No Fishing License? No Problem.

One of two days in 2012 when Californians can fish without a license is tomorrow.

If you are new to the sport of fishing, and not sure if you will enjoy it, a great opportunity awaits you. Or if the thought of spending money on a sportfishing license has kept you from throwing a line or two in the water, hesitate no more.

This Saturday, Sept. 8, the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is suspending its license requirements for sportfishing. Free Fishing Days provide a great, low-cost way to give fishing a try.

The date is one of two days this year that the agency considers it legal to fish without a license for those ages 16 and older. (The first no-license fishing day this year took place on July 7).

Not all fishing requirements have been relaxed. Fish and Game still requires that anglers comply with bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures.

In addition, the agency emphasizes that those fishing for abalone, steelhead, sturgeon, spiny lobster or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems must also complete a report card detailing the nature of the catch. More information about report cards and the cost for each type can be found on the Fish and Game website here.

Some DFG regions offer a Fishing in the City program where you can go fishing in the middle of major metropolitan areas perhaps just a few blocks from your home. Fishing in the City and free fishing day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and fishing tackle. You can even learn how to clean and prepare your catch so you can enjoy it for dinner that night.

Current regulations for both ocean sportfishing and freshwater sportfishing in California are detailed here.

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