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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 more information, please contact:
Theresa Stabo
R3 Coordinator
Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation
608-577-6332

Fishing Wisconsin - Angler & aquatic education Free Fishing Weekend

Host a Free Fishing Weekend event!

Good catch!

They'll be biting!

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.

Summer is coming!

And with it, opportunities to introduce your friends and family to fishing

All the waters of the state are open; however, all usual regulations are in force.

Attend a Free Fishing Weekend event!

State Parks, Forests and Recreation Areas are waiving entrance stickers for the whole weekend, so pick your day!

Dane County
Community: Madison
Place: Tenney Park
300 N. Thornton Ave
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Target age: All Ages, all children must be accompanied by an adult.
Description: Take Kids Fishing Day!
  • Limited to the first 150 kids, ages 2-17
  • Please pre-register by Friday, May 18
  • Each registered kid will receive a fishing pole to keep!
  • All participants must be accompanied by an adult
  • Bait provided
  • Limited loaner gear available
  • Be sure to join the sponsors for a light picnic-style lunch after the event
  • See flyer [PDF] for more details
Sponsors:
  • Union Sportsmen's Alliance
  • Building and Construction Trades of South Central Wisconsin
  • Pure Fishing
  • Plano Synergy
Contact: Dave Branson, 608-256-3161.
Dodge County
Community: Beaver Dam
Place: Edgewater Park, Beaver Dam Lake
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Target age: Kids ages 4-12 and the adults in their lives
Description: Fish 'n Fun Day! Kids will learn fishing basics:
  • Knot-tying
  • Fish ID
  • Casting
  • Safety by the water
  • Boating safety
  • Poles and basic tackle proivided
  • Free lunch
  • ...and much more!
Sponsor:
  • Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association
Contact: Chuck Frinak, [exit DNR], 920-382-9487.
Eau Claire County
Community: Eau Claire
Place: Brauns Bay
520 Carson Park Drive
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Target age: Ages 3 - 16, but open to all age groups
Description: Celebrate Wisconsin's Aquatic Resources!
  • Limited to the first 100 kids
  • Please pre-register by Friday, May 25
  • All participants must be accompanied by an adult
  • Bait provided
  • Limited loaner gear available
  • Be sure to join the sponsors for a light picnic-style lunch after the event
  • See flyer [PDF] for more details
Sponsors:
  • Union Sportsmen's Alliance
  • Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO
  • Pure Fishing
Contact: Greg Erickson, [exit DNR], 715-828-3662.
Would you add us to the DNR Free Fishing Event on June 2nd, 2018, 9-11 we are having an event for . The event will take place on the Mill Pond .
Jefferson County
Community: Lake Mills
Place: Mill Pond in front of the Lake Mills Fire Department
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Time: 9 – 11
Target age: Kids up to 12 years of age
Description: Kids' fishing day
Sponsors:
  • Lake Mills Optimists
Contact: Russ
La Crosse County
Community: La Crosse
Place: Pettibone Lagoon
700 Pettibone Drive, North
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Target age: Ages 3 - 16, but open to all age groups
Description: Celebrate Wisconsin's Aquatic Resources!
  • Limited to the first 150 kids, ages 2-17
  • Please pre-register by Thursday, May 31
  • All participants must be accompanied by an adult
  • Bait provided
  • Limited loaner gear available
  • Generous supply of door prizes for 1st 100 kids
  • Be sure to join the sponsors for a light picnic-style lunch after the event
  • See flyer [PDF] for more details
Sponsors:
  • Union Sportsmen's Alliance
  • Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO
  • La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department
  • Pure Fishing
Contact: Kids' Fishing Day, [exit DNR].
Rock County
Community: Janesville
Place: Traxler Park
600 N. Main Street
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Target age: Kids, but open to all age groups
Description: Bluegills 'N Bass!
  • Limited to the first 150 kids, ages 2-17
  • Please pre-register by Friday, May 18 to receive a fishing pole for keeps
  • All participants must be accompanied by an adult
  • Bait provided
  • Limited loaner gear available
  • Be sure to join the sponsors for a light picnic-style lunch after the event
Sponsors:
  • Union Sportsmen's Alliance
  • Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO
  • Building & Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin
  • Plano Synergy
  • See flyer [PDF] for more details
Contact: Robert Potter, 608-516-8613.
Taylor County
Community: Medford
Place: Esadore Lake, 8 miles NW of Medford
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
Time: 8:30 a.m. – Noon
Target age: 3 - 12
Description: Children's Fishing Clinic
Sponsors:
  • Taylor County Sportsmen's Club
  • Esadore Area Lake Association
Contact: Michelle Danen

Dates to remember

Free Fishing Weekends are always held the third full weekend in January and the first full weekend in June.

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: Thursday April 19 2018