SAN ANTONIO – Every year on the first Saturday in June, anyone can fish recreationally without a license in Texas.
This year, Free Fish Day falls on June 4, and Texans can fish any public body of water in the state without a fishing license.
The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife said the free fishing day was meant to encourage more people to try fishing.
More than 70 state parks offer free fishing year-round, though entrance fees still apply, as well as length and bag limits.
“Free Fishing Day is a wonderful opportunity for anglers to share their knowledge, skills, gear and love of fishing with a new entrant, but it’s also more than that,” said Craig Bonds, Director inland fisheries of the TPWD. “We hope that those trying to fish on this special day will also learn that buying a license is an act of conservation. Buying a fishing license is one of the easiest and safest ways to effective in supporting fisheries science and management.”
A fishing license is normally required for adults and can be purchased starting at $11 for a one-day all-water permit for Texas residents. Children 16 and under fish for free, in addition to anyone born before January 1, 1931. You can purchase a license at local retailers or online here.
A nonresident fishing license is required of all nonresidents fishing in Texas public waters, according to TPWD, with some exceptions.
Anglers no longer need to carry their paper fishing license with them. A readable digital photo, emailed receipt, online purchase record or digital copy of your fishing license are also acceptable.
Additionally, some disabled veterans are eligible for free fishing year-round. The TPWD offers a great freshwater hunting and fishing package for veterans with disabilities who have lost the use of a foot or leg, or have a disability rating of 50% or greater. Full details can be found here.
For more information on fishing license requirements and rules, visit tpwd.com.
Related: 18 places to fish near San Antonio
TPWD offers the following resources for anglers of all skill levels:
Fishing 101 – Learn the basics of fishing with tips and a variety of videos. Resources on how to get started, safety, supplies and equipment, casting and baiting, and cleaning and storing fish are available on the TPWD Learn to Fish webpage.
Find a place to fish near you – Texas offers many lakes and rivers that the public can access for fishing throughout the state. Check out the May issue of Fish Texas for more on how you can find the perfect spot nearby! Included in this issue is the Lake Finder where anglers can search by region or alphabetically if you already have a specific lake in mind. Access to fishing information and advice on over 150 lakes is available. Also check out community fishing lakes which can also be great options.
Saltwater fishing from a pier – There are many wheelchair accessible fishing piers available for public use along the coast. The docks are a great place for the whole family to try saltwater fishing without the need for a boat. Public access sites can be found in each array system.
Help the conservation effort with your license purchase – Did you know that 100% of your fishing license fee goes to the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife for on-the-ground conservation efforts, such as fish stocking, that help make Texas the one of the best places in the country to fish? For more information on licensing, visit the TPWD licensing page.
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