A grandfather takes his two children fishing from a boat for National Fishing and Boating Week

National Fishing and Boating Week, a national celebration of fishing and boating, takes place the first week of June every year. This year it’s June 1-8, 2014. It highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing people's' quality of life and preserving our country's natural beauty. It also is when most state’s offer their Free Fishing Days.



Why Go Boating and Fishing?

Boating and Fishing are fun, stress-relieving activities. Here are just a few reasons why you should get out on the water:

  • De-stress: Boating is ranked as one of the top 3 of all stress-relieving activities
  • Connect with Nature: 90% of Americans live within an hour of navigable water
  • Help Conserve: The funds from your fishing licenses and boat registrations go towards the conservation of our natural aquatic areas

Free Fishing Days

During National Fishing and Boating Week, most states offer free fishing days. These are days where anglers are allowed to fish on public bodies of water without a fishing license.

Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time. If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing, out on the water for the day.

Please note that the individual states may place certain restrictions and other regulations may apply, so be sure to contact your state fish and wildlife agency for specific state regulations.

State's Free Fishing Days
Alabama 6/7/14
Arkansas Noon on 6/6/14 until midnight on 6/8/14
Arizona 6/7/14
California 7/5/14 and 9/6/14
Colorado 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Connecticut 5/10/14
District of Columbia 6/1/14 - 6/8/14
Delaware 6/7/14 and 6/8/14
Florida 4/5/14 - 4/6/14; 6/14/14 - 6/15/14 (freshwater);
6/7/14 - 6/8/14 , 9/6/14, 11/29/14 (saltwater)
Georgia 6/7/14, 6/14/14 and 9/27/14
Hawaii 365 days a year (marine)
Iowa 6/6/14 - 6/8/14, Iowa residents only
Idaho 6/14/14
Illinois 6/6/14 - 6/9/14
Indiana 4/19/14, 5/17/14, 6/7/14 - 6/8/14, Indiana residents only
Kansas 6/7/14 and 6/8/14
Kentucky 6/7/14 and 6/8/14
Louisiana 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Maine 2/15/14 and 2/16/14; 5/31/14 and 6/1/14
Maryland 6/7/14, 6/14/14 and 7/4/14
Massachusetts 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Michigan 2/15/14 and 2/16/14; 6/7/14 and 6/8/14
Minnesota 1/18/14 - 1/20/14 and 6/6/14 - 6/9/14
Missouri 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Mississippi 6/7/14 - 6/8/14; 7/4/14
Montana 6/14/14 - 6/15/14
North Carolina 7/4/14
North Dakota 6/7/146/7/14 - 6/8/14, North Dakota residents only
Nebraska 5/17/14
New Hampshire 6/7/14
New Jersey 6/14/14 and 6/15/14
New Mexico 6/7/14
New York 6/28/14 and 6/29/14
Nevada 6/14/14
Ohio 5/3/14 - 5/4/14
Oklahoma 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Oregon 6/7/14 and 6/8/14
Pennsylvania 5/26/14 and 7/4/14
Rhode Island 5/3/14 and 5/4/14
South Carolina 5/26/14 and 7/4/14
South Dakota 5/16/14 - 5/18/14
Tennessee 6/7/14
Texas 6/7/14; free fishing every day in State Parks
Utah 6/7/14
Virginia 6/6/14 - 6/8/14
Vermont 6/14/14
Washington 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Wisconsin 1/18/14 - 1/19/14 and 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
West Virginia 6/7/14 - 6/8/14
Wyoming 6/7/14

Mentor or Teach Someone New to Fish

Did you know that one of the main reasons people don’t go fishing or boating, is because no one has invited them? For a newcomer, fishing can feel like an intimidating activity without an experienced guide, but you can help change this. During National Fishing and Boating Week, or the next time you go fishing, take someone new: a child, a relative, a friend.

Your invitation may be just what someone needs to start a lifetime of love for fishing and boating. Join others in sharing the joys of boating and fishing by spreading the word through your social media channels:

Click on the images for the full size and share them as badges on your social pages:

A grandfather mentors his grandchildren in fishing from a boat during one of the Free Fishing Days Three friends go fishing offshore on a center console boat on one of the Free Fishing Days Two children and a father scoop up a fish in a net as they fish from shore during national fishing and boating week

How to Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week

A little boy learns how to fish from his father during National Fishing and Boating Week

The best way to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week is to get out on the water! Fun, stress-relieving activities, fishing and boating are some of the best ways to unwind.

  • Find Places to Boat and Fish: Cruise around our Places to Boat and Fish Map to boating and fishing spots that are near you and fits your family’s needs
  • Visit one of the Top 100 Family-Friendly Places to Fish and Boat in America. The TakeMeFishing.org online community recently voted for their favorite fishing and boating spots across the country where families are bound to have an enjoyable day on the water. Take a look at the Top 100 list to find a spot close to you.
  • Learn to Fish: Watch instructional videos and read tips from pros on how to cast, tie knots and make fishing rigs in our How to Fish section
  • Share Your Photos: Once you catch the big one, the best thing to do is share the photo! Add yours to our Big Catch Photo Gallery
  • Attend an Event: Many states hold events such as how-to clinics, fishing derbies, boat parades, family festivals and more during National Fishing and Boating Week. Check out our Community Events section to find an event in your state

Celebrating Conservation

You may not know it, but participation in fishing and boating actually helps fund efforts to conserve our natural waterways. 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 the Sport Fish Restoration Program. This means that every time you purchase a fishing license or register a boat, you are helping improve the natural places you love. Watch a fun and informative public service announcement on this topic:

In 2015, National Fishing and Boating Week will take place June 6-14.