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How to Plan for the Best Liberty Reservoir Fishing Day


The region around Ellicott City and Baltimore features plenty of outdoor interest in addition to all our historic and cultural opportunities. If you have a fisherman in your life, planning a stay in the area will provide plenty of fun for everyone. The nearby Liberty Reservoir fishing has loads of variety–and even trophy-size fish!

Liberty Reservoir fishing

The nearby Liberty Reservoir fishing has loads of variety–and even championship-size fish!

History of Liberty Reservoir

Liberty Reservoir fishing is an area mainstay. This fantastic lake spans over 3,100 acres and has been part of the region since 1954.

What to Expect

The North Branch of the Patapsco River is the primary tributary that feeds the reservoir. Other tributaries include Beaver Run, Keyer’s Run, Prugh Run, Morgan Run, Locust Run, and Cooks Branch.

The reservoir has great lengths of shoreline and has an average depth of 59 feet, although the maximum depth is 144 feet.

Liberty Reservoir Fishing

When you go out for Liberty Reservoir fishing, you can expect a really good variety. The reservoir is managed for warm, cool, and cold water fish species.

Warm Water Fish: Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, along with bluegill, crappie, and white perch are the most popular warm water fish. And if you’re looking for some great fishing stories and tall tales to share, you’ve got some opportunities: white crappie and the bass often reach trophy size. White perch are plentiful, but average about 10 inches.

Striped bass were stocked between 1981 and 1984, but have been reproducing naturally ever since. You can expect to catch a variety of sizes, with some of the stocked fish now in the 40-pound range.

This reservoir also supports a fine walleye fishery, sustained by good natural reproduction. A 12-pound walleye was recently surveyed.

Know Before You Go

Because of environmental regulations and the fact that the reservoir provides water to the City of Baltimore, there are some important restrictions to note. Boat propulsion is limited to rowing, paddling, or battery-powered motors. A seasonal permit issued by the City of Baltimore Reservoir Natural Resources Office is required prior to launching a boat in Liberty Reservoir. Shoreline fishing is permitted.

Due to the potential for zebra mussel infestations, boaters on Liberty, Loch Raven, and Prettyboy Reservoirs must sign an affidavit stating their boat will be used only on these reservoirs. Live bait is prohibited unless purchased from a Maryland certified zebra mussel-free bait store.


When you come to the area for fishing, we hope you’ll choose to stay with us at The Wayside Inn. Located in nearby historic Ellicott City, The Wayside Inn is convenient to Baltimore and Washington DC—although our small historic town offers a lot of charm and plenty to do! We’re a fantastic spot for a couple’s weekend getaway. Plus, the fisher in the duo can rest assured your partner will have plenty to enjoy in our charming downtown.

Check out our previous blog posts for highlights of regional activities and events, and don’t forget to download our free Howard County area vacation guide to help you plan your stay.