Ask an OC Insider
Do you need a fishing license to fish on the bayside? Anywhere you don't need one?Submitted by Keron B, York PA on July 11, 2019
You do not need a fishing license to fish on a charter boat. Try the Happy Hooker or Flounder Pounder for a two-hour flounder trip. They are lots of fun!
In general the answer is yes, you will need license to fish almost anywhere in OC, but there are a few free license free fishing areas too.
A few years ago, when Maryland added the requirement for licenses to fish in its ocean, tidal, and coastal bay waters, the fishing license is required everywhere for people ages 16 and up (see photo above).
However, Ocean City recognized that there were many people who just wanted to casually fish for an hour or two on their vacation, and asked the state to allow for the creation of a few areas where people could fish without a license. These no-license-required areas (see photo below) were approved and are at the Northside Park Pier at 125th Street and Chicago Avenue bulkhead at 3rd Street. You still need to register with the state to fish in these areas, but you can do that by phone by calling 855.855.3906 (7am-7pm daily).
You also do not need a license to fish from the Ocean Pier or Oceanic Pier as they are commercial piers with licenses covering their patrons.
No license is required if you charter a boat, fish at a designated free area or if you fish the bay off a private land that is water front.
Enjoy the fishing.