to the Maryland Sport
Fishing means so many things to anglers and a reminder of a lasting memory is
a welcome item for many to rekindle a special catch. The Department of Natural
Resources has created
a tournament program that educates, recognizes anglers and promotes recreational fishing opportunities in Maryland. The
program offers citations for outstanding catches of most species of fish in
Maryland waters, whether the angler chooses to keep their catch or practice
Catch & Release. Anglers who are new to the sport of recreational fishing can
also receive a "My First Fish" citation. Questions regarding the Maryland
Sport Fishing Tournament should be directed to Keith Lockwood at
1-410-226-0078, Ext 107 or via e-mail at
tournament begins at 12:01 A.M. January 1, of each new year and ends at midnight
is eligible except a professional guide, a charter boat captain or a crewman
of a for-hire boat or anyone who offers his fish for sale. No registration
fee is required.
- All fish
registered must be caught on rod and reel. No other person may touch the
rod or line until the leader is within grasp or the end of the leader has
reached the rod tip.
that have been snagged, shot, gaffed, speared, scaled, or mutilated are
- The catch
must be lawful. Anglers should be aware of the rules pertaining to fishing
and eligible sizes of fish at all time.
- The Maryland
Sport Fishing Tournament reserves the right to refuse any application that
is not complete.
- The decision
of the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament will be final.
citations can be awarded upon approval of the tournament director in the
case of unusual catches or extenuating circumstances.
will be made for the establishment of a new state record, in which case the
fish must be weighed.
Where to Fish
Division: All freshwater ponds, lakes, impoundments and non-tidal waters.
Bay Division: The entire Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and itsí tidal
Coast Division: Atlantic Ocean, Ocean City Inlet, Chincoteague Bay, Sinepuxent
Bay, Isle of Wight Bay, and Assawoman Bay (and their tributaries) bounded
to the north by the Maryland-Delaware Line and to the south by the Maryland-Virginia
Entering Your Catch
- Fish must
be registered at an official
citation center and the registration form must be legible and completely
filled out to be eligible for a citation.
centers must forward a copy of the entry form to the tournament managerís
office no later than 14 days from the date of the catch.
- All entries
with the exception of sharks and billfish must now be measured. All measurements
should be in total length (tip of the nose to the tip of the longest extended
portion of the tail of the fish). Exceptions will be made for the establishment
of a new state record, in which case the fish must be weighed.
- All Marlin
and sharks must be released alive with a photograph and the signature of the
captain of the vessel accompanying the citation form in order to be eligible
for the tournament.
will be mailed to an angler whose catch equals or exceeds the
minimum sizes listed on the eligible species list.
of the change in billfishing and shark fishing ethics over the past several
years, the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament will no longer award citations
for marlin, sharks, swordfish, or sailfish which are killed and returned
to port. The only exception to this rule will be in the event a new state
record is established, in which case the fish must be weighed. Anglers and
captains should be aware of the current record sizes of marlin and sharks.
Due to the implementation of this rule, all marlin and sharks caught and
released will receive citations, however no division winner
will be awarded.
- My 1st
Fish recognizes an angler of any age that catches a fish, in fresh or tidal
waters of the State of Maryland, for the first time in their life. Any species,
regardless of length is eligible. A special certificate will be awarded
to each individual in this category. All catches that do not comply with
regulations are eligible. Contact
Keith Lockwood for additional information.
- The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Catch and Release Program rewards fishermen who release their catch alive. An angler who meets or exceeds the minimum size stated in the Size Requirements on the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament website, will receive a sportfish citation.
- Fish must be caught in Maryland waters by rod and reel and released alive and in good shape.
- Only one citation per day per species per season.
- Fish must be measured from tip of jaw to tip of tail to determine if eligible. An entry form must be filled out and mailed or go to a citation center near you, don't forget to send in with an accompanying photograph.