maryland’s varied waters. 

Maryland will host the second of three license-free fishing days June 10. During a free fishing day, a person may catch and possess finfish in the tidal and nontidal waters of Maryland for recreational purposes without an angler’s license, Chesapeake Bay sportfishing license, or any fishing stamp normally required by the Department of Natural Resources. All other fishing laws and regulations will apply on those days. Maryland’s free fishing days are the first two Saturdays in June and the Fourth of July. Ask a neighbor or friend who doesn’t fish to join you and pick up this great pastime.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 31

Photo of man in a small boat holding up a largemouth bass

Mike Popchak holds a beautiful smallmouth bass caught while fishing with his brother Joe at Loch Raven Reservoir. Photo by Joe Popchak

Fishing together can form strong bonds between family and friends. Twin brothers Joe and Mike Popchak began fishing together when they were 8 years old – even though their father wasn’t a fisherman, he would take them out while he read the newspaper. The two brothers have kept with it through the years and recently got together to fish at Loch Raven Reservoir. 

Now is a perfect time to invite a neighbor or friend to this wonderful pastime. Maryland is hosting three license-free fishing days – June 3, June 10, and July 4 – during which a person may catch and possess finfish in the tidal and nontidal waters of Maryland for recreational purposes without a fishing license or stamp — you just have to follow laws and regulations on seasons, size, and catch limits.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 24

Photo of man with two young daughters on a pier, holding a fish

Young angler Olivia Frantz (left) caught this rainbow trout on a day out with her sister Emily and their dad, Ricky. Photo by Kimberly Sizemore

Memorial Day weekend is a time to celebrate with family gatherings and also to reflect on those who gave all to protect the freedoms we enjoy. Fishing offers the time to do both – and this weekend is a perfect opportunity to take your youngsters out and collect some memories and smiles. 

Maryland will host the first of three license-free fishing days June 3. During a free fishing day, a person may catch and possess finfish in the tidal and nontidal waters of Maryland for recreational purposes without an angler’s license, Chesapeake Bay sportfishing license, or any fishing stamp normally required by the Department of Natural Resources. All other fishing laws and regulations will apply on those days. Maryland’s free fishing days are the first two Saturdays in June and on the Fourth of July.

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Maryland Fishing Report – May 17

Photo of boy holding a snakehead fish

Tyler Ferenschak was on a quest to catch a northern snakehead and he finally caught one on the Middle River. Photo by Matt Ferenschak

All kinds of fishing opportunities are available this week for anglers, from the mountains of western Maryland to the coastal waters of the Delmarva Peninsula. Seasons are open for striped bass season in the Chesapeake Bay and black sea bass in the Atlantic Ocean, and many other species of fish are active as water temperatures warm.

There are new striped bass regulations now in effect in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters. Anglers may keep one striped bass per person per day, with a minimum length of 19 inches and a maximum length of 31 inches. A smaller maximum size of 26 inches is in place in the Susquehanna Flats, Lower Susquehanna River, and North East River from May 18 through May 31, then the bay-wide size limits apply.

In Maryland’s portion of the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays, which are open to striped bass fishing all year, anglers may keep one striped bass per person per day, with a minimum length of 28 inches and a maximum length of 31 inches. 

All other rules remain the same.

If you do take part in the Maryland striped bass season, please participate in our volunteer angler survey. The information received from anglers is a valuable resource for biologists to better understand recreational fishing for striped bass in Maryland. There are multiple species you can help with also – check the Department of Natural Resources website to search for all our volunteer angler surveys.

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