DNR photo

Iowans can try their hand at fishing this weekend without having to buy a license.

Joe Larscheid, the Iowa DNR fisheries bureau chief, says it’s a free fishing weekend, so folks can grab their best fishing pole and head for their favorite fishing hole.

“There’s a lot of fish close to shore right now. Bluegills and crappies are easy to catch. Large mouth bass are cruising the shoreline,” Larscheid says. “This is a free fishing weekend so any Iowa residents can fish for free and try out fishing and hopefully make it a lifetime pursuit.”

Larscheid says this event, held the first weekend of June, is always popular with those who enjoy spending time along the state’s rivers and lakes.

“It was kind of a cold, wet spring so there’s a lot of pent up desire to get out and go fishing,” Larscheid says. “If you don’t have your license yet, this is a good excuse to go out and try fishing again and hopefully buy a license after that.”

In addition to free fishing, Larscheid says the weekend will feature fishing clinics and a chance for law enforcement officers to go fishing with kids as part of “Cops and Bobbers.”

“We have a lot of different local organizations that support free fishing clinics. You go to our website, www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing, and just look, there’s a calendar of events,” Larscheid says. “Normally, the rods and reels and baits are provided and there’s a lot of volunteers that help anglers that are not sure how to fish and get started fishing to be successful.”

The free fishing runs today through Sunday at hundreds of Iowa lakes and thousands of miles of rivers. You may purchase a fishing license at the county recorder’s office, a sporting goods store or through the DNR.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)