When it comes to fishing in Maryland, a saltwater fishing license is a must-have for anyone looking to cast their line in the Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean. But, with so many types of licenses and different costs, it can be challenging to understand how much it will cost to get a license in Maryland. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the cost of a saltwater fishing license in Maryland and everything you need to know before you hit the water.
If you’re looking to purchase a saltwater fishing license in Maryland, there are a few requirements you need to meet before you can hit the water. These requirements include residency, age, and other factors. However, with the right information, purchasing a saltwater fishing license in Maryland is a simple process that won’t break the bank.
Whether you’re a seasoned angler or new to the sport, understanding the different types of saltwater fishing licenses available in Maryland is essential. From a seven-day license to a yearly license, the right choice will depend on how often you plan on fishing and where you want to fish. So, let’s dive in and explore the various licenses available.
Get ready to learn everything you need to know about saltwater fishing licenses in Maryland. From the requirements to the cost and the best places to fish, this article has got you covered. So, grab a cup of coffee and read on to discover everything you need to know before you hit the water.
Saltwater Fishing License Requirements in Maryland
Before casting your line in the saltwater of Maryland, it’s important to understand the requirements for obtaining a fishing license. To fish legally in Maryland, anglers over the age of 16 must obtain a valid fishing license. In addition, residents and non-residents have different requirements for obtaining a fishing license.
For residents of Maryland, a fishing license can be obtained online, by phone, or at an authorized licensing agent. To obtain a fishing license online, residents can visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website and fill out an application. A valid driver’s license or state-issued identification is required to verify residency.
Non-residents of Maryland can also obtain a fishing license online, by phone, or at an authorized licensing agent. However, non-residents will be required to pay a higher fee for their license. This is due to the fact that they do not contribute to the conservation of Maryland’s natural resources through taxes.
In addition to a fishing license, there are other requirements to keep in mind when saltwater fishing in Maryland. For example, certain fish species may have size or possession limits, and some areas may have specific regulations for fishing gear. It’s important to stay up-to-date on these regulations to avoid fines or penalties.
Overall, obtaining a saltwater fishing license in Maryland is a straightforward process, but it’s important to keep in mind the residency requirements and additional regulations when planning your fishing trip. Remember, following the rules and regulations not only ensures legal fishing, but it also helps to protect and preserve Maryland’s natural resources for future generations.
Who Needs a Saltwater Fishing License in Maryland?
- Resident anglers: Maryland residents who are 16 years of age or older are required to obtain a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License if they want to fish in the state’s tidal waters.
- Non-resident anglers: Non-residents who are 16 years of age or older are required to obtain a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License to fish in the state’s tidal waters.
- Charter boat and party boat anglers: Anglers fishing on a for-hire vessel are covered by the vessel’s license and do not need an individual license.
- Pier anglers: Anglers fishing from a public fishing pier do not need a license, but they are subject to pier regulations and must register with the Maryland Saltwater Angler Registry.
- Recreational crabbers: Recreational crabbers who use a trotline, collapsible trap, or net to catch crabs in Maryland’s tidal waters must obtain a crabbing license.
- Commercial crabbers: Those who engage in commercial crabbing must obtain a commercial license in addition to a crabbing license.
It’s important to note that anglers and crabbers who are exempt from needing a license still need to register with the Maryland Saltwater Angler Registry.
Knowing whether you need a license or not is just the beginning. There are several other rules and regulations you need to know before you head out to fish in Maryland’s tidal waters.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest license requirements and regulations to avoid any fines or penalties that may come with fishing without a proper license or breaking any fishing regulations.
Age Requirements for Saltwater Fishing in Maryland
If you are planning to go saltwater fishing in Maryland, you must be aware of the age requirements set by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Youth Fishing License: Children under the age of 16 are not required to have a license to fish in tidal and non-tidal waters of Maryland, as long as they are accompanied by a licensed adult.
Resident Fishing License: Residents of Maryland who are 16 years or older are required to have a resident fishing license. This license is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
Non-Resident Fishing License: Non-residents who are 16 years or older are required to have a non-resident fishing license. This license is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
Senior Fishing License: Maryland residents who are 65 years or older are eligible for a discounted senior fishing license, which is valid for life.
It’s important to note that if you are fishing for striped bass in Maryland, regardless of age, you must have a Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Fishing License.
Understanding the age requirements for saltwater fishing in Maryland can help you avoid any potential issues or fines while enjoying your time on the water.
Exceptions to Saltwater Fishing License Requirements in Maryland
Non-Resident Immediate Family Members: Non-resident immediate family members of a Maryland resident, who are fishing with that resident, are not required to have a fishing license.
Free Fishing Days: Maryland offers free fishing days where anyone can fish without a license. These free fishing days usually fall on the first two Saturdays in June and July 4th. However, all fishing regulations still apply during these free fishing days.
Disabled Veterans: Disabled veterans who have a service-connected disability of 25% or greater are eligible for a free lifetime fishing license in Maryland.
