Freshwater fishing license-free this weekend


Happy angler holds pike fish sitting in a boat with river on the background

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Dust off the tackle box and grab your fishing pole! The annual license-free freshwater fishing weekend gets underway on Saturday.

On Saturday, April 3 and Sunday, April 4, people in Florida can go freshwater fishing without a fishing license, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“The first freshwater license-free fishing weekend of the year is an excellent opportunity to introduce someone to fishing for the first time,” said Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management Director Tom Graef. “Spend this weekend with family and friends enjoying the Fishing Capital of the World as you fish from a boat or shore.”

The FWC offers a number of license-free fishing days each year. Those taking advantage of the weekend will still need to follow the rules, such as seasons, bag and size limits.

Licenses and permits are available online at, in person at a license agent or tax collector’s office or by calling toll-free 888-FISH-FLORIDA (888-347-4356).

“Florida has long been known as the Fishing Capital of the World and Florida fishing helps to support many industries that impact the state’s economy, including retail, research and tourism,” said Commissioner Gary Lester. “Now is the time to get out on the water and an even better time to introduce someone you know to fishing – all you need is a rod and a reel!” 

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