Fishing in Maryland

Last updated on July 8th, 2021 at 05:54 pm. Originally published on July 7th, 2021

Fishing in Maryland makes for a fun outdoor adventure with a universal appeal. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or you want to add fishing to your kayaking, boating, hiking, swimming, or other outdoor adventure, the Free State has terrific opportunities for all skill levels and ages. Maryland has more than 500 public water sites offering numerous ocean, bay, and freshwater fishing opportunities. To ensure your angling adventure runs smoothly, you should have a valid Maryland fishing license if you’re over the age of 16.

A person fishes at a calm pond, sitting on a chair on a dock. The water is surrounded by tall green grass and lush trees

Fishing Spots in Maryland

Youghiogheny River Reservoir

Fishing gets a whole new meaning when you fish at the Youghiogheny River Reservoir. This spot is a 2,800-acre man-made reservoir with 38 miles of shoreline. It straddles the Maryland-Pennsylvania border, and the town of Friendsville is about 20 minutes away. Fish habitat is excellent, with submerged timber, rocky shorelines, boat docks, and shallow weed beds. Nevertheless, water levels fluctuate, especially during fall. Walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish, muskie, hybrid stripers, and chain pickerel are some of the species that thrive in this 16-mile lake.

Deep Creek Lake

With over 3,800 acres of fishing spots and 60 miles of shoreline, Deep Creek Lake is one of Maryland’s good fishing spots. Situated 10 miles northeast of Oakland in Garret County, this lake is home to numerous fish species such as bass, crappie, walleye, catfish, chain pickerel, trout, and sunfish. It’s also the largest impoundment in Maryland.

Liberty Reservoir

Located near Marriottsville, Liberty Reservoir is another excellent spot ideal for fishing in Maryland. This 3,100-acre reservoir is home to perch, walleye, bluegill, crappie, and various types of bass. Boating is limited to paddling, rowing, or battery-powered motors, making the reservoir an ideal destination for canoe and kayak enthusiasts. Liberty Reservoir has over 80 miles of shoreline and several access points where you can fish from the bank. Besides fishing, you can go birdwatching, hiking, and take nature photography. If you enjoy camping, you’ll find two campsites nearby.

Potomac River

The Potomac River runs 405 miles from its source in the Appalachian Mountains and feeds the Chesapeake Bay. The town of Potomac is about 10 minutes away. This tidal river offers the best fishing on the Atlantic Coast. Here, you can land numerous types of fish species such as yellow perch, largemouth bass, striped bass, white perch, chain pickerel, bluegill, channel catfish, crappie, blue catfish, and carp.

Centennial Lake

Centennial Lake is another excellent fishing spot in Maryland. Nestled between Columbia, Ellicott City, and Clarksville, Centennial Lake is a 50-acre man-made reservoir ideal for shore fishing. Here, you can get plenty of rainbow trout and largemouth bass while also having the chance to land channel catfish, tiger musky, pumpkinseed sunfish, and bluegill. Note that there is a wildlife sanctuary at the west edge of the lake, meaning you cannot fish beyond the markers that show the boundary.

Patapsco River

The Patapsco River provides good opportunities for fishing, and it’s ideal for wading. It runs through central Maryland for about 39 miles, with nearly 35 miles flowing through the Patapsco Valley State Park. The city of Baltimore is about 10 minutes away. Bluegill, largemouth bass, trout, and smallmouth are some species that flourish here.

Deer Creek

When deciding where to fish in Maryland, you can’t go wrong with Deer Creek. This 52.9-mile-long river runs through the Hidden Valley Natural Area and Rocks State Park in Eden Mill and Harford County until it empties into the Susquehanna River. Deer Creek is home to rainbow trout, brown trout, and smallmouth bass. If you want to extend your stay and fill the creel, there are numerous camping opportunities nearby. McHenry is just seven miles away. 

Where to Fish in Maryland

Ocean City is one of the top destinations for fishing Maryland. While water covers the most significant part of the state, entry to the Atlantic Ocean is limited, and Ocean City is the Free State’s only entry. This city always has an essential and diverse fishing fleet. Ocean City is known for white marlin fishing, but the city’s fishing charters also provide a wide array of multiple fishing trips. From wading the shallows for flounders to the deep sea for tuna, billfish, and even sharks, the city offers numerous fishing opportunities to all types of anglers.

Annapolis is another fantastic destination you cannot miss during your fishing trip in Maryland. This historical town, also called The Sailing Capital of the World, is tucked in the beautiful waters of Chesapeake Bay. This city settles deep into the inlet, giving access to numerous inshore fishing opportunities. Here, you can land huge striped bass all year round. Apart from the stripers, tautog, speckled trout, redfish, mackerel, croakers, and bluefish can be found.

Camping and Fishing in Maryland

When preparing to go fishing and camping in Maryland, you need to take some supplies with you. Ensure you have the right fishing gear, including reels and rods, lures and baits, and hooks and sinkers. Also, carry a freezer or fridge that will accommodate your anticipated catch and a cooler with some ice to help you transport any fish you decide to take home. If you’re lacking a fishing license, visit any of Maryland’s license-free fishing spots or try fishing on one of the state’s free fishing days.

Although there are numerous camping sites in Maryland, always check the campsites online to know the number and the types of camps available. Also, make sure you check the maximum length of RVs permitted. Include warm clothing and insect repellent in your list of supplies whenever you go fishing in Maryland. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home onboard your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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