Best Shore Fishing in Maryland

Seagull flying on the shores of Maryland's coast
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Maryland, with its vast stretches of shoreline and abundant waterways, offers some of the most scenic and productive shore fishing experiences on the East Coast. The lure of casting a line from the state’s diverse range of coastal and inland shorelines appeals to both novice and experienced anglers. You have the chance to reel in a variety of species, from Striped Bass in the Chesapeake Bay to Trout in its many freshwater streams. The state’s unique position provides a mix of freshwater, brackish, and saltwater fishing environments, ensuring a rich and versatile fishing adventure. When it comes to shore fishing in Maryland, options abound. You can find yourself on the edge of Ocean City’s beaches, casting your line off a bustling fishing pier amidst the excitement of one of America’s favorite beach resorts. Alternatively, you might prefer the tranquility of fly fishing along the scenic shores of Gunpowder Falls or joining other enthusiasts at Thomas Point Park in Annapolis. Each location has its own set of characteristics and potential catches, making shore fishing in Maryland an activity that never grows old.



Sandy Point State Park

Maryland’s Sandy Point State Park offers diverse shore fishing opportunities on the expanses of Chesapeake Bay. Utilizing the park’s 1100 East College Parkway address, you can plan a visit that combines fishing with picturesque views and family-friendly amenities.

When targeting Striped Bass from the park’s sandy shoreline, be mindful that Maryland law mandates the use of non-offset circle hooks to protect the species. Your hook sizes should range between 5/0 to 8/0 to increase your chances of a successful catch.

Fishing Hours & Access:

  • General Park Hours: 7 a.m. to sunset year-round, excluding Christmas Day.
  • Special Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mid-November – January 2 (due to the Lights on the Bay program).
  • Fishing Access: Available 24 hours a year for those actively engaged in fishing.

The park offers facilities for both shore and boat fishing. With a boat launch, you can venture beyond the shore to seek out Striped Bass or cast your line from the stone pier for potentially deeper water fish.

You can explore the sandy shores or the pier for a varied experience. If you’re inclined to fish for species like Bluefish, Spot, Croaker, and Perch, these can also be found in the park’s waters, particularly around the spring and fall migrations.

Point Lookout State Park

At Point Lookout State Park, you’ll discover one of Maryland’s premiere shore fishing destinations. Located at the southern tip of Maryland’s western shore, the park sits where the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River merge, providing a unique variety of fishing experiences in a picturesque setting.

Fishing Opportunities:

  • Surf Fishing: Engage with the waves and expect to catch species such as striped bass, red drum, and bluefish.
  • Bay Fishing: Cast your line into the calmer bay waters for a chance to reel in flounder, croaker, and spotted seatrout.
  • Freshwater Fishing: On offer in the park’s waterways are largemouth bass and catfish.

Facilities at Point Lookout:

  • Fishing Pier: The well-maintained pier is open from 7:00 a.m. to sunset on weekdays and 6:00 a.m. to sunset on weekends from May to September, adjusting to 8:00 a.m. to sunset in October through April.
  • Boat Rental: Available if you’re looking to explore fishing spots that are not accessible from the shore.
  • Bait and Tackle Shop: Ensure you have all the necessary supplies for a full day of fishing.

Choptank River Fishing Pier

When you visit the Choptank River Fishing Pier, you’re at a prime location for angling in Maryland. As part of a state park named in honor of Bill Burton, a respected outdoor reporter and fisherman, this site boasts accessibility and a rich fishing tradition. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the pier ensures you can cast your line any time, be it during the quiet pre-dawn hours or under the serenity of starlight.

