Freshwater Fishing Hotspots


Western region

Allegany county

  • Lake Habeeb at Rocky Gap State Park - Five miles east of Cumberland, this popular lake is packed with smallmouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, sunfish and brown and rainbow trout. Rocky Gap State Park also offers a tackle loaner program on-site.
  • Town Creek Delayed Harvest - Town Creek is roughly one mile from Oldtown. A portion of the creek lies within the Green Ridge State Forest. Look for smallmouth bass, rock bass, redbreast sunfish and brown and rainbow trout.

Carroll county

  • Liberty Reservoir - The 3,100-acre reservoir is located in Carroll and Baltimore County. Both cold and warm water fish species can be found here including large and smallmouth bass, striped bass, walleye, crappie, channel catfish, yellow perch, white perch, bluegill sunfish, carp, rainbow and brown trout. For boat permits and information call 410-795-6150.
  • Piney Run Reservoir - Located in Sykesville, Carroll County Fish species include largemouth bass, redear sunfish, striped bass, bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish, tiger muskie, and yellow perch.
  • Patapsco River - Located in Carroll, Baltimore, and Howard Counties Fish species include smallmouth bass, rock bass, redbreast sunfish, hickory shad, American shad, and rainbow trout.

Frederick county

  • Big Hunting Creek - Near Thurmont, this historical creek was the first in the state to be stocked with trout. Big Hunting Creek has both a wild brown and brook trout population.
  • Cunningham Falls Reservoir - Near Cunningham Falls State Park, this popular fishing locale is home to both largemouth bass and a variety of panfish.
  • Owens Creek - This put-and-take stream flows through private and public lands. Anglers will find both wild and hatchery trout but stream flows in late summer and fall can make angling difficult.
  • Potomac River - At 450 miles long, the Potomac River offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities for any angler. The northern Potomac River fishery consists of species such as muskie, walleye, and trout. The southern Potomac River and more brackish points are popular for both blue catfish and northern snakehead

Garrett county

  • Broadford Lake - This family-friendly, 140-acre lake located is located in County. Fish species include largemouth and smallmouth bass, panfish and tiger muskie.
  • Deep Creek Lake - Ten miles northeast of Oakland is Deep Creek Lake. The largest freshwater lake in Maryland, it covers six-square miles. Fish species include bass, trout, walleye, pike and panfish
  • Savage River Tailwater Trophy Trout Fishing Area - Southwest of Frostburg is the Savage River State Forest, home to the Savage River Tailwater Trophy Trout Fishing Area. Both brook and brown trout can be caught here. For flow conditions call 410-962-7687 or visit the United States Geological Survey for more information.
  • Casselman River - This extremely popular location in Grantsville, is a delayed harvest area for both rainbow and brown trout.
  • Piney Reservoir - Largemouth bass, yellow perch, tiger muskie, rainbow trout and panfish can all be found at this popular fishing spot in Frostburg.
  • Youghiogheny River Reservoir - Maryland Access to the 2,800 acre lake can be found at the Mill Run Campground. Anglers can find large and smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, northern pike, yellow perch and brown and rainbow trout.
  • Youghiogheny River Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area - The 4-mile long Catch and Release Trout Fishing Area begins at the Deep Creek Lake Power Plant and ends at the Sang Run Bridge. For flow release information call Deep Creek Hydroelectric Power Plant at 301-413-2823.
  • North Branch Potomac River - (see local maps for directions to Lostland Run, MD and Barnum, WV.) Call 410-962-7687 for flow conditions or visit the United States Geological Survey website. Fish species include brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, smallmouth bass.

Washington county

  • Blairs Valley Lake - Situated on the Maryland and Pennsylvania line, Blairs Valley Lake ranges from 22 to 32 acres depending on the season. Anglers can enjoy a good mix of both warm and cold water species of fish here including seasonal spring and fall trout stocking, largemouth bass, tiger muskie, bluebill, black crappie, redear sunfish, yellow perch, brown bullhead catfish and carp.


Central region

Baltimore county

  • Gunpowder Falls - This world-class trout fishery runs 10 miles from Prettyboy Reservoir in northern Baltimore County downstream to Loch Raven Reservoir.
  • Loch Raven Reservoir - This 2,400-acre reservoir is a few miles outside of Towson. Anglers can enjoy a wide variety of fishing opportunities as well as a fully equipped fishing center. Species targeted, large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, white perch, crappie, chain pickerel, walleye, catfish, yellow perch, and northern pike. For boat rentals, boat permits and fishing permits call 410-887-7692.
  • Prettyboy Reservoir - North Baltimore County; largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, yellow perch and bluegill sunfish. For boat permits and information call 410-795-6150.

Harford county

  • Deer Creek - This scenic creek supports an abundance of fish species including hickory shad, alewife herring, white and yellow perch, smallmouth bass and rainbow trout.

