See the Maryland DNR Web site for additional details
This Year (starting in 2011) a new fishing program is in effect called "Maryland State Fishing Challenge" featuring the return of "Diamond Jim". Fish are tagged and released and if caught can be worth up to $25,000.
Here's a brief description of the new Maryland State Fishing Challenge
The Return of Diamond Jim—Beginning in June, DNR
Fisheries biologists and teams of young anglers take to the Chesapeake
Bay to catch, tag and release hundreds of striped bass. Every tag has a
unique number designating the striper as a potential Diamond Jim. Each
month until September, one fish will be predetermined to be the official
Diamond Jim worth as much as $25,000 to the angler who catches him. The
other tagged “imposter” fish are worth $500 each. This year, as many as
600 fish will be tagged and released representing more than $300,000 in
potential cash winnings.
See the State of Maryland DNR website for more information!
Rules The tournament begins at 12:01 A.M. January 1, of each new year and ends at midnight December 31.
Anyone is eligible except a professional guide, a charter boat captain or a crewman of a for-hire boat or anyone who offers his fish for sale. No registration fee is required.
All fish registered must be caught on rod and reel. No other person may touch the rod or line until the leader is within grasp or the end of the leader has reached the rod tip.
Fish that have been snagged, shot, gaffed, speared, scaled, or mutilated are not eligible.
The catch must be lawful. Anglers should be aware of the rules pertaining to fishing and eligible sizes of fish at all time.
The Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament reserves the right to refuse any application that is not complete.
The decision of the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament will be final.
Special citations can be awarded upon approval of the tournament director in the case of unusual catches or extenuating circumstances.
*Exceptions will be made for the establishment of a new state record, in which case the fish must be weighed.
Where to Fish
Freshwater Division: All freshwater ponds, lakes, impoundments and non-tidal waters.
Chesapeake Bay Division: The entire Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its’ tidal tributaries.
Atlantic Coast Division: Atlantic Ocean, Ocean City Inlet, Chincoteague Bay, Sinepuxent Bay, Isle of Wight Bay, and Assawoman Bay (and their tributaries) bounded to the north by the Maryland-Delaware Line and to the south by the Maryland-Virginia Line.
Entering Your Catch
Fish must be registered at an official citation center and the registration form must be legible and completely filled out to be eligible for a citation.
Citation centers must forward a copy of the entry form to the tournament manager’s office no later than 14 days from the date of the catch.
All entries with the exception of sharks and billfish must now be measured. All measurements should be in total length (tip of the nose to the tip of the longest extended portion of the tail of the fish). Exceptions will be made for the establishment of a new state record, in which case the fish must be weighed.
All Marlin and sharks must be released alive with a photograph and the signature of the captain of the vessel accompanying the citation form in order to be eligible for the tournament.
Citations will be mailed to an angler whose catch equals or exceeds the minimum sizes listed on the eligible species list.
Because of the change in billfishing and shark fishing ethics over the past several years, the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament will no longer award citations for marlin, sharks, swordfish, or sailfish which are killed and returned to port. The only exception to this rule will be in the event a new state record is established, in which case the fish must be weighed. Anglers and captains should be aware of the current record sizes of marlin and sharks. Due to the implementation of this rule, all marlin and sharks caught and released will receive citations, however no division winner will be awarded.
My 1st Fish recognizes an angler of any age that catches a fish, in fresh or tidal waters of the State of Maryland, for the first time in their life. Any species, regardless of length is eligible. A special certificate will be awarded to each individual in this category. All catches that do not comply with regulations are eligible. Contact Keith Lockwood for additional information.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Catch and Release Program rewards fishermen who release their catch alive. An angler who meets or exceeds the minimum size stated in the Size Requirements on the Maryland Sport Fishing Tournament website, will receive a sportfish citation.
Fish must be caught in Maryland waters by rod and reel and released alive and in good shape.
Only one citation per day per species per season.
Fish must be measured from tip of jaw to tip of tail to determine if eligible. An entry form must be filled out and mailed or go to a citation center near you, don't forget to send in with an accompanying photograph.