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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
Theresa Stabo
Aquatic resources educator
608-266-2272

Fishing Wisconsin - Angler & aquatic education Free Fishing Weekend - January 20–21, 2018

Host a Free Fishing Weekend event!

Download and complete the Free Fishing Weekend Planning Forms [PDF] to give us the details, so that we can post your event on this site.

Remember to plan for adults who may have missed the fishing boat as kids! We’ll post your events as we learn of them. Of course, you can just take your friends fishing without telling us, but we love to hear your stories about how you coaxed your pals out for a free weekend of fishing.

Fish almost anywhere!

Fish almost anywhere in Wisconsin without a license or trout stamp on Free Fishing Weekend. Most waters of the state are included, except for spring trout ponds (Review the trout regulations; wherever you see a season date listed for a specific body of water, you'd be fine, although some waters may be catch and release only.) All other inland waters and Wisconsin's side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River are open for you to test your skills and try your luck. Remember, all usual regulations and seasonal restrictions are in force. Please exercise caution before heading out on the ice.

Ice Fishing

There's no such thing as bad weather,
only poor clothing. - Norwegian Proverb

Dates to remember

Free Fishing Weekends are always held the third full weekend in January and the first full weekend in June. This coming winter it will be January 20 – 21; next summer it will be June 2 – 3, 2018.

Need fishing gear?

No fishing gear? No problem. We have fishing poles that you can borrow at many state parks and DNR offices. Contact a Tackle Loaner site at one of several state parks and DNR regional offices to borrow one. Call the DNR staffer or partner listed for each site to find out what specific equipment is available and to arrange to pick it up.

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 any time of the year!

More fishing opportunities

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

Last revised: Monday October 30 2017