Free Fishing Days 2020 – National Fishing and Boating Weekend

Fishing is not only a fun way to introduce someone to the outdoors, but it is a vital source of money for keeping all of our states full of wildlife, open spaces and recreational opportunities in the outdoors.

For these reasons, each state offers free fishing days or weekends for those unable to immediately pay for the necessary licenses and permits and those still wondering if fishing is for them. Check the list of weekends and dates at the end of this article for free fishing in your state.

To many, especially children, the thought of fishing seems as daunting as moving from the old neighborhood and going to a new school.

How do you begin? What’s with all these licenses, fees and rules? How do I know I am doing this right?

| Also Read: How to get started with Freshwater Fishing – The Ultimate Beginners Guide

Free Fishing Days 2020

To those who are fish challenged, states throughout the U.S. offer free fishing weekends—and often more than just one weekend—to whittle this thing call fishing down to its bare bones.

No need for a license, special permits or a chunk of change to be legal. All you need is your rod, reel, tackle and a point in the right direction.

Best first fishing tip: Check your state’s fish and wildlife department’s website for everything you need to know about your free fishing weekend(s).

These sites will also let you know where the easiest or best pickings are located. Some states stock lakes or streams as close to urban areas as possible—if not right inside your city—in order to keep you interested via success in catching.

Your State’s Free Fishing Days 2020

AlabamaSecond Saturday in June. June 13
ArizonaFirst Saturday in June. June 6
ArkansasSecond Full weekend in June. June 12-14
CaliforniaFirst Saturday in July. July 4th, September 5th
ColoradoFirst weekend of June. June 6-7
ConnecticutFree Fishing Day May 9th, Free 1 day license, June 21st, August 8th
DCTBD
DelawareFirst weekend of June. June 6-7
FloridaFirst weekend in April (freshwater fishing days) April 4-5
Second Saturday and Sunday in June (freshwater) June 13-14
First Saturday and Sunday in June (saltwater) June 6-7
First Saturday in September (saltwater) Sept 5th
Saturday following Thanksgiving (saltwater) Nov 28th
GeorgiaSep 26th
Hawaii365 days a year (marine) 365 days a year
IdahoSecond Saturday every June. June 13th
IllinoisFather’s Day weekend in June. June 19-22
IndianaFirst Sunday in May May 3rd
First weekend in June. June 6-7
Sept 26th
IowaFirst Friday, Saturday and Sunday that land in June. June 5-7
KansasFirst weekend in June. June 6-7
KentuckyFirst full weekend in June. June 6-7
LouisianaSecond Saturday and Sunday in June. June 13-14
MainePresidents Day Weekend, Feb 15-16
May 30-31
MarylandFirst two Saturdays in June. June 6th and 13th
4th of July
MassachusettsFirst Saturday & Sunday in June (Freshwater). June 6-7
Fathers Day weekend June (Saltwater) June 20-21
MichiganFeb 15 & 16
June 13 & 14
MinnesotaMN Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend (MN residents 16 and older fish free with children younger than 16) Jan. 18 – 20, 2020
Take a Mom Fishing Weekend (Minnesota resident moms fish free) May 9-10, 2020
Take a Kid Fishing Weekend (Minnesota residents 16 and older fish free with children younger than 16) June 5-7, 2020
MississippiJune 6-7 “Mississippi residents can fish without a fishing license (State Fishing Lake and State Park Permits are required to fish in State Fishing Lakes and State Park Lakes on July 4.)” July 4th
MissouriIt is the Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday in June. June 6-7
MontanaFather’s Day weekend June 20-21
NebraskaFree Fishing/Free Park Entry day. May 16
NevadaSecond Saturday in June. Jun 13
New HampshireThird Saturday in January. Jan 18
First Saturday in June. June 6
New JerseyJune 6
October 17th
New MexicoFirst Saturday in June, June 6 last Saturday in September, Sept 26th
New YorkJune 27-28, 2020
September 26, 2020
November 11
February 15-16
North CarolinaIndependence Day July 4th
North DakotaFirst weekend in June. June 6-7
Last weekend in Dec Dec 26-27
OhioFather’s Day Weekend June 20-21
OklahomaFirst Weekend in June. June 6-7
OregonPresident’s Day Weekend Feb 15-16
First Weekend in June, June 6-7
August August 15-16
Thanksgiving Weekend, Nov 27-28
PennsylvaniaSunday before Memorial Day May 24th
Independence Day July 4th
Rhode IslandFirst Weekend in May. (Freshwater Fishing only) May 2-3
South CarolinaMemorial Day, May 25th
Independence Day, July 4th
South DakotaThird weekend in May, May 15-17
TennesseeJune 6-12
TexasFirst Saturday in June. June 6
UtahJune 6th
VermontFourth Saturday in January , Jan 25th
Second Saturday in June, June 13
VirginiaFirst full weekend in June. June 5-7
Washingtonfirst weekend after the first Monday in June. June 6-7
West VirginiaSecond Saturday and Sunday in June. June 13-14
WisconsinWinter Free Fishing weekend – Third weekend in January, Jan 18-19
Summer Free Fishing weekend – First Saturday and Sunday in June, June 6-7
WyomingFirst Saturday in June. June 6

Source: Takemefishing.org

If one of your parents, relatives or neighbors fish, tap their know-how and learn where they go to catch their fish.

Most importantly, know the basic rules in your state, despite the free pass on a license. Each state differs when it comes to limits on the species of fish you seek and the seasons for each species.

Many differ on the type of tackle or bait you use in particular waters and particular seasons. Again, your state’s fish and wildlife agency provides all your need to know in this regard via their websites and printed literature, available at virtually all sporting goods stores.

Your state might even offer free fishing clinics during the week in which free fishing falls. City or county parks departments might offer one-day introductions to fishing. Some offer a day on the dock or shore to learn the basics of casting with a fly rod. Learn what your state offers.

Meanwhile, parents and kids, mark the free fishing weekends corresponding to your state in the following list. Tell your other relatives and friends about it. Make it a free-fishing party.

Got boat? Make it a National Fishing and Boating Weekend

Of course, water craft and fishing go hand in hand. After all, what’s better than getting to the hottest spot on the lake, pond or stream when it is not along the beach or end of a dock? For this reason, states schedule free fishing weekends around National Boating Week (June 6-14).

Keep safety in mind by equipping your boat with all the Coast Guard requirements, including life vests, boat-traffic courtesy and meanings of the different colored buoys—to name just a few.

See if one of your friends or relatives owns a boat—if you or your parents don’t keep one already. Many resorts rent boats by the hour or day.

After all, there is no better way to enjoy a free fishing weekend than to share it with others. Everyone can get chummy, enjoy each other’s success and enjoy all aspects of the water in a boat. Moreover, all of you get a bit closer and friendlier with Mother Nature.

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