When is the best time to go fishing? You answered all the time. But it is perfect when you can go fishing for free! NY Governor Kathy Hochul encourages all New Yorkers who love to fish to take advantage of the state's first Free Fishing Weekend of 2022. On Feb. 19 and 20, freshwater anglers are permitted to fish for free without a license.

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There are several planned free fishing days for 2022 with February's dates to start the event. Additional free fishing days include June 25 and 26, Sept. 24 (National Hunting and Fishing Day), and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day). During free fishing days, residents and visitors can fish for free on any of the state's lakes and ponds or rivers and streams. Freshwater fishing regulations will still apply during these free events. 

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With the kid's February break about to start, this is a great free activity to keep them busy. Gov. Hochul said. "Getting outside to experience New York's natural beauty is a perfect way to have fun and recharge at one of New York's many world-class fishing destinations. Visiting your local fisheries provides both recreational enjoyments and serves as a vital economic generator, supporting local economies statewide."

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First time fishing, especially in cold weather? You can get information by downloading the Ice Fishing Chapter of DEC's I FISH NY Beginners' Guide to Freshwater Fishing. The biggest thing to remember is the ice. DEC reminds those venturing onto the ice that four inches or more of solid ice are considered safe for accessing bodies of water on foot. If you want to find more information with tips on do's and don'ts, go to the DEC's website: DEC's Guide To Ice Fishing