Included in Your Online Relocation Package for Anne Arundel County, Maryland - Home of Fort George G. Meade, NSA, Northrop Grumman, BWI, and the U.S. Naval Academy.
When you relocate to Maryland, you'll find water, water, water everywhere!
In fact, there are 4,360 miles of tidal shoreline within the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. 2,633 square miles of Maryland are covered by water (of 12,407 total square miles in Maryland). But you can't just grab a fishing pole and head for the shoreline! A license is required to go fishing in Maryland, with only a few exceptions.
1. License Free Fishing Areas - There are License Free Fishing Areas located throughout the tidal portions of the Chesapeake Bay, but you must comply with State fishing laws and regulations.
2. Free Fishing Day - The first two Saturdays in June and July 4. During a free fishing day, you may catch and possess fish in the tidal and non-tidal waters of Maryland for recreational purposes without a license or fishing stamp normally required by the State, but you must follow all fishing laws and regulations.
No fishing license is required for anglers under 16 years of age. residents and non-residents who are blind, and disabled American veterans or former prisoners of war.
But most folks can't just go fishing, crabbing or boating in Maryland waters without a license. More information, including fees and exceptions, is available from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, but here is a summary of licenses you might need, before you can enjoy Maryland waters for anything more than the view:
NON-TIDAL FRESH WATER FISHING LICENSES:
Annual Non-Tidal License - Allows licensee to fish in the fresh waters of Maryland from January 1 through December 31.
3-day Non-tidal License (available to nonresidents only) - Allows licensee to fish the fresh waters of Maryland for 3 consecutive fishing days
5-day Non-tidal License - Allows licensee to fish the fresh waters of Maryland for 5 consecutive fishing days.
Trout Stamp - Allows anyone 16 years of age or older to fish in any special catch and return trout management area and to possess trout taken from non-tidal waters of Maryland. (This stamp is not required if you hold a Resident Senior Consolidated License.)
TIDAL / BAY SPORT FISHING LICENSES:
Annual License - Allows licensee to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from January 1 through December 31.
- 5-Day Bay Sport License - Allows licensee to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries for 5 consecutive days.
- Consolidated Bay Sport Boat License- Allows everyone on board a vessel used for recreational fishing in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in lieu of individual licenses. A special complimentary Chesapeake Bay sport fishing license, which includes recreational crabbing, will be issued to the boat owner purchasing this license.
- Bay Sport Charter Boat License - Allows individuals on board chartered vessels operated by MD licensed fishing guides to fish in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in lieu of individual licenses. These licenses are issued only to holders of Maryland Commercial Fishing Guide Licenses.
RESIDENT SENIOR CONSOLIDATED LICENSE:
- Maryland residents over 65 - Allows a Maryland resident to fish in the fresh waters of Maryland (including trout) and in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from January 1 through December 31. No trout stamp is required.
Crab season: April 1 to December 15
A recreational crabber may crab without a license 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week from docks, piers, bridges, boats and shorelines using dip nets and any number of handlines. A property owner may set a maximum of 2 crab pots per privately owned pier at their property.
Recreational Crabbing License- Required of persons catching crabs for recreational purposes in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries using (a) trotline not to exceed 1,200 feet in length (baited portion), (b) 11 to 30 collapsible traps or rings, or (c) up to 10 eel pots for catching the individual's own bait.
Recreational Crabbing Boat License - Allows everyone on board a vessel to catch crabs for recreational purposes anywhere in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, and is in lieu of individual licenses.
By the way, EATING crabs is a favorite pastime in Maryland, too, and it does not require a license. A little guidance the first time, and perhaps some practice... There's nothing like the Maryland Blue Crab. That's why they say "Maryland is for Crabs".
Your boat must be registered in Maryland if it is equipped with any kind of primary or auxiliary mechanical propulsion and used primarily in Maryland during a calendar year.
To learn more details about the requirements you must satisfy to use your boat in Maryland waters, even if you purchased and registered it in another jurisdiction, visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Boating Registration website.
I probably take all this water for granted, as a native of the area. But I know it is one of the special things about Maryland that people from other areas of the country really appreciate.
Anne Arundel County is literally on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, and many communities are located on the Bay or its tributaries. We are just about 2 hours to the Atlantic Ocean - close enough for your family vacation or even a day trip.
In fact, just last month I spent a weekend "with the girls" in Ocean City, where I enjoyed the off-season rates for an ocean front room. On my way home to Crofton, I stopped for a quick visit with my brother at a house he purchased to rent out during the beach season and enjoy as a getaway for off-season weekends. If you've never lived on the East Coast, visiting the Ocean should be on your short list of things to do - and investing in vacation property is something you might consider.
Fishing, crabbing, boating and water-oriented recreation are very much a part of living in Maryland.
Want to live on or near the water? There are many communities right here in Anne Arundel County, a half hour or less from Ft. Meade, Northrop Grumman, BWI and the U.S. Naval Academy. While waterfront homes can be fairly pricey, a home across the street or a block away will be much more affordable and probably have access to the community's private beach, marina, fishing pier or boat ramp. If that interests you, be sure to click on advanced search when you use the Fnd a Home feature on my website. Then follow the instructions to receive automatic updates any time a water-access or waterfront home comes on the market that matches your search criteria.
To go fishing is the chance to wash one's soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men - for all men are equal before fish. Herbert Hoover
Index of Maps - including dividing lines for regulations and access information.