HARRISBURG, Pa. – Families and friends visiting Pennsylvania’s popular outdoor spots over the Memorial Day holiday weekend can enjoy a day of free fishing, thanks to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).
The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend – May 27 – marks the first of two free fishing days in the Commonwealth. The second is Independence Day – Wednesday, July 4.
Fish-for-Free Days allow anyone – residents and non-residents – to legally fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on both days, no fishing license is needed to fish in Pennsylvania’s waterways. All other fishing regulations apply.
“Fish-for-Free days offer an easy, convenient way to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing, or to reconnect with the sport if you haven’t fished in a while,” said Steve Kralik, director of the Bureau of Outreach, Education and Marketing. “Many families already spend the day at lakes and parks throughout the state. Now they can try fishing at no cost.”
“It is one of the approaches we use as part of our efforts to recruit, retain and reactivate anglers,” he added. “We also offer Family Fishing Festivals, Introduction to Fly Fishing classes designed specifically for women, and mentored youth events in the summer. The programs collectively are used to create multiple opportunities to recruit new participants, retain current anglers and reactivate those anglers who have not fished recently.”
To make the fishing experience more convenient on the Fish-for-Free days, people can borrow equipment from dozens of fishing tackle loaner sites across the state. Many of the sites are right at state parks, which are always a popular place for visitors on the Memorial Day weekend. Loaner sites are also available at county parks and some public libraries.
More information is available on the PFBC website, which includes interactive maps, regional fishing reports, and tips on fishing fundamentals. Fishing licenses can be purchased online at GoneFishingPa.com.