Here’s a deal for all you part-time anglers out there (like me) who never know whether this will be the year you actually use your fishing license. On Free Fishing Weekend in Kansas you won’t need a license to fish any public Kansas waters. That’s right! Free fishing! No license required, no more handing the pole to your kid real quick before the Ranger comes by. (I’m kidding! You would never do that. :))
Although fishing is free (no license required), all other limits still apply. Each person can fish with up to two poles. A permit is required if you want to have three poles. 2023 dates are June 3 & 4.
If you’re looking for a place to fish in Wichita, check out our tips here.
When is Free Fishing Weekend in Kansas?
Every year, Kansas has two free fishing days and its traditionally the first full weekend in June so for 2023 that would be 3rd and 4th.
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For the rest of the year, fishing licenses are required for people 16 and older. You can get fishing licenses at various locations – I usually get mine at sporting goods stores or Walmart.
Who Needs a Fishing License?
Everyone ages 16-74 needs a fishing license in Kansas unless you’re fishing on a private pond that isn’t leased for public fishing. Licenses used to be based on a calendar year, but now the fishing license will be good for 365 days from your date of purchase.
Children under 16 years of age do not need a fishing license in Kansas. (However, there is something called a paddlefish permit that they do have to have if they’ll be doing that kind of fishing.)
For young adults ages 16-20, Kansas now has a multi-year youth license that is only $42.50 – a great deal if you plan to use it every year.
Senior citizens can now get a lifetime fishing license in Kansas. It’s actually a combination hunt/fish license, and it’s just $42.50.
Members of the Kansas National Guard and Kansas residents who are disabled veterans may qualify for a free fishing license. (That doesn’t mean every day is free fishing day for you, ha ha! You do need a license, but you may not have to pay for it.)
For complete information and applications, visit the Fishing Application and Fees page on the KDWPT website here.
So where can you fish in Wichita?
We have numerous public fishing ponds and lakes in Sedgwick County, or you can visit the bigger lakes in Afton, Cheney, and El Dorado. Obviously, neighborhood ponds are easy to access, but before you drop your line make sure it’s okay to fish there. It often is.
In town, you can fish at Sedgwick County Park and Watson Park, just to name a couple. You can find a lot more suggestions and ideas in my article about Where to Fish in Wichita.
For information on state lake conditions, KDWPT recommends checking out the State Park Alerts at KSOutdoors.com or calling the park office.