Saturday, Jan. 16, is the winter Free Fishing Day in New Hampshire.
State residents and non-residents alike can fish any inland water – or saltwater – in New Hampshire that day without a fishing license. However, people participating in a fishing tournament must still hold a license, even on Free Fishing Day. Also, season dates, bag limits and all other fishing regulations must be followed on Free Fishing Day.
Free fishing days are held the first Saturday in June and the third Saturday in January.
If you get hooked on Free Fishing Day, enjoy the fun year-round by getting a fishing license from N.H. Fish and Game. Licenses are available online. Youth under age 16 do not need a license to fish in New Hampshire.
Not sure how to get started? Squam Lake Nature Center will have Intro to Ice Fishing on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 7 to 10:30 a.m. for ages 9 and older.
Beneath the snow and ice is a wondrous world of peril: oxygen starts to deplete, food is scarce, and water temperature is barely above 37 degrees. Search for fish that remain active under these conditions. Try to entice fish to the end of your line using lures and jigging techniques that mimic their natural food. Learn about fish adaptations by observing fish colors, fins, and mouthparts. Whether you fish for food, as a social gathering, or to be out in the elements, ice fishing is a great activity to foster your love for nature.
All fishing instruction and equipment provided at no extra cost. Ages 16 and up must have a current fishing license. Adults must accompany children as a registered program participants. Wear insulated snow boots with non-cotton socks. Wear many, many layers of clothing, including non-cotton insulating base layers, a windproof outer layer, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, and gloves. Bring an extra pair of gloves, snacks, a thermos with a hot beverage, hand and toe warmers, and a camp chair. Purchase fishing licenses through New Hampshire Fish & Game, which helps conservation efforts in our state.
Advance registration is required at nhnature.tamretail.net/SelectEvent.aspx? eventid=1000217. Maximum of 10 participants per session. Cost $20 per member; $25 per non-member. Additional dates available including Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and Feb. 24.