Boatless anglers find that fishing from a pier is the next-best thing to being out on the open waters, and in certain senses, the advantages pier fishing can surpass boat fishing's. Perched high above the water and equipped with proper polarized sunglasses, under the right circumstances, you can have a clear view into the water below, identifying reef structures and eying the fish from above. The state of Maryland has become a pier fisherman's haven, with a number of fishing piers across the state and in various types of water.
The Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Maryland is a prime destination for fishermen, with or without boats. If you're looking to catch skate, flounder, striper, and sea bass, ocean fishing off Maryland piers is for you. For example, at Oceanic Pier, located just south of the Delaware state line in Ocean City, fishermen can be seen scanning the waters and casting their lines 24 hours a day, as this pier is a night fishing spot as well.
The Chesapeake Bay is a prime spot for fishermen across the country. It features a multitude of river tributaries which contribute to its fish population. Additionally, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel's 17-mile span has created one of the country's largest artificial reefs. Especially near the miles of tunnel, fish have found a haven for feeding and spawning, which the wise fisherman can take advantage of. You can gain access to bay fishing from Sea Gull Pier, located midway through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. The pier is three miles from the shoreline and has brought in such catch as trout, croakers, bluefish and small sharks.
Taking advantage of the rivers that are tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean allows you to get their catch before they make it out to the bay. The Choptank River is one such tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, and the Choptank River Pier, located in Trappe, is a productive spot for pier fishermen. Here fishermen have been known to catch perch, striped bass, catfish, sea trout and croakers. The pier is also a popular spot for local crabbers. Most river piers, including the Choptank River Pier, are open 24 hours and well-lit for the benefit of night fishermen.
The Department of Recreation and Parks in Baltimore Country has constructed numerous piers throughout the county in its waterfront public parks. Park fishing is permitted only during park hours, which is generally only during daylight hours. Most of the park piers in Baltimore County are constructed on tidal waters, but the proximity to the bay and tributary rivers allows you to obtain a varied catch at these local parks.
Pier fishing regulations vary from location to location. For instance, no fishing permit is required to fish off Sea Gull Pier on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, but certain permits are required for ocean fishing and river fishing. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources regulates all fishing activities for the state. Information regarding proper bait usage, licensing and take laws can be found on its website.