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Maryland Fishing Challenge

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing


Recreational fishing offers opportunities for families and individuals to spend quality time together, enjoying the wonderful natural resources which Maryland has to offer.

The Maryland Fishing Challenge is a free, year-round fishing program, which showcases Maryland’s affordable, accessible, diverse, and high quality fishing opportunities.


The Maryland Fishing Challenge has three components:

  • Angler Award, including the Catch and Release AwardAny angler fishing legally in Maryland may catch and record an award-winning fish by landing any of more than 60 eligible species in three categories above a certain minimum size. If you catch a fish that meets or exceeds the official award size, simply submit your catch to an official award center to receive your registration ticket and instructions on how to complete the required online registration process. You will receive your award certificate within 45 days.Catch and Release anglers may participate by bringing a clear photograph of their fish to an award center. Lay the fish on a tape measure to photograph so that the species and size can be verified. Submit your photo at an official award center to receive your entry ticket.
  • Invasive Species Award—Recognizes anglers for reporting their harvest of certain eligible invasive fish species. “Invasive” describes a species that, when introduced into an ecosystem, aggressively establishes itself and has the potential to negatively impact native plants, animals, or habitat. Currently there are three invasive fish species which naturally reproduce or migrate into Maryland waters and are eligible only for Invasive Species Awards: blue catfish, northern snakehead, and flathead catfish. Fish must be kept to qualify.
  • Maryland Youth Fishing Club—Members of the Maryland Youth Fishing Club who submit their fishing reports to the Youth Angler’s Log will be entered into a random drawing for prizes. Winner’s names will be posted on line. Visit the Maryland Youth Fishing Club web site for additional information on how to become a member.

Governor’s Striped Bass Conservation Award

In addition to the Angler Awards, those who catch and release an award sized striped bass during the open season will be recognized with a Governor’s Striped Bass Conservation Award at the end of the fishing season. The award recognizes any recreational angler who releases alive a striped bass catch of 40” or more while fishing Maryland waters during the open season.

For complete Maryland Fishing Challenge rules and online registration go to—

Angler Award Minimum Sizes


Bluegill 11 inches
Brook Trout 12 inches
Brown Trout 21 inches
Bullhead Catfish 15 inches
Carp 36 inches
Chain Pickerel 24 inches
Channel Catfish 30 inches
Crappie 15 inches
Cutthroat Trout 20 inches
Largemouth Bass 21 inches
Muskellunge 40 inches
Northern Pike 38 inches
Rainbow Trout 20 inches
Redbreast Sunfish 8 inches
Redear Sunfish 11 inches
Rock Bass 10 inches
Smallmouth Bass 20 inches
Striped Bass 36 inches
Tiger Muskie 40 inches
Walleye 26 inches
White Catfish 20 inches
White Perch 13 inches
Yellow Perch 14 inches


Black Drum 48 inches
Blue Crab 8 inches
Bluefish 34 inches
Carp 30 inches
Chain Pickerel 24 inches
Channel Catfish 30 inches
Cobia 44 inches
Crappie 15 inches
Croaker (Hardhead) 18 inches
Gar 36 inches
Largemouth Bass 21 inches
Northern Whiting (Kingfish) 14 inches
Red Drum* (Puppy Drum, Channel Bass, Redfish) 36 inches
Rock Bass 10 inches
Shad, American* 24 inches
Shad, Hickory* 18 inches
Sheepshead 24 inches
Smallmouth Bass 20 inches
Spanish Mackerel 22 inches
Spot 12 inches
Spotted Seatrout 24 inches
Striped Bass 40 inches
Summer Flounder 24 inches
Tautog 24 inches
Walleye 26 inches
Weakfish 24 inches
White Catfish 20 inches
White Perch 13 inches
Yellow Perch 14 inches

Invasive Species Division

Blue Catfish** 40 inches
Flathead Catfish** 34 inches
Northern Snakehead** 30 inches


