Get outdoors and take advantage of the free fishing weekend June 27th and 28th, but remember, due to COVID-19, we must abide by the new guidelines.


DEC asks anglers to maintain safe social distancing while fishing to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Guidelines to protect yourself and others include:

  • Fish local: Stay close to home and avoid high-traffic areas.
  • Be safe: Avoid crowds and groups, keep six feet from others even while fishing from a boat.
  • Stay home: If you're not feeling well, stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.

During free fishing days, New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license, but all other fishing regulations still apply.

The free fishing days program began in 1991 to give people who might not fish a chance to try the rewarding sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby, and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a New York State fishing license.

Commissioner Basil Seggos says, "This free fishing weekend could not have come at a better time...Amid the uncertainty of these challenging times, being home together has allowed many families to get outdoors and experience new activities. Free fishing days provide the perfect opportunity for all New Yorkers-from Brooklyn to Buffalo and from Montauk to Mt. Marcy-to try fishing for the first time and encourage those who have fished before to dust off their fishing rods and get outside."

Additional Free Fishing Days in 2020/2021 include National Hunting and Fishing Day (Sept. 26); Veterans Day (Nov. 11); and President's Day Weekend (Feb. 13-14).

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