If you enjoy fishing but find it a hassle to buy a short-term state fishing license as you travel the country, here’s some excellent news. Many RV parks around the USA have private lakes or ponds where you can fish without a state license.
Most often, these lakes are entirely on the park’s property, with no public stream feeding it (so no taxpayer fish flowing in). But different states have different rules.
Luckily for RVers who like to fish, hundreds of RV parks in the USA have lakes not fed by public waters. In most, park guests can fish without a license. The policy is most often catch and release or pay for fish you keep by the pound.
Some state parks also allow fishing without a license.
In this week’s case, at the Walnut Hills Campground and RV Park in Staunton, Virginia, you can keep what you catch, no charge, as long as you intend to eat the fish, not stock up.
“We ask that people catch and release or catch and eat, and do not stock up their freezers — something we found out was going on our first year that we quickly ended,” said park owner Andy Zipser. “There’s no cost and no limit. Most people catch and release because really they’re just in it for the fun, not because they’re hungry.”
Kerplonken Lake occupies about 2.5 acres and contains some trophy-sized large-mouth bass. Bluegill and perch are easier to catch, and provide a big thrill to youngsters who snag one.
Zipser says the lake is also home to snapping turtles (mean creatures that bite hard) which is “one reason we don’t permit swimming in the lake.”
Inexpensive fishing rods and reels are sold in the park store, best suited to youngsters, as well as live nightcrawlers and a small selection of lures.
If you own or know of an RV park where fishing is allowed without a state license, please fill out the form below and we’ll tell other readers about it. Also, visit the Facebook group “RV parks with Fishing Lakes where you can fish without a state license.