Free Fishing Days Are Coming—Here’s When To Go in Every State

Ahhh, sunshine and the water—nothing better.

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Go fish—and do it for free!

Thanks to National Fishing and Boating Week—which is June 3-11 this year—most states offer at least one free fishing day to celebrate. The national celebration of fishing and boating is meant to highlight the importance of recreational boating and fishing as ways that enhance our quality of life, and also highlight the importance of preserving our country’s waterways.

The free fishing days aren’t synced up with the celebratory week, however many do fall in June. Some states offer entire free fishing weekends or multiple days throughout the year. Many states will be offering free fishing days as early as May, though.

fishing photo

Free fishing days mean anglers are allowed to fish on public bodies of water without the fishing licenses that are typically required, explains Take Me Fishing.  Since most avid fishers have their licenses, these “free days” could be a great opportunity to take new fishers out on the water.

Or, if you’re a fisher and traveling to another state, you could cast your line without getting the local license.

Annual licenses typically cost between $20 and $60, depending on the state and whether you’re a resident or just a visitor.

If you’re not sure where to go on free fishing days,  you can use your zip code to search for locations. The search feature will pinpoint places where you can fish and give you information about what fish are typically caught in the waters. The tool also can show you nearby bait shops, marinas, fly fishing shops and charters. Ninety percent of Americans live within an hour of navigable fishing areas.

Here’s when you can fish for free in almost every state in 2017. (Sorry, Alaskans, there’s no free fishing days in your state in 2017).

Alabama

  • June 10

Arkansas

  •  June 9 through June 11

Arizona

  •  June 3

California

  •  July 1
  • September 2

Colorado

  • June 3 and June 4 (First full weekend of June, each year)

Connecticut

  • May 13

District of Columbia

  •  June 2 through June 4

Delaware

  • June 3 and June 4 

Florida

  • June 3 and June 4 (saltwater)
  • June 10 and June 11 (freshwater)
  • Sept. 2 (saltwater)
  • Nov. 25 (saltwater)

Georgia

  • June 3
  • June 10
  • September 23

Hawaii

  •  365 days a year (marine)

Iowa

  • June 2 through June 4

Idaho 

  • June 10 (Second Saturday every June)

Illinois 

  • June 16 and June 17 (Father’s Day weekend every June)

Indiana 

  • May 20
  • June 3 and June 4

Kansas

  • June 3 and June 4

Kentucky

  • June 3 and June 4

Louisiana 

  • July 10 and July 11

Maine 

  • June 3 and June 4

Maryland 

  • June 3
  • June 10
  • July 4 (Independence Day)

Massachusetts 

  • June 3 and June 4

Michigan 

  • June 10 and June 11

Minnesota 

  • May 13 and May 14
  • June 9 through June 11
  • Jan. 13 through Jan. 15, 2018

Missouri 

  • May 6

Mississippi

  • June 3 and June 4
  • July 4 (Independence Day)

Montana 

  • June 17 and June 18

North Carolina 

  • July 4 (Independence Day)

North Dakota 

  • June 3 and June 4
  • December 30 and December 31

New Hampshire 

  • June 17
  • Jan. 1, 2018

New Jersey 

  • June 10
  • Oct. 21

New Mexico 

  • June 3
  • Sept. 23

New York 

  • June 24 through June 25
  • Nov. 11

Nevada 

  • June 10

Ohio 

  • May 6 and May 7

Oklahoma 

  • June 3 and June 4

Oregon

  • June 3 and June 4

Pennsylvania 

  • May 28
  • July 4 (Independence Day)

Rhode Island 

  • May 6 and May 7

South Carolina 

  • May 29 (Memorial Day)
  • July 4 (Independence Day

South Dakota

  • May 28 to May 30 (Memorial Day weekend)

Tennessee 

  • June 10

Texas 

  • June 3

Utah 

  • June 10

Virginia 

  • June 2 through June 4

Vermont 

  • Date not released yet

Washington 

  • June 10 and June 11

Wisconsin 

  • June 3 and June 4

West Virginia

  • June 10 and June 11

Wyoming

  • June 3

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