A young boy tries his hand at fishing. (Photo: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS)

The 2018 Free Fishing Day is on Saturday. Anyone may fish free without a license in Tennessee’s public waters.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency provides the annual free day in hopes of increasing interest in fishing. The day allows anyone the opportunity to try this great outdoor sport, especially children to celebrate fishing as a wholesome and healthy recreational option. In addition, children ages 15 and younger may fish without a license beginning on Free Fishing Day through the following Friday (June 15).

The day and week are annual events in Tennessee and are great opportunities to introduce children to the enjoyment and excitement of a day on the water catching fish. The TWRA is among several organizations planning special fishing events, primarily for youngsters. The TWRA annually stocks several thousand pounds of fish for various events.


For a list of the events, visit the TWRA website. Anglers and potential anglers should check the events list often since special events are frequently added.

Free Fishing Day and Week apply to Tennessee’s public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes and state park facilities. Some privately owned pay lakes and ponds continue to charge during this special day and week. Anglers will need to consult with those operators if there are any questions about a particular facility.

Saturday is also Free Fishing Day in Georgia and Alabama.

In Georgia, no fishing license, trout license or Lands Pass (for WMAs and PFAs) is required to fish. All waters of the state are eligible. Participants must be a Georgia resident. Fees at private lakes are not included in the exemption. All other Georgia fishing regulations apply.

In Alabama, the public is also allowed to fish recreationally in public waters without a fishing license. While there is an exemption of the usual fishing license requirements on that day, some lakes may still require fees and permits, and owner’s permission is required to fish on private ponds.