Saltwater Fishing Regulations in Maryland: Recreational Gear Use in Tidal Waters

Bait Traps

  • Identification: Must display the user's name and address or DNRid number.
  • Maintenance: Required daily checks.
  • Placement: Within 100 feet of the shore; must be attached to property or marked by a buoy if on public land, and with landowner's permission if on private property.
  • Limitation: Only one trap per individual.

Hook and Line, Rod and Reel, and Handlines

  • Control: Must be actively managed by the individual.
  • Restrictions: Snagging prohibited; no more than two hook units per line.
  • Circle Hooks: Mandatory use of non-offset circle hooks or J hooks with certain baits and for striped bass fishing.

Jugs

  • Usage Area: Tidal tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Season: July 1–February 29.
  • Monitoring: Must be attended from sunset to sunrise.
  • Limitations: Up to 10 jugs with specific marking and hook restrictions.

Nets

  • Baiting: Prohibited.
  • Restrictions: Usage may be restricted in certain areas and times.
  • Cast Nets: Radius limit of 10 feet.
  • Seines: Specific size and mesh restrictions; targeted for minnows and baitfish only.
  • Landing Nets: For landing fish caught by other means.

Bow, Gig, Spear, and Spear Gun

  • Safety: Retrieval line required; gigs must be hand-propelled.
  • Distance Restrictions: Not to be used near people, swimming areas, or occupied vessels without permission.
  • Species Restrictions: Prohibited for fishing certain species.

Hand and Noodling

  • Regulations: No special rules.

Tidal Sport Fishing: Legal and Illegal Practices

  • Legal: Keeping any size white perch on hook and line; specific regulations on umbrella rigs and catch and release of certain species.
  • Illegal: Possession of cut or filleted striped bass; possession of over 15 pounds of regulated fish in indeterminable condition; use of Sabiki rigs or mackerel trees; operation near Conowingo Dam; special local ordinances may apply.

Statewide Restrictions

  • Trade: Prohibited to trade fish or crabs caught recreationally.
  • Gear: Restrictions on waders and boots.
  • Environmental Protection: Regulations against disturbing wildlife nests or using certain species as bait.

Note: Regulations are subject to change. Always check the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for the latest updates and detailed regulations.

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The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.