Nothing beats getting outdoors during the summer, even if it's a Texas scorcher and especially after being cooped up last year due the pandemic.

It's definitely time to get back out there and enjoy the gorgeous natural resources we're blessed with here in Texas, and Free Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity to do it.

On Saturday, June 5, load up the tackle box, rods, and reels and head to the lake or your favorite fishin' hole, because you'll be free to fish any public body of water in the Lone Star State without a license.

Free Fishing Day happens on the first Saturday of June every year. It's a time for sharing the joy of fishing by taking unlicensed family and friends along to your favorite fishing spot.

Or hey, maybe you've never been fishing or haven't baited a hook in years and you want to see what you've been missing out on.

Either way, you should definitely get out there on the dock, on the shore, or on the lake.

If you're not sure where you can go to fish, takemefishing.org is a great tool to help you figure it out. You can also listen to On the Dock with Rick Smith and Billy Conway on 1400 KTEM-AM here in Temple. Rick and Billy have a lifetime of experience on our local lakes, and each Friday from 5-6 PM their show features the latest info on fishing and outdoor sports. You can call with a question at (254) 773-1400.

Now, there are some rules you need to be aware of. First, you absolutely must have permission to fish on someone's private property. Second, some local parks at our lakes still have COVID-19 safety protocols in place, so make sure you respect those.

If you go out for Free Fishing Day and find yourself hooked (har har) on the sport, consider purchasing a fishing license so you can cast a line throughout the year.

100% of license fees go to funding fish stocking, wildlife management, habitat restoration, land conservation, and programs that Texas Game Wardens use to help Texans fish and hunt safely and responsibly.

By the way, you can  fish without a license on private property any time of year as long as you own the land or have the owner's permission.

You can also fish without a license year-round at any State Park in Texas.

Wherever you decide to fish, be respectful of the environment and leave your fishing spot as clean as it was when you arrived. Our local lakes and rivers are such a blessing, and we've got to take care of them.

Fishing is a fantastic way to relax and bond with the people you love, so I hope you'll take advantage of Free Fishing Day.

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