Free Fishing Days 2018: Here’s When You Can Fish Without A License In Your State

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Flickr | MyFWCmedia

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Want to try your hand at fishing, but don’t have a license? We have good news! For National Fishing and Boating Week — which is June 2 to 10 this year — most states offer free fishing days. On those days, you’re allowed to fish in public bodies of water without a fishing license.

It’s the perfect opportunity for anyone who wants to try fishing for the first time — or even for experienced anglers who simply don’t have a license. It’s also a great chance for anyone with a license to bring a friend or family member along to show them how to enjoy this classic, relaxing pastime.

Getty Images | David McNew

The nation’s free fishing days don’t all line up with National Fishing and Boating Week this year, but most are in June. Others are spread out throughout the year, giving everyone a chance to get out on the water for a good time. It also means that if you’re traveling somewhere, you could still fish outside of your home state on a free fishing day without having to get a local license.

To find out where you can go on the free fishing days, check out TakeMeFishing.org, the website of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, to search for locations and to find information about what type of fish you might catch. If you find out fishing is for you after taking advantage of the free days, the website also has a place to purchase a license in your state.

Getty Images | Mark Runnacles

The RBFF recommends contacting your state fish and wildlife agency for specific regulations, as certain restrictions may apply when it comes to free fishing days. Listed below is when you can fish for free in almost every state in 2018. Unfortunately, if you live in Alaska, you’re out of luck — but all other states have at least one free day.

Alabama

Arkansas

Arizona

California

Colorado

Flickr | bugeaters

Connecticut

  • May 12 (also June 12 and Aug. 11 if you get a free one-day license)

District Of Columbia

Delaware

Florida

Flickr | Stig Nygaard

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Georgia

Hawaii

Iowa

Idaho

Illinois

Flickr | bradhoc

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Flickr | Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana's Other Side

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

  • May 12-13: Minnesota residents who are moms can fish for free
  • June 8-10: Minnesota residents 16 and older can fish for free with children younger than 16
  • Fishing in state parks is always free for Minnesota residents when:
    1. the body of water does not require a trout stamp
    2. fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park
    3. fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park

Flickr | U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region

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Missouri

Mississippi

Montana

North Carolina

North Dakota

Getty Images | Chung Sung-Jun

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

Flickr | U.S. Department of the Interior

Nevada

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Getty Images | Mark Stahl

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Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Flickr | Brian Sloat

Utah

Virginia

Vermont

Washington

Flickr | BLMOregon

Wisconsin

West Virginia

Wyoming

About the Author

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Kaitlin Gates

Kaitlin is a freelance multimedia journalist with a background in newspaper and broadcasting. She has a degree in journalism and psychology, enjoys writing, editing, music and movies/TV. When she's not writing, you can usually find her on her yoga mat, whipping up a new vegetarian dish or at a wine tasting with friends. You can email her at kaitlingateswrites@gmail.com or find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/KaitlinGatesWrites. Learn More.