With summer in full swing and school about to start, if you're like me, you might want to get in one more last summer fishing vacation. But I don't want to spend a whole lot of money and I don't want to travel too far. Well, grab your fishing poles. Here are five great places where you can take the family that you won't need a fishing license.

We are fortunate in Texas to have a lot of state parks that offer lakes great for fishing. Most of the parks have wonderful options for camping too, which brings the cost of vacation way down. Just make sure you check before leaving for the park, to make sure there's a camping spot available for you. I live in south Abilene just a few miles from the incredible Abilene State Park.

Now for the other five state parks within a short driving distance. After speaking with my two game warden friends, James and Amelia, they informed me that the state parks fall under the “Community Fishing Lake” regulations, exempting them from the 'required fishing license laws.'

A fishing license and endorsement are not required if fishing on state park property or in waters completely enclosed by a state park. On man-made structures (docks, piers, jetties, etc.) within state parks, fishing is allowed by pole-and-line only, and each person is limited to two poles. Please check with the park before participating in any fishing activity and confirm any additional regulations.
Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department TPWD

Do You Need a Fishing License to Fish in Private Tanks?

The answer is "no". If you are fishing in private waters such as a stock tank, you do not need a fishing license. Beware though, if you're transporting fish from someone's private tank, whether the fish are alive or dead, you need some sort of documentation to prove where these fish were caught.

Okay, these are my Fearless Fave Five that are close to home:

  • San Angelo State Park
  • Lake Brownwood State Park
  • Possum Kingdom State Park
  •  Fort Griffin State Park
  •  Lake Colorado City State Park

The map below shows the five parks' proximity.

Google Maps
Mapby TPWD
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RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at www.nps.gov/coronavirus.