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Seasons, Minimum Sizes, Daily Creel & Possession Limits

Fishing Regulations Icon Maryland Fishing

The following tables summarize rules governing the harvest and possession of fish species that anglers commonly catch in Maryland. This is an abridged summary and does not include all regulated species. Full information and updates are available at www.dsd.state.md.us/COMAR/ComarHome.html

CHESAPEAKE BAY & ITS TIDAL TRIBUTARIES

Species

Minimum Size Limits

Season

Creel Limit

Remarks

American Eel 9 inches January 1 – August 31, except open year round for spears and baited traps or pots Daily—25
Bass (Largemouth & Smallmouth) 15 inches
March 1–June 15
Open Year Round Daily—5 in aggregate
12 inches
June 16 through last day in February
Black Drum 16 inches Open Year Round Daily—1

Boat Limit—6

Black Sea Bass 12.5 inches

CLOSED January 1 – May 14 and September 22 – October 21

Daily – 15
Bluefish 8 inches Open Year Round Daily—10
Catfish None Open Year Round None
Chain pickerel (Pike) 14 inches CLOSED March 15–April 30 Daily—10
Cobia None Open year round None
Croaker (Hardhead) 9 inches Open Year Round Daily—25
Northern Snakehead None Open Year Round None Illegal to transport live snakehead fish.
Red drum (Channel Bass or Puppy Drum) 18–27 inches Open Year Round Daily—1
Sharks See Highly Migratory Species Section
Spanish Mackerel 14 inches Open Year Round Daily—15 Must be landed with head and fins intact.
Spotted seatrout 14 inches Open Year Round Daily—4
Striped Bass See Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Section
Summer Flounder (Fluke) 17 inches Open Year Round Daily – 4
Walleye 15 inches Open Year Round Daily—5
Weakfish 13 inches Open Year Round Daily—1
White perch None if caught with hook & line; 8 inch minimum if caught with other gear Open Year Round None
Yellow perch 9 inches Open Year Round Daily—10
The taking of American shad, hickory shad, alewife herring, blueback herring, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon is prohibited.
Areas Closed to Fishing—February, March and April:
1. Magothy River from Lake Waterford dam downstream for 3,300 feet.
2. Severn River and Severn Run from the Route 3 Bridge downstream for 2,400 feet.

ATLANTIC OCEAN, COASTAL BAYS & TRIBUTARIES

Species

Minimum Size Limits

Season

Creel Limit

Remarks

American eel 9 inches January 1 – August 31, except open year round for spears and baited traps or pots Daily—25
Black Drum 16 inches Open Year Round Daily—1 Boat limit—6
Black sea bass 12.5 inches

CLOSED January 1 – May 14 and September 22 – October 21

Daily – 15
Bluefish 8 inches Open Year Round Daily—10
Cobia None Open Year Round None
Croaker (Hardhead) 9 inches Open Year Round Daily—25
Dolphinfish (Mahi-Mahi) None Open Year Round Daily—10 Boat limit—60 Only applies to federal waters.
Grouper species None Open Year Round Daily—1 Grouper species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=08.02.05.29.htm
Lobster
*Please see additional recreational lobster information below
33⁄8–5¼ inches
carapace length
Open Year Round
Except Feb. 1 – March 31
100/person/24 hour period or 500 for a 5-day or longer trip when using gear other than lobster traps Must be landed whole. Spearing is prohibited. No egg-bearing females. Refer to online regulations for details—www.eregulations.com/maryland/fishing/
Red drum (Channel Bass or Puppy Drum) 18–27 inches Open Year Round Daily—1
Scup (Porgy) 8 inches Open Year Round Daily—50
Sharks See Highly Migratory Species Section
Snapper species None Open Year Round Daily—20 in aggregate Snapper species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=08.02.05.29.htm
Spanish Mackerel 14 inches Open Year Round Daily—15
Spotted seatrout 14 inches Open Year Round Daily—4
Striped Bass See Atlantic Striped Bass Section 
Summer Flounder (Fluke) 17 inches Open Year Round Daily – 4
Tautog 16 inches Jan. 1-Nov. 26 Jan. 1–May 15 and Nov. 1–Nov. 26, Daily—4
May 16–Oct. 31, Daily—2
Tilefish species None Open Year Round Daily—7 in aggregate Tilefish species—www.dsd.state.md.us/comar/getfile.aspx?file=08.02.05.29.htm
Wahoo None Open Year Round Daily—2 Only applies to federal waters.
Weakfish 13 inches Open Year Round Daily—1
The taking of American shad, hickory shad, alewife herring, blueback herring, Atlantic sturgeon and shortnose sturgeon is prohibited.
*Gear: A lobster trap must have:

  • A minimum of one rectangular escape vent which must be a minimum of 2 inches by 5¾ inches; or
  • A minimum of two circular escape vents which must have a minimum diameter of 25⁄8 inches

It is unlawful to catch, land, possess, sell, offer to sell, or transport any:

  • Lobster that is egg-bearing or from which eggs have been intentionally removed;
  • Female lobster bearing a V-shaped notch which is:
    • A straight-sided triangular cut with or without setal hairs, at least 1/8 inch in depth and tapering to a sharp point
      in the flipper next to the right of the center flipper as viewed from the rear of the female lobster; or
    • Mutilated in a manner which could hide, obscure, or obliterate such a mark.

An individual who catches an egg bearing female lobster that measures 338 inches to 5¼ inches in length from the rear end of the eye socket along a line parallel to the center line of body shell (carapace) to the rear of the body shell (carapace) must:

  • Mark the lobster to the right of the center flipper as viewed from the rear of the female lobster when the underside
    of the lobster is down with a v-shaped notch that:

    • Is made by means of a sharp bladed instrument;
    • Is at least ¼ inch in length;
    • Is not greater than ½ inch in depth; and
    • Tapers to a sharp point; and

• Immediately release the lobster.