Maryland Fishing Spots: Our Top Picks

Apr 8, 2022 | 6 minute read Comments
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Reading Time: 6 minutes

More than a fifth of Maryland is made up entirely of water. Needless to say: both freshwater and saltwater fishing in Maryland is amazing! The Free State has an abundance of Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay, countless Trout streams, and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s hard to know where to start exploring all of these fishing opportunities.

A sailboat moored near some houses in Solomons Island, Maryland.

With that in mind, we decided to put together a guide that will introduce you to some of the best fishing spots Maryland has to offer. In this article, we’ll cover different types of fishing, from wild Trout streams to Rockfish fishing in the Chesapeake Bay. We won’t mention fishing piers, but if that’s what you’re looking for, you should check out this article.

Deep Creek Lake

With more than 60 miles of shoreline and 3,800 acres of fishing grounds, Deep Creek Lake is a popular destination for anglers from all over the state. Located in Garrett County, the lake is home to a number of species you can easily target.

Aerial view of the Deep Creek Lake, on of Maryland's best fishing spots

The most common species are Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Crappie, and Chain Pickerel, but that’s not where this list ends. You might also come across Northern Pike, Bullhead Catfish, Bluegill, Rock Bass, Yellow Perch, Rainbow and Brown Trout, and Pumpkinseed Sunfish.

Deep Creek Lake is a popular tourist destination, meaning there’s a lot of other activities for both kids and adults. The lake attracts a large number of anglers throughout the year.

angler holding a largemouth bass in water

In the winter, the lake becomes an ice fishing hotspot. It usually freezes in late December or early January and remains frozen until early spring. Yellow Perch and Walleye are the top catches this time of the year.

Centennial Lake

Centennial Lake is a man-made reservoir and park in Howard County, nestled between Ellicott City, Columbia, and Clarksville. Thanks to a well-developed network of paths around the entire reservoir, the lake is a great place for shore fishing. There’s also a boat launch for adventurous anglers and a fishing pier right next to it.

A view of the Centennial Lake in Maryland

The lake is stocked with a large number of Largemouth Bass and Rainbow Trout. You can also target Tiger Musky, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, and Pumpkinseed Sunfish. You should also know that the west end of the lake is a wildlife sanctuary, meaning you’re not allowed to fish beyond the buoys that mark the boundary.

Centennial Lake is a great destination for family city getaways. There are a number of pavilions that overlook the lake, and picnic areas, where you can spend a relaxing day. Black Bass season is closed from March 1 through June 15. So, if you want to catch Largemouths during this period, you’ll have to release them.

Ocean City

Even though Maryland is made up almost entirely of water, its access to the Atlantic Ocean is limited. Ocean City is the state’s only entrance to the ocean. This area has always had an important and diverse fishing fleet.

A view of the sunset over the ocean in Ocean City

The town is known for its White Marlin fishing, earning the nickname “The White Marlin Capital of the World.” It’s also home to the largest Billfish tournament in the world – the White Marlin Open.

Besides Marlin, Ocean City fishing charters offer a variety of different fishing trips. From exploring the shallows for Flounder to deep sea fishing outings for Billfish, Tuna, and even Sharks – the town offers so much that the hardest part of your fishing trip will be choosing only one option!

an angler holding an atlantic white marlin in the water

The fishing season in Ocean City lasts from spring to fall. Most charter operators spend their winters running charters down in Florida, or fishing commercially.

Liberty Reservoir 

Due west from Baltimore, Liberty Reservoir is another great fishing spot where you can escape the city’s hustle and bustle. This 3,100-acre lake is home to Walleye, Perch, and several different types of Bass, including the popular Striper. 

A view of the Liberty Reservoir in Maryland

Boating is strictly restricted to rowing, paddling, or battery-powered motors, making the lake a popular place for kayak and canoe enthusiasts. The lake has more than 80 miles of shoreline and numerous access points for fishing from the bank.

Liberty Reservoir is a great fishing spot, but that’s not all you can do here. The area is also open for hiking, bird watching, and nature photography. For those who enjoy camping, there are two nearby campgrounds.

Washington, DC

The nation’s capital is rarely mentioned for its fishing opportunities, and it’s time to change that! Even though the city is not part of the state proper, Maryland anglers often mention it as one of the best fishing spots around. 

Boats in harbour in Washington DC, one of Maryland's best fishing spots

Situated on the Potomac River, DC has some of the best urban angling in the nation. There are several good fishing spots around Washington, but if you’re looking to stay in the city, the river is a great choice. The Potomac is home to some of the best Largemouth Bass fishing in the country, and it’s also good for crabbing and shellfishing.