Howard county

  • Centennial Lake - This is a 50-acre impoundment on the Centennial Branch of the Little Patuxent River. Fish species include largemouth bass, tiger muskie, panfish, channel catfish, and rainbow trout.

Montgomery county

  • Clopper Lake - Located in Seneca Creek State Park, this 90-acre lake is host to an abundance of largemouth bass. Anglers can also find a good variety of panfish and catfish and common carp.
  • Little Seneca Lake - Located in Boyds, this 505-acre lake is open year-round. The most common fish species found in Little Seneca Lake include largemouth bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie, and tiger muskie.


Southern region

Charles county

  • Potomac River Tributaries - (A Chesapeake Bay Sportfishing License is required to fish in the Potomac and its tributaries up to their freshwater dividing lines.)
  • Mattawoman Creek lies in the W part of Charles County, above the bridge on Maryland 225 (Freshwater Fishing License is required).
  • Wheatley Lake - Designated as a catch-and-release trophy bass lake, anglers can find both large and smallmouth bass here. Other species such as crappie, channel catfish, bluegill and redear sunfish are also abundant.

Prince George's county

  • Piscataway Creek runs through southeast Prince George's County near Clinton, above Livingston Rd, (Freshwater Fishing License is required); largemouth bass, striped bass, chain pickerel, crappie, channel catfish, yellow and white perch, bluegill sunfish and carp are found in tributaries and in the Potomac River.
  • Lake Artemesia - For over 25 years, this 38-acre lake has been a family-friendly fishing destination. Stocked trout, largemouth bass and bluegill can be found here.

St. Mary's county

  • St. Mary's Lake - This 250-acre lake in St. Mary's River Park is designated as a catch-and-release trophy bass lake, anglers can find both large and smallmouth bass here. Other species such as chain pickerel, crappie, bluegill and redear sunfish are also abundant.


Eastern region

Caroline county

  • Smithville Lake - Located in Federalsburg, this 30 acre lake offers anglers a wide variety of fish species including large and smallmouth bass, bluegill, white and black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, chain pickerel, brown bullhead catfish, gizzard shad, golden shiners and chub suckers.

Cecil county

  • Rising Sun Pond - This one-acre pond in Rising Sun is a popular fishing spot. It has a good variety of species including bass, bluegill, white and black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, common carp and seasonal stocked spring trout.

Dorchester county

  • Transquaking River - Dorchester County; largemouth bass, striped bass, chain pickerel, crappie, channel catfish, yellow and white perch, bluegill, and carp. For information - 410-228-2920.

Kent county

  • Urieville Lake - Kent County, in Kennedyville, Maryland; 35 acres; bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, brown bullhead catfish, golden shiners, and common carp. 410-928-3643.

Queen Anne's county

  • Tuckahoe Lake - Queen Anne and Caroline County; in Tuckahoe State Park near Hillsboro, Maryland; 19 acres; bass, bluegill, chain pickerel, white and black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch, brown bullhead, carp, golden shiners, and chub suckers. 410-928-3643.
  • Unicorn Lake - Queen Anne's County in Millington, Maryland; 43 acres; largemouth bass, bluegill, chain pickerel, pumpkinseed sunfish, green sunfish, channel catfish, brown bullhead catfish, black crappie, yellow perch, white perch, American eel, creek chubsucker, margined madtom, eastern mudminnow, pirate perch, and blacknose dace. The Unicorn dam tailrace provides excellent spring fishing for bluegill, white perch, blueback herring, and yellow perch.
  • Wye Mills Lake - 50 acres; in Wye Mills, Maryland; largemouth bass, bluegill, white and black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish, brown bullhead catfish, common carp, yellow perch, gizzard shad and golden shiners. 410-928-3643.

Wicomico county

  • Adkins Mill Pond - Near Powellville this 4 acre-pond offers anglers a variety of species including; bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, brown bullhead catfish, golden shiners, creek chubsucker, black crappie, chain pickerel and common carp, bluespotted sunfish, and American eel.
  • Johnson's Pond - The largest freshwater impoundment on the eastern shore, this 104-acre lake near Salisbury is a Special Bass Management Area. Anglers can fish for; largemouth bass, chain pickerel, crappie, bluegill sunfish, yellow and white perch. Special regulations do apply.
  • Leonard's Mill Pond - A 30-acre Special Bass Management Area outside of Salisbury, Leonard’s Mill Pond offers excellent largemouth bass fishing. Other species such as; pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow bullhead catfish, golden shiners, creek chubsucker, black crappie, chain pickerel and common carp are also found here. For more information call:410-928-3643



Note: For Freshwater Fisheries questions, please call 410-260-8320.
Information compiled by Freshwater Fisheries Biologists, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fishing and Boating Services.