Whether you're a veteran angler who's been away from the water too long or a beginner wetting a hook for the first time, make plans to visit one of Alabama's lakes, rivers, ponds or creeks Saturday for Free Fishing Day!

The annual event allows citizens and out-of-state visitors alike to fish in most public waters without having to purchase a fishing license beforehand from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“This is the perfect opportunity for non-anglers to test the fishing waters and to remind former anglers of all the fun they’ve been missing,” said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the ADCNR. “It’s also a day for kids to learn how fun and exciting fishing is while giving families a chance to do something together outdoors.”

There are a few exceptions for the holiday -- anglers after red snapper will still need to purchase a $10 Gulf Reel Fish Endorsement and register for free as a saltwater angler. More on that here. Anyone fishing on one of Alabama's 23 Public Fishing Lakes will still need a license despite the special event, and anyone fishing in a pond on private property will, of course, need to get permission from the landowner before setting up there.

The ADCNR also urged anglers to observe the Alabama Department of Public Health's and the Center for Disease Control's outstanding recommendations for social distancing and hygiene measures as the threat of the COIVD-19 coronavirus still looms.

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