You Have The Right To Fish In California By Law!
Article 1 Section 25 of the current State of California Constitution Says:Section 25. The people shall have the right to fish upon and from the public lands of the State and in the waters thereof, excepting upon lands set aside for fish hatcheries, and no land owned by the State shall ever be sold or transferred without reserving in the people the absolute right to fish thereupon; and no law shall ever be passed making it a crime for the people to enter upon the public lands within the State for the purpose of fishing in any water containing fish that have been planted therein by the State; provided, that the legislature may by statute, provide for the season when and the conditions under which the different species of fish may be taken. [New section adopted November 8, 1910.] (Emphasis Added)
This section of the Constitution was copied verbatim from the 2011-20012 Edition of the California State Constitution book published by the California State Legislature which I received from State Senator Doug LaMalfa. You may contact your own district representative by phone, depending on which County you are in, and request your own free copy to confirm what I am saying is true or simply look it up on the net.
The Supreme Court had ruled in the following manner regarding the States Attempts to License your Rights:
Murdock v. Pennsylvania 319 U.S. 105 (1943) "No State may convert a secured liberty into a privilege and then issue a license and charge a fee and require you to have it or you have committed a crime".and if they do...
Shuttlesworth v. Birmingham 399 U.S. 147 (1969) says..."If the State does convert your right into a privilege and charge a license and a fee you can ignore the license and engage in the right with impunity".
So there you have it folks... No purchase of a License may be required by the State of California to fish, because it is your absolute right as stated in the "Constitution of the State of California" (1879).
Q&A:Does this really mean that I don't have to buy a fishing license? YES
Can I fish in the Ocean from the shore without a license? YES
Can the Fish and Game still write me a ticket for fishing without a license? YES...Will they win in court?
That is up to you. It is your responsibility as, "a people" of the State to ensure that the public officials who serve you are operating within the boundries of their authority and observing their oath of office. Obviously, a Cop who writes you a ticket in direct violation of your stated right, after being given notice of the law of the Constitution is violating his oath and operating under color of law outside the limit of his authority.
To me the law is clear, the mandate is a requirement and I have no doubt of my right to fish without the permission of the State.
None of this is legal advice, I am not a Lawyer, if you doubt any of what I am saying, seek the advice of an attormey licensed to practice law in California.
That is, if you can find one of those...but I'll leave that snipe hunting discussion for another time.