Like you, I’m skeptical when I learn about “free” things but when it comes to the nationwide free fishing days they are no joke. In fact, they routinely pay back anglers in spades.
The program’s roots are in encouraging outdoorsy folks to try fishing. If you have never fished before it’s a time to get on the water, give it a try, and see if it sticks. No license fees are required during the specified timeframe, and those times are scheduled by state. The easiest approach is to go with someone who has tackle, some know-how, and, more importantly, a few good spots. Click here for specific dates by state. You’ll see that peak fishing times are offered during that timeframe.
The free fishing days are also designed to give folks who have fished before an opportunity to see if they still like it. Maybe they haven’t fished since they were kids? Maybe it was at a time before life got full with work, kids, and responsibility, who knows? Regardless of what made them stop, the free fishing days are a good way to get ‘em going again and to let ‘em in on the secret that we all know: fishing is fun.
There are a lot of ‘learn to fish’ classes around these days, along with great online resources for ‘how to fish’ and ‘where to fish.’ Learning to fish through a tackle shop, a guide service, a conservation organization, or through parks and recreation classes are outstanding ways to get going. As many classes are held on free fishing days new students can have a great time for cheap if not for free.
The net result is that these free fishing days will motivate many people to engage or to reengage in fishing. Over the course of time they will find the same kind of enjoyment that we do. They’ll spend more time outdoors, with friends and family, in gorgeous settings, and feeling the tug at the end of their line. The rest of us will welcome them into the fold, just like we always do.