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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Is It “Fishing” if I’m Not Using a Hook?  (Read 250 times)

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  • Manatee
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  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
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December 28 2017

Question: Is it legal to practice my fishing techniques using an artificial lure or fly without a hook? It is not really fishing as I would not be trying to actually catch fish. If I’m not fishing then do I need a fishing license? (Allen H.)

Answer: Yes, it is legal and no, you don’t need a license. Without a hook attached to your artificial lure or fly, you have no method of take, and so a fishing license is not required. This practice is more common than you think. Flyfishing instructors frequently have their students practice this way before trying the real thing. Practicing flycasting without a fly or a hook makes it easier to untangle the flyfishing line from the tree branch you’ll inevitably snag while you are learning, and makes it safer for those standing around you.


  • Sea Lion
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  • Happy, Ignorance IS bliss! I'm that guy! So smile!
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  • Location: Weimar California
  • Date Registered: Mar 2011
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Huh! Interesting.... expected a different answer. Feel the tug for free :smt044 Imagine the stories you could concoct about the one you had on the line :smt044 "It was THIS BIG" Hahahahahaha :smt005
Fall is dropping in for a while. Love fall colors and fishing!

  • View Profile MooMoo Outdoors
  • Location: Sacramento
  • Date Registered: Jul 2014
  • Posts: 539
I wonder if there is any chance of catching a fish if a fish completely swallow the lure to its stomach.

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