AUSTIN – Each year on the first Saturday in June, anglers across the state pack their tackle boxes and get their fishing poles ready for the Texas tradition of Free Fishing Day. This year, Free Fishing Day lands on June 3 and Texans can fish on any public waterbody in the state without a fishing license.
“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.”
Anglers help the conservation effort with their license purchase with 100 percent of fishing license fees going to TPWD. The fees fund on-the-ground conservation efforts such as fish stocking that help make Texas one of the best places in the country to fish. For more information on licensing, visit the TPWD license page.
To help celebrate Free Fishing Day, TPWD offers multiple resources to provide fun, high-quality fishing opportunities to anglers of all skill levels and all ages.
- Fishing 101 – Learn the basics of fishing with tips and a variety of videos. Find resources for how to get started, safety, supplies and gear, casting and baiting, cleaning and storing fish on the TPWD Learn to Fish webpage.
- Visit Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center – Grab your family for a day of free fishing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is offering free admission for everyone, and visitors will have a chance to catch a tagged catfish and win a prize during “Fish Tag Friendzy”. In addition, the Texas Fish Art Contest finalist and honorable mentions will be displayed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Visitor Center. Hot dogs, hamburgers and drinks are on sale beginning at 11 a.m. and available while supplies last. Visitors can watch the dive show at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., followed by hatchery tram tours immediately after each show. Visitors may bring their own fishing tackle or borrow gear from the TFFC.
- Find a Place to Fish close to Home – Texas offers numerous lakes and rivers with access to fishing throughout the state. The Lake Finder page on the TPWD website can help anglers find lakes by region or alphabetically. Access to information and fishing tips on more than 150 lakes are available. Check out the River Fishing page to find out where to get access to Texas’ flowing waters.
- Go Fishing in the City – TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide urban angling access for the entire family across the state. In all, 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide a great opportunity to catch channel catfish including five in Dallas-Fort Worth, four in the Houston area, two each in the Austin and San Antonio areas, and one each in Amarillo, College Station, San Angelo, Waco and Wichita Falls. Information on lake locations and how-to fishing videos can be found on the Neighborhood Fishin’ website.
- Fish in a State Park: Lake Livingston, Lake Arrowhead, Galveston Island, Sea Rim, LBJ, Bonham, Eisenhower, Martin Creek and Ray Roberts are offering a variety of Free Fishing Day events. Check out the state parks event calendar for more information. Although June 3 is designated as Free Fishing Day in Texas, fishing is free year-round at every Texas State Park.
- Buy a License: The Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package for Texas residents offers a great value, allowing anglers to fish in fresh and salt water. It’s valid from the date of purchase through the end of the purchase month of the next license year. (Example: License purchased on March 13, 2023 expires March 31, 2024)
Learn more about Free Fishing Day at TakeMeFishing.org.