Free Fishing: Where you can cast your line for FREE in June

Grab your pole, and wait for a bite

free fishingJune might be the best month to go fishing in the Heartland.

That’s because you’ll be able to cast your line for free at parks across the area.

Here’s a closer look at when and where:


June 9 and 10: Any person may fish state waters without an MDC fishing permit, trout permit, and prescribed area daily tag. However, user fees and permits may still be required at county, city, or private fishing areas.  Normal regulations, such as size and daily limits, still apply, too.


June 9: Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge will host its 45th annual Kids Free Fishing Derby. The Fishing Derby is for kids ages 12 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area, 1½ miles west of John A. Logan College on the south side of Highway 13. Lunch will be provided for participants and their families. A live fish shocking demonstration will be given during lunch. An awards ceremony will end the event at noon with prizes given in each age category for biggest, smallest and most fish caught.

June 15-18: Grab your pole and find a hole in Illinois during its Free Fishing Days. This four-day event celebrates fishing in Illinois. Anglers can fish without purchasing a fishing license, salmon stamp or inland trout stamp. Also during this time period, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge will not require Entrance Fees for anyone fishing on Refuge waters.

Giant City State Park will host several fishing programs for kids ages 5 to 12. The free classes will cover the basics of fishing. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will provide the poles and bait. Here’s a closer look at when:

  • Friday, June 8 – 10am-Noon
  • Friday, July 22 – 10am-Noon
  • Friday, July 13 -10am-Noon
  • Friday, July 27 -10am-Noon
  • Friday, August 3 – 10am-Noon


June 2-3: The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says anglers can fish for free this weekend. The state’s annual free fishing weekend allows people to fish Kentucky waters without a license or permit. The agency says in a statement that limits still apply to the size and number of fish that anglers may keep. The agency says many community lakes were stocked with catfish in May.

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