Free Fishing License Week, February 13-21, 2021, was created to give everyone a chance to enjoy ice fishing! On these days, any person (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked) who has registered with the Department may fish without a license. All other laws and regulations apply on these days.
For experienced anglers and those who already have a 2021 Maine fishing license, next week is a great opportunity to share your passion with an aspiring angler. Invite a neighbor, coworker, family member, or friend to see what this favorite pastime is all about. With 6,000 lakes and ponds, it is easy to spread out and enjoy each other’s company while staying safe and following Covid protocols.
Those planning to fish during Free Fishing License Week who do not have a fishing licenses must register online. Ages 15 and younger do not need to register.
Remember to always use extreme caution when venturing onto Maine’s waterways. Accessing lakes and ponds should be avoided unless you can be certain of ice conditions by checking ice thickness.
Before stepping out, use a chisel or auger to test ice thickness in several places. Remember that ice seldom freezes uniformly and conditions are always changing and can vary from one location to the next. Ice that forms over flowing water and currents, especially near streams, bridges and culverts, can be particularly dangerous.
Before you head for a day of ice fishing, ALWAYS tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
Enjoy your day on the ice, and remember these tips:
There is no question, ice fishing is a large part of Maine’s outdoor heritage. Enjoy your ice fishing trip, and remember:
Leave no trace – Carry out all that you carry in.
Park in public or designated areas – Don’t block paths or other roads.
Respect private property – Utilize public access sites or areas where you have permission to park or access.
Be prepared – Check the weather, bring what you need for the day, and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
Bring some of your catch home – In certain waters, the Department encourages the harvest of fish in order to maintain healthy fish populations and improve the fishery. Bring some of your catch home for dinner or share it with a friend.