News from the Tennessee Valley Sports
MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2007

Free Fishing Day in state is Saturday

Every June, I’m reminded about a friend who had a not-so-enjoyable, embarrassing vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast.

While on vacation, he decided to do some fishing at the beach near Gulf State Park. A few minutes after making his first cast, a conservation (game and fish) officer cited him for fishing in salt water without a license. He didn’t realize you have to have a different license for freshwater and saltwater fishing.

What makes this story somewhat comical was this fellow was going to fish from the beach again the next day after promising the children to take them along. But in the meantime, my friend had purchased a saltwater fishing license.

Before his frozen box of shrimp had time to thaw on the beach, the same conservation officer approached him. My friend eagerly showed the lawman his new papers. But the official didn’t bother to stop and check. My friend was annoyed by the official’s lack of concern. Then the official told him it was “Free Fishing Day” in Alabama.

Without a license

The state has announced that Saturday will be “Free Fishing Day” this year. On this day, you can fish in either fresh water or salt water without having to have a license.

“Free Fishing Day is offered to introduce non-anglers to the sport and to remind former anglers of the fun they have been missing,” said Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Chief of Fisheries Stan Cook.

“Each year, more and more people are taking advantage of the day and get out and enjoy a family day of fishing.”

Some lakes and piers may still require fees and permits and owners’ permission is required to fish private ponds.

Marine Resource Division Director R. Vernon Minton encourages saltwater anglers to get out and wet a hook.

“For those folks who have never fished in salt water, this is a great opportunity for them to experience the fun and excitement,” said Minton. “For those who do saltwater fish, it’s a chance for them to take someone who hasn’t and introduce them to the sport.”

Alabama’s “Free Fishing Day” is with National Fishing and Boating Week.

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Paul Stackhouse
Paul Stackhouse

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