Get started fishing
Fishing in Wisconsin is an adventure. If you haven't fished before, it might seem a little daunting. We've pulled together some of our best tips and resources to help you get started.
Fishing Season Dates
There's something to fish 365 days a year in Wisconsin. Exactly what that is varies by species and waterbody. Check the latest season dates to make sure you're fishing for the right things at the right times.
Learn To Fish Events
Looking for an opportunity to learn how to fish? Find them on our Events Calendar.
Tips For Beginners
- Safety first! – Sunscreen, a first aid kit and rain gear may seem obvious but don't forget a bottle of drinking water to help you stay hydrated. And always wear a life jacket when you're on the water.
- Make it easier to land your catch – Leave at least a rod's worth of line out when reeling in your catch and lift the line out of the water.
- Knots make a difference – Choosing the right one for the type of lure you're using to keep the line from breaking. Explore the world of knot tying [exit DNR] and get in some practice before you head out.
- Be prepared to change it up – If you're not catching anything, you may just need to make a small change. Don't be afraid to try something new, whether that's a new location, different hook or lure or even technique throughout the day.
- Brush up on the lingo – Not sure if you should be trolling, jigging or chumming? Get in the know from A to Z [exit DNR].
- Know your Wisconsin fish – Wisconsin is home to more than 160 species of fish. Make sure you know what you're catching.
Wisconsin Fishing Resources
- Where To Fish
- Take The Kids Fishing
- Year-Round Angling Waters
- Urban Fishing
- Free Fishing Weekend
- Clinics And Classes
- Visit A State Fish Hatchery
- Wisconsin's Lakes
Learn About Current Fishing Conditions
- 2023 Wisconsin Fishing Report
- Lake Michigan Fishing Report
- Root River Fishing Report
- County Fish Surveys
Boating in Wisconsin provides information on boating registrations, regulations, safety tips and upcoming classes.
- Many Wisconsin counties maintain their own websites, which include links to local lodging, fishing guides, boat rentals, bait and tackle shops, fishing reports and tournaments.
- Explore lodging options on Travel Wisconsin's website.
- Fishing opportunities provided by Travel Wisconsin also include guide services, charters, jamborees, trout ponds and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
For additional information on Wisconsin fishing, (e.g., maps, fish consumption advisories), please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions.