Did You Say There’s Free Fishing in Texas?

Most states have a free fishing date or two at different times of the year to encourage new anglers to get out and try fishing even if they haven’t purchased a fishing license. And generally, kids under 16 can fish without a license. The Lone Star State, however, now offers free fishing in Texas state parks for everyone, year round.

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, you don't need a Texas fishing license to fish in Texas state parks, just a park entry fee. You can wade in the surf, cast from the bank of a river, or utilize a pier on a pond. All other fishing regulations still apply of course, so be sure to read up.

Texas is a big state, so if interested in free fishing in Texas the state parks (70!) are grouped by areas such as East Texas, Gulf Coast, or near major cities. The same goes for wildlife management areas which might mean a little less fishing pressure, as well as a great opportunity for wildlife watching while you have a line in the water. If you failed to plan and forget your fishing stuff, there are even state parks that will loan fishing equipment and provide some instruction.

When fishing in Texas, make sure to cast for redfish along the coast. Try for a Guadalupe bass as well to complete your black bass “grand slam.” Or maybe you want to tangle with a monstrous alligator gar. There are many species to target while free fishing in Texas.

There is no such thing as a free lunch but here, the only “catch” (besides the fish) with free fishing in Texas state parks is the park fee. However after you get hooked, you just may want to go ahead and get that fishing license.


Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.