If you’ve ever wanted to try fishing, you should definitely take advantage of this year’s free fishing days.
Every year, in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week — which is June 1-9 this year — most states offer free fishing days, where you can fish on public bodies of water without a fishing license. Some even offer entire weekends of free fishing.
It is a good time to try fishing for the first time or head out on the water for a day if you’ve let your license lapse. If you do have an annual license, it would also be a good time to bring a friend, family member or child along with you so they can experience fishing firsthand.
This year’s free fishing days aren’t all during National Fishing and Boating Week. For example, Oregon has several free weekends a year, and Florida offers multiple free-fishing options on both freshwater and the ocean. Just check out the full calendar below to see when your state is offering free days — or plan your vacation time based on the free days in another destination.
If you miss the Free Fishing Day near you, some states also offer free fishing on National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 28 and on National Fishing Day on June 18. You can see where to go fishing near you at Take Me Fishing’s website, where you can also purchase an annual license if you find out fishing is for you.
Note that all states have at least one free fishing day, with the exception of Alaska. Just click on the date for your state to find out more information.
- May 11
- You can also fish for free on June 16 and Aug. 10 if you get a one-day license.
District of Columbia
- April 6-7 (freshwater)
- June 1-2 (saltwater)
- June 8-9 (freshwater)
- Sept. 7 (saltwater)
- Nov. 30 (saltwater)
- May 11-12: Mothers who are residents of Minnesota can fish without a license.
- June 7-9: Minnesota residents 16 and older who take a child 15 or younger fishing don’t need a license.
- Fishing in state parks is always free for Minnesota residents in these conditions: when the body of water doesn’t require a trout stamp; fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park; fishing through ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park.
Will you head out for a free fishing day this year?
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