Two kids holding up recently caught sunfish

Test drive a Kentucky fishing license the first weekend in June

​​​FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 22, 2023) — Gather the family and go fishing the first weekend in June for free in Kentucky.

​​​Fishing is good, clean outdoor fun that everyone can enjoy with a minimal investment in gear and time. Hundreds of public sites with robust populations of fish statewide make fishing accessible to all.

Free fishing weekend is June 3-4, 2023. It’s an annual celebration that allows anyone to fish without a license or trout permit during the first consecutive Saturday and Sunday in June. Consider it a test drive before you buy a license, which entitles you to a full year of fishing enjoyment.

Kentucky welcomes resident and nonresident anglers to enjoy the free fishing weekend. As always, anglers are required to obtain landowner permission before entering private property to fish.​​​

​​​Rules on the sizes and numbers of different fishes that you can keep still apply. Some waterbodies have daily catch and fish size limits that are applicable statewide, whereas other lakes or streams have their own specific requirements. You’ll find all these regulations in the online fishing and boating guide (para Espanol). Printed versions of these guides produced by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources are also available at most places that sell fishing licenses.

​​​Need a place to fish? Use the “Find a Place to Fish” public fishing access locator tool on Kentucky Fish and Wildlife’s website, You can search statewide fishing locations for everyone to enjoy by selecting a county or city, waterbody or access type, and even species of fish.

Several communities around the state also offer special free events, such as “fishing derbies” with kids in mind, on Saturday, June 3. You’ll find the list here.

​​​Need help getting started fishing? Enter “Learn to Fishknot tying and preparing a fish for the table.

Looking for more places to fish? Click the “Fishing” tab on the department’s website to access the annual fishing forecast for great tips and places to try. ​​​

​​​The fishing page also includes a link to the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes. FINs offers dozens of easily accessible, specially stocked lakes near population centers throughout the state.

If you’re paddling a river or stream during the first weekend in June, don’t forget to take along your fishing gear. You’ll find great floats and get expert fish catching advice when you check out Lee McClellan’s Blue Water Trails series. McClellan, the fishing editor for Kentucky Afield magazine, travels throughout the state in search of new places to paddle and fish​​​

​​​All boaters, whether paddling or using a gas motor, should remember to use their life jackets when on the water. Learn more about boating safety, including required equipment for every vessel type, and locate ramps into Kentucky’s waterways in the “Boating” section of the department’s website

For those on the go, there’s a new app that anglers can use to find directions to local lakes, read fishing reports, learn about regulations, find stocking schedules, locate the nearest boat ramp and more. To download the app to your phone, search for “Fish Boat KY” in your preferred app store. Remember to insert spaces between words.​​​

​​​If you haven’t enjoyed the fun of angling yet this year, take a test drive with a fishing pole during Kentucky’s free fishing days June 3-4, 2023.

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