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Give yourself the license to relax and catch some memories while you're at it.
Know the regulations to make your fishing more enjoyable.
Places to fish
Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
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Get the basic information you need to get on the water and try your luck.
Contact information
Theresa Stabo
Aquatic resources educator

Fishing Wisconsin - Angler & aquatic education Free Fishing Weekend - January 16-17, 2016

It's hard to believe it, but winter will return to Wisconsin and with it will come hardwater fishing. Now is the time to get ready for Wisconsin's Winter Free Fishing Weekend, January 16 - 17, 2016. Plan ice fishing outings for community groups, clubs, your church, family and friends. Residents and nonresidents are welcome!

Ice Fishing Girls just want to have fun! Call up a friend and plan an adventure!

Fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp on Free Fishing Weekend. This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin's side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River. Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species. So, pack up the family or call your friends and head to the water for fishing fun!

Need fishing gear?

No ice fishing gear? No problem. We have ice fishing tip-ups and jigging rods that you can borrow at many state parks and DNR offices. You will need to either use your own ice auger, claim an abandoned hole, or better yet -- make friends with the anglers at the nearest ice fishing shantytown and ask them to drill you a hole or let you borrow their auger. Check out the list of loaner sites to find out where loaner sites are located. Call the contact person listed for the site near where you plan to fish to learn what specific equipment is available, and arrange to pick it up.

Host a Free Fishing Weekend event!

Just fill out and return this Winter Free Fishing Weekend Planning Form [PDF] by January 8, 2016 and you'll be good to go! Details are on the form. Remember to plan for adults who may have missed the fishing boat as kids! We’ll post your events as we learn of them.

Attend a Free Fishing Weekend event!

Organizations are busy planning clinics and activities for a fun weekend. We'll post them as we learn about them.

County Straddles Oneida & Vilas counties
Location: Minocqua Area, about 6 miles west of Minocqua on Highway 70
Date: Saturday, January 16, 2016
Time: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Place: Rockwood Landing Cove on Shishebogama Lake
Description: Come to this fun day of fishing, games, food and friendship. Watch a fishing demonstration, give it a try, then sample a fish fry. Free food and soft drinks provided by the lake association. Limited bait and fishing equipment will be available for beginners.
Audience Toddlers to Golden Agers - all welcome!
Sponsor: Shishebogama/Gunlock Lakes Association
Contact: Pat Hayes, 715-358-3281.

Get a license

New to fishing, but want to make it a habit after Free Fishing Weekend? Try our "First-time buyer" resident license for only $5. Discounts for non-residents too!

Here is more information about purchasing a fishing license so you'll be ready to fish for the rest of the year!

Flag up!

For additional ice fishing information, check out ice fishing in Wisconsin.

More fishing opportunities

The Department of Tourism lists events at The Great Outdoors - Fishing, [exit DNR].

Last revised: Monday October 19 2015