AUGUSTA — Free fishing weekend will be Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5. That means, one can fish without a license.

Whether one has not fished in years, since childhood, or want to try something new, cast a line this weekend.

In a fast-paced world, fishing is a wonderful way to slow down and connect with nature, stated the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. One will be rewarded with beautiful views, memories, lessons, and hopefully, fish.

Wetting a line. Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Wondering where to fish?

No matter where one is in the state, there is a fishing opportunity. Check out the stocking report to see where the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife stocked fish, read the monthly fishing report with tips and recommendations from each region, or check the Maine fishing guide.

If looking for additional guidance, hire a Registered Maine Guide. Guides are happy to bring people of all ages and experience levels fishing.

Before one heads out, however, be sure to view Maine’s fishing laws.

During free fishing weekend, any person, including residents and non-residents (except those whose license has been suspended or revoked), may fish without a license. All other laws and rules apply on these days.

The weekend is the perfect opportunity to bring someone new fishing. Often people think about inviting children, but there are many adults who would love to join if given the invite. Consider bringing a friend, coworker, family member, or neighbor.

Seeing the thrill of a new angler reel in a catch can be a season highlight. For newbies, warmwater species can be a wonderful way to keep the day exciting.

Protect waters and fish

Do not dump bait. Properly dispose of unused baitfish on land or in the trash. Never release live baitfish into water. If fishing with worms, dispose of them in the garbage.

Always clean, drain and dry fishing gear to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. This includes boat, rods, waders, footwear, ropes, and gear.

If fishing with soft plastic lures, do so responsibly. Secure it, check it often, and dispose of it in the trash or recycling bin.

June is a beautiful time to get out and fish, and the fish are biting. Save the chores and house projects for another time, take a day off … it is time to fish.

Be a good land user by picking up after yourself (and others), asking for permission to access private land, and parking where you should.

Safely catch and release

If one plans to release the catch, have a plan to release the fish unharmed and as quickly as possible.

Always wet hands before handling the fish and keep the fish in the water as much as possible (as little as 30 seconds of air exposure can cause delayed mortality of released trout).

If one wants a photo of the catch, keep the fish in the water until ready for the shot, and remember, the memory is better than the “perfect” photo.

Moose drawing

Maine’s moose permit drawing returns to the traditional in-person format and MDIFW will partner with the Jackman community to host a “fun and exciting event.”

This one-day festival will celebrate the region’s outdoor sporting and forest products heritage and promises to be a day of fun-filled activities, said MDIFW officials.

Area businesses will feature live music, events and festival specials to celebrate the historic event. The festival will include demonstrations, instruction, competitions, children’s activities, food vendors, crafts, local maple products and more.

Where:  Jackman Town Office Field, 461 Main St., Jackman, Maine.

When: Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (drawings begin at 2 p.m.)

Those who do not attend the in-person drawing can view lottery results at mefishwildlife.com by 6 p.m. on June 11.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.