Amberjack1 45 inches
Atlantic Cod 36 inches
Atlantic Spadefish 24 inches
Black Drum 48 inches
Black Sea Bass 20 inches
Bluefish 34 inches
Blueline Tilefish 25 inches
Blue Marlin* any size
Cobia1 44 inches
Croaker (Hardhead) 18 inches
Dolphin Fish (Mahi-Mahi)1 45 inches
False Albacore1 24 inches
Golden Tilefish 35 inches
Grey Triggerfish 18 inches
King Mackerel1 40 inches
Northern Whiting (Kingfish) 14 inches
Red Drum* (Puppy Drum, Channel Bass, Redfish) 36 inches
Sailfish* any size
Shad, American* 24 inches
Shad, Hickory* 18 inches
Shark, Blue* any size
Shark, Hammerhead* any size
Shark, Mako1 54 inches
Shark, Sand Tiger* any size
Shark, Thresher1 54 inches
Shark, Tiger* any size
Sheepshead 20 inches
Snowy Grouper 31 inches
Spanish Mackerel 22 inches
Spot 12 inches
Spotted Seatrout 24 inches
Striped Bass 40 inches
Summer Flounder 24 inches
Swordfish2 47 inches
Tautog 24 inches
Tuna, Albacore (Longfin)3 36 inches
Tuna, Bigeye3 60 inches
Tuna, Blackfin3 30 inches
Tuna, Bluefin3 55 inches
Tuna, Yellowfin3 50 inches
Wahoo1 60 inches
Weakfish 24 inches
White Marlin* any size
Winter Flounder 17 inches

Angler Award Centers

Bassin Box, Lavale
Orleans Grocery, Little Orleans
All Tackle, Annapolis
Angler’s Sport Center, Annapolis
Bass Pro Shops, Hanover
Cobe Sport & Marine Center, Pasadena
Fishbone’s Bait & Tackle, Inc.,Pasadena
Marty’s Sporting Goods, Edgewater
Tri-State Marine, Deale
Bluefin’s Bait & Tackle, Dundalk
Bowley’s Bait & Tackle, Baltimore
Clark’s Sports Shop, Baltimore
Clyde’s Sport Shop, Baltimore
Fearls Bait and Tackle, Baltimore
Set’s Sport Shop, Towson
Tochterman’s, Baltimore
Trophy Bait & Tackle, Baltimore
Bay Pro Shop, Dunkirk
Breezy Point, Chesapeake Beach
Bunky’s Charter Boats, Solomons
Rod n’ Reel Dock, Chesapeake Beach
Tyler’s Tackle Shop, Chesapeake Beach
Tiki Bar, Solomons
Tuckahoe Sportsman, Denton
Piney Run Park, Sykesville
Herb’s Tackle Shop, North East
Sarge’s Market, Elkton
Shymansky’s Marina, Cobb Island
Taylor’s Island Campground, Taylor’s Island
Taylor’s Island Campground @ Slaughter Creek,
Taylor’s Island
Fox’s Sport and Bait Shop, Frederick
Bill’s Outdoor Center, Deep Creek Lake
Deep Creek Outfitters, Deep Creek Lake
Millington Hardware, Millington
Village Hardware and Garden Center, Rock Hall
WSSC Watershed Police, Brookeville
Chesapeake Outdoors, Chester
Dave’s RV, Crisfield
L.E.Hitch & Sons, Eden
Kellum’s Seafood, Ridge
The Tackle Box, Lexington Park
Bob’s Sunoco, That Fishing Place, Calloway
Harrison’s Chesapeake House, Tilghman
Shore Sportsman, Easton
Battleview Market, Sharpsburg
Dugan’s Sporting Goods, Hancock
Williamsport Hardware & Tackle Shop, Williamsport
All Tackle, Ocean City
Assateague Market, Berlin
Atlantic Tackle, Ocean City
Bahia Marina, Ocean City
Buck’s Place, Berlin
Ocean City Fishing Center, Ocean City
Ocean City Fishing Pier, Ocean City
Ocean Pines Provisions, Ocean Pines
Oceanic Pier, Ocean City
Sea Hawk Sport Center, Pocomoke City
Talbot Street Bait& Tackle, Ocean City
Sunset Marina, Ocean City
White Marlin Marina, Ocean City
Eastern Marine, Newark
R.W.’s Sport Shop, Callao
Smith Point Marina, Reedville