Tips & Tricks

Maryland Fishing License: The Ultimate Guide

Studying Time: 5 minutes

When individuals say that boredom doesn’t stand an opportunity within the “Free State,” they imply it. Maryland is so extremely various, particularly its water actions and angling alternatives. To overcome these hundreds of miles of shoreline, you’ll need to do two issues. Initially, you’ll want to choose which sort of fishing you’d prefer to sort out first – salt or freshwater. Secondly, you’ll have to buy a legitimate Maryland fishing license.

From the mighty Chesapeake Bay and its Perch to Dundee Creek at Gunpowder Falls State Park with superb Chain Pickerel – it does, certainly, by no means get boring.

The State flag of Maryland blowing in the wind on flag pole against clear blue sky

On this information, we’ve lined every thing it’s essential know find out how to legally fish within the “Outdated Line State,” what kind of fishing license you want relying in your age, function, residency standing, most popular length, and extra.  

On the lookout for data on neighboring states, or across the US basically? Try our full record of licensing guides right here. 

Who wants a fishing license in Maryland?

There are two main forms of licenses out there – the non-Tidal/Freshwater and the Chesapeake Bay & Coastal. So, you’ll want two separate licenses for fresh- and saltwater fishing in Maryland. Each angler aged 16 or older should carry a kind of to fish, until, in fact, they qualify for an exemption. Extra on this within the following sections. 

You’re thought of a Maryland resident if:

  • Your domicile is or was within the state.
  • You’re a statutory resident who maintained a place of dwelling within the state for not less than 6 months, however your everlasting residence is exterior of Maryland

*an individual’s domicile is their everlasting residence/residence

Maryland License Varieties

Whether or not you wish to examine one of many bays – the Chesapeake or Chincoteague, forged your line in Deep Creek Lake State Park, or see what’s biting in Maryland’s varied lakes and ponds, you’ll have to get an acceptable license. Let’s undergo the principle sorts in order that you would be taught which choices you could have. 


Freshwater licenses in Maryland are often known as Non-Tidal licenses. Anglers can select between three out there choices. There’s an annual non-tidal license that means that you can fish the waters of Maryland for twelve months from the date you buy it. The shorter choices embody 7 days for each residents and guests and 3-day licenses for guests solely. 

Maryland residents aged 65 or older, or those that will flip 65 within the present calendar 12 months, can acquire a Resident Consolidated License. Such a license not solely permits them to fish within the state’s freshwater but additionally within the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries alongside the Atlantic coast and coastal bays for twelve months from the date of buy. 


Each residents and guests have to buy the Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing license to fish within the Bay and its tributaries, in addition to state waters of the Atlantic and coastal bays and tributaries. The length of these licenses is similar as for the Non-Tidal – the annual, weekly, and 3-day choices can be found. 

Some areas require all saltwater anglers to register with Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration. Should you’re not required to get a Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Fishing license, you’ll nonetheless need to register. The excellent news is that it’s free!

Further Permits

Should you’re planning to fish for Trout, you’ll have to buy a Trout stamp forward of time. This rule applies to all particular catch and launch Trout administration areas, as properly the non-tidal waters of the state that means that you can posses Trout. This allow is critical for each resident and non-resident anglers. 


Since a number of the non-tidal choices, reminiscent of a 3-day fishing license, can be found solely to non-residents, the charge will depend upon your house state. Here’s the record of charges in every state. 

License Kind Resident Value Non-resident Value
Non-Tidal (Annual) $20.50 $30.50
Non-tidal (7-day) $7.50 residence state charge
Trout Stamp $5.00 $10.00
Chesapeake Bay & Coastal (Annual) $15.00 $22.50
Chesapeake Bay & Coastal (7-day) $6.00 $12.00
Resident Senior Consolidated $5.00 not out there

Who can fish with no license?

As we’ve talked about earlier than, there are exemptions for each freshwater and saltwater licenses. Right here’s the record of basic exemptions:

  • All anglers beneath the age of 16.
  • Maryland residents on energetic obligation with the Armed Forces (on go away with official orders) can fish with no license. 
  • All anglers who resolve to fish on the particular Free Fishing days through the summer season months.
  • All anglers who wish to fish within the license-free areas. Observe that some areas require you to have a Maryland Saltwater Angler Registration. You’ll be able to be taught extra here
  • If you’re blind, tidal and non-tidal licenses can be found freed from cost. Though it’s complimentary, you’ll nonetheless have to get one. 
  • If you’re a 100% service-connected disabled veteran or former prisoner of battle, you get a complimentary lifetime license. This contains each fresh- and saltwater sorts, in addition to Trout stamps. 
  • A property proprietor or tenant, their partner, youngster, or the kid’s partner residing there don’t have to get a license to catch fish from the property’s shoreline. That’s, in fact, in the event that they affirm their riparian possession earlier than fishing.

If you’re fishing from a licensed constitution boat, they may cowl your fishing license, so that you gained’t have to buy one upfront. There’s a particular Consolidated Chesapeake Bay & Coastal Sport Boat License that permits you and everybody on board a vessel to fish for pleasure. This sort covers the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, together with the state waters within the Atlantic, its coastal bays, and tributaries. 


Maryland has a reciprocity settlement with Virginia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, there are a few issues that it’s essential think about when you’re a resident of any of those states earlier than you head out to fish in Maryland.

  • A Virginia resident who holds a legitimate non-tidal fishing license can fish within the Potomac River reverse the shore of Virginia. 
  • With a legitimate Virginia saltwater fishing license and a Maryland Saltwater Anglers Registration, anglers can fish in Maryland tidal waters no matter their residency.
  • A West Virginia resident with a legitimate WV license can fish within the non-tidal Potomac River.
  • A Pennsylvania resident with a legitimate PA fishing license can fish inside Maryland’s boundaries of the Conowingo and Youghiogheny reservoirs. 
  • Should you maintain a Potomac River Fisheries Fee leisure fishing license, you possibly can fish the tidal waters of Maryland. 

The place to purchase your Maryland fishing license?

Now that you simply’ve discovered concerning the forms of fishing licenses out there in Maryland and the way a lot they value, it’s time to search out one of the simplest ways to purchase them. Observe that your annual license is legitimate for twelve months from the date of buy. 

  • On-line. That is the best option to get your license. You should purchase it via the Division of Pure Assets web site’s COMPASS portal. This portal additionally means that you can reprint your license and register as a saltwater angler. 
  • In particular person. There are over 250 license brokers in Maryland, with loads of them engaged on weekends or have prolonged hours. 

If you’re seeking to apply for a DAV or POW license, you’ll have to fill in an software type and fasten a letter of certification from the Veterans Administration with it. Discover extra info on that here.

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