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nd.gov - The Official Portal for North Dakota State Government
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

2020-2022 Fishing Guide Cover

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

Woman fishing from shore

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

(Click here to view full sized map.)

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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.

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


Shore-Fishing
Basics



Cooking and Cleaning
Walleye


Basic Ice Fishing
Tips



Removing Y Bones from
Northern Pike



How to Clean
a Walleye


Miscellaneous


Full Fishing Information
Menu


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?