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Avid kayak and shore fisherman becomes 11th FishMaryland Master Angler

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BALTIMORE, MD—The state has a new FishMaryland Master Angler, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced this week.

Eric Packard is the 11th Master Angler in Maryland history. The award was given to Packard after he caught ten different species of fish in Maryland.

The FishMaryland program has been around since 2019, and Packard is one of 11 people who have caught ten different species of fish. An avid kayak and shore fisherman from Solomons, Eric Packard goes fishing an average of 240 days per year.

He says he’s a huge fan of catching bass, whether it’s a largemouth or a spotted seatrout. He also caught a red drum, several crappies, a Spanish mackerel, a hickory shad, a carp, a striped bass, and a spotted seatrout.

“A cast not taken is a fish not caught,” said Packard. “So get out and take that cast, you can’t catch a Maryland citation-sized fish if you don’t. It all starts with a simple cast.”

Packard’s ten catches were all submitted to the FishMaryland program, which keeps records of the species and size of the fish caught. He will receive a Master Angler Milestone Award certificate and a gift card to Bass Pro Shops in Hanover, Maryland.

He is also a commissioner on the Maryland Sports Fisheries Advisory Commission, which represents recreational anglers in southern Maryland. He’s often found fishing in Southern Maryland, but he also enjoys fishing on power boats.

Packard’s father was stationed with the Army when he was young, and he found his love for fishing while he was fishing alone in Kansas. He remembers tying a bait to a Zebco 77 and catching a largemouth bass.

He was hooked by fishing, and he’s enjoyed it ever since. He’s a self-taught artist who enjoys painting when he’s not fishing.

This article was written with the assistance of AI and reviewed by a human editor.

Photo courtesy of Eric Packard & DNR

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