Enjoy free fishing weekend June 6-8

Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 6, 7 and 8 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) free fishing weekend.

Free fishing weekend is the first weekend in June each year. It allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license.  All other regulations remain in place.

Enjoy free fishing weekend June 6-8

“We are experiencing some excellent fishing across the state right now at Green Valley Lake, Little River Lake, Hawthorne Lake and our trout streams and our fisheries at Rice Lake, Silver Lake and Lake Miami are being improved to provide better fishing in the future,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau.

“We hope that someone who gives fishing a try during free fishing weekend will enjoy the experience and want to go fishing more often and become a license holder,” Larscheid said.

Free fishing weekend is scheduled during what is traditionally the time when bluegills are close to shore and aggressive.

“This is a great time to take kids fishing because the chance for success is pretty good,” he said.

Enjoy free fishing weekend June 6-8

The best way to catch bluegills, according to Larscheid, is to use small tackle – little hooks, a bobber no larger than a quarter, 4-pound test line and small bait.

Anyone catching their first fish is encouraged to take a photo of it and send it in to receive the DNR’s first fish award. The DNR will commemorate the event with a certificate suitable for framing and the submitted photo.

Information on the first fish program is available in the Iowa Fishing Regulations and online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/MasterAnglerFirstFish.aspx

Qualifying fish caught during free fishing weekend are also eligible for master angler recognition. For bluegills, the minimum length for master angler award is 10 inches.

We’ve pulled together a list of free fishing weekend events below. Find one near you or take the opportunity to explore a new fishing spot.

 Mick Klemesrud, Conservation & Recreation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources


June 7

Lake Anita Kids Fishing Day, Anita

Youth Fishing Clinic, Bloomfield

Central Park Annual Kids Fishing Derby, Center Junction

Annual Kids Fishing Clinic, Central City

Take a Kid Fishing Tournament, Clear Lake

NWIowaOutdoors.com Youth Fishing Tournament, Correctionville

West Lake Park Fishing Clinic, Davenport

Duncombe Youth Fishing Derby, Duncombe

Backbone Lake Kid’s Fishing Clinic and Derby, Dundee

Seth Thompson Memorial Kids Fishing Day, Lenox

Kids Fish Iowa! Adventure, Marion

DMCC Kids Fishing Derby, Mediapolis

Kid’s Fishing Derby, Neola

Go Fish! Fishing Instruction, Nevada

Pleasant Hill Youth Fishing Derby, Pleasant Hill

Scranton’s Kids Fishing Day, Scranton

Optimist Club/Page County Conservation Fishing Derby, Shenandoah

Family Fishing Day, Stacyville

15th Annual Cops ‘n’ Bobbers Fishing Clinic, West Des Moines

Woodbine Kids Fishing Day, Woodbine

Fishing Clinic, Ventura

June 8

Family Fishing Fun, Adel

Iowa DNR/Izaak Walton League Kid’s Fishing Day, Bellevue

Fishing Clinic and Derby, West Point

10th Annual Fishing Contest, Whittemore


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