Fishing

Fishing is a great way to relax and enjoy some time outdoors. It's also a great way to protect fish habitat! The money you spend on a fishing license helps fund work to conserve waters, wetlands, and other resources in your state that are needed for healthy fish and wildlife populations. A portion of the sales of fishing equipment also helps fund state conservation efforts as well as support outdoor recreation opportunities.

A young boy holding a fish he just caught at a National Fishing and Boating event. Photo credit: USFWS

Free Fishing Days

Ready to cast a line? Try fishing for a day without having to purchase a license! It's the perfect opportunity to try it yourself or introduce family and friends to the fun of fishing. Your local Izaak Walton League chapter may offer fishing events for beginners, so check with your local chapter

Here are the free fishing day dates for 2020 in states with League chapters.

Alabama

Second Saturday in June (June 13)

California

Independence Day (July 4) and September 5

Colorado

First Saturday and Sunday in June (June 6-7)

Florida

Freshwater: First Saturday and Sunday in April (April 4-5) and second Saturday and Sunday in June (June 13-14)

Saltwater: First Saturday and Sunday in June (June 6-7), first Saturday in September (September 5), and Saturday following Thanksgiving (November 28)

Georgia

National Hunting and Fishing Day (September 26)

Idaho

Second Saturday in June (June 13)

Illinois

Full Father's Day weekend and following Monday (June 19-22)

Indiana

First Saturday in May (May 3), first Saturday and Sunday in June (June 6-7), and National Hunting and Fishing Day (September 26)

Iowa

First full weekend in June (June 5-7)

Maryland

First two Saturdays in June (June 6 and 13) and Independence Day (July 4)

Massachusetts

Freshwater: First Saturday and Sunday in June (June 6-7)

Saltwater: Saturday and Sunday of Father's Day weekend (June 20-21)

Michigan

Third Saturday and Sunday in February (February 15-16) and second Saturday and Sunday in June (June 13-14)

Minnesota

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of MLK Day (January 18-20), Saturday and Sunday of Mother's Day (May 9-10, moms fish for free), and first full weekend in June (June 5-7, free when fishing with children)

Nebraska

"Free Park Entry Day" on the third Saturday in May (May 16)

New York

Saturday and Sunday of President's Day weekend (February 15-16), fourth Saturday and Sunday in June (June 27-28), National Hunting and Fishing Day (September 26), and Veteran's Day (November 11)

North Carolina

Independence Day (July 4)

North Dakota

First Saturday and Sunday in June (June 6-7) and fourth Saturday and Sunday in December (December 26-27, for ice fishing)

Ohio

Saturday and Sunday of Father's Day weekend (June 20-21)

Oregon

Saturday and Sunday of President's Day weekend (February 15-16), first Saturday and Sunday of June (June 6-7), third Saturday and Sunday of August (August 15-16), and Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving (November 27-28)

Pennsylvania

Sunday before Memorial Day (May 24) and Independence Day (July 4)

South Dakota

Third full weekend in May (May 15-17)

Virginia

First full weekend in June (June 5-7)

West Virginia

Second Saturday and Sunday in June (June 6-7)

Wisconsin

Third Saturday and Sunday in January (January 18-19) and first Saturday and Sunday in June (June 13-14)

Wyoming

First Saturday in June (June 6)


Note:
 Always refer to state fishing regulations.
 
For a complete list of "free fishing days" in these and other states, visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's website.