Free Fishing Day in Texas scheduled for June 1

Each year on the first Saturday in June, Texans and our visitors can pack their tackle boxes, get their fishing poles ready and go fish on any public waterway in the state without a fishing license. (Courtesy Photo)

AUSTIN The Texas tradition of Free Fishing Day returns this Saturday, June 1, at public waterways across the state. Each year on the first Saturday in June, Texans and our visitors can pack their tackle boxes, get their fishing poles ready and go fish on any public waterway in the state without a fishing license.

“Free Fishing Day is an annual event that encourages Texans to get outdoors, enjoy nature, and go fishing with family and friends,” Tim Birdsong, Director of TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division, said in a news release. “Our hope is that experienced anglers will use this opportunity to take others fishing and share their knowledge, skills, equipment, and love of the sport.”

Texas boasts an abundance of high-quality fishing opportunities within its 5.7 million acres of public waterways. These waters support recreational opportunities for 4.1 million anglers who spend an estimated $11.1 billion annually on fishing-related expenditures. Fishing is big business in Texas, supporting an estimated 51,380 jobs.

Anglers help sustain Texas fisheries through their purchase of a fishing license, which is the primary source of funding available to TPWD for on-the-ground fisheries management. Conservation efforts such as fisheries monitoring, fish stockings, fish habitat improvements, and angler access improvements are supported through the purchase of fishing licenses, and these efforts help keep Texas one of the best places in the country to go fishing. For more information on licensing, visit the TPWD license page.

To help celebrate Free Fishing Day, TPWD offers multiple resources to provide fun, high-quality fishing opportunities to anglers of all skill levels and all ages.

  1. Fishing 101 — Learn the basics of fishing with tips and a variety of videos. Find resources for how to get started, safety, supplies and gear, casting and baiting, cleaning and storing fish on the TPWD Learn to Fish webpage.
  2. Visit Sea Center Texas — Grab your fishing poles, bait and lawn chairs for a free fishing event for youth under age 16. It takes place from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. June 1 at Sea Center Texas in Lake Jackson. Visitors can also explore aquaria and exhibits of Texas marine life, the largest redfish hatchery in the world, 36 one-acre fish culture ponds, an outdoor wetland exhibit and a 20-foot touch pool that allows visitors to gently touch marine animals such as blue crabs, hermit crabs, stone crabs, snails and even anemones.
  3. Find a Place to Fish Close to Home — Texas offers numerous lakes and rivers with access to fishing throughout the state. The Lake Finder page on the TPWD website can help anglers find lakes by region or alphabetically. Information and fishing tips on more than 150 lakes are available. Check out the River Fishing page to find out where to get access to Texas’ flowing waters.
  4. Saltwater Fishing from a Pier — There are numerous wheelchair-accessible fishing piers available for public use up and down the coast. Piers are a great place for the entire family to try saltwater fishing without the need for a boat. Public access sites can be found in every bay system.
  5. Go Fishing in the City — TPWD’s Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide urban angling access for the entire family across the state. In all, 18 Neighborhood Fishin’ lakes provide a great opportunity to catch channel catfish, including five lakes in Dallas-Fort Worth, four in the Houston area, two each in the Austin and San Antonio areas, and one each in Amarillo, College Station, San Angelo, Waco and Wichita Falls. Information on lake locations and how-to fishing videos can be found on the Neighborhood Fishin’ website. TPWD Inland Fisheries Division San Angelo District staff will assist with the City of San Angelo’s Kid Fishing Derby at the Oakes Street Lake location.
  6. Community Fishing Lakes — Check out all the community fishing lakes in Texas which can be great options for Free Fishing Day and year-round. TPWD Inland Fisheries Division Abilene District staff is supporting the City of Early’s 9th Annual Fishing Derby from 8 a.m. -11 a.m. at Early Town Center Park Lake. TPWD will provide loaner tackle and angler education stations.
  7. Go Kayak Fishing on a Texas Paddling Trail — With more than 3,700 named streams, 15 major rivers and some 3,300 miles of tidal shoreline along the Gulf Coast, Texas offers unlimited possibilities for paddling adventures and angling opportunities of all types. Enjoy improved and maintained fishing and paddling access to rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, bayous and bays on any of the 79 official Texas Paddling Trails available throughout the state. Kayak fishing opportunities also abound through TPWD’s River Access and Conservation Areas (RACA) program.
  8. Fish in a State ParkLake Livingston, Lake Arrowhead, Galveston Island, Sea Rim, Bonham, Eisenhower, Martin Creek Lake, Cooper Lake, Purtis Creek, Blanco and Ray Roberts Lake are offering a variety of Free Fishing Day events. Check out the state parks event calendar for more information. Although June 1 is designated as Free Fishing Day in Texas, fishing is complementary year-round at every Texas State Park.
  9. Buy a License — The Year-from-Purchase All-Water Fishing Package for Texas residents offers a great value, allowing anglers to fish in fresh and salt water. It’s valid from the date of purchase through the end of the purchase month of the next license year. (Example: License purchased on March 13, 2024, expires March 31, 2025)

Learn more about Free Fishing Day at

If you plan on fishing in federal waters, keep in mind that a license is needed for the private recreational angler red snapper season opening June 1.