Not all of us are die-hard fisherman who plan our weekends around tossing a line into the lake. When fishing a couple times during the year is your interest, these free fishing opportunities are just for you.

We all know somebody who lives their life around fishing as much as possible, and going to as many bodies of water to check out the "hot spots" where the trophy fish is likely to be. These free fishing options are not likely to be for them.

If you're like me, you have some fishing gear and can hold your own, but don't put a priority on rushing out to get a fishing license the moment the opener date comes. These are meant for you...

Minnesota doesn't always require a fishing license, and it's not just for children under 16-years old. There's actually a number of places you're allowed to fish anytime during the year, without having to buy a license.

May 12-13 is when all Minnesota Moms can fish without having to worry about a license. I'm not sure how the DNR knows you're a mom or not, but it's a great chance to give it a try without having to buy a yearly angler license.

June 2-10 this year is National Fishing and Boating Week, and most states give you some special "license-free" fishing options. Keep in mind that June 8-10 this year, Minnesota residents 16 and older can fish for free with children younger than 16. This is a great chance to introduce a kid to fishing while enjoying the sport yourself.

Finally, many people have no idea about this, but you can actually fish year-round without a license in any of the Minnesota State Parks if you're a resident of this state! Here's the regulations with that:

  1. The body of water does not require a trout stamp.
  2. Fishing from shore or wading in water within the state park.
  3. Fishing through the ice, from a boat or a float on a designated lake that is completely encompassed within a Minnesota state park.

The nearest state park to the St. Cloud area is Lake Maria State Park near Clearwater, off I-94 and County Road 8. They DO have bodies of water and likely fall within the free fishing rules, but always good to check directly with them first.

Spring is coming, even though you'd hardly know it right now. Soon you'll be able to wax the boat and dust off the fishing poles and head out to enjoy Minnesota's favorite past time. Make sure you're aware of the catch limit rules and opener dates for different types of fish. The button below will take you the Minnesota DNR website to check those dates.