Get outside and enjoy the Free Fishing Weekend, anyone can fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State and no fishing license, or recreational marine fishing registry is required. 

February 18-19, 2017 is NYS first Free Fishing Weekend of 2017 where the requirements for a fishing license has been suspended. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport.

Ideas for Free Fishing Days

  • Try fishing for the first time.
  • Haven't fished in a while? Remember the joy of catching a fish again for free!
  • Become an ambassador for the sport; take a friend fishing for the first time.
  • Invite a friend to New York to fish.
  • Take a spouse or significant other fishing.
  • Take the family fishing, and don't forget the grandparents!

Anglers are reminded that four inches of ice are usually safe for accessing ice on foot. Double that thickness for traveling on white ice. Ice thickness can vary in every body of water or even within the same body of water. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

Next Free Fishing Weekend in New York State is June 24 and June 25.


Bonus Video: