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Wisconsin offers a variety of fishing opportunities. Give them a try!
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Contact information
Theresa Stabo
Aquatic resources educator

Fishing Wisconsin - Angler & aquatic education Free Fishing Weekend - January 21–22, 2017

Ice Fishing

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

Winter is on the way!

And with it, ice fishing. Never ice fished? This winter might be your chance to fish hard water in the company of experienced anglers. Maybe they are your friends who have a passion you never knew about. Ask them to show you their secret world of catching fish through the ice. Do you already know how to do this? Invite a newcomer along. Better yet, host a public event in your community. All the waters of the state are open; however, all usual regulations are in force.

Host a Free Fishing Weekend event!

If you would like us to post your event on our Web site, just fill out and return this Free Fishing Weekend Planning Form [PDF] by December 31, 2016 and you'll be good to go! Details are on the form. Remember to plan for adults who may have missed out 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.

Need fishing gear?

No fishing gear? No problem. We have fishing poles that you can borrow at many state parks and DNR offices; many of those sites have ice fishing gear. 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!

Dates to remember

Free Fishing Weekends are always held the third full weekend in January and the first full weekend in June. For 2017, it will be January 21 – 22 and June 3 – 4.

More fishing opportunities

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

Last revised: Friday November 18 2016