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Fishing seasons

Opening day for Wisconsin fishing is traditionally the first Saturday in May. Season dates often vary by species and waterbody. Check The Guide To Hook And Line Fishing Season Dates, 2024-2025, for specifics of where you plan to fish.

2024-2025 Fishing Season Dates

(Effective Date: April 1, 2024; Dates Inclusive)

Early Inland Trout (catch and release)
January 6 (5 a.m.) - May 3

General Inland Trout
May 4 (5 a.m.) - Oct. 15

General Inland Fishing
May 4 - March 2, 2025

Largemouth Bass Northern Zone Harvest
May 4 - March 2, 2025

Smallmouth Bass Northern Zone Harvest
June 15 - March 2, 2025

Large And Smallmouth Bass Southern Zone Harvest
May 4 - March 2, 2025

Large And Smallmouth Bass Catch And Release
At all other times of the year.

Musky Northern Zone Harvest
May 25 - Dec. 31

Musky Southern Zone Harvest
May 4 - Dec. 31

Northern Pike
May 4 - March 2, 2025

May 4 - March 2, 2025

Lake Sturgeon
Feb. 10 - Feb. 25 (spearing)
Sept. 7 - Sept. 30 (hook-and-line)

Free Fishing Weekends
Jan. 20-21, 2024
June 1-2, 2024 

Not sure which zone you're fishing in? Have other questions? Refer to the Wisconsin Fishing Season Definitions for specifics.

Fish species list

Dig deeper into the specific seasons for each species.

While these tables may help plan fishing trips, always refer to the fishing regulations for specifics. Please note that temporary or emergency rules may be enacted, which could change the fishing season dates for a species or waterbody. If that happens, please look for signs posted at boat landