Enjoy the Great Outdoors with FREE Fishing Days

Updated for 2021!

Fishing is a way of life where I live in Sussex County, NJ. Families love taking advantage of gorgeous Lake Hopatcong during every season to spend the day fishing. Whether it’s from a dock, a boat or a bridge, families love casting their line and waiting for the perfect catch. In my post listing the benefits of fishing I shared how this sport is not only fun but it also enhances important skills like patience, motor planning and coordination. It also helps develop an appreciation of nature as well as promote family bonding.

For those that don’t know, a fishing license is needed to enjoy a day full of fishing adventures.  Adults (often ages 16 and up) need to apply for a fishing license in order to enjoy this classic past time. Each state has different requirements so it is important to research your state as well as the state you wish to visit.

Fishing with Dad

Not sure if fishing is for you? Then try it out first on a FREE fishing day! That’s right! Several days throughout the year individuals of all ages can fish without needing a license. This allows those who are new to the sport to see what the hype is all about. It’s also a great time to travel to other states to checkout their fishing adventures. You can plan a fishing weekend around a free fishing day without having to worry about registering in another state.

At first, I was just going to share the PA and NJ dates but since I am such a big believer in traveling and exploring the country, I decided to research ALL the free fishing days in the United States. No need to google anything because all the dates are right here! For more information you can also visit Takemefishing.org.

FREE Fishing Days in the United States

Alabama: June 12

Arizona: June 5

Arkansas: June 11 – 13

California: July 3 and September 4

Colorado: June 5-6

Connecticut: May 8; Free one day license – June 20 and August 14

Delaware: June 5-6

Florida: Freshwater – April 3-4 and June 12-13; Saltwater – June 5-6, September 4 and November 27

The Fishing Hole at Port Orleans is a fun way to spend the day at Disney World.

The Fishing Hole at Port Orleans is a fun way to spend the day at Disney World.

Georgia: June 5 and 12; National Hunting and Fishing Day – September 26


Idaho: June 12

Illinois: June 18-21

Indiana: May 2 and June 5-6; National Hunting and Fishing Day – September 25

Iowa: June 4-6

Kansas: June 5-6

Kentucky: June 5-6

Louisiana: June 12-13

While fishing, children must learn to be patient and not give up quickly!

Maine: June 5-6

Maryland: June 5 and 12 and July 4

Massachusetts: June 5-6 (freshwater); June 19-20 (saltwater)

Michigan: June 12-13

Minnesota: May 8-9 (moms fish for FREE); June 11-13 (take a kid fishing weekend); Jan. 15-1, 2022 (take a kid ice fishing weekend)

Mississippi: June 5-6 and July 4

Missouri: June 12-13

Kids have to learn how to carefully balance themselves while fishing!

Montana: June 19-20

Nebraska: May 22

Nevada: June 12

New Hampshire: June 5

New Jersey: June 5 and October 23

Caught a fish

New Mexico: June 5 and September 25

New York: June 26-27, September 25 and November 11

North Carolina: July 4

North Dakota: June 5-6 and December 25-26 (ice fishing)

Ohio: June 19-20

Oklahoma: June 5-6

Oregon: June 5-6 and November 26-27

Pennsylvania: May 30 and July 4

Fishing at Hersheypark Camping Resort

Rhode Island: May 1-2

South Carolina: May 31 and July 4

South Dakota: May 9, 21-23 and June 20

Tennessee: June 6-12

Texas: June 5

Utah: June 12

Fishing is wonderful way for parents to bond with their kids!

Vermont: June 12

Virginia: June 4-6

Washington: June 5-6 and 13

Washington D.C.: May 31-June 6

West Virginia: June 12-13

Wisconsin: June 5-6

Wyoming: June 5

It is also important to note that National Fishing and Boating Week is June 5-13 so check with your local fishing organizations for events and programs!

Happy fishing!

You may also enjoy:

Benefits of Fishing

Make Your Own Catch of the Day

Gone Fishing Birthday Party from Oriental Trading

Benefits of Hiking

Hiking Fun Questions and Activities to Enhance Your Trip

Benefits of Camping

Ways to Have Fun Outdoors This Spring

Summer Fun

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