Here’s a trivia question. Name three ways a person can legally fish in Missouri without purchasing a fishing permit. Answer: They can be under 16 years old, at least 65 years old, or fish during Free Fishing Days this weekend (June 6–7, 2009). Actually, there are other ways too, such as landowners and their household members fishing on their own land and persons with certain disabilities who are exempted from permit requirements.
This weekend is when anyone, Missouri residents and non-residents, qualifies for free fishing. You won’t need a fishing permit, daily trout tags or trout permits at most locations. Requirements for special permits may still apply at some county, city or private areas. Normal regulations, such as size and daily limits, still apply.
If you aren’t a regular angler and don’t have a fishing permit, this weekend is your chance to experience Missouri fishing without the expense or the extra step of buying a permit. Perhaps you have fished before but fell out of the habit. Try it again and you may find that you enjoy it as much as you did in years past. If you haven’t fished before, you may wish to take advantage of the special fishing available at some Department areas, where equipment and instruction is provided. Contact your regional MDC office for more information.
If you have children or grandchildren, consider introducing them to the sport that you enjoyed so much when you were their age. Even after this weekend there are plenty of opportunities available to introduce kids to fishing. It’ll get you and them back to the outdoors for some quality time together – even if you do get stuck with baiting the hooks.