Grab the pole and get ready to fish for free in New York State in 2023.

There are several chances to drop a line in one of the thousands of freshwater lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds without a license. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced free fishing days for 2023 and there are 3 left.

These days offer the perfect opportunity to try out fishing for the first time, to get back into the sport, or to take a friend or the whole family along to fish.

2023 Free Fishing Days

September 23 (National Hunting and Fishing Day)
November 11 (Veterans Day)

Read More: New Fishing Regulations for Black Sea Bass & Scup

Fishing License

You need a fishing license in New York if you are 16 years and older and fishing for:

  • Freshwater fish species by angling, spearing, hooking, longbow, and tip-ups.
  • Frog species by spearing, catching with the hands, or by use of a club or hook.
  • Freshwater baitfish for personal use.

No Fishing License

  • Fishing on a licensed fishing preserve.
  • Fishing during the free fishing weekend.
  • Fishing at a free fishing clinic.
  • A resident landowner primarily engaged in farming (including lessees and members of their immediate families) when fishing on farm lands they are occupying and cultivating.
  • A farm fish pond license holder (including members of their immediate families) fishing on waters covered by the license.
  • A Native American living and fishing on reservation land.
  • A patient residing at a qualifying U.S. Veterans Administration hospital or facility in New York State.
Silhouette of Fly Fisherman in Nova Scotia

Lakes, Ponds, Rivers & Streams

New York has more than 7,500 lakes and ponds and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, providing plenty of places to try freshwater fishing.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a map of all the places to drop a line across the state.

Fishing License Fees

$25 for the year
$12 for 7 days
$5 for 1 day

Prices double for out-of-state residents who want to fish in New York.

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