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Tenth FishMaryland Master Angler is first youth angler to achieve milestone

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BALTIMORE, MD—Maryland has another Master Angler, and this time it’s an 11-year-old girl.

Lucy Perez of Cecil County has earned a Master Angler Milestone Award under the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) FishMaryland program. The award recognizes recreational anglers who catch ten different trophy-sized species of fish in Maryland. Perez, 11, is the tenth Master Angler since the program began in 2019, the first female angler, and the youngest by a decade.

“I think this award is such an amazing accomplishment for me – I’m only 11 years old and have been fishing for 10 years and did something so incredible,” Perez said. “Being able to catch so many cool kinds of fish and to have people excited to see me getting closer to this goal is what kept me trying to get this award – this was really a lot of fun.”

The FishMaryland program includes dozens of species from both salt and freshwater. Perez submitted entries for all ten catches and received individual certificates for each catch. The department plans to present the Master Angler Milestone Award certificate along with a gift card prize from Bass Pro Shops at its Arundel Mills store. Perez caught her tenth FishMaryland eligible fish, an American shad, on May 6, 2024.

Perez’ qualifying catches, in order, were:

  • Chain pickerel, 27 inches
  • White perch, 13 inches
  • Bluegill, 11 inches
  • Yellow perch, 14 inches
  • Crappie, 15 inches
  • Smallmouth bass, 20 inches
  • Hickory shad, 18 inches
  • Carp, 33 inches
  • Pumpkinseed, 10 inches
  • American shad, 24 inches

She regularly fishes with her father Nick, who has often submitted photos of Lucy’s impressive catches to DNR’s Maryland Fishing Report and Angler’s Log.

“Lucy has been an avid angler for as long as she was able to hold a fishing rod,” said Nick Perez. “Her love for the sport is almost unmatched, and her preferred method of fishing is actually on the fly. At 11 years old she has caught fish a lot of people have only dreamed of, from exotic clown knifefish, to wrangling the ‘fish of 10,000 casts,’ the muskellunge – she does it all.”

Lucy Perez also wants to pursue a marine biology degree when she is older and is considering a career in fisheries management.

FishMaryland is Maryland’s recreational fishing award program and is a fun way to explore year-round recreational fishing and enjoy affordable, accessible, diverse, and high-quality fishing opportunities. More information on the Master Angler Milestone Award and the FishMaryland program is available on the program’s website.

Photo: Master Angler Lucy Perez with a bluegill. Photo by Nick Perez via Maryland DNR.

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