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Got license?
Give yourself the license to relax and catch some memories while you're at it.
Regulations
Know the regulations to make your fishing more enjoyable.
Places to fish
Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
Get started
Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.
Contact information
For information, contact:
Fisheries Management

Fishing WisconsinMake it fun for kids

Hooking a worm

With practice and encouragement, kids can learn to bait their own hooks.

  • Food - Pack a cooler with sandwiches, some cookies, and water.
  • Fun - The younger the child, the shorter the attention span. If the fish aren't biting, don't keep them chained to their fishing poles or held hostage in a boat. On shore, let them set the poles down and run around. If you're fishing from a boat and it's hot, reel in, double-check the kids' life preservers and throw them overboard for a swim.
  • Patience - Keep the outing short and accept that they may not keep quiet and they probably will get a few tangles.
  • Safe area - Check for swift or deep water, dams and uneven footing along banks.
  • Simple gear - Cane poles and closed-face reels are good choices. Barbless hooks make it easier to release fish and resolve injuries.
  • Bait – Worms are good to use. Encourage, but don't force them, to bait their own hooks if they hate touching worms. Let them practice with plastic worms; eventually, they'll get used to the idea of doing it themselves.
  • Tackle - A small box can hold a few small hooks, a couple of bobbers and a few sinkers. That's all they need to get started.
  • Role model – Use good bait and fish handling behavior that will help protect our resources from disease. Remember to drain all water from your boat and equipment, don't move live fish between waters and report sick fish to the DNR.

-Theresa Stabo, aquatic resources education director, Madison

Last revised: Friday August 31 2012