CLEVELAND — For the weekend of June 19 through June 20, Ohio residents may fish for free in any of the state’s public waters, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River. It’s the only weekend all year when those 16 and older are not required to obtain a fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
“All Ohioans are invited to enjoy the fun and excitement of fishing during our free fishing weekend,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Fishing is a great way to introduce someone to the outdoors and make some lasting memories.”
There’s no shortage of fishing opportunities in Ohio. The Division of Wildlife’s six state fish hatcheries stocked 46 million sport fish in more than 200 locations in 2020, including walleye, saugeye, yellow perch, rainbow trout, brown trout, muskellunge, channel catfish, blue catfish and hybrid striped bass.
It’s estimated 1.3 million Ohioans fish in the state every year.
The free fishing weekend offers the chance to experience the thrill of catching a fish. Here are some helpful tips for taking children out fishing, according to ODNR:
- Keep the trip simple by considering a child’s age and skill level.
- Choose a pond, lake, or stream where children are able to easily catch a few fish.
- Use live bait to increase the chance of catching a fish. Live bait is also more interesting for children.
- Bring a camera and snacks.
- Be patient – plan on spending time untangling lines, baiting hooks, landing fish, and taking pictures.
- Most of all, keep the trip fun.
For those looking for a fishing spot, residents can utilize the state’s “Find a Destination” page.
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