The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) annually hosts two Free Fishing Days where anyone ages 16 or over can fish without a fishing license. All other regulations remain in place, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours, and stream closures.
Fishing in California
Are you curious about fishing but unsure whether you would enjoy it? Now is an excellent time to try it, with two Free Fishing Days offered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife: one is scheduled this Saturday before the Fourth of July weekend; the second occurs over Labor Day weekend. During these events, fishing without a license is permitted, but all regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours, and stream closures, still apply.
California offers many exciting places for fishing enthusiasts. Some more popular spots include Silver Lake in Amador County, Union Valley Reservoir in El Dorado National Forest, and Shasta Lake, all stocked with trout for an enjoyable fishing experience for novice anglers. Other great fishing locations can be found in ponds, creeks, and rivers throughout California and ocean fishing at one of California’s beaches – you can access more information using CDFW’s Fishing Guide’s interactive map-based database.
CDFW also offers various classes through their “Fishing in the City” program throughout the year, introducing beginners to fishing basics such as baiting and setting up their rod and reel, ethics, safety considerations, cleaning your catch after landing it, and cooking your catch. Check out CDFW’s Fishing in the City website to view these classes’ schedules.
Free Fishing Days and the Fishing in the City programs aim to get people excited about fishing while teaching them more about it. Once hooked, those interested may consider purchasing an annual resident sport fishing license that helps conserve fish populations and habitats and secure California’s long-standing angling opportunities for future generations. Furthermore, supporting this activity locally while having fun outdoor fun with family and friends makes this an excellent way of maintaining our economy. So grab your tackle box and head out for fishing today.
Free Fishing Days
If you want to try fishing without spending the money for a license, Washington State offers several free fishing days during the year for both residents and non-residents alike. These events aim to introduce people to angling and get them hooked!
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will host its second free fishing day this Saturday. This event allows people to experience what the agency calls “an escape in difficult times,” CDFW Director Charlton Bonham believes fishing can help revive and restore mental well-being.
There are countless free fishing opportunities throughout the state, from lakes to ponds and rivers. The Department’s Places to Fish guide can be used to find waters with enough desirable species in viable numbers to warrant public access and facilitate fishing opportunities. Furthermore, fishing guides and apps also provide access to more comprehensive information regarding fishing.
Governor Kathy Hochul of New York encourages New York residents to take advantage of her state’s second free fishing weekend on June 24 and 25. New York residents don’t require a freshwater fishing license during this period; however, regulations and other requirements still apply. Furthermore, New York is actively trying to acquire fishing areas across its borders, so perhaps a new spot near you may soon open.
Pennsylvania hosts two free fishing days yearly, where children under 16 never need a license to enjoy outdoor fun with family. This event provides families with an ideal way to spend quality time outdoors while introducing kids to fishing for themselves.
One option for parents and kids alike is attending a local children’s fishing derby on free fishing days. These events are often organized by townships, service clubs, or sportsmen’s groups and offer an engaging way for youngsters to be introduced to fishing while teaching conservation. Some derbies even feature educational activities and contests designed to promote healthful living – Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Healthy Angler program helps kids create long-term healthy eating and exercise habits!
Fishing in the City
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) encourages anglers to take advantage of California’s second annual Free Fishing Day on Saturday. Anyone 16 or older is eligible to fish without needing a fishing license (typically required of adults). However, certain restrictions still apply, such as needing a valid report card to fish for steelhead or sturgeon in Smith or Klamath-Trinity river systems according to CDFW regulations.
Fishing is always free at piers, jetties, and breakwaters along the coast; however, free fishing days provide newcomers a unique opportunity to test their skill with rods – and see if fishing is something they enjoy before investing in equipment.
Many cities throughout Southern California provide free fishing opportunities in parks, lakes, and recreation areas. Some even host classes through CDFW’s Fishing in the City program to instruct novice anglers in fishing ethics, bait and tackle selection, cleaning their catch, and cooking it to perfection! Some programs even feature heavily stocked ponds, so novice anglers have a higher chance of catching something!
Los Angeles offers an easy-access fishing pond at Huckleberry Park stocked with trout during winter and catfish year-round, providing children an excellent opportunity to learn fishing fundamentals.
Other free fishing spots near Los Angeles include Hermosa Beach in LA, where anglers can fish for sand bass, greenling, and rockfish; Santa Monica Pier offers ample mackerel action as well as mackerel calico and white bass fishing, while Lake Henshaw boasts abundant largemouth bass and catfish populations.
In San Francisco Bay area waters, striped bass and Dungeness crabs can be found abundantly around the Golden Gate Bridge, while fishing for sturgeon and ling in San Francisco Bay can be done just minutes from downtown high-rises. Freshwater lakes also offer many fishing opportunities, such as put-and-take trout fisheries and bass and panfish species angling opportunities – check out Fishing in the City: Sacramento Metro Area for details and Eastern Sierra for more information on local events.
Fishing can be an enjoyable hobby that gives people a window into nature while encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and teaching children responsibility. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers the Fishing Passport program as an incentive for anglers of all ages to explore various parts of California by providing them with a booklet listing fish species found there and stamps awarded upon successfully catching each one; special awards may also be available based on categories caught.
The Fishing Passport provides young people with an enjoyable way to get involved with fishing. Its easy-to-teach scripted program enables participants to interact with marine environments while learning more about ecology. Perfect for use in classrooms, homes, and field trips, as well as information on California fishing history and tips on being an ethical angler.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife will team up with the International Game Fish Association and United Pier and Shore Anglers of California again this year to host this youth fishing event at Marin Rod and Gun Club pier in Marin. It is open to boys and girls 16 years of age or younger who wish to fish; loaner rods and bait, California Fishing Passports with stamps included, and California Finfish and Shellfish Identification books will all be made available as prizes will be awarded per age group.
This annual event, hosted on the Saturday between the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, draws thousands of visitors annually. Local commercial fishermen provide fresh seafood from Santa Barbara Channel, such as lobster, crab legs, prawns, and BBQ albacore, for sale to attendees at this festival, while vendors sell fish-related merchandise. Ocean education presentations will also take place with CDFW staff and Fishing Passport Ambassadors on hand to answer any queries from guests.
The Passport to Fishing & Boating program features six hands-on stations designed to teach about fishing and aquatic stewardship. Each station has its own lesson plan, activity script, and materials needed for conducting the activity – these resources can be downloaded in both English and Spanish for your convenience.