The annual Free Fishing Day is kicking off Saturday, which allows Texans to fish on any public waterbody in the state without a fishing license.
“The Free Fishing Day in Texas is a great opportunity for kids to try a new hobby. There are numerous reasons to teach kids how to fish, including getting them out of the house and into the great outdoors,” Parker County Extension Agent Jay Kingston said. “There are a lot of benefits to getting more fresh air, sunshine and physical activity.”
Residents can fish at several areas locally including Lake Weatherford, Holland Lake Park, Sunshine Lake and Love Street Park. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, the public can also fish at one of the TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes, which include Greenbriar Park in Fort Worth and Chisholm Park in Hurst.
“Fishing if a fun way to create memories and connect with friends and family in the great outdoors. Offering a Free Fishing Day give Texans an opportunity to try fishing for the first time or to introduce someone new to fishing without needing to purchase a fishing license,” Aubry Buzek with the TPWD Press Office said. “Whether they land their first fish, catch a healthy meal for their family or simply unwind in nature, we hope this day help get more people hooked on fishing and encourages them to continue seeking connections with our state’s bountiful natural resources.”
Free Fishing Day is held the first Saturday in June every year to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week, which is June 1-9.
“You may not know it, but participation in fishing and boating week events actually helps fund efforts to conserve our natural waterways,” according to the organization Take Me Fishing. “A portion of all fishing tackle and license sales, as well as boat supply and registration sales, fund the conservation and preservation of our nation’s waterways through a program called Sport Fish Restoration Program.”
Kingston said it’s important for youth to get outside.
“I think it is getting more and more important to keep youth linked to nature and our environment. There are so many great things they can learn about the ecosystem and plant/animal interactions through fishing that they may not get otherwise,” Kingston said. “You also can’t discount the time spent with a parent or grandparent who may share their fist fishing experiences. And lets face it, there are not many other great feelings than the one you get when that fish grabs that bait and take off. You’ll be hooked forever (pun intended).”
Weatherford Assistant Director of Parks, Recreation and Special Events Jaycob Kirkpatrick said safety is important to keep in mind during Free Fishing Day.
"Parents need to make sure that they are lifeguarding their kids and watching them at all times around the water," Kirkpatrick said. "The ponds and lakes are over full right now so it is even more important than ever to be cautious around the water."
For more information about Free Fishing Day, visit tpwd.texas.gov.