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Free Fishing Days in NY State

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Free Fishing Weekends allow anglers looking to try ice fishing for the first time to do so without the requirement of a fishing license. This is a great opportunity for experienced anglers to introduce friends to the sport.

Beginning ice anglers should download the Ice Fishing Chapter of DEC's I FISH NY Beginners Guide to Freshwater Fishing for information on how to get started. You can find additional information, including a list of waters open to ice fishing, on DEC's ice fishing webpage.

Four inches of solid clear ice is usually safe for anglers accessing ice on foot. Ice thickness can vary on waterbodies and even within the same waterbody. Anglers should be particularly cautious of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice from forming. Testing the ice can easily be done with an auger or spud bar at various spots. Fishing with a family member or a friend is also encouraged for safety. Local bait and tackle shops are a great resource for finding out where there is safe ice and what anglers are catching. 

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