Sharks are an important component of Maryland’s marine and estuarine ecosystems, and some are highly sought-after as gamefish. There are four main areas where anglers actively pursue sharks in Maryland: the Atlantic coast surf, nearshore Atlantic waters, offshore Atlantic waters and the Coastal Bays. This article provides a primer on how to responsibly fish for sharks and strategies for staying safe when sharing the water with them.
Finding fish to bite
Sharks are found year-round in the Atlantic off the Maryland coast. Atlantic sharp-nose, blacktip, dusky, sandbar, spinner, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, tiger, sand tiger and smooth dogfish sharks may be found nearshore from May/June through September/October.
Many of those species are caught surf fishing too. Spiny dogfish are available to surf, nearshore and offshore anglers from November to May. Offshore anglers mostly catch blue, short-fin mako and thresher sharks in May and June, although they can be caught into October and November. Sandbar sharks and smooth dogfish are available in Chincoteague Bay from May to October.