Free Fishing Day in Texas returns this Saturday, June 1, allowing residents and visitors to fish in public waterways across the state without needing a fishing license. This annual event, held on the first Saturday in June, encourages Texans to embrace the outdoors, prepare their fishing gear, and enjoy fishing with family and friends. 

“Free Fishing Day is an annual event that encourages Texans to get outdoors, enjoy nature, and go fishing with family and friends,” said Tim Birdsong, Director of TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division. “Our hope is that experienced anglers will use this opportunity to take others fishing and share their knowledge, skills, equipment, and love of the sport.”

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Texas is home to 5.7 million acres of public waterways that offer excellent fishing opportunities. These waters attract 4.1 million anglers who spend an estimated $11.1 billion annually on fishing-related activities, supporting approximately 51,380 jobs in the state.

Anglers contribute to the conservation of Texas fisheries through the purchase of fishing licenses, which fund fisheries management efforts such as monitoring, stocking, habitat improvements, and access enhancements. These initiatives help maintain Texas as a premier fishing destination. For more information on licensing, visit the TPWD license page.

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To celebrate Free Fishing Day, TPWD provides several resources to enhance fishing experiences for anglers of all ages and skill levels:

Fishing 101: Learn the basics of fishing with tips and instructional videos on the TPWD Learn to Fish webpage. Resources cover safety, gear, casting, baiting, and fish handling.

Visit Sea Center Texas: A free fishing event for youth under 16 will be held from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on June 1 at Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson. The center also features aquaria, exhibits of Texas marine life, the world’s largest redfish hatchery, fish culture ponds, a wetland exhibit, and a touch pool.

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Find a Place to Fish Close to Home: Use the Lake Finder page on the TPWD website to locate lakes and rivers for fishing. The site provides information and tips on over 150 lakes. The River Fishing page offers details on accessing Texas’ flowing waters.

Saltwater Fishing from a Pier: Public wheelchair-accessible fishing piers are available along the Texas coast, providing an excellent venue for family-friendly saltwater fishing without needing a boat.

Go Fishing in the City: TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ Lakes offers urban angling opportunities across the state. There are 18 lakes where families can catch channel catfish, including locations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Amarillo, College Station, San Angelo, Waco, and Wichita Falls. The Neighborhood Fishin’ website provides lake locations and instructional videos.

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Community Fishing Lakes: Explore community fishing lakes in Texas, which are great options for Free Fishing Day and year-round. TPWD staff will support various local fishing events, offering loaner tackle and angler education stations.

Go Kayak Fishing on a Texas Paddling Trail: Texas has over 3,700 named streams, 15 major rivers, and 3,300 miles of tidal shoreline, offering diverse paddling and fishing experiences. There are 79 official Texas Paddling Trails and kayak fishing opportunities through TPWD’s River Access and Conservation Areas (RACA) program.

Fish in a State Park: Several state parks, including Lake Livingston, Lake Arrowhead, Galveston Island, and others, are hosting Free Fishing Day events. Fishing is free year-round at all Texas State Parks, check out the calendar.

Buy a License: The Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package for Texas residents is a great value, allowing fishing in both fresh and saltwater. It is valid from the purchase date through the end of the same month in the next license year.

Learn more about Free Fishing Day at TakeMeFishing.org.

Note: Fishing in federal waters requires a license for the private recreational angler, red snapper season opens June 1.

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