Unlock the Excitement: Maryland Fishing Season Start Dates Revealed!

When does fishing season start in Maryland?

A Guide to Fishing Seasons and Regulations

Fishing enthusiasts in Maryland eagerly await the arrival of fishing season each year. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner looking to cast your first line, understanding when fishing season starts in Maryland is essential for planning your outdoor adventures. In this guide, we will explore the different fishing seasons and regulations as set by the state authorities.

Understanding Fishing Season Dates

As an angler, it’s important to know that fishing seasons can vary depending on the species you want to target. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sets specific dates for various fish types throughout the year. Let’s take a closer look at some popular fish species and their respective seasons:

Bass Season:

– Largemouth Bass: The bass season typically begins on June 15th and continues until March 15th of the following year.

– Smallmouth Bass: For smallmouth bass enthusiasts, the open season runs from June 15th through December 31st.

Trophy Rockfish Season:

The trophy rockfish season is eagerly anticipated by many anglers across Maryland. It usually opens on May 1st and lasts until May 15th annually. This short but thrilling period allows avid fishermen to try their luck at catching large rockfish before they migrate further north.

Catch-and-Release Striped Bass Season:

If striped bass (also known as stripers) is your preferred catch, you’ll be glad to know that there are opportunities for catch-and-release throughout other times of the year outside of trophy rockfish season.

Fishing Regulations You Should Know

Along with understanding fishing seasons, it’s crucial to be familiar with Maryland’s fishing regulations. These rules are in place to ensure sustainable practices and protect the state’s aquatic resources. Here are some key regulations every angler should keep in mind:

Licensing Requirements:

Prior to casting your line, make sure you possess a valid Maryland Fishing License. There are specific licenses for residents and non-residents which can be obtained online through the DNR website or at authorized licensing agents throughout the state.

Catch Limits:

The catch limits for different fish species vary depending on their population status and conservation efforts. It is essential to review the official DNR guidelines before heading out on your fishing trips.

Tackle Regulations:

Using appropriate tackle that complies with Maryland fishing regulations helps maintain healthy fish populations while ensuring an enjoyable experience for all anglers. Familiarize yourself with any gear restrictions or size limitations outlined by the DNR.

Planning Your Fishing Adventures

Now that you have a good grasp of when fishing season starts in Maryland as well as important regulations, it’s time to plan your future fishing adventures! Whether you prefer freshwater or saltwater angling experiences, Maryland offers a diverse range of scenic spots where you can cast your line.

Fishing Hotspots:

Maryland boasts numerous prime locations for recreational fishing across its rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. Some popular spots include Chesapeake Bay, Deep Creek Lake, Gunpowder Falls State Park (Little Gunpowder River), Assateague Island National Seashore, among many others.

Fishing Charters and Guides:

If you’re new to the area or want expert advice during your outing, consider hiring a fishing charter or guide. These professionals have extensive knowledge of local waters and can enhance your fishing experience by providing valuable tips and ensuring you make the most of your time on the water.


As an angler in Maryland, knowing when fishing season starts is crucial for planning successful trips while adhering to important regulations. By understanding specific season dates, catch limits, tackle regulations, and obtaining the necessary licenses, you can enjoy a memorable fishing experience in Maryland’s abundant waters. So gather your gear, study up on regulations, and get ready to cast your line into some of the finest fishing spots that this beautiful state has to offer!