Free fishing days offered this weekend

Columbus — Ohioans are encouraged to take advantage of "Free Fishing Days" on May 3-4 and experience the great fishing Ohio has to offer. For these two days only, Ohio anglers may fish in any of the state's public waters without having to buy a fishing license.

During the rest of the year, anglers 16 years and older are required to have a valid fishing license to take fish, frogs or turtles from Ohio waters. An Ohio fishing license is one of the best recreation bargains available, costing only $19 a year for residents.

Ohio residents born on or before Dec. 31, 1937, can obtain a free fishing license at any license vendor. Residents age 66 and older who were born on or after Jan. 1, 1938, are eligible to obtain a reduced cost senior fishing license for $10. A one-day fishing license is also available for $11, an amount that later can be applied toward the cost of an annual fishing license. Fishing licenses are available at bait and tackle stores, outdoor outfitters, major department stores, as well as wildohio.com.

Ohio's Free Fishing Days were established in 1993 to promote fishing and allow Ohioans to experience fishing before buying a license. The offer is open to all Ohio residents and extends to all of Ohio’s public waters including Lake Erie and the Ohio River.

Great fishing exists around the state and throughout the year. An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio. In late winter and early spring, anglers reel in excellent catches of steelhead trout and walleye from northern Ohio streams. Spring also means great saugeye and crappie fishing. During the summer months, the fishing heats up on Lake Erie for yellow perch, walleye and smallmouth bass, while anglers on the Ohio River enjoy excellent striped bass fishing.

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