Surf fishing is permitted in Ocean City. However, be sure you are not within 50 yards of swimmers or of anyone on the beach between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Surf fishing is also allowed on Assateague Island, except on guarded beaches and in designated surfing zones. Please visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for more information.

Anglers fishing in Ocean City, MD will need to purchase a saltwater fishing license. Oyster Bay Tackle is now selling the MD licenses and have the boat stickers. This license will cover both the Chesapeake Bay and the coastal waters of Ocean City. Thus if you already have a Chesapeake Bay Saltwater license you are good to go!

Anglers can also purchase the license online. The license you want to choose is “Bay and Coastal Sport”. You can either choose a year-round or 7-day. Click on Login and follow the instructions. Choose if you have ever had a license of any kind in MD or if you have never had one. If in doubt, choose “Use ID and date of birth” and go from there. If you buy a boat license, for $50 everyone on your boat can go fishing without a license. If you are going to be fishing on a private boat with someone who has a Boat License, you don’t have to buy a license, but you do have to register online.

This is free and can also be done over the phone during daytime hours 1-855-855-3906.

Another interesting note about the license is that if you buy a VA license, it is good in MD, and vice versa. If you are fishing in MD with a VA license you do need to register with MD online. Again, this is free. This is so each state can “try” to figure out “how many” fish are being caught in their own individual states.

If you want to go fishing in Ocean City without a license, your choices will be the “Oceanic Pier” or “Ocean Pier” as they have a Blanket Pier License. Ocean City now has two free fishing zones. The bulkhead from 2nd to 4th Street (Chicago Ave) and the Northside Park at 125th Street. You do not need a license in these two places but you do need a “free registry”. This is free and can also be done over the phone during daytime hours of 7am-7pm at 1-855-855-3906. If you go fishing on a party or charter boat you do not need a license or free registry. You can also go crabbing and clamming in Ocean City without a license.

Contact Info

If you have any questions regarding Maryland’s sport fishing license requirements, you may contact Fisheries Service via e mail: [email protected] or by calling 410-656-9526.

Following is the fee schedule:

  • Senior License (year round) – $5.00
  • Resident License (year round) – $15.00
  • Resident License (7-day) – $6.00
  • Non-resident (year round) – $22.50
  • Non- resident (7-day) – $12.00
  • Pleasure Boat Decal (covers everyone on boat – year round) – $50.00
  • Commercial Fishing Pier License (year round) – $290.00

No license is required for:

  • Boat decal passengers
  • Those fishing in “free fishing” areas
  • Those fishing from their waterfront properties
  • Anglers under 16 years old
  • Anglers fishing on a licensed charter, party or guide boat
  • Anglers fishing commercially under a valid license
  • In the Coastal Bays of MD, you do NOT need a license to crab or clam.

For more information, log onto www.dnr.state.md.us