Enjoy FREE Fishing Weekend in Kentucky!  June 1 – 2, 2024- No fishing license is required in the state for all ages.

Every year Kentucky offers free fishing days the first weekend in June (June 1 – 2, 2024). On free fishing days no license (including the Kentucky trout permit) is required of residents or non-residents to fish any Kentucky waters. All other fishing regulations remain in effect. Free fishing days are offered to promote fishing and National Fishing Week.

“Free fishing weekend is a great tool for teaching kids how to fish,” said John Gutzeit, aquatic education coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “This is also a great time for those lapsed anglers who’ve gotten away from fishing to get fishing again and come back into the fold.”

Anglers across Kentucky may fish without a fishing license or need a trout permit on Free Fishing Weekend. Size and creel limits still apply during this time.

*No Fishing License or Trout Permit required
*Residents + Nonresidents
*Statewide, public + private waters (landowner permission still required on private property)
*Daily catch, fish size & other limits still apply

Minor Clark Free Fishing Day Photo

-Fishing Regulations: https://go.usa.gov/xmsG5

Need help getting started? Visit the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ website at fw.ky.gov and type, “Learn to Fish,” in the search box. Here you’ll find instructional videos covering knot tying and preparing a fish for the table.

Don’t know where to fish? Click the “Fishing” tab on the department website to access the annual fishing forecast for great tips and places to try.

The fishing page also includes a link to the Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) lakes. FINs offers dozens of easily accessible, specially stocked lakes near population centers throughout the state.


Special Events

Bullitt County

Fishing Derby at Jim Beam Lake in Clermont

​Location:  Jim Beam Lake in Clermont. From I-65, take Exit 112 and turn onto Clermont Road (KY 245) towards Bardstown. In 1.5 miles, turn right onto Horticulture Area Road.

Open for youths 15 and under and their families. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Eastern). Registration begins at 8 a.m. Families may also register by clicking here. Trophies are for big fish, most fish, and little fish. Limited food and drinks are provided by the Bullitt County Rod and Gun Club. Presented by the Kentucky Conservation Officer’s Association, Bullitt County Rod and Gun Club and Jim Beam Distilleries

Family Fishing Days at Bernheim

​Location: At Bernheim Forest and Arboretum, 2075 Clermont Road, Clermont.

Fishing from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2, 2024. All lakes and ponds open to children and adults. No registration needed. Cost is free, $15 recommended donation per car, for non-members. No equipment provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and anglers should only fish on designated banks. Catch and release only.

Franklin ​County

Family Fishing Day

​Location: Headquarters campus of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort.

Upper Sportsman’s Lake (adjacent to the main headquarters building; largest lake on campus) is open for youths 15 and younger only from 8 a.m. – noon (Eastern). Lake is open to everyone to fish after noon. Bring your own bait; limited number of fishing poles will be available. Hot dogs will be provided and there is a drawing for prizes. Upper Sportsman’s Lake will receive a special stocking of fish on Friday, May 31; the lake will close afterward to all fishing and reopen the following day. Lower Sportsman’s Lake will remain open the entire time to all anglers.

Fayette ​County

Cops and Bobbers Fishing Event

​Location: Gainesway Park Fishing Pond, 3495 Campus Way, Lexington.

This event is designed for children and is free to attend and starts at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted by Lexington Police Department. Fishing equipment provided. Face painting and free lunch.

Madison ​County

Kid’s Fishing Derby

​Location:  Lake Reba Park (boat dock area), 299 Lake Reba Drive, Richmond.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. (Eastern) Fishing from 8 a.m. 10 a.m. For children 16 and under. For more information, call (859) 623-8753 or email parksandrec@richmond.ky.us.

Montgomery ​County

Smith Family Fishing in the Park

​Location: Easy Walker Park Lake, 1395 Osborne Road, Mt Sterling.

Registration begins at 8 a.m. (Eastern). First cast begins at 9 a.m. For kids ages 15 and under. Free hot dogs and drinks while supplies last. Bring your own pole. Prizes for biggest fishsmallest fish and most weight.

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