Maryland stands alone when it comes to world-class white marlin fishing. As the White Marlin Capital of the World, we know a thing or two about these big, strong, exciting billfish. Sticking to the ocean, white marlin are famous for being fierce fighters when hooked, engaging in what’s called “tail-walking” on the water’s surface and high-flying acrobatic leaps. With a maximum weight of nearly 200 pounds, Maryland offers the chance to battle the fish of a lifetime.
Although white marlin can be caught year-round, the high season occurs in August along with the Annual White Marlin Open. Some exceptions apply.
For information on seasons, sizes and limits click HERE.
To catch a white marlin, you’ll need to venture out into the Atlantic Ocean from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. For those without a boat, the area boasts a number of charters with experienced captains that will take you out fishing for the day. Great for families or the spontaneous group trip, charters supply all the necessary gear and have the appropriate licenses allowing for a worry-free day of white marlin fishing.
If you have your own boat, licenses, tackle, and crew, great – happy fishing! There are a ton of access points on the Eastern Shore where a boat can easily be dropped and white marlin can be reeled in. Please check with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for out-of-state vessel license requirements. Owners of recreational fishing vessels (i.e., no sale of fish) for Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) - i.e., billfish, swordfish, sharks and tunas - are required to obtain an HMS Angling category permit from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website for a full description of these permits.
License and Regulations
Simple, quick, and at the palm of your hand, DNR’s app is the easiest way to get your Maryland fishing license. Download the app on your smartphone (MD DNR), click Apply for License, and enroll. From the app, you can also register any catches, post photos, and check for regulations updates. Or, you can apply for a license through Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ website.
There are a few instances where registering for a license may not be necessary; visit Maryland DNR for a full list of these exceptions. For more information on fishing without a license – and locations where licenses are not required – visit http://dnr.maryland.gov/Fisheries/Pages/Free-Fishing.aspx.
Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for a complete list of Maryland’s Fishing Regulations.
Money generated from the sale of licenses goes directly to the conservation, protection, and preservation of Maryland’s natural habitat and cherished wildlife. Maryland DNR works tirelessly to maintain a healthy population of fish and game, and the regulations needed to sustain fishing and hunting in Maryland. Changes in regulations, dates, and requirements vary year-to-year. Please check with DNR frequently for the most up-to-date information.