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RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission invites anglers and would-be anglers of all ages to go fishing July 4 — for free.
From 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m., everyone in North Carolina — residents and non-residents alike — may fish in any public body of water, including coastal waters, without purchasing a fishing license or additional trout fishing privilege.
Although no fishing license is required, all other fishing regulations, such as size and creel limits and lure restrictions, still apply.
To give anglers a better chance of catching fish, the commission stocks a variety of fish in waters across the state — including trout and channel catfish. The agency also provides access to
fishing sites across the state, including public fishing
areas and boating access areas. The interactive fishing and boating maps on the Commission’s website list more than 500 fishing and boating areas, many of which are free, that are open to the public.
Authorized by the N.C. General Assembly and started in 1994, North Carolina’s annual free fishing day always falls on July 4.
On all other days of the year, a fishing license is not required for anglers 15 years and younger, but anyone age 16 and older must have a fishing license to fish in any public water in North Carolina, including coastal waters. Purchase a license in one of these ways:
•Call the Commission at 1-888-248-6834. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
•Go to ncwildlife.org using a computer or mobile device.
•Visit a local Wildlife Service Agent.