Enjoy FREE Fishing Weekend in Kentucky!  June 3 – 4th – No fishing license is required in the state for all ages.

Every year Kentucky offers free fishing days the first weekend in June (June 3-4, 2023). 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

-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.

Minor Clark Free Fishing Day Photo


Special Events


Anderson County: Anderson County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. Fishing Derby, Hope Community Church Lake, 5930 U.S. 127 South, Lawrenceburg. Fishing from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. (Eastern) for kids ages 15 and younger. Prizes, trophies for big fish. Families can fish with their kids from 11 a.m. until noon. Lunch provided. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment.

Bullitt County: Fishing derby at Lake Chapeze in Clermont. 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. Trophies for big fish, most fish and little fish. Limited food and drinks proved 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. Directions: From I-65, take Exit 112, and turn onto Clermont Road (KY 245) towards Bardstown. Turn left onto Chapeze Lane at Forest Edge Winery.

Campbell County: Youth Fishing Derby, Alexandria Community Park, 3965 Alexandria Dr., Alexandria, Ky. Fishing from 10 a.m. – noon (Eastern). Free lunch and free t-shirt while supplies last. Prizes.

Clay County: Redbird Ranger District Kid’s Fishing Derby, Little Double Creek Pond, located behind office at 91 Peabody Road, Big Creek, Ky. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon (Eastern). Registration begins at 8 a.m. For ages 3-15. Limit two rods per registered participant. Call (606) 598-2192 for more information.

Daviess County: Take A Kid Fishing Day, Panther Creek Park, Feather Landing Shelter, 5160 Wayne Bridge Rd, Owensboro. Registration at 8 a.m. (Central) Fishing starts at 9 a.m. Open to all ages. Lunch will be provided at 11 a.m. Bring your own poles. Door prizes and a grand prize winner for whoever catches the tagged fish.

Franklin County: Family Fishing Day, headquarters campus of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort. Upper Sportsman’s Lake (adjacent to main headquarters building; largest lake on campus) open for youths 15 and younger only from 8 a.m. – noon (Eastern). Lake open to everyone to fish after noon. Bring your own bait; limited number of fishing poles will be available. Hot dogs provided, drawing for prizes. Upper Sportsman’s Lake will receive a special stocking of fish Friday, June 2; it will close afterward to all fishing then reopen the following day. Lower Sportsman’s Lake will remain open the entire time.

Hopkins County: 23rd Annual Take A Kid Fishing Day, Madisonville City Park Lake, 1950 Park Rd., Madisonville. Pre-registration at park starts at 10:30 a.m. (Central) Fishing tournament for kids 15 and under from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tournament includes four age categories: 3-6, 7-9, 10-12, and 13-15. An adult must accompany each child. Bring your own pole and bait. Only one pole per child. Bait will be provided. The first 100 children will receive a gift bag. Prizes will be given for largest fish overall, and in each age category. Lunch provided. Online pre-registration available at the Kiwanis Club of Madisonville’s Facebook page or register at the event.

Kenton County: Kid’s Fishing Derby, Middleton Mills Park, 3415 Mills Rd., Covington. For kids of all ages, from 9 a.m. – noon (Eastern). Fishing equipment and bait provided.

Laurel County: Kid’s Fishing Derby, Laurel-London Optimist Club, Optimist Camp Road, London. For kids ages 5-12. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. (Eastern) Fishing from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Food and drinks will be provided from 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. Bring and use any type of bait. Prizes for biggest fish, smallest fish, most weight and most fish. Located off Hal Rogers Parkway near mile marker 7; look for signs and turn opposite from Watkins Road. Located at the former Laurel River Baptist Association Camp.

McCracken County: Noble Park Fish Out, Lake Gerry Montgomery in Noble Park, 2801 Park Ave., Paducah. For kids ages 5-12. Free registration begins at 8:30 a.m. (Central) at Shelter 10 (across the road from Noble Park Pool). Fish from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Catch and release tournament, ask a staff member to measure and record the fish one at a time. Limited amount fishing equipment and bait available from Paducah Parks and Recreation; anglers should bring their own gear and bait if they have it. Awards for largest fish and most fish caught. Goodie bags will be handed out to the first 75 people to register.

McCreary County: Barren Fork Horse Camp, located behind Stearns Ranger Station, 3320 U.S. 27 North, Whitley City. Registration begins at 7 a.m. (Eastern) with fishing from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. For ages 5-15. Prizes and free hot dog lunch. An adult must accompany children. Bring your own bait and tackle. Call (606) 376-5323 for more information.

Meade County: Kid’s Fishing Derby at Camp Carlson Lake (Fort Knox), 9186 U.S. 60, Muldraugh. Hosted by VFW Post 10281. For kids 15 and under; kids do not need to have family in the military to participate. Bring your own bait and fishing equipment. Registration from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (Eastern). Mandatory safety briefing at 9:45 a.m., fishing from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch provided and served at 11 a.m. Awards for specific categories such as biggest fish and smallest fish. Limited to 400 kids. Each child registered will receive a free fishing pole and tackle. Pre-registration available at the Sandusky Field House on Ft. Knox from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by emailing Vfwpost10281@gmail.com. Call (502) 624-1838 for more information.

Montgomery County: Smith Family Fishing in the Park, 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 fish, smallest fish and most weight. Lake closed the day before the event.

Rowan County: Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 120 Fish Hatchery Rd. Morehead. Arrive early, as this is one of the biggest fishing events in Kentucky for kids. Registration starts at 6 a.m. (Eastern). Free fishing from 7 a.m. -11 a.m. For kids ages 15 and under. Limited poles and bait provided, but participants are encouraged to bring their own bait and equipment. Event features three ponds stocked with various fish, including trout and catfish. Several raffles, each kid gets a small gift. Pre-registration is encouraged; click here to reserve a spot. Optional phone number to call for more information: (606) 783-8650.

Russell County: Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery’s 35th Annual Catch A Rainbow Kid’s Fishing Derby, 50 Kendall Rd., Jamestown. Registration begins at 8 a.m. (Central), with fishing from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m. Each angler will receive a colored ticket with their age group and fishing time. Fishing times allotted by age, with youngest anglers going first. Click here for more information. Prizes will be given out at the end of each age group’s fishing with free hotdogs, chips and drinks available throughout the event. Special prizes will be given out to those who catch the biggest fish in each age category. This is one of the largest kids fishing events in Kentucky, with as many as 1,500 kids fishing throughout the day.

Trigg County: Take A Kid Fishing Day, West Cadiz Park, Cadiz. For ages 3-15. Onsite registration starts at 8 a.m. (Central). Fishing will be from 9 a.m. until noon. Lunch, t-shirts and goody bags provided. Registration forms are also available at Cadiz City Hall, John L. Street Library, and Trigg County Schools. Limited number of fishing poles available, participants encouraged to bring their own gear. No buckets allowed.


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