Take advantage of license-free fishing Saturday, April 6 in Florida’s fresh waters

April 4, 2013

Folks enjoying fishing along the Mitchell River. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Folks enjoying fishing along the Mitchell River. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

The possibilities for taking advantage of the upcoming license-free freshwater fishing day, Saturday, April 6, in Florida are almost endless. That’s because people of all ages can cast their lines into 3 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs and 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals.

The hardest part might be picking your destination.

These abundant resources, coupled with responsible freshwater fish management, are why Florida is known as the “Fishing Capital of the World.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) scheduled the first of four license-free recreational fishing days on this weekend because it coincides with a productive freshwater fishing period, when the weather is usually pleasant. Many of Florida’s recreational sport fishes, such as black bass, bluegill and redear sunfish, move into the shallows to spawn during spring, making them more available for anglers to catch.

Besides enjoying the fun of reeling in a fish, people find that recreational fishing is a good motivator to enjoy the great outdoors. In fact, fishing is a prime reason lots of folks get outside in the first place.

Fishing is a low-cost, wholesome form of entertainment, which is why the FWC offers four days when a recreational fishing license is not needed. The FWC also made Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, Sept. 1 license-free saltwater fishing days and set June 8 as the second license-free freshwater fishing day. These days coincide with a holiday weekend, National Fishing and Boating Week or open-harvest seasons for popular species such as bay scallops.

All other bag limit, season and size restrictions apply on these dates for recreational, not commercial, fishing.

To make your fishing day successful, check out My FWC.com/Fishing for freshwater fishing tips, locations and rules.

So escape the hustle and bustle Saturday by telling everyone you’ve “gone fishing.” But don’t forget to take your kids and spouse and friends to share the fun.