CDFW offers two free fishing days each year - usually around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend - when it’s legal to fish without a sport fishing license. This year, the free fishing days were set for the Saturdays following Independence Day and Labor Day (July 6 and Sept. 7).
All other fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for abalone, steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, or for salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity river systems.
Free fishing days provide a low-cost way to give fishing a try. Some CDFW regions offer a Fishing in the City program that teaches new anglers how to fish in major metropolitan areas. 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. Anglers can even learn how to clean and prepare fish for eating.
Anglers should check the rules and regulations at http://www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations/ for the waters they plan to fish.