Location and Accessibility:

  • Iconic spot near Cambridge, Maryland
  • Lighted for night fishing
  • Open year-round

What to Expect:

  • Large variety of fish, including seasonal species
  • Ideal for anglers without a boat
  • Can get crowded, so consider visiting on weekdays or off-peak hours

Facilities:

  • Portable toilets available
  • Nearby tackle shops offer bait like bloodworms, grass shrimp, peeler crab, and soft crabs

The amenity of lighted piers ensures your safety and extends your fishing into the night, allowing for more flexibility. With its combination of history, convenience, and solid fishing opportunities, the Choptank River Fishing Pier is a must-visit spot for both casual and serious anglers alike.

North Beach Fishing Pier

When you’re looking for a serene shore fishing experience, the North Beach Fishing Pier in North Beach, Maryland, is a notable spot. This charming pier, located at 9023 Bay Avenue, grants you easy access to the prolific waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Fishing Hours and Fees:

  • Opening hours: Enjoy fishing from sunrise to sunset.
  • Fees: Expect to pay $9.00 for your first pole, and if you have a second, it’s an additional $5.00.

Remember to stop by the Welcome Center to pay any beach and fishing fees. If there’s a Movie on the Beach event, fishing ends at 7:00 pm.

Regulations:

  • A fishing license is required, ensure you have one before casting your line.

Amenities:

  • Restrooms and public showers are conveniently situated behind the Welcome Center.
  • For any inquiries, you can reach out to the pier management during regular business hours at (410) 257-9618.

Take this opportunity to immerse yourself in the peaceful ambience of North Beach while angling for various species including catfish, bass, bluefish, and perch. Whether you’re here for the catch or to simply relish the coastal environment, North Beach Fishing Pier offers an uncomplicated yet fulfilling fishing experience.

Cobb Island Pier

While exploring the shore fishing spots in Maryland, you cannot miss the opportunity to cast your line off the Cobb Island Pier. Nestled near Cobb Island, Maryland, this locale provides an accessible and picturesque setting for both novice and experienced anglers alike.

When planning your visit, take into account the following:

  • Location: Cobb Island is easily found using a map or GPS, with the pier being a prominent feature for fishing enthusiasts.
  • Species: You might encounter a variety of fish including striped bass, flounder, and bluefish, depending on the season.
  • Tackle: Opt for versatile gear, suitable for different fish types. Live bait and lures are both effective here.

Your fishing experience at Cobb Island Pier can be influenced by the tide and weather conditions, so check local forecasts and tide charts before heading out.

Amenities at or near the pier include:

  • Parking availability
  • Nearby bait and tackle shops

Kent Island Narrows Fishing Pier

Kent Island Narrows, an integral part of the Chesapeake Bay experience, offers you a premier fishing location. Situated near Grasonville, Maryland, this pier is known for its accessibility and quality fishing opportunities. No matter your fishing experience, the Kent Island Narrows Fishing Pier extends an invitation to cast your line into its abundant waters.

Species:
You can expect to catch various fish, including:

  • Rockfish (Striped Bass)
  • White Perch
  • Possibly seasonal catches

Facilities:
The pier boasts several amenities to ensure a comfortable fishing experience:

  • Lights for night fishing
  • Fish cleaning stations
  • Benches for seating

Know Before You Go:

  • Check local tide charts for optimal fishing times.
  • Be prepared for possible snags due to the aquatic structure.
  • Maryland fishing license requirements apply.

While there, enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding waterways. Remember to respect the well-maintained environment to preserve it for future anglers. Happy fishing at Kent Island Narrows Fishing Pier!

Greenbrier State Park

When seeking prime locations for shore fishing in Maryland, Greenbrier State Park is a noteworthy destination. Lined by a picturesque lake, it provides you with a serene and accessible spot for casting your line.

Location Highlights:

  • Family-Friendly: Enjoy a camping trip that includes a tranquil fishing experience suitable for all ages.
  • Diverse Species: Target species such as bluegill and bass, which are plentiful in the lake.

Fishing Tips:

  • For bluegill, small crankbaits and twistertails are effective; these can be purchased at local tackle shops.
  • To increase your chances of catching bass, use jerk baits, plastic worms or swimbaits.

