Maryland's Tackle Loaning Program

With more than 3,000 miles of shoreline to explore, Maryland really is an angler’s paradise. 

Discovering Maryland’s distinctive natural resources is now easier than ever.  

We invite you to get your feet wet and try Maryland fishing at its best. Now, you can sample some of our favorite fishing spots by borrowing high-quality rods and reels from some of Maryland’s most popular state parks or at select local libraries. 

The Tackle Loaner Program is an exciting and free opportunity for Maryland and non-Maryland residents.

Rocky Gap State Park offers tackle loaner for anyone interested in fishing from one of the largest lakes in the state. Lake Habeeb is stocked annually with thousands of hatchery trout.  The lake is also home to dozens of other species including a variety of panfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass. 

If you are headed to the lower Eastern Shore, Janes Island State Park offers a unique experience for novice and experienced anglers. Located on Tangier Sound, Janes Island offers exceptional fishing opportunities from catching striped bass, croaker, sea bass, flounder, and a variety of other saltwater species.   

Janes Island State Park also provides a Maryland License Free Fishing Area on the bulkhead along the Dougherty Creek Canal. Here, anyone can fish without the need to purchase a Maryland fishing license, however, anglers must complete a free Maryland Saltwater Angler registration. This can be done online HERE or by calling (855) 855-3906.

If you are staying closer to home, dozens of county libraries also participate in our tackle loaner program. To participate, individuals must provide proof of ID, or current library card, and participate in a short demographic survey.   

The following libraries are currently participating in the department program: Eastport-Annapolis Neck Community Library and Mountain Road Community Library in Anne Arundel County; Westminster Branch Library in Carroll County; Brunswick Branch Library in Frederick County; and Joppa Branch Library in Harford County. 

Individuals interested in participating in any tackle loaner program must have a valid Maryland Fishing (with the exception of Janes Island Free-Fishing Area). To learn more about how to get our license please visit our COMPASS website.