ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — On designated free fishing days, New Yorkers and guests alike can fish for free, statewide, without a fishing license. Participating anglers are reminded that although the requirement for a license is waived on free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect. In 2023, free fishing days include February 18-19; June 24-25; National Hunting and Fishing Day, September 23; and Veteran’s Day, November 11.

“Over the years, DEC has received feedback from people who permanently picked up the sport after attending one of New York’s free freshwater fishing days, and that’s something we love to hear,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Fishing New York’s world-class waters is more than just an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors all year long, it’s a perfect chance to spend time and connect with family and friends.”

For beginning anglers interested in wetting their line for the first time, the I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing provides information on everything from rigging up a rod to identifying catch and understanding fishing regulations. DEC’s Places to Fish webpages are a reliable source of information for those ready to plan their next fishing trip. DEC also recently released a new feature within its official app, HuntFishNY, called “The Tackle Box,” which offers a one-stop shop for information on fishing regulations, boating access, and stocking information.

“Free fishing days offer established anglers an opportunity to share their passion for fishing with those who may be newer to the sport,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said. “Spreading these days throughout the year gives anglers of all ages, abilities, and experience levels a chance to fish across the seasons and discover the abundant fishing opportunities in New York — benefiting our local economies in the process.”

In addition to free fishing days, there are “learn to fish” opportunities available through DEC-approved clinics. For a list of those already scheduled, visit the DEC website.

With the exception of free fishing days, anglers who are 16 years of age or older must have a valid fishing license. Applications are available online.