Wednesday, 17 April 2024

California’s second Free Fishing Day of the year set for Sept. 3

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, or CDFW, is encouraging all Californians to get outdoors and give fishing a try for free on California’s second Free Fishing Day, Saturday, Sept. 3.

Please check the rules and regulations for the waters you plan to fish, and read up on recommendations for fishing during a drought.

You’re also invited to participate in virtual offerings from Fishing in the City, a program that allows Californians to learn to fish in metropolitan areas.

General information about the Fishing in the City program can be found on the CDFW website.

All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements and fishing hours and stream closures, remain in effect.

Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, or for salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems.

Those interested in fishing in California’s lakes, streams and rivers can find information about inland fishing locations and species on the CDFW website.

Information about ocean fishing, including spots along California beaches, is also available on the website. A list of free fishing piers and a zoomable map of pier locations is also available to help you plan a pier fishing adventure.

It is free to fish certain piers, jetties or breakwaters along the coast year-round in California, but Free Fishing Days are a great time to be introduced to fishing for perch, greenling, rockfish and bass.

Other helpful resources for anglers include the fish planting schedule and fishing guide.

The Saturday of Labor Day weekend is typically reserved as California’s second Free Fishing Day of the year, with the Saturday of Fourth of July weekend being the first (July 2 in 2022).

Children 16 and younger can fish for free every day of the year in California, but Free Fishing Day offers a time when families and friends can experience the hobby together because those 17 and older can fish without having to buy a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days also provide an easy opportunity for licensed anglers to introduce non-angling friends to fishing and the outdoors.

Don’t miss out on the final day of 2022 for free fishing! This is a great opportunity to use that beginner’s luck and enjoy one of California’s most popular pastimes. If you get “hooked” on fishing, be sure to purchase an annual resident sport fishing license. The revenue generated from license sales helps conserve our fish populations and habitats while supporting California's longstanding angling opportunities for today and future generations.

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