Blind or Disabled Individuals: Blind or disabled individuals who are residents of Maryland and hold a Maryland MVA disability permit are eligible for a free fishing license.
Note: All individuals who are exempt from purchasing a fishing license must still follow all Maryland fishing regulations and catch limits.
How to Purchase a Saltwater Fishing License in Maryland
Step 1: Determine which type of saltwater fishing license you need. Maryland offers a variety of options, including annual, 7-day, and 3-day licenses. You can also purchase a trout stamp or crabbing license, depending on your interests.
Step 2: Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website and select the “Licensing” tab. From there, you can purchase your license online and print it out immediately.
Step 3: Visit a local retailer that sells fishing licenses, such as a sporting goods store or bait shop. You can also find a complete list of license agents on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website.
Remember, it is illegal to fish without a valid license, so be sure to purchase your saltwater fishing license before heading out on the water!
Online Purchase of Saltwater Fishing License in Maryland
If you prefer to purchase your saltwater fishing license online, you can visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website. There, you will need to create an account or login if you already have one. Once you are logged in, you can select the type of license you want to purchase, provide your personal information, and pay for your license using a credit or debit card. It is a quick and easy process that you can complete from the comfort of your own home.
Benefits of purchasing a saltwater fishing license online
- Convenience: You can purchase your license from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Time-saving: You can avoid the hassle of waiting in long lines.
- Immediate access: You can print your license from your computer as soon as you complete your purchase.
What you need to purchase a saltwater fishing license online
- Internet access: You will need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection.
- Valid email address: You will need an email address to receive confirmation of your purchase and a copy of your license.
- Credit or debit card: You will need a valid credit or debit card to pay for your license.
If you prefer to purchase your license in-person, there are several retailers throughout Maryland that sell them, including tackle shops and sporting goods stores. Keep in mind that some locations may only accept cash or check as payment, so it’s a good idea to call ahead and confirm the accepted payment methods.
Different Types of Saltwater Fishing Licenses in Maryland
Recreational License: This type of license is for individuals who wish to engage in recreational fishing activities. It is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and is available for residents and non-residents.
Commercial License: This type of license is required for individuals engaged in commercial fishing activities, including crabbing, oystering, and clamming. It is available for residents and non-residents and is valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Charter Boat License: This type of license is required for individuals operating a charter boat for hire. The license is valid for one year from the date of purchase and is available for residents and non-residents.
Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License
What is a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License?
A Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License is a special license required for recreational anglers who want to fish for certain species in the Chesapeake Bay or its tributaries. It allows the angler to fish for striped bass, summer flounder, red drum, and Spanish mackerel in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.
How much does a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License cost?
The cost of a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License varies based on the angler’s residency and age. For Maryland residents aged 16 to 64, the cost is $10. For non-residents aged 16 and older, the cost is $20. For seniors aged 65 and older, the cost is $5.
Where can I purchase a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License?
Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing Licenses can be purchased online through the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website or in person at a variety of retail locations throughout the state. They are valid for one year from the date of purchase.
Saltwater Fishing Regulations in Maryland
Fishing Seasons: The fishing season for certain species may vary from year to year. Anglers are advised to check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for the latest updates and regulations.
Bag and Possession Limits: There are bag and possession limits in place for many species of fish in Maryland’s waters. These limits help to ensure that the fish populations remain healthy and sustainable for years to come.
Catch and Release: Catch and release is a popular practice among anglers, especially for certain species of fish that are subject to size or possession limits. If you plan to catch and release fish, be sure to handle them carefully and release them as quickly as possible.
Protected Species: Certain species of fish are protected by law and must be released immediately if caught. These include Atlantic sturgeon, shortnose sturgeon, and sand tiger sharks, among others.
Fishing Gear Restrictions: There are certain restrictions on the type of fishing gear that can be used in Maryland’s waters. For example, spearfishing is only allowed for certain species of fish, and the use of certain types of nets is prohibited. Be sure to check the regulations before you go fishing.
Size and Catch Limits for Saltwater Fish in Maryland
If you’re planning to go saltwater fishing in Maryland, it’s important to know the size and catch limits for the fish species you are targeting. These limits are in place to ensure the sustainability of the fish population and protect the marine ecosystem.
The size and catch limits for each species can vary depending on the location, season, and gear used. It is your responsibility as a fisherman to know the specific regulations for the area you are fishing in.
Some of the most common saltwater fish species in Maryland and their size and catch limits include striped bass, bluefish, red drum, and black sea bass. It’s important to note that these limits can change from year to year, so be sure to check the latest regulations before heading out.
- Striped Bass: Between 19 and 28 inches, with a daily limit of 2 per person.
- Bluefish: No minimum size limit, with a daily limit of 15 per person.
- Red Drum: Between 18 and 27 inches, with a daily limit of 1 per person.
- Black Sea Bass: Between 12.5 and 15 inches, with a daily limit of 15 per person.
It’s important to follow these size and catch limits to protect the health of the fish population and preserve the sport for future generations.
