The free fishing weekend for Ohio residents is Saturday and Sunday, June 19-20, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
Ohio residents may fish for free in any of Ohio’s public waters, including Lake Erie and the Ohio River, during that weekend. It is the only weekend all year when those 16 years old and older are not required to obtain a fishing license to fish in the state’s public waters, according to an ODNR news release.
“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.”
Ohio offers fishing opportunities in its lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams. 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. An estimated 1.3 million Ohioans fish in the Buckeye 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 a youngster out fishing: 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, and most of all, keep the trip fun.
Finding the perfect spot to wet a line has never been easier. Visit the Find a Destination page at ohiodnr.gov to explore public fishing locations. If new to fishing and need a bit more guidance before getting started, the Division of Wildlife provides many resources to make a fishing trip fun and successful. Find information on fishing special locations, such as Lake Erie and the Ohio River, fishing tips and tricks, and suggestions on fishing for specific species on the Fishing License and Resource page at wildohio.gov.
Anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters when not fishing during Ohio’s free fishing weekend. A fishing license is available from participating agents and at wildohio.gov. Remember to check the 2021 Ohio Fishing Regulations Guidebook if planning to keep your catch.
Want to stay current on everything wildlife? Connect with the Division of Wildlife by downloading the HuntFish OH app, or check them out on Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information and so much more. The “Your Wild Ohio Angler Page” provides fishing tips and useful information as you plan to get outside this season. Share your next fishing adventure with #fishohio.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.