A Top Five of Maryland Fishing Waters

Dustin CohickCorrespondent IApril 10, 2009

LIMERICK, IRELAND - MAY 16:  Jamie Donaldson of Wales trys his hand at fishing after the second round of the Irish Open on May 16, 2008 at the Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort in Limerick, Ireland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

There are many great fisheries to find success in the state of Maryland.  Obviously with only a top five, many will be left off.  I am somewhat of a new resident to this state so if your favorite spot doesn't make it on the list, please tell me what it is and why in your comments.

These are in no particular order, but all offer a great outdoor experience.

Savage River/Reservoir

Located in western Maryland's Garrett County, this river/reservoir has a load of fishing opportunities.  Below the reservoir is a fly fisherman's dream. The Savage River has year round bait and creel limit restrictions due to the amount of wild Brook and Brown Trout that can be caught here.

It is considered a trophy area because of the wild trout populations. A population study conducted on this four mile stretch from the dam to the Potomac River in 2002 revealed an estimated 1,000 wild trout per mile. 

Not to leave out the reservoir, it owns the state record for Rainbow Trout, a lunker weighing in at 14lbs. 3oz.


Deep Creek Lake

This very popular lake offers 3,800 acres of fisherman's playground.  It also holds two state records; Blue Gill and Northern Pike.  Many species of fish are found in this lake, everything from Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Crappie, Yellow Perch, Rainbow, and Brown Trout, and everything in between.

Whether your on a weekend get-a-way or a week long vacation, Deep Creek Lake offers all the opportunities for a great fishing trip. This is the largest fresh water lake in Maryland, and is located in the northwest corner of the state.


Liberty Reservoir

Located in and supplies Baltimore County with fresh water supply.  This 3,100 acre lake offers a striper fisherman a chance at 40+ pound fish.  Stocking of Striped Bass began in the early eighties, and are now naturally reproducing in the lake.  Also White Crappie and the Bass species often reach trophy size. 

A major factor in this impoundment staying a great fishery is the restriction of no gas powered motors on the lake. Also one must obtain a permit from the city to launch a boat, as well as sign an affidavit that they will only use the boat on Liberty, Loch Raven, and Pretty Boy Reservoirs.

Zebra Mussels are the cause of such caution and will take over a body of water when introduced. These restrictions only help the future of fishing in these waters.

Potomac River

This river flows from western Maryland, bordering West Virginia, through Virginia and dumps into the Chesapeake Bay.  I'll get to the bay a little later.  The Potomac offers a great fishing experience to citizens from three different states everyday.

My family has a private boat dock at a fish and game club located close to home. So I have fished this river in a few areas numerous times.  It offers great Smallmouth Bass fishing as well as a variety of other warm water fishes.

The North Branch of this river offers some of the best trout fishing in the state.  Some put-and-take areas as well as catch and release.  The area below the Jennings Randolph Lake is known to hold and produce natural reproduction of all trout species. 

The North Branch of the Potomac River holds the state record for Brown, Brook, and Cutthroat Trout.


Chesapeake Bay

Maryland, being a coastal state also offers salt water fishing.  No Maryland list could be complete without having the bay on this list.

Some of the more popular species in the bay are; Rock fish, Black Drum, Flounder, Gray Trout, Croacker, and Bluefish. With the coast being a top vacation area, one could take the family on a day trip on one of the many charter fishing boats.

The Chesapeake Bay has really been cleaned up due in large part to the environmental regulations put in place in the vast tributaries of the bay.  Also in tidal waters of Maryland a fisherman must have a special permit to fish, but this is readily available in local tackle shops in coastal areas.


There are so many more great fishing locations throughout the state. My favorite, Town Creek, didn't make the list because of its location and accessibility.  I recently caught and released 18 trout in about four hours. What a day!

Support the local tackle shops wherever you fish.  These are more often than not the places to gain a little more information that can turn a pretty good day fishing, into a great day.

If you can, take a child fishing so they too can enjoy the outdoors.  Always remember, no matter what the endeavor, safety above all else!