Depending on the spot you choose, you might come across Carp, Catfish, Walleye, Pike, and Muskies swimming around. If you’re interested in fishing the Potomac River, here’s a complete guide that will tell you everything you need to know.

Annapolis

Annapolis is heaven for inshore anglers! The historic town, also known as “The Sailing Capital of the World”, is nestled deep in the sheltered waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Annapolis is settled deep up into the Bay, so there aren’t many offshore fishing opportunities here. 

Boats in harbour in Annapolis with a view of town in the background

You can expect to find huge Striped Bass in these waters year-round. Besides the Stripers, there are lots of Tautog, Redfish, Speckled Trout, Mackerel, Bluefish, and Croakers.

Annapolis is also a great place to explore on foot. The town has a beautiful harbor, which is a great spot to enjoy a sunny day and relax after your fishing trip.

Gunpowder Falls

Even though the Chesapeake Bay is known for its iconic Striped Bass and inshore fishing opportunities, there is one more spot where you can experience amazing fishing. The tailwaters of Gunpowder Falls State Park are home to some of the best wild Trout fishing in the state.

Gunpowder River in Maryland, one of the best fishing spots in Maryland

The park is located north of Baltimore City, and it’s less than an hour away by car. It’s a great place to unwind after a stressful week at work.

Although, if you’re seeking a place where you can catch your daily limit and go home to prepare your catch, Gunpowder Falls may not be the place for you. This is a place for the adventurous fly fishing angler.

The strict regulations require fishermen to release all fish they catch and only use artificial flies and lures. 

Maryland Fishing Spots: There’s Always More!

These are some of our favorite fishing spots in Maryland, but there are many more out there. Every spot has something unique to offer, from amazing inshore action to some of the best White Marlin fishing on the East Coast. So what are you waiting for? Grab your rod or find a charter near you and get out there!

What’s your favorite place to go fishing in Maryland? Do you feel like your favorite spot should have made the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Comments (10)
  • Scott Harrison

    Dec 22, 2021

    I love the creek lake is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been with my father and now my father’s passing God he would to heaven to be with his Lord and I miss my dad. He used to catch big walleyes up there they were so beautiful white tails and then all the jumbo perch oh they were so good eating up there good food best place ever been. And God bless you all

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      Katie Higgins

      Dec 23, 2021

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for sharing your story with us. What beautiful memories you have with you dad 🙂 I’m glad that our post played a part in helping you remember such happy times!

      Tight lines,

      Katie

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  • Stanton Rega

    Jul 21, 2021

    I like your blog. Its one of the best blogs online

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      Katie

      Jul 22, 2021

      Hi Stanton,

      Thanks for the compliment! We’re really glad you’re enjoying the blog. Keep reading and letting us know your thoughts!

      Tight lines,

      Katie

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  • Pat Carson

    Feb 28, 2021

    Wow. Certainly did not see anything about the wonderful fishing on the Chesapeake Bay.
    I’ve caught red drum, black drum, rock, corker, spot, eel, yellow fin trout, speckled trout, white perch, black perch, cobia, blue catfish, mackerel, bluefish, shark, rays, skates,
    puffer fish and a few others all within five miles of my home in lower Somerset Co.

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      Aleksandra

      Mar 1, 2021

      Hi Pat, thanks for your comment!

      Certainly, Chesapeake has some amazing fishing spots, and we’re planning to cover all of them in another article.

      In the meantime, you can have a look at some other pieces about fishing in Maryland: fishing piers and Potomac River fishing.

      Tight lines!

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  • Reg

    Feb 21, 2021

    At liberty boating is also strictly limited by permit only. Loch raven is the same but has boat rentals.

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  • Scott Verdin

    Jan 24, 2021

    With nearly 50 years on the Chesapeake I’ve only heard on one occasion Tautog being caught in th mid Chesapeake region that encompasses Annapolis. The other species you mentioned are abundant at certain times of the fishing season in the mid Chesapeake. We also offer excellent White Perch and Norfolk Spot fishing.

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  • Leigh

    Jan 21, 2021

    You might want to proof read the second paragraph where you identify state entry to Atlantic as “country” entry to Atlantic…high school English teacher…cannot help it.

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      Aleksandra

      Jan 21, 2021

      Hi Leigh,

      Whoops, my bad! Thanks for pointing it out, I’ve updated the article with your suggestion. 🙂

      Have a great day!

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