Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 7, 8 and 9 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources free fishing weekend.
Free fishing weekend is the first weekend in June each year. It allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license. All other regulations remain in place.
“We are experiencing some of excellent fishing across the state right now at Twelve Mile Lake, Green Valley Lake, Clear Lake, Meadow Lake, and our trout streams and our fisheries at Prairie Rose Lake, Badger Creek Lake, Lake Pahoja and Lizard Lake are being improved to provide better fishing in the future,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau.
“We hope that someone who gives fishing a try during free fishing weekend will enjoy the experience and want to go fishing more often and become a license holder,” Larscheid said.
Free fishing weekend is scheduled during what is traditionally the time when bluegills are close to shore and aggressive.
“This is a great time to take kids fishing because the chance for success is pretty good,” he said.
The best way to catch bluegills, according to Larscheid, is to use small tackle – little hooks, a bobber no larger than a quarter, 4-pound test line and small bait.
The DNR is creating fishing videos teaching inexperienced anglers how to be more successful at catching fish. Two videos are currently online – crappie fishing and bluegill fishing – and others species and techniques will be added through the summer and fall.
Anyone catching their first fish is encouraged to take a photo of it and send it in to receive the DNR’s first fish award. The DNR will commemorate the event with a certificate suitable for framing and the submitted photo.
Information on the first fish program is available in the Iowa Fishing Regulations and online at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/MasterAnglerFirstFish.aspx
Qualifying fish caught during free fishing weekend are also eligible for master angler recognition. For bluegills, the minimum length for master angler award is 10 inches.
For more information, contact Joe Larscheid, Chief of Fisheries, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 515-281-5208.