AUSTIN – Texas offers a Free Fishing Day on the first Saturday in June every year to help kick off National Fishing and Boating Week. On this day anglers can fish on any public waterbody in the state without a fishing license.
To help celebrate Free Fishing Day, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and other organizations are hosting many free events around the state on Saturday, June 2, 2018, to provide fun, high quality fishing opportunities to anglers of all skill levels and all ages.
Here are 10 fun ways families can celebrate Free Fishing Day in Texas:
Mentor or teach someone new to fish: On Free Fishing Day, reach out and take someone new fishing with you: a child, a relative or a friend. There’s no need to buy an extra fishing pole – the TPWD Tackle Loaner Program loans fishing equipment out just like a library loans books.
Learn to make a cane fishing pole – Celebrate Free Fishing Day by making your very own cane fishing pole and learning the basics of how to fish at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Compete in a catfishing tournament – The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens is celebrating Free Fishing Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission, free food and drinks and free entry into a catfish tournament with all tackle and bait provided. Anglers may fish as individuals or as teams with an adult assisting a child to win fun prizes.
Visit a Neighborhood Fishin’ lake – TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide urban angling access for the entire family across the state. In all, 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide a great opportunity to catch channel catfish in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Bryan-College Station, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, San Angelo, Tyler, Waco and Wichita Falls. Information on lake locations and how-to fishing videos can be found online at www.neighborhoodfishin.org.
Become a TPWD certified Angler Education Instructor – The Bass Pro Shops store in Pearland is hosting a free workshop from 10:00 to 2:30 p.m. for anyone interested in teaching fishing skills in their communities. The program provides the curriculum, equipment, materials and support to help volunteers successfully introduce youth and their families to fishing.
Explore a new fishing hole – With more than 150 public lakes and community fishing lakes and 70 fishing locations at Texas State Parks, most anglers don’t have to travel very far to find prime fishing opportunities in the state.
Attend the 24th Annual Mark Howell Memorial Fishing Rodeo – Lake Arrowhead State Park near Wichita Falls is celebrating Free Fishing Day by hosting the 24th Annual Mark Howell Memorial Fishing Rodeo. The event includes a Kid Fish and Adult Rough Fish contest. Fishing supplies such as poles and tackle will be available from the tackle loaner program while supplies last.
Become an outdoorsman in the Big Country – Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the City of Abilene, Abilene Zoo, and various other organizations will provide outdoor education activities for kids and adults 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Abilene Outdoor Adventures event. Participants can enjoy fishing education and fishing for catfish at the Neighborhood Fishin’ Program’s Grover Nelson small pond. Other activities include archery, air rifles, wildlife education, plant identification activities, backpacking and camping demonstrations, geocaching and more.
Go fishing on the Pedernales River – Pack a picnic and visit Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site near Stonewall for a day of fishing on the Pedernales River. Poles and bait will be provided by the park.
Attend a fishing clinic in the Texas Panhandle – At Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway, visitors can learn to fish at Lake Theo with a TPWD certified Angler Education instructor from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The event aims to help ease frustrations and fears by teaching basic fishing instruction from the right type of gear to how to rig up your own fishing pole and casting techniques.
Although June 2 is designated as Free Fishing Day in Texas, fishing is free year-round at every Texas State Park.
Learn more about Free Fishing Day and National Fishing and Boating Week June 2-10 at www.TakeMeFishing.org.