Can You Avoid Having to Pay a Fine for Fishing in Texas Without a License?

The state of Texas fines those 18 and older caught fishing without a license in many public waters. However, it permits fishing without a license in 50 of its state parks as long as the park admission fee is paid.

The Texas State Parks Free Fishing in State Parks program operates year-round and applies to all fishing, including rod and reel, freshwater and saltwater and adult and child, within designated parks and wildlife management areas. Bag and length limits as well as other fishing regulations still apply and are enforced.

The program permits free fishing in designated parks from piers, banks and boats and in rivers and creeks, as long as the body of water is fully contained within the boundary of a given park. The program also includes fishing events such as children's fishing derbies and seminars on learning to fish.

Outside of the Free Fishing in State Parks program, Texas government requires valid fishing licenses for anyone taking fish, clams, mussels or other aquatic life from all public waters, with the exception of annual Free Fishing Day, held the first Saturday of June. Those found violating license requirements are subject to fines issued by State Fish and Wildlife officials as well as police.