Free Fishing Days
Free fishing days offer residents and non-residents who are 16 and older* to fish without a freshwater fishing license (*Kids under 16 can always fish for free!).
2024 Free Fishing Days Schedule
- February 17-18 (President's Day Weekend)
- June 29-30
- September 28 (National Hunting and Fishing Day)
- November 11 (Veterans Day)
These days offer the perfect opportunity to try out fishing for the first time, to get back into the sport, or to take a friend or the whole family along to fish! Even though a license is not needed, all other fishing regulations apply.
Don't have fishing equipment? Borrow fishing gear for the day from one of the many providers statewide!
Free Learn to Fish Clinics
Participate in a Free Fishing Clinic
Find a free fishing clinic to attend near you and learn how to fish. These instructor-led sport fishing clinics are conducted by DEC and other organizations to help new anglers become familiar with getting started in this fun sport.
Conduct or Co-host a Clinic
Interested in running a free fishing clinic? Formal groups or organizations can apply to conduct a free fishing clinic event.
I FISH NY Programs
I FISH NY offers free programs such as the fishing rod loaner program, fishing education programs for in-schools and group organizations, and more. These programs help achieve our goal to increase fishing participation, introduce new anglers to the sport, and bring awareness to the outstanding fishing opportunities in New York State. Get more details about I FISH NY programs.
Fishing Tips and Skills
Find helpful information on fishing techniques, skills, and tips for your next fishing adventure, including the equipment and gear you'll need, specific methods to use for the species you're targeting, where to find and look for fish, tips on fishing with kids, and much more.
Being a Responsible Angler
Practicing catch and release, using baitfish responsibly, finding alternatives to lead fishing tackle, and cleaning your boat and gear are some of the many ways you can be a good steward and help ensure there will be great fishing for future generations to enjoy. Find out more about how you can be a responsible angler.
"How To" Videos
Getting Started Guides and Brochures
To receive a copy by mail of any of the documents below, send an email to [email protected] -- include your name, address, and title of publication(s) you wish to receive.
I FISH NY Beginners' Guide to Freshwater Fishing (Complete Guide - PDF)
View by individual chapters/sections below:
- The Fishes of New York
- Basic Fishing Tackle and Techniques
- Care of Your Catch
- Safe and Responsible Angling
- Intermediate Fishing: Tackle and Techniques
- Aquatic Life
- Waters of New York
- Fisheries Management
- Introduction to Ice Fishing
Fishing for Panfish (PDF)
Regulations and Licenses
Aside from fishing during free fishing days or at a free fishing clinic events, fishing licenses are required for most individuals who are 16 and older. Save time and buy your fishing license online or learn more about the fishing license requirements