Angler Tim Campbell caught, and then released, this 45" rockfish to complete Maryland's Master Angler award.

Baltimore County Man Earns 10-Species Master Angler Title

It may have taken him almost five years, but angler Tim Campbell has achieved an impressive feat in the state of Maryland: he has caught ten different species of fish in Maryland waters—all ten fish trophy length.

Campbell, who lives in Phoenix in the Gunpowder rivershed, is the proud new recipient of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) FishMaryland Master Angler Award.

Only five Marylanders have achieved the Master Angler Milestone Award since the program began.

Campbell punched his tenth species to complete the milestone on December 21, 2023. He did it in style, with a catch-and-release rockfish. “After measuring the fish and a few quick photos, the big striper was safely released back into the bay,” said Campbell. His catch was recently confirmed by DNR.

To receive the award, an angler must legally catch ten difference species at trophy-size length. They can be salt or freshwater fish, and dozens of species count towards the award.

Campbell began his quest in May 2019, starting with a 25-inch chain pickerel. That year, he went on to catch a largemouth bass, red drum and a common carp, all at trophy length.

Then from August 2020 to December 2023 he landed trophy-sized Spanish mackerel, black crappie, hickory shad, Northern snakehead, walleye and the aforementioned striped bass, which measured at 45 inches before he released it.

Here’s the breakdown of Campbell’s qualifying catches:

  • Chain pickerel, 25 inches, May 9, 2019
  • Largemouth bass, 22 inches, August 7, 2019
  • Red drum, 42 inches, September 27, 2019
  • Common carp, 36 inches, October 20, 2019
  • Spanish mackerel, 24 inches, August 25, 2020
  • Black crappie, 15 inches, April 9, 2021
  • Hickory shad, 18 inches, April 22, 2022
  • Northern snakehead, 31 inches, June 20, 2022
  • Walleye, 28 inches, February 27, 2023
  • Striped bass, 45 inches, December 21, 2023

Campbell, a Baltimore native, has been fishing for decades. When he retired from a 35-year career with the State of Maryland Juvenile Services in 2018, he had more time to fish and travel. In addition to pursuing the Master Angler title, Campbell participates in bass fishing tournaments, writes about fishing and recruits young anglers for conservation-minded fishing organizations and youth bass clubs.

The DNR FishMaryland program awards Master Anglers individual certificates for their catches, along with the Master Angler award certificate and a gift card from Bass Pro Shops at Arundel Mills in Anne Arundel County.

Given his involvement with the local fishing scene, Campbell will no doubt put the gift card to good use.

“It was fun to participate in this program,” he says.