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And The Free Fishing Days for 2022 are…


… July 2nd (Saturday) and September 3rd (Saturday)

Every year the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) announces two Free Fishing Days. On these days, anyone ages 16 or older can go fishing without getting a sport fishing license. This includes at creeks, rivers, lakes, and even beach fishing. Free Fishing Days are the perfect opportunity to try fishing before committing to an annual permit and it’s a great excuse to get the entire family outside.

Some CDFW Regions offer a “Fishing in the City” program where you can go fishing in the middle of major metropolitan areas on certain days. These areas include the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose/South Bay, Sacramento, Los Angeles area, and Orange County. Fishing in the City and Free Fishing Day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish, and fishing tackle. You can even learn how to clean and prepare your catch so you can enjoy it for dinner that night. More info here.

While all fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect, there are two days each year when anyone can fish without purchasing a fishing license. Kids under 16 never require a license, but again the other rules still apply.

On California’s Free Fishing Days, every person fishing must have the appropriate report card if they are fishing for these species:

  • Abalone
  • Steelhead
  • Sturgeon
  • Spiny lobster
  • Salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River Systems

Also, don’t forget that you can fish for free from California piers every day all year long.

Beaches on this list

  • Morro Rock City Beach

    Morro Rock Beach is the city beach between the iconic Morro Rock and Morro Strand State Beach in Morro Bay, CA. This is a wide sandy beach just north of […]

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  • Fishermans Beach

    Fisherman’s Beach is the last beach you come to along Avila Beach Drive as you drive farther away from the town of Avila Beach. Locals call it Dog Beach because […]

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  • Pebble Beach

    Pebble Beach is a long string of connected coves in Crescent City in Northern California. The beach has numerous parking areas all along South and North Pebble Beach Drive between […]

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  • Orick Fishing Access Beach

    The Orick Fishing Access is a parking area on the north side of the Redwood Creek mouth near the town of Orick. It is located on Redwood National Park property, […]

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  • Gray Whale Cove State Beach

    Gray Whale Cove State Beach is in an area of steep cliff erosion between Pacifica and Montara called the “Devil’s Slide.” The beach itself is safe, but the old highway […]

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  • Ocean Beach

    Ocean Beach is a long beach spanning the entire Sunset District of San Francisco from Cliff House south to Sloat Boulevard. It’s also a wide beach especially when compared to […]

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  • Pete’s Beach

    Westport-Union Landing State Beach has two public beaches separated by the private beach at the Westport Beach RV Park & Campground. The southern beach is a little-known California State Beach […]

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  • Fish Rock Beach at Anchor Bay Campground

    Fish Rock Beach is in front of Anchor Bay Campground in the community of Anchor Bay just north of Gualala, California. The privately-owned campground is in the bottom of Fish […]

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  • Hobson Beach

    Hobson Beach is located south of the private gated Seacliff Beach Colony in Ventura County. At high tide there will be little if no dry sand at Hobson Beach. The […]

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  • Arroyo Burro Beach

    Arroyo Burro Beach County Park is the official name of what Santa Barbara locals call Hendry’s Beach. This beach is surrounded by tall bluffs with parks and trails on top […]

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  • Dan Blocker County Beach

    Dan Blocker Beach in Malibu is a long narrow beach below Pacific Coast Highway between the Latigo Shores neighborhood and the homes along Malibu Road. This public land is owned […]

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  • Carmet Beach

    Carmet Beach is a narrow rocky beach in front of the small housing community of Carmet north of Bodega Bay, CA. Carmet Beach is one of many fishing beaches that […]

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  • Bass Rock Beach

    Bass Rock Beach is at a signed but unnamed coastal access along Pacific Coast Highway not far from the Ventura and Los Angeles County border. The state has provided a […]

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  • Shelter Cove Beach

    Shelter Cove Beach is a long dark sand beach on the south side of the town of Shelter Cove. This is the beach at the Shelter Cove Boat Launching Facility. […]

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  • Greyhound Rock Coastal Access

    Greyhound Rock Coastal Fishing Access is a Santa Cruz County managed beach facility. The massive rock just offshore is Greyhound Rock which is part of Greyhound Rock State Marine Conservation […]

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  • Noyo Harbor Beach

    Noyo Harbor Beach is a sandy strip on Noyo Bay at the north side of the Noyo River mouth in Fort Bragg, CA. The sandy beach is more popular as […]

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  • Capitola Beach

    Capitola City Beach is a sandy beach at the north end of Monterey Bay in Capitola, CA. It’s a popular urban beach that can be jam packed on sunny days […]

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  • Sharp Park Beach

    Sharp Park Beach is located along Beach Boulevard in Pacifica, CA. The park is a narrow strip of land with grass and picnic tables and benches above the sandy beach. […]

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  • Pismo State Beach – North Beach

    North Beach is in front of the North Beach Campground at Pismo State Beach. Pismo Creek meets the ocean at this location and sometimes pools up next to the campground. […]

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  • Francis Beach – Half Moon Bay State Beach

    Francis Beach is the southernmost beach in Half Moon Bay State Beach. Francis Beach has a nice grassy park with many of picnic tables and barbecues on the bluff above […]

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  • Moss Landing City Beach

    At the end of Sandholdt Road on the peninsula that protects Moss Landing Harbor there is a parking area with beach access. On the harbor side next to the entrance […]

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  • Dana Point Harbor Beach (Baby Beach)

    Dana Point Harbor Beach, better-known as “Baby Beach,” is located on the protected waters of Dana Point Harbor. This is a small family-friendly beach with a roped off swimming area […]

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  • Topanga Beach

    Topanga Beach is the closest Malibu California beach to Los Angeles. The Eastern Malibu coast faces south and Topanga Beach is at the east end next to the Pacific Palisades […]

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  • Gaviota State Park Beach

    Gaviota State Park Beach is a south-facing beach below a tall train trestle about 30 miles west of Santa Barbara and 25 miles southeast of Lompoc. Behind the trestle there […]

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  • Port Hueneme Beach Park

    Port Hueneme Beach Park is the main beach in the city of Port Hueneme which is completely surrounded by Oxnard, CA. The beach here is wide with many picnic areas […]

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  • McAbee Beach

    McAbee Beach is located in the heart of the Cannery Row area of Monterey, CA. At high tide it’s a small cove with smooth boulders and just enough sand to […]

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  • Albion Flat Beach

    Albion Flat Beach is at the back of a protected cove below a picturesque Highway 1 bridge. The Albion River Bridge is a combination of wooden trestle and deck truss […]

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  • Palm Beach

    Palm Beach is a day use area of Sunset State Beach which has a separate entrance. This park provides access to a wide sandy beach on Monterey Bay that is backed […]

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  • Faria Beach

    Faria Beach is located at the north end of the private gated Faria Beach Colony in Ventura County. The county provides a small campground called Faria Beach Park at this […]

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  • Arena Cove Beach

    Arena Cove Beach is the main beach in the Mendocino County town of Point Arena. The cove isn’t really known for its beach since there isn’t a lot of beach […]

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  • North Salmon Creek Beach

    North Salmon Creek Beach is right off Coast Highway 1 just north of Bodega Bay. A large parking lot is available, but it can fill up in the summer so […]

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  • Paradise Beach Park

    Paradise Beach County Park is a nicely landscaped facility on San Pablo Bay near Tiburon, CA. The beach here is narrow and rocky, but it’s an easy place to launch […]

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