Mark your calendars for June 8–9th. Washington is having its free-fishing weekend. Now for most of the anglers out there, this weekend totally stinks. You have people who are not respectful of the shores, leaving junk around, and sometimes just cutting lines because they can't get the hook out of the fish. All of those things bother me very much, but I want to look at this weekend as an opportunity to take people who have been curious about fishing out with me. I set them up with a rig, and we hit the banks. They get to have some fun and learn about the sport without shelling out any cash for the very expensive day passes. Then the next weekend, they call me up and ask me to take them back out, and just like that, Washington State has another 40 bucks in its pocket because they let a guy who wasn't sure about fishing try it for free. 


Anglers can explore a variety of fishing spots across Washington during Free Fishing Weekend, including lakes brimming with trout. For those like myself who love trout fishing, WDFW's 2024 Trout Fishing Derby offers a chance to win prizes by reeling in tagged fish. Meanwhile, the coastal waters present opportunities to catch lingcod, cabezon, and rockfish, with no boat required. 


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Regulations Remain

While Free Fishing Weekend eliminates the need for licenses for most species, certain regulations remain in place. Catch record cards are still required for fish like sturgeon, salmon, steelhead, and halibut. and keep in mind that all shellfish harvesting requires a license. In addition to waiving the need for fishing licenses, Free Fishing Weekend relaxes other requirements. Anglers won't need a Vehicle Access Pass, a Discover Pass for parking on designated lands, or a Two-Pole Endorsement during this time. The Fish Washington mobile app and printed guides offer convenient access to updated regulations. 

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