Anglers all throughout Texas are getting ready for Free Fishing Day on June 5. Texans can fish on any public waterbody in the state without a fishing license on the first Saturday in June each year.
“Free Fishing Day is a wonderful opportunity for anglers to share their knowledge, skills, equipment, and love for fishing with a new participant, yet it’s also more than that,” said Craig Bonds, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries Director. “We hope those trying fishing on this special day will also learn that purchasing a license is an act of conservation. A fishing license purchase is one of the simplest and most effective way people can support fisheries science and management.”
To commemorate Free Fishing Day, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has a number of services available to anglers of all skill levels and ages.
Fishing 101 – Learn the fundamentals of fishing with tips and videos. The TPWD Learn to Fish Website has information on how to get started, safety, supplies and gear, casting and baiting, and cleaning and storing fish.
Find a Local Fishing Spot – Texas has a plethora of lakes and rivers offering fishing opportunities all around the state. Anglers can use the TPWD’s Lake Finder Website to search for lakes by area or alphabetically. More than 150 lakes are covered, with information and fishing techniques provided. Also, look at community fishing lakes, which might be excellent choices.
Saltwater Fishing from a Pier – There are various public fishing piers along the coast that are handicapped accessible. Piers are a terrific venue for the whole family to practice saltwater fishing without having to bring their own boat. In every bay system, there are public access points.
Go Fishing in the City – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes allow access to urban angling for the entire family around the state. There are 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, four in Houston, two each in Austin and San Antonio, and one each in Amarillo, College Station, San Angelo, Waco, and Wichita Falls. The Neighborhood Fishin’ website has information on lake locations as well as how-to fishing videos.
Outdoor Adventures – At the Abilene Outdoor Adventures 2021 event at Cal Young Park, TPWD, the City of Abilene, and many other organizations will conduct outdoor education activities for kids and adults from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. At the Cal Young Park pond, participants can learn about fishing and fish for catfish (with some loaner tackle and bait given). Staff from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as well as other community organizations, will have booths at the event, where families can participate in activities like as archery and fishing. There will also be wildlife education and plant identification exercises, as well as trekking, camping, and kayak demos.
Kayak Fishing on a Paddling Trail in Texas: With over 3,700 named streams, 15 major rivers, and 3,300 miles of tidal shoreline along the Gulf Coast, Texas provides limitless options for paddling excursions and angling of all kinds. On any of the 78 official Texas Paddling Trails available throughout the state, enjoy enhanced and maintained fishing and paddling access to rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, bayous, and bays.
Fishing in a State Park: On June 5, three state parks will host special events. The “Summer Bash Kids Fish” will be hosted at Fort Boggy State Park, the “Catfish Corral” will be hosted at Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center, and a “Family Fishing” event will be place at Bonham State Park. Despite the fact that June 5 is designated as Free Fishing Day in Texas, fishing is free at all Texas State Parks all year.
With your license purchase, you can contribute to the conservation effort. Did you know that 100% of your fishing license costs go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) for on-the-ground conservation programs like fish stocking, which help make Texas one of the top fishing states in the country? Visit the TPWD licenses page for additional information about licensing.
Anglers can fish in both fresh and salt water with the Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package for Texas citizens. It is valid from the date of purchase until the end of the next license year’s purchasing month. (For instance, a license purchased on March 13, 2021 is valid until March 31, 2022.) On June 5, the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center will also be open to the public for free.
TakeMeFishing.org has more information on Free Fishing Day.
If you plan on fishing in federal waters, bear in mind that the private recreational angler red snapper season, which begins June 1, requires a license.
Check out our article on the Best Fishing Places In and Around Houston
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