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June 1, 2010

MADISON - There's no better time to introduce kids and adults to fish and fishing than the month of June.

The panfish are biting and catchable trout have been stocked in dozens of urban ponds, greatly increasing the chances that novice anglers will land their first fish, says Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank.

And fishing is free for everyone that first weekend, June 5 and 6, making it a great opportunity to get everyone outside fishing, even those individuals you normally might not want to gamble on buying a license for.

What you need to know about Free Fishing Weekend, June 5-6

Kids 15 and under fish free every day, but on Free Fishing Weekend, June 5-6, residents and nonresidents of all ages can fish without a fishing license (or trout or salmon stamps). All waters of the state are open, including Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and rivers bordering Wisconsin. However, all other fishing regulations apply, including how many fish anglers can keep and limits on the minimum size of fish they can keep.

More than two dozen free fishing clinics are scheduled across the state, and more listings are being posted all the time. Check for one near your area on the Free Fishing Weekend page of the DNR website.

Tips on how to fish for bluegill

First fish
Catching bluegills in June is easy and fun.
Terry Margenau photo

June is a great time to fish for bluegill (bluegill factsheet; pdf), which are done spawning and are ready to feed, says Karl Scheidegger, a DNR fish biologist who leads fisheries outreach efforts.

"Bluegill fishing provides a great opportunity to get a youngster hooked on fishing. Bluegills are fun to catch and fun to eat," he says. "You don't need elaborate gear to fish bluegills. Keep it simple. Fishing rod, bobber, hook and worm."

Find more tips in this online article, 'Giggle fishing' a great way to get youngster hooked on fishing.

Catchable trout stocking lists updated

The list of waters stocked with catchable size trout has been updated since it was first posted online /fish/trout/catchable_trout.htm] in late April and can steer you to waters where it's easier to catch a keeper. But hurry up - these fish can go fast.

Other great places to take kids fishing

Lakes and rivers where there are good places for kids and novices to fish from shore - and easy access to restrooms and other amenities - can be the ticket for a successful first fishing trip.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Karl Scheidegger (608) 267-9426

Last Revised: Tuesday, June 01, 2010

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