Buy Your Maryland Boat Fishing License Online Today

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Maryland, with abundant opportunities across the state’s vast freshwater lakes, rivers, and coastal waters. To legally fish in Maryland, anglers age 16 and over are required to have a valid fishing license, with certain exemptions. Purchasing your license online is the most convenient way to quickly obtain and carry your license while out on the water. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about buying your Maryland boat fishing license online today.

Who Needs a Maryland Fishing License?

In Maryland, all anglers age 16 years and older are required to obtain a fishing license to recreationally fish in public waters. This applies to both residents and non-residents. The following groups are exempt from fishing license requirements:

  • Children under 16 years old
  • Anglers fishing on designated Free Fishing Days
  • Anglers fishing in license-free fishing areas

In addition, Maryland residents age 65 years and older can obtain a lifetime consolidated sportfishing license that covers both freshwater and tidal waters.

Types of Maryland Fishing Licenses

Maryland offers fishing licenses tailored to freshwater and saltwater fishing:

Freshwater/Non-Tidal Licenses

Freshwater licenses, also called non-tidal licenses, allow fishing in Maryland lakes, rivers, streams and other inland waters. Options include:

  • Annual – valid for 365 days
  • 7-day – valid for 7 consecutive days
  • 3-day (non-residents only)

Trout stamps are also required to fish for trout in non-tidal waters.

Saltwater/Chesapeake Bay Licenses

To fish Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay and coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean, anglers need a tidal license:

  • Chesapeake Bay Sport License – annual or 7-day licenses covering the full Bay
  • Coastal Sport License – allows fishing outside the Bay in coastal areas
  • Charter Boat License – covers fishing from licensed charter boats

Purchase Your Fishing License Online

Purchasing your Maryland fishing license online is the most convenient way to quickly obtain it before heading out on the water.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers fishing licenses for purchase through the COMPASS online portal.

Benefits of using COMPASS include:

  • Secure checkout and immediate digital proof of license
  • Access license info anytime from mobile device or computer
  • Option to print physical license at home
  • Register as a saltwater angler
  • Sign up for drawings and permit lotteries

Besides the COMPASS portal, you can also purchase a Maryland fishing license from local agents or by mail. However, the online process through COMPASS is quickest and most convenient.

Know the License Fees

License fees vary based on residency status, age, duration (annual vs 7-day), and type of license:

License Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
Annual Freshwater $20.50 $30.50
7-day Freshwater $8.50 $15.50
Annual Chesapeake Bay Sport $15 $15
7-day Chesapeake Bay Sport $10 $10

Payment for online purchases is securely processed through COMPASS by major credit/debit cards or checking account.

Fishing License Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a separate license for freshwater and saltwater fishing?

Yes, Maryland offers separate licenses for freshwater and saltwater. You would need a non-tidal license for fishing inland lakes and rivers, and a Chesapeake Bay Sport license for fishing the Bay and coastal waters.

If I have a boat, do I need a license?

Yes, having a boat registration or “boat license” itself does not provide an individual fishing license. All anglers age 16+ on the boat still need their own personal fishing license.

How long is my fishing license valid for? Most Maryland fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from date of purchase. Short term 7-day licenses are valid for 7 consecutive fishing days.

Can I renew my fishing license online?

Yes, previously purchased fishing licenses can be easily renewed for another term on the COMPASS portal. The system saves angler profiles for quick and easy renewal.

Get Started Fishing Today

With your boat fishing license purchased online and safely stored on your phone, you’ll be ready to legally enjoy a day out fishing on Maryland’s beautiful waterways. Reference the COMPASS app anytime wardens inquire about your license. Or better yet, print your license at home to have a physical copy onboard your vessel just in case. You’ll have met all licensing requirements to focus on landing your next big catch!

Similar Posts