Grab the poles! There's another chance to fish for free in Central New York.

You can fish for free in the fresh waters of New York State on Saturday, September 24. If you've never fished, or just want to get out on the water, do with license-free this weekend.

The last free fishing weekend in New York was June 25-26 and there will only be 1 day left this year to cast a line without a license - November 11th.


Fishing License

You need a fishing license in New York if you are 16 years and older and fishing for:

  • Freshwater fish species by angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, and tip-ups.
  • Frog species by spearing, catching with the hands, or by use of a club or hook.
  • Freshwater baitfish for personal use.

No Fishing License

  • Fishing on a licensed fishing preserve.
  • Fishing during the free fishing weekend.
  • Fishing at a free fishing clinic.
  • A resident landowner primarily engaged in farming (including lessees and members of their immediate families) when fishing on farm lands they are occupying and cultivating.
  • A farm fish pond license holder (including members of their immediate families) fishing on waters covered by the license.
  • A Native American living and fishing on reservation land.
  • A patient residing at a qualifying U.S. Veterans Administration hospital or facility in New York State.
Silhouette of Fly Fisherman in Nova Scotia

Lakes, Ponds, Rivers & Streams

New York has more than 7,500 lakes and ponds and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, providing plenty of places to try freshwater fishing. You never know what you might reel in. It could be a 35-pound monster from Lake Ontario. Not bad for a first time angler.

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Map & Fees

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a map of all the places to drop a line across the state.

Fishing License Fees

$25 for the year
$12 for 7 days
$5 for 1 day

Prices double for out-of-state residents who want to fish in New York.

Check Out Some of the Biggest Fish Ever Caught

We're gonna need a bigger boat.

Fisherman Gets Up Close Look at Majestic Moose in the Adirondacks

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