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No Fishing License? No Problem This Weekend

If you have always wanted to try your skill at fly-casting or simply wanted to sit on a tranquil shore with a pole and a baited line, then clear your plans this weekend.

This is the official free fishing weekend in New York State and no license is required. 

Thanks to the New York State Department of Conservation, streams, rivers, lakes and ponds across the state were stocked with more than a million pounds of trout in early April. As the season progresses, these “stockies” migrate. The ones who reach the reservoirs usually live longest and can grow up to 12 or 14 pounds.

“The bass season started the third Saturday in June. Small-mouth and long-mouth bass are native around here,” said  fishing guru Jack Stewart of Croton Falls. “They’re born and grow up in these waters. Yellow and white perch and crappies are also biting. Some people think they’re more tasty than bass and trout.”

Stewart said the best times for fishing are early morning and late evening.

“It’s the most pleasant time to be out,” he said.

John Miller, owner of Bob’s Sport & Tackle in Somers, suggested that the best local spots to try are at the upper end of the Muscoot Reservoir and the Titicus Reservoir down at the dam.

“Right now they’re getting trout, bass and perch,” he said.

Though it is an open fishing weekend, those who go should still know the rules. For example, some areas are “catch-and-release” only while others limit the number of daily catches. Regulations are usually posted at fishing sites.

If you’re hooked by the end of the weekend and want to continue, you will need a fishing license. They are obtainable online, by phone, by mail or at license-issuing agencies such as tackle shops or a town clerk’s office. 

Although no fishing license is required this weekend, a New York City Public Access Permit is necessary if you go to a reservoir. There is no charge and they are available online.

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