One of the beautiful places you can explore your local backroads are along the Delta waters. Or, if you venture farther, there are flowing rivers and inviting lakes throughout California you can explore. Whether you enjoy swimming, kayaking, hiking or fishing, there is something for every family to enjoy around our waterways with very limited restrictions. However, fishing does require a license if you are older than 16 years old. Except for twice a year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts Free Fishing Days where you can enjoy the rush of fishing without purchasing a fishing license.
California Free Fishing Days
Every year, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announces two free fishing days. In fact, throughout the country, different states celebrate free fishing days several times throughout the year, but every state with the exception of Alaska, offer at least one free fishing day a year. These days are perfect for people, or families, that have always wanted to try fishing but have never had the opportunity to do so. They are also designed to create the opportunity for people to fish who might not have the means to participate. The event invites the community to enjoy public waterways and learn more about the natural resources surrounding them while learning a fun hobby.
In California, residents are invited to fish without a license on July 6th and August 31st, 2019. On these days, you can fish without a sport fishing license. Many areas offering free fishing offer complimentary fishing clinics to educate new fishermen about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and different types of fish tackle. Many locations even teach you how to clean and prepare your fish for dinner!
Other fishing restrictions, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and lake, river and stream closures all remain in effect.
Where To Enjoy Free Fishing on the Delta
If you are not an experienced fisherman and would like to spend the day fishing, there are a few places you can visit in the area.
If you have your own poles and fishing gear, you can visit Contra Loma Regional Park, Antioch, Oakley Regional Shoreline, the Antioch Fishing Pier, or head out to Sherman Island Sacramento River Access or Franks Tracts State Recreation Area. If you have a boat and wanted to head out on the Delta, the Antioch Public Launch Ramp or launch from Orwood. Other options include going out on a kayak or a canoe. Big Break Regional Shoreline has kayak rentals, as well as the Antioch Marina.
If you have not experienced fishing before and need to borrow equipment, a great place to visit is Los Vaqueros Regional Park. Los Vaqueros has all the tools you need to test your hand at fishing, including boats for rent, fishing poles for rent, and a full bait shop stocked with everything you might need to enjoy your first day out fishing.
Where To Learn More
One simple way to learn more about California Free Fishing Days is from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. You can also visit the Visit The Delta page for a comprehensive list of places you can enjoy fishing on the Delta.