11-Year-Old Maryland Girl is a Master Angler

Lucy Perez, 11, of Cecil County, Maryland, recently became the first youth angler to achieve the state’s Master Angler Milestone, an impressive feat that requires catching 10 trophy-sized fish of different species from Maryland waters.

She is one of only 10 anglers to reach the milestone since the program began in 2019. She is the first female master angler and the first youth master angler.

“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 10 catches and received individual certificates for each catch. The department plans to present her the Master Angler Milestone Award certificate along with a gift card prize from Bass Pro Shops. Perez caught her tenth FishMaryland eligible fish, an American shad, on May 6.

Perez’ qualifying catches, in order, were:

  1. Chain pickerel, 27 inches
  2. White perch, 13 inches
  3. Bluegill, 11 inches
  4. Yellow perch, 14 inches
  5. Crappie, 15 inches
  6. Smallmouth bass, 20 inches
  7. Hickory shad, 18 inches
  8. Carp, 33 inches
  9. Pumpkinseed, 10 inches
  10. American shad, 24 inches

Perez regularly fishes with her father, Nick, who often submits 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 wants to pursue a marine biology degree when she is older and is considering a career in fisheries management.

More information on the Master Angler Milestone Award and the FishMaryland program is available on the program’s website.

Fishing Magazine, Coastal Angler & The Angler Magazine is your leading source for freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing videos, fishing photos, saltwater fishing.