RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) – Anyone in North Carolina can fish in public waters without having to purchase a license on July 4 from 12 a.m. until midnight.
Any resident or out-of-state visitor, regardless of age, can enjoy fishing for free; however, all other fishing regulations apply, such as bait and tackle restrictions, fish length and daily possession limits.
Authorized by the N.C. General Assembly in 1994 and sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), the annual free fishing day is intended to promote the sport of fishing.
“Free Fishing Day was created to promote the sport of fishing and is a great opportunity for families to try a new outdoor activity,” said Christian Waters, the agency’s chief of the Inland Fisheries Division. “Fishing is relatively inexpensive recreational sport that anyone, no matter what their age or skill level, can enjoy. It’s an excellent way to enjoy quality time together in a relaxing setting on the water.”
The interactive fishing and boating maps on the NCWRC’s website list more than 500 fishing and boating areas, many of which are free and open to the public.
Because this is a holiday weekend, the NCWRC urges boaters to be patient and follow these boating etiquette tips:
- Realize that parking lots will be crowded. Be patient and remain calm until an open parking space is available.
- Wait your turn in the launch line. Get in line without blocking or cutting off others.
- Park your vehicle and trailer while someone moves the boat away from the ramp
- Have someone move the boat away from the ramp while you retrieve your vehicle and trailer
- Be cautious and observe no-wake zones.
While fishing is free on July 4, a fishing license is required for people age 16 and older to fish in any public and coastal waters in North Carolina any other time of year.
Call 1-888-248-6834 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. or visit the NCWRC website for licenses and regulations.
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