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.
“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.
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
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
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
Family Fishing Day, Stacyville
15th Annual Cops ‘n’ Bobbers Fishing Clinic, West Des Moines
Woodbine Kids Fishing Day, Woodbine
Fishing Clinic, Ventura
Family Fishing Fun, Adel
Fishing Clinic and Derby, West Point
10th Annual Fishing Contest, Whittemore