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Angler with fish he caught

Fishing Virtual Mentor

Are you interested in trying fishing? You’re only four steps away!

1. Buy a License

Anyone age 16 and older fishing in North Dakota is required to have a fishing license. Licenses are annual and valid from April 1 to March 31.

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Who Needs a License?

  • To legally fish in North Dakota state residents and nonresidents age 16 and older need a valid fishing licenses.
  • Residents under age 16 may take and possess a limit of fish without a fishing license.
  • Any nonresident under age 16 may take and possess a limit of fish without a nonresident fishing license if accompanied by an individual possessing a valid fishing license.
  • Free Fishing Weekends: There are two free fishing weekends annually during which North Dakota residents can fish without a license.

What Will a License Cost Me?

If you are unsure if you meet North Dakota residency requirments for purchasing a license, take a look at our residency page.

2. Be Aware of the Regulations

North Dakota does its best to keep fishing regulations as simple as possible. Regulations are updated every two years and published in a fishing guide.

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Anglers are responsible for knowing and following all fishing regulations.

Pay special attention to the following:

3. Gather Some Gear

Fishing doesn't have to be an expensive pastime. A simple, versatile spinning rod, spinning reel and monofilament fishing line setup can be used to catch a number of species while shore-fishing.

4. Find a Fishing Spot

There are over 400 actively managed fishing waters in North Dakota. You can choose from community fishing ponds, rural lakes and ponds, rivers and reservoirs.

More Information

For more fishing maps and data including stocking lists, cleaning station locations, lake contour maps, fishing piers and more see our Where to Fish page and use the "Map Tags" selection box to find the information you need.

Tutorials and Resources

How Tos


Cooking and Cleaning

Basic Ice Fishing

Removing Y Bones from
Northern Pike

How to Clean
a Walleye


Full Fishing Information

Anglers fishing from pier

Fish Identification
(Common Fish of ND)

Common Fish of ND Brochure

Transporting Fillets
in North Dakota

Fishing Tools
and Information

Still have questions about fishing in North Dakota?