As schools break for summer vacation and the warm weather sets in, the time to get out on the water and go fishing and boating is here. Free fishing days, June 11-12, allows South Carolina residents who would like to try the sport of fishing to go without having to purchase a license.

You can take advantage of the state's 28 tackle loaner sites housed in state and county parks all over South Carolina. These sites allow you to rent, free of charge, everything you need for a day of fishing, except for the bait. A full list of tackle loaner sites can be found on the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website. To find more information about the site, the type of bait to bring and to ensure equipment is available, you are encouraged to call the tackle loaner site prior to your trip.

There are also numerous other free events around the state in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 4-12.

National Fishing and Boating Week is an annual event coordinated by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation to help share the benefits of fishing and boating. Whether it is an afternoon full of excitement boating on the water or a relaxing afternoon fishing from a pier, these activities offer valuable opportunities to reconnect with family and friends, to get outdoors and to enjoy the wonderful natural resources South Carolina has to offer. Each year this annual event falls on the first full week of June.

To learn more about the basics of fishing, the DNR Aquatic Education Section will be offering two free Family Fishing 101 courses on Tuesday, June 7th and Thursday, June 9th at the Cohen Campbell Fish Hatchery, 2726 Fish Hatchery Road, West Columbia. Reservations are required, as space is limited. For questions in regards to these courses, contact Dan DuPre at (803) 609-1072 or at

In addition to the free fishing seminars, DNR will be offering boater education courses around the state. Unless noted, boater education courses are free of charge, but require pre-registration.