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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

Learn About Current Fishing Conditions


Boating in Wisconsin provides information on boating registrations, regulations, safety tips and upcoming classes.

Other Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information on Wisconsin fishing, (e.g., maps, fish consumption advisories), please see our list of Frequently Asked Questions.