Fish for free(dom) on Independence Day

Fishing for a fun and inexpensive way to celebrate Independence Day? The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission invites anglers and would-be anglers of all ages to go fishing — for free. 


From 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, July 4, everyone in North Carolina — resident and non-residents alike — can fish in any public body of water, including coastal waters, without purchasing a fishing license or additional trout fishing privilege.  Although no fishing license is required, all other fishing regulations, such as size and creel limits and lure restrictions, still apply. 

Authorized by the N.C. General Assembly and started in 1994, North Carolina’s annual free fishing day always falls on July 4. On all other days of the year, a fishing license is not required for anglers 15 years and younger, but anyone age 16 and older must have one.


The Naturalist's Corner

  • Fingers still crossed
    Fingers still crossed Status of the Lake Junaluska eagles remains a mystery, but I still have my fingers crossed for a successful nesting venture. There was some disturbance near the nest a week or so ago — tree trimming on adjacent property — and for a day or…

Back Then with George Ellison

  • The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic
    The woodcock — secretive, rotund and acrobatic While walking stream banks or low-lying wetlands, you have perhaps had the memorable experience of flushing a woodcock — that secretive, rotund, popeyed, little bird with an exceedingly long down-pointing bill that explodes from underfoot and zigzags away on whistling wings and just barely managing…
Go to top