If you’ve ever considered taking up fishing as a pastime but would rather try it out before getting a license, you won’t want to miss this year’s free fishing weekends.
Free fishing weekend happens every year around the country on different dates, depending on the state in which you live. On free fishing weekend, you will be able to fish for free on public properties without a license.
Free fishing weekend happens every year across the country in honor of National Fishing and Boating Week, which is June 4-12 this year. While most states offer free fishing days during those specific dates, some offer them outside of that week or year-round.
Some states even offer multiple free fishing weekends in case you won’t be able to fish during National Fishing and Boating Week. If you’re a cold-weather fan, a few states also offer free fishing days in the winter so you can try your luck at ice fishing.
Take a look at the 2022 free fishing dates for each state below. Be sure to click on your state for more information, as some states require you to apply for a free one-day license prior to the free fishing weekend. Also, other rules, such as where you can fish, which bait you can use and what you can take home, will still apply.
Alabama: June 11
Alaska: Residents under 18 and over 60 as well as disabled veterans fish for free year-round
Arizona: June 4
Arkansas: June 10-12
California: July 2 and Sept. 3
Colorado: June 4-5
Connecticut: May 7, June 19, Aug. 6
Washington, D.C.: All of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 4-12
Delaware: June 4-5
Florida: April 2-3 (freshwater), June 4-5 (saltwater), June 11-12 (freshwater), Sept. 3 (saltwater), Nov. 26 (saltwater)
Georgia: June 4 and 11, Sept. 24
Hawaii: Free year-round (marine)
Idaho: June 11
Illinois: June 18-19
Indiana: May 1, June 4-5, Sept. 24
Iowa: June 3-5
Kansas: June 4-5
Kentucky: June 4-5
Louisiana: June 11-12
Maine: June 4-5
Maryland: June 4, June 11, July 4
Massachusetts: June 4-5 (freshwater) June 18-19 (saltwater)
Michigan: June 11-12
Minnesota: Residents can fish without a fishing license in most state parks year-round
Mississippi: June 4-5, July 4
Missouri: June 11-12
Nebraska: May 21
Nevada: June 11
New Hampshire: June 4
New Jersey: June 4, Oct. 22
New Mexico: June 4
New York: June 25-26, Sept. 24, Nov. 11
North Carolina: July 4
North Dakota: June 4-5
Ohio: June 18-19
Oklahoma: June 4-5
Oregon: June 4-5, Nov. 25-26
Pennsylvania: May 29, July 4
Rhode Island: May 7-8 (freshwater only)
South Carolina: May 31, July 4 (freshwater only)
South Dakota: May 20-22
Tennessee: June 11
Texas: June 4
Utah: June 11
Vermont: Not yet announced; will likely be June 11
Virginia: June 3-5
Washington: June 12
West Virginia: June 11-12
Wisconsin: June 4-5
Wyoming: May 31-June 1
Not sure where to go fishing? You can search for the perfect spot on Take Me Fishing’s website, where you can search near you or find popular spots around the country.
Before you head out, make sure you have the proper equipment by taking a look at our guides for the best fishing weights, best men’s fishing shirts and best fishing float. You’ll be able to compare the items by categories including best overall, best for experienced fishermen, best for rough water and more.
If you miss the Free Fishing Day date where you live, some states also offer free fishing on National Fishing Day on June 18, Independence Day on July 4, and National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 24.
Once you’ve taken advantage of these free days, you may decide you’ve got a new hobby. If that’s the case, you can purchase an annual license for your state online.