Maryland Fishing Challenge

Maryland Fishing Challenge LogoThe Maryland Fishing Challenge is a free, year-round tournament sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fishing and Boating Services, recreational fishing organizations, and generous donors across the state.

The purpose of the Maryland Fishing Challenge is to showcase Maryland as a great destination for sport fishing, with affordable, accessible, diverse and high quality fishing opportunities for Maryland's residents and visitors alike, and to help increase the number of youth and families participating in the sport of fishing. Recreational fishing offers opportunities for families and individuals to spend quality time together, enjoying the wonderful aquatic natural resources which Maryland has to offer.

Here's a link to the complete Maryland Fishing Challenge rules, for eligible species and official award centers check out the links in the upper right.

The Maryland Fishing Challenge features three components:

  1. Angler Award, including the Catch and Release Award -

    Anyone fishing legally in Maryland can catch and record an award-winning fish by landing any of more than 60 eligible species in three categories above a certain minimum size. If you catch a fish that meets or exceeds the official award size, simply submit your catch to any of the many official award centers (tackle shops) to receive your entry ticket and instructions on how to complete the required online registration process. You will receive your award certificate within 45 days. Catch and Release anglers​ may participate by bringing a clear photograph of their fish to an official award center. Lay the fish on a tape measure to photograph so that the species and size can be verified. Submit your photo and the signature of a witness to an official award center to receive your entry ticket.

  2. Invasive Species Award -

    The Invasive Species Award Component recognizes anglers for reporting their harvest of certain eligible invasive fish species. "Invasive" describes a species that, when introduced into an ecosystem, aggressively establishes itself and has the potential to negatively affect native plants, animals or hab​itat. Currently there are 3 invasive fish species which naturally reproduce in Maryland or migrate into Maryland waters: blue catfish, northern snakehead, and flathead catfish. There are two ways for anglers to enter: 1) Angler Award - fish meeting the minimum award size are eligible; 2) State Record - fish exceeding the existing state record weight are eligible.

  3. Maryland Youth Fishing Club -

    Members of the Maryland Youth Fishing Club (MYFC) who submit their fishing reports to the Youth Angler's Log will be entered into a random drawing for prizes.  Winner's names will be posted on line. Visit the MYFC for additional information on how to become a member.

    Be sure to visit the Maryland Youth Fishing Club website for additional information on youth fishing.

Governor’s Striped Bass Conservation Award

In addition to the Angler Awards, those who catch and release an award sized striped bass during the open season will be recognized with a Governor’s Striped Bass Conservation Award at the end of the fishing season. The award recognizes any recreational angler who releases alive a striped bass catch of 40” or more while fishing Maryland waters during the open season.



By participating in the Maryland Fishing Challenge, you agree to be mentioned by name in the media (i.e. newspaper, television, radio, internet, etc.) and photographed for use during Fishing Challenge promotions. You must provide your contact information (and those of your parent or guardian, if you are under 18 years of age) and your fishing license (if applicable) at the time of the inspection.

For more information about the award program contact Keith Lockwood at keith.lockwood@maryland.gov. For additional information regarding the Maryland Fishing Challenge contact Erik Zlokovitz at Erik.Zlokovitz@maryland.gov.

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