Maryland Saltwater Fishing Seasons
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regulates the fishing seasons for saltwater fish in Maryland waters. Knowing the fishing seasons is important to ensure that you are not fishing for a species during its closed season, which could result in a fine or other penalties.
Each species of fish has its own fishing season, and some may have different seasons based on where they are caught. For example, striped bass have a different fishing season in the Chesapeake Bay than in coastal waters.
It is important to check the current fishing regulations for Maryland to make sure you are fishing during the appropriate season. You can find the regulations on the DNR website or through the Maryland Fishing Guide.
|Black Sea Bass||May 15 – September 21||Minimum size: 12.5 inches|
|Striped Bass (Chesapeake Bay)||April 17 – May 15, May 16 – June 15, June 16 – Dec 10||Minimum size: 19 inches, maximum size: 28 inches|
|Striped Bass (Coastal Waters)||May 1 – Dec 10||Minimum size: 28 inches|
Catch Reporting Requirements in Maryland
If you’re a recreational fisherman in Maryland, it’s important to understand the catch reporting requirements. Maryland requires all anglers to report their catch, whether they release it or keep it. This helps the state manage fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices.
The reporting requirements vary depending on the species of fish and the type of fishing you’re doing. For example, if you’re fishing for striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, you’re required to report your catch online or by phone within 24 hours of the catch.
It’s important to note that failure to report your catch can result in penalties, including fines or suspension of your fishing license. So be sure to familiarize yourself with the reporting requirements before you head out on your next fishing trip.
Best Places to Saltwater Fish in Maryland
With over 7,000 miles of shoreline, Maryland offers numerous opportunities for saltwater fishing enthusiasts. Here are some of the best places to cast a line:
Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel: This 17.6-mile bridge-tunnel connects Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and is a popular spot for striped bass, bluefish, and flounder.
Ocean City: This resort town boasts a 10-mile-long beach and has plenty of fishing piers, charter boats, and surf fishing opportunities. It’s an excellent place to catch bluefish, striped bass, and sea trout.
Assateague Island National Seashore: Located on the eastern shore of Maryland and Virginia, Assateague Island offers pristine beaches and excellent fishing opportunities for bluefish, striped bass, and red drum.
Tilghman Island: Situated on the Chesapeake Bay, Tilghman Island is a great spot for catching bluefish, striped bass, and croaker. The Tilghman Island Marina is a popular launching point for fishing charters.
Point Lookout State Park: This park is located on the southern tip of Maryland and offers excellent fishing opportunities for croaker, spot, and striped bass. There are plenty of fishing piers and charter boats available for rent.
Make sure to obtain the necessary saltwater fishing license before heading out to any of these locations.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge is a prime location for saltwater fishing in Maryland. It spans 4.3 miles across the Chesapeake Bay and offers a unique fishing experience for anglers.
Anglers can fish from the fishing pier located on the eastern side of the bridge or from a boat underneath the bridge. Popular fish species to catch in this area include striped bass, bluefish, and croaker.
It’s important to note that there are specific regulations regarding fishing from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Anglers should familiarize themselves with these regulations before heading out to fish.
Ocean City Inlet
Scenic views: Ocean City Inlet is a hotspot for anglers and a beautiful place to cast your line. The view of the ocean and inlet is stunning.
Abundance of fish species: The inlet is known for a diverse range of saltwater fish species, including bluefish, striped bass, flounder, tautog, and more.
Accessibility: It is easily accessible from downtown Ocean City, with several marinas, fishing charters, and public fishing piers available. The Ocean City Inlet also has ample parking space available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of saltwater fishing licenses available in Maryland?
There are various types of saltwater fishing licenses in Maryland, including a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License, Non-Tidal Sport Fishing License, and individual fishing licenses for different age groups.
What is the cost of a saltwater fishing license in Maryland for residents?
The cost of a saltwater fishing license in Maryland for residents varies based on the type of license. For a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License, the fee is $10, while a Non-Tidal Sport Fishing License is $Individual fishing licenses for residents cost $20 for those aged 16-64, $5 for those aged 65 or older, and are free for those aged 15 or younger.
How much does a saltwater fishing license cost in Maryland for non-residents?
A Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License costs $20 for non-residents, while a Non-Tidal Sport Fishing License is $1Non-residents can also purchase individual fishing licenses for $50.
Is there a discount for seniors when purchasing a saltwater fishing license in Maryland?
Yes, seniors aged 65 or older can purchase a Non-Tidal Sport Fishing License for $5 and do not need to purchase an individual fishing license. However, they will need to pay the appropriate fee for a Chesapeake Bay Sport Fishing License.
Can I purchase a saltwater fishing license online in Maryland?
Yes, you can purchase a saltwater fishing license online in Maryland through the Department of Natural Resources website or through the COMPASS portal. It is also possible to purchase a license in person at select sporting goods stores or DNR service centers.
When do saltwater fishing licenses expire in Maryland?
Saltwater fishing licenses in Maryland typically expire on December 31st of the year they were issued. However, there are some exceptions, such as the 7-day Non-Tidal Sport Fishing License, which expires 7 days from the date of purchase.