Maryland’s 2024 Free Fishing Days: Dates, Locations, and Tips

Attention all fishing enthusiasts in Maryland! Get ready to mark your calendars for the 2024 Free Fishing Days. During these special days, you can enjoy the thrill of fishing without needing a fishing license. It’s the perfect opportunity to introduce your friends and family to the joys of angling or to simply enjoy the state’s beautiful waterways. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of Maryland’s 2024 Free Fishing Days.

When are Maryland’s Free Fishing Days in 2024?

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has announced the dates for the 2024 Free Fishing Days:

  • Saturday, June 1, 2024
  • Saturday, June 8, 2024
  • Thursday, July 4, 2024 (Independence Day)

On these days, anyone can fish in Maryland’s waters without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. It’s a fantastic opportunity for both residents and visitors to experience the state’s incredible fishing opportunities.

Where to Fish on Free Fishing Days

Maryland offers a wide range of fishing spots for anglers of all skill levels. Here are some of the top locations to consider during the 2024 Free Fishing Days:

Chesapeake Bay

The Chesapeake Bay is a premier fishing destination, known for its diverse array of fish species. During the Free Fishing Days, you can try your luck at catching:

  • Striped bass (rockfish)
  • Bluefish
  • White perch
  • And more

Some popular fishing spots along the Bay include:

  • Sandy Point State Park
  • Point Lookout State Park
  • Matapeake Fishing Pier

Deep Creek Lake

Located in Western Maryland, Deep Creek Lake is a favorite among anglers looking for freshwater fishing opportunities. The lake is home to a variety of fish, including:

  • Largemouth bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Yellow perch
  • Trout

During the Free Fishing Days, you can access the lake from several public boat launches and fishing piers.

License-Free Fishing Areas

In addition to the Free Fishing Days, Maryland also offers several license-free fishing areas that are accessible year-round. These areas are perfect for those who want to try fishing without committing to purchasing a license. Some popular license-free fishing areas include:

  • Cunningham Falls State Park (Hunting Creek Lake)
  • Fort Frederick State Park (Big Pool)
  • Patapsco Valley State Park (Avalon Area)

Regulations and Tips for Free Fishing Days

While you don’t need a fishing license during the Free Fishing Days, it’s essential to remember that all other fishing regulations still apply. This includes:

  • Size limits
  • Catch limits
  • Gear restrictions

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations for the body of water you plan to fish. You can find detailed information on the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website or in their annual Fishing Guide.

Here are some additional tips to help you make the most of your Free Fishing Day experience:

  1. Check the weather forecast: Before heading out, check the weather conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable fishing trip.
  2. Arrive early: Popular fishing spots can get crowded, especially on Free Fishing Days. Arrive early to secure a good spot and avoid the crowds.
  3. Bring the right gear: Make sure you have the appropriate fishing gear for the type of fish you’re targeting. If you’re new to fishing, consider borrowing gear from a friend or renting from a local tackle shop.
  4. Practice catch and release: While it’s exciting to bring home a catch, consider practicing catch and release to help preserve fish populations for future generations.
  5. Bring a fishing buddy: Fishing is always more fun with friends or family. Invite someone to join you on your Free Fishing Day adventure.

Get Your Maryland Fishing License

If you enjoy your Free Fishing Day experience and want to continue fishing throughout the year, be sure to obtain a Maryland fishing license. You can purchase a license online, by phone, or at various locations across the state, including tackle shops and sporting goods stores.

Maryland offers several types of fishing licenses to suit your needs, including:

  • Annual licenses
  • Short-term licenses (1-day, 3-day, 7-day)
  • Saltwater licenses
  • Trout stamps

Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website for more information on licensing requirements, fees, and exemptions.


Maryland’s 2024 Free Fishing Days offer a fantastic opportunity for both seasoned anglers and newcomers to enjoy the state’s incredible fishing resources. By providing the dates, locations, and tips you need to make the most of these special days, we hope to inspire you to get out on the water and experience the thrill of fishing.

Remember to always prioritize safety, follow the regulations, and practice responsible fishing habits. With a little preparation and a sense of adventure, you’re sure to create lasting memories during Maryland’s 2024 Free Fishing Days.

So gather your gear, invite your friends and family, and get ready to cast your line into the beautiful waters of Maryland. 

What is a Free Fishing Day?

A Free Fishing Day is a designated day when anyone can fish in Maryland’s waters without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. It’s an opportunity for people to try fishing for the first time or to enjoy the state’s fishing resources without the cost of a license.

Do I need any special equipment to participate in Free Fishing Days?

No, you don’t need any special equipment to participate in Free Fishing Days. However, you will need basic fishing gear, such as a rod, reel, line, and bait or lures appropriate for the type of fish you’re targeting.

Can I keep the fish I catch during Free Fishing Days?

Yes, you can keep the fish you catch during Free Fishing Days, as long as they meet the size and catch limits for that particular body of water. Be sure to check the regulations before keeping any fish.

Are there any age restrictions for Free Fishing Days?

No, there are no age restrictions for Free Fishing Days. Anyone can participate, regardless of age. It’s a great opportunity to introduce children to the joys of fishing.

Can I fish anywhere in Maryland during Free Fishing Days?

While you can fish in most public bodies of water during Free Fishing Days, there are some exceptions. Certain areas, such as designated catch-and-release areas or private property, may have additional restrictions. Always check the regulations for the specific location where you plan to fish.

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