For 364 days a year, fishing without a proper license would cost you a hefty fine.
But on the first Saturday of June, everyone can recreationally fish on any public body of water in Texas without a license or endorsement.
Free Fishing Day in Texas helps kick off National Fishing and Boating Week, which takes place from June 6 to June 14. This free day allows beginner anglers to try fishing for the first time without having to pay for a fishing license. If you already have a fishing license, you can bring a family member or friend along to join in on the fun.
To help celebrate Free Fishing Day, many communities and organizations around Texas usually host an array of events and seminars to provide fun and educational activities for fishers of all skill levels. As Texas continues to reopen, you can still enjoy Free Fishing Day on any of Texas’ 6,700 lakes or 36 rivers, including any BRA reservoir and the Brazos River.
Each of the BRA’s reservoirs have different amenities to accommodate anglers of all skill levels. Possum Kingdom Lake and Lake Granbury have public fishing piers and boat ramps located at multiple points around their shorelines. Possum Kingdom Lake is known as an excellent striper and hybrid fishery, along with other types of fish. Those who fish at Lake Granbury often catch largemouth bass, catfish, sunfish and more. Lake Limestone has four boat launching ramps and offers some of the best fishing in Central Texas, as its flooded timber and aquatic vegetation offer cover for largemouth and white bass, crappie and catfish.
If you don’t want to travel far for Free Fishing Day, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department runs a program called Neighborhood Fishin’, where kids can always fish for free at urban lakes and ponds that are stocked by TPWD. There are multiple locations available in the Brazos River basin, including Lake Buena Vista in Waco and Central Park Pond in College Station. To learn more about the program, click here.
If you have never gone fishing before, Free Fishing Day is the perfect time to try it out. And there are more reasons to go fishing than you probably realize. From spending time in the beautiful outdoors, to the feeling of accomplishment when you catch a personal best, anyone can benefit from going fishing.
First, fishing is a perfect way to destress. Not only does it get you outdoors and away from screens but spending time with a fishing pole also has numerous mental and physical health benefits. Fishing is often used as recreational therapy, as time spent in nature has shown to diminish depression and reduce inflammation. It also helps boost your confidence through feelings of achievement.
No matter how long you’ve been fishing, there are always new skills and techniques to learn. Even switching up your fishing location can bring in new challenges and teach you something new. And if you are an experienced angler, you can mentor a beginner and share your knowledge to help pay it forward. Sharing your love for fishing with friends and family creates special bonds that can last a lifetime, even if you don’t catch anything.
Finally, fishing helps conservation efforts across the country. By purchasing a fishing license, you are contributing to research and waterway enhancement projects. The more you fish, the more you learn about protecting our ecosystems and proper catch and release techniques. Overall, fishing helps you become more mindful of how valuable our waterways and their ecosystems are.
To learn more about fishing in Texas, click here.