California – June 30, 2023 – AS you head into your Fourth of July weekend this summer dont forget to ack the fishing pole. California celebrates two dates each summer with Free Fishing Days. The Saturday attached to Fourth of July Weekend (Tomorrow) and Labor Day weekend (Sept 2, 2023) each summer.
SATURDAY, JULY 1ST IS A FREE FISHING DAY FOR THE WHOLE STATE OF CALIFORNIA!! NO fishing licenses are required for that day only.
Have you ever felt the excitement of watching your bobber suddenly jiggle, then dive out of sight? Or feeling the tap-tap-tap of a bass as it tastes the worm on the end of your line? Or having a salmon practically tear the rod out of your hands as it smashes your lure? What’s that? You say you never learned to fish?
If you are new to the sport of fishing, and not sure if you will enjoy it, a great opportunity awaits you. CDFW offers two Free Fishing Days each year. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license. Free Fishing Days provide a great, low-cost way to give fishing a try. Some CDFW Regions offer a Fishing in the City program where you can go fishing in the middle of major metropolitan areas perhaps just a few blocks from your home. Fishing in the City and free fishing day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and fishing tackle. You can even learn how to clean and prepare your catch so you can enjoy it for dinner that night.
While all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect, there are two days each year when anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license.
On Free Fishing Days, every angler must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for:
- or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River Systems.
Here’s a list of the top 10 fishing locations for beginner fishermen in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range:
- Lake Tahoe: Known for its clear waters, Lake Tahoe offers ample fishing opportunities for beginners. You can target species like rainbow trout, brown trout, and mackinaw (lake trout).
- Donner Lake: Located near Truckee, Donner Lake is a popular fishing spot. It provides easy access and a variety of fish species, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and kokanee salmon.
- Caples Lake: Situated off Highway 88, Caples Lake is a picturesque destination with good fishing prospects. It is stocked with rainbow trout and also holds brown trout and mackinaw.
- Convict Lake: Located near Mammoth Lakes, Convict Lake offers beautiful scenery and decent fishing opportunities for beginners. You can catch trout, including rainbows and brown trout.
- June Lake: This series of interconnected lakes (June Lake Loop) is a fantastic choice for beginners. June Lake, Gull Lake, and Silver Lake are all stocked with trout and provide a serene fishing experience.
- Lake Almanor: Located in Plumas County, Lake Almanor is a picturesque reservoir with ample fishing opportunities for beginners. It offers a variety of fish species, including trout, salmon, and bass, making it a versatile and enjoyable fishing destination in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
- Crowley Lake: Known for its trophy-sized trout, Crowley Lake is a larger reservoir near Mammoth Lakes. Although it can be challenging, it offers excellent fishing opportunities for beginners targeting large trout.
- Lake Davis: Located north of Reno, Lake Davis is known for its abundant trout population. It is regularly stocked and offers an opportunity for beginners to catch rainbow and brown trout.
- Silver Lake (Amador County): Situated in the Eldorado National Forest, this small alpine lake is a great spot for beginners. It is stocked with trout and provides a peaceful fishing experience.
- Union Valley Reservoir: Located in El Dorado National Forest, Union Valley Reservoir offers fishing opportunities for beginners. It holds various trout species and smallmouth bass.
California Fishing Passport
Pack your bags, load up your tackle boxes, grab your favorite rods and reels, and join us for great fishing adventures across California’s many lakes, rivers and ocean waters. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife would like to invite everyone on a journey that will take them throughout California in pursuit of a lifetime of amazing and diverse fishing opportunities. No prior experience needed!
The Department designed the California Fishing Passport program to encourage people to more fully experience all of the fishing opportunities that the Golden State has to offer. This program challenges people to fish their way around the state in search of 150 different finfish and shellfish species. And like a traveler’s passport book, participants will receive special stamps in their California Fishing Passport for each species caught, to mark their accomplishments.
Completing this challenge is no easy endeavor, as it entails using a variety of different fishing methods along the way. Everything from fly fishing to deep sea to surf to spinning to trolling tackle and techniques are encouraged, and the program aims to provide recreational fishermen with the information and resources needed to expand their skills. The Community page gives fishermen a chance to show off their catch on the Trophy Board. Rack up a few stamps in your passport, and your fishing photos could find their way onto the Award Winners’ page as well. Check out our Fishing Ambassadors – industry pros that lend their skills to promote fishing across the state. A network of tackle shops, fishing businesses, clubs, and non-profits that have partnered with the program as Stamping Agents and Supporters may also help you get equipped and learn the skills you need to tackle your next fishing challenge!
The California Fishing Passport program appeals to everyone. From the first-time angler who wants to feel the sensation of that first bite, to those who enjoy spending quality time in the outdoors fishing with friends and family, to those who wish to passionately pursue the wide variety of different and unique fishing opportunities that only California can offer… the California Fishing Passport challenge has something for everyone!
Anyone interested in taking on the “Passport Challenge” just needs to buy a fishing license before they head out in search of their next fishing adventure. There are no additional fees to participate in the program. Children 15 years and under do not need to buy a fishing license to participate.