Park Entry:

  • Admission Fee: Yes, check the latest prices as they may change.
  • Park Pass: Valid physical pass required for entry.

Amenities and Activities:

  • In addition to fishing, you can indulge in swimming, canoeing, and hiking.
  • The park intersects with the Appalachian Trail for those interested in a scenic walk.

Remember to verify the latest park regulations and seasonal fishing guidelines before your visit to ensure a successful and worry-free fishing experience.

Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park

When seeking a serene fishing experience, the Bill Burton Fishing Pier State Park is your go-to destination in Maryland. This park, split between Talbot County and Dorchester County, offers you a unique opportunity to fish from former roadways that now serve as fishing piers, extending out into the Choptank River.

On the Talbot County side:

  • You have access to 1 mile of trails for walking or biking.
  • A 1-mile fishing pier is available, allowing you to cast lines into the river without the use of a boat.

The Dorchester County side features:

  • A shorter pier, at ½ mile in length, still providing ample space for a successful day of fishing.

Here’s a quick reference for your visit:

FeatureSpecification
Opening HoursSunrise to Sunset
CostFree
Trail Length1 mile (Talbot side)
Pier Length1 mile (Talbot), ½ mile (Dorchester)

The park was named in honor of Bill Burton, a local reporter and passionate angler whose efforts helped convert the old Choptank River Bridge into the piers you see today. Whether you’re looking to reel in striped bass, croaker, or bluefish, your experience at the Bill Burton Fishing Pier is sure to be both pleasurable and rewarding. Remember to check the specific hours for pier access before your visit, as they can vary.

Susquehanna State Park

When you visit Susquehanna State Park in Harford County, Maryland, you’re greeted with direct access to the Susquehanna River—a prime location for shore fishing. The park offers an array of species you can catch:

During the early spring, the park becomes a hotspot for the shad and herring runs, an event that attracts anglers looking to capitalize on this migration.

Remember, the park is open from sunrise to sunset, but for fishing, there are certain allowances made outside these hours:

  • Boat launch: Permitted for fishing
  • Hunting: In designated areas and times you’re allowed to hunt, if you are also interested in such activities

Fishing Tips:

  • Optimal fishing times are at dawn and dusk when the fish are most active.
  • Use local bait and tackle shops to get insight into the most effective lures and bait for the current conditions.

Lastly, before you set out to fish, always check the latest fishing reports from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for any updates on conditions or restrictions. This will ensure your fishing trip is both enjoyable and compliant with local regulations.

Assateague Island National Seashore

At Assateague Island National Seashore, you have the unique opportunity to enjoy surf fishing in a pristine coastal environment. This barrier island, spanning Maryland and Virginia, is famous for its wild horses, but it’s also a haven for anglers seeking a tranquil fishing experience.

Suitable Fishing Seasons

  • Spring: Target species like kingfish and flounder.
  • Summer: Ideal for catching bluefish and various types of drum.
  • Fall: Known for striped bass runs.

What You Can Catch

  • Striped Bass
  • Kingfish
  • Flounder
  • Bluefish
  • Drum

Remember, you need a valid fishing license to fish here, and you should familiarize yourself with local fishing regulations to ensure sustainability and conservation of the island’s natural resources.

Basic Tips for Success:

  • Check tide charts for high activity periods.
  • Use appropriate bait for targeted species (bloodworms for kingfish, cut bait for bluefish).
  • Be aware of weather conditions; some fish prefer overcast or windy days.

Equipment and Bait

  • A sturdy surf rod, between 9 to 12 feet.
  • A high-capacity spinning or conventional reel.
  • Bait varies by target species; commonly used are bloodworms, cut bait, and artificial lures.

Assateague’s inlets and back bays also offer excellent opportunities for quieter, inshore fishing where flounder can be abundantly caught. Whether you’re casting from the beach or exploring the shallower waters, Assateague Island National Seashore presents a fishing experience that is both rewarding and serene.

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