For most people, fishing is a popular pastime that has been enjoyed for generations, but not everyone who fishes regularly is an experienced angler or can afford to purchase fishing licenses regularly, which makes free fishing days an excellent opportunity to get out on the water.

If you’re new to an area or new to fishing, a free fishing day sponsored by your state is an excellent opportunity to try fishing, but when are the free fishing days in your state? In the following free fishing day guide, we’ll cover:

If you love fishing, check out the Best States for Fishing: A Comprehensive Guide for Anglers! Your ultimate guide to the best states in the USA to go angling.

Free fishing days are a great opportunity to take someone new fishing or just try fishing for the first time if you’ve never been, but where are the best places to go fishing? Luckily, the Fishbox App has you covered with all the best fishing locations and the best time to hit the water in your local area.

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Thanks to the Fishbox App, a premium downloadable Fishing Forecasting App that you can take fishing with you, you’ll know the best time to plan your fishing trip, including when your target species is most active and the best local hotspots to try your luck.

What Are Free Fishing Days?

A free fishing day is a specific day or days in a state where anyone can go fishing without needing to purchase a fishing license. It’s a great opportunity to get out on the water with friends, family, and young children who are just learning to fish or fishing for the first time.

Typically, each state offers several free fishing days per year, with most states providing them on long weekends and holidays to maximize opportunities for residents to explore the great fishing opportunities in their state.

While you don’t need a fishing license or permit to fish on a free fishing day, the same rules and regulations still apply, so checking the regulations before you hit the water is essential.

You’ll still need to abide by the following regulations:

  • Size LimitsYou can only catch fish species according to their designated size limits, which typically include a minimum size and also, in some cases, a maximum size. Fish species are measured in different ways, so be sure to check how to accurately measure your fish first and bring an accurate measuring device.
  • Season LimitsSome fish species have open and closed seasons, and these seasons will vary depending on what body of water you’re fishing on. Season limits are typically set to protect fish before, during, and after spawning.
  • Catch LimitsJust because it’s a free fishing day, catch or bag limits still apply, limiting how many fish of a particular species you can catch.

The Benefits of Free Fishing Days

Free fishing days are a fantastic opportunity to try fishing for the first time without having to commit to purchasing an annual fishing license. It also allows you to take new anglers and kids out fishing to teach them the joys and fun associated with fishing. As we mentioned above, all the regular fishing rules and regulations apply, including size, season, and catch limits, so be sure to check out your state’s regulations before getting out on the water.

Free Fishing Days 2024: Key Dates

Below, we’ve listed all the state’s free fishing days, along with links to where you can find more information about each state’s fishing rules and regulations.

StateFree Fishing DatesMore Information
Alabama June 8th 2024Outdoor Alabama 
AlaskaJune 8th – June 9th 2024Alaska Fish and Game
ArizonaJune 1st 2024Arizona Game and Fish
Arkansas June 7th – June 9th 2024Arkansas Game and Fish
California July 6th and August 31st 2024California Fish and Wildlife
ColoradoJune 1st – June 2nd 2024Colorado Parks and Wildlife
ConnecticutMay 11th, June 16th, August 10th 2024Connecticut Energy and Resources
DCJune 1st and June 9th 2024DOEC
DelawareJune 1st – June 2nd 2024Delaware Fishing
FloridaApril 6th – 7th, June 8th – 9th Freshwater. June 1st – 2nd, Sept. 7th and Nov. 30th, 2024, Saltwater.Florida Fish and Wildlife
GeorgiaJune 1st, June 8th, Sept. 28th 2024Georgia Wildlife Division
HawaiiYear Round in SaltwaterDivision of Aquatic Resources
IdahoJune 8th 2024Idaho Fish and Game
IllinoisJune 14th – June 17th 2024Illinois Fish and Game
IndianaMay 12th, June 1st – 2nd, and Sept. 28th, 2024Indiana Fish and Wildlife
IowaJune 7th – June 9th 2024Iowa Department of Natural Resources
KansasJune 1st – June 2nd 2024Kansas Dept. Wildlife and Parks
KentuckyJune 1st – June 2nd 2024Kentucky Fish and Wildlife
LouisianaJune 8th – June 9th 2024Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries
MaineFebruary 17th – 18th and June 1st – 2nd, 2024Maine Inland Fisheries 
MarylandJune 1st, June 8th, and July 4th 2024Maryland Dept. Natural Resources
Massachusetts    June 1st – June 2nd 2024Division of Fish and Wildlife
MichiganFebruary 17th – 18th & June 8th – 9th, 2024Michigan Department of Natural Resources
MinnesotaResidents – Year-Round. Conditions Apply.Parks and Wildlife
MississippiJune 1st – June 2nd 2024Mississippi Fish & Game 
MissouriJune 8th – June 9th 2024Department of Conservation
MontanaJune 15th – June 16th 2024Montana Fish, Game, & Parks
NebraskaMay 18th, 2024Nebraska Game and Parks
NevadaJune 8th, 2024Nevada Fish and Wildlife
New HampshireJanuary 20th and June 1st, 2024Fish and Game Department
New JerseyJune 1st and October 19th, 2024New Jersey Fish & Wildlife
New MexicoJune 1st and Sept. 2nd, 2024New Mexico Fish & Game
New YorkFebruary 17th – 18th, June 29th – 30th, September 28th, and November 11th, 2024  New York Fish and Game
North CarolinaJuly 4th, 2024Fish and Game Department
North DakotaJune 1st – June 2nd, and December 28th – 29th, 2024Fish and Wildlife
OhioJune 15th – June 16th, 2024Department of Natural Resources
OklahomaJune 1st – June 2nd, 2024Oklahoma Fish and Game
OregonFebruary 17th – 18th,  June 1st – June 2nd, and Nov. 29th – 30th, 2024Oregon Fish and Wildlife 
PennsylvaniaMay 26th and July 4th, 2024Pennsylvania Fish and Boat
Rhode IslandMay 4th – May 5th, 2024Dept. Environmental Management
South CarolinaMay 27th and July 4th, 2024South Carolina Fish and Game
South DakotaMay 17th – May 19th, 2024South Dakota Fish and Wildlife
TennesseeJune 8th, 2024Tennessee Wildlife Resources
TexasJune 1st, 2024Texas Parks and Wildlife
UtahJune 8th, 2024Utah Division of Fish and Wildlife
VermontJanuary 27th and June 8th, 2024Agency of Natural Resources
VirginiaJune 7th – June 9th, 2024Virginia DWR
WashingtonJune 8th – June 9th 2024Washington Fish & Wildlife
West VirginiaJune 8th – June 9th 2024West Virginia DNR
WisconsinJune 1st – June 2nd, 2024Department of Natural Resources
WyomingJune 1st, 2024Wyoming Fish & Game Department

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the FAQs related to free fishing days in the United States.

1. Do I need a fishing license on Free Fishing Days?

For almost all states, a fishing license on free fishing days isn’t a requirement. However, some states have additional free fishing days, so you need to apply for a free fishing license before you head out on the water. Check your state’s Fish and Wildlife Department website for more information.

2. Are there any age restrictions?

Free fishing days are open to all ages, and there are no age restrictions on who can take advantage of a free fishing day.

3. Can I fish in any body of water on Free Fishing Days?

Not all bodies of water will be open on free fishing days. State closures for spawning will still apply, so check your state’s Fish and Wildlife Department website for more information before going out on the water.

Free Fishing Days 2024 – Conclusion

With limited free fishing days in each state, it’s essential to plan ahead so that you can make the most of these limited opportunities. If you’re new to fishing or just want to take some friends or family fishing that don’t typically go fishing, a free fishing day is the perfect time to do it.

Get your personalized fishing map

Answer a quick quiz and get your own personalized fishing map

Thanks to state-of-the-art technology in the Fishbox App, and the latest weather and tidal prediction software and algorithms, anglers will be able to accurately track weather conditions in their fishing area and predict the best times to go fishing. It combines predictive fish behavior with weather, lunar, and tidal conditions to deliver optimal fishing opportunities, regardless of where you plan on going angling.

The Fishing App was developed in collaboration with accurate weather data and expert fish behavioral analysis. These advanced forecasts will significantly increase your catch rate while cutting down on how much time you spend fishing. Take your fishing to the next level thanks to the expert advice from the Fishbox App team.

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