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Cast a line for free in North Carolina on July 4

On July 4, North Carolinians, as well as out-of-state visitors, can fish for free without buying a license. On all other days, a permit is required.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — You can fish for free in North Carolina on July 4, as the state recognizes its annual Free Fishing Day. 

Dating back to 1993, Free Fishing Day allows North Carolinians and out-of-state visitors to fish for free on any lake, river or stream without buying a license. On all other days, a license is required for anyone 16 & older.

All other fishing regulations will remain in effect, including limits on length and daily possession. Bait and tackle restrictions will also be in place on July 4. 

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“Free Fishing Day was created to promote the sport of fishing and is a great opportunity for families to try a new outdoor activity,” said Christian Waters, the agency’s chief of the Inland Fisheries Division. “Fishing is a relatively inexpensive recreational sport that anyone, no matter what their age or skill level, can enjoy. It’s an excellent way to enjoy quality time together in a relaxing setting on the water.”

Fishing licenses can be purchased from a local wildlife service agent. You can also purchase a fishing license by calling the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at 888-248-6834.  

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