Iowans can enjoy free fishing this weekend

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 3, 4 and 5 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources free fishing weekend.

“Free fishing weekend is a great opportunity to encourage Iowans to reconnect with fishing,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau. “Have some fun, create new memories and spend quality time with your family and friends.”

Free fishing weekend allows Iowans to try fishing without purchasing a license.  All other regulations remain in place.

“This is a great time to take kids fishing or introduce someone new to fishing,” Larscheid said. “Fish are usually close to shore and are willing to bite.”

Gather your family or friends and travel to one of the hundreds of Iowa lakes, thousands of miles of rivers or a nearby pond for a few hours of outdoor fun and relaxation.

“Use small tackle – little hooks, a bobber no larger than a quarter, 4-pound test line and small bait to catch bluegills, “Larscheid said.

“Kids will stay interested and have fun when the fishing is good. Once the interest in fishing is gone, just let them play.  It isn’t about how many fish you can catch; it’s about sharing your time and having fun together,” Larscheid said. 

Fun, hands-on fishing events will be offered across Iowa to teach parents or kids the basics of fishing. A list of fishing clinics, derbies, and other fun events co-sponsored by the DNR is available on the Special Events Application System at

“Our hope is that free fishing weekend will inspire anglers to invest in an annual fishing license,” Larscheid said. This investment allows the Iowa DNR Fisheries Bureau to produce and stock more than 160 million fish annually, conduct research studies to manage fish more effectively, construct fish habitat, improve water quality, restore lakes with a history of poor fishing and improve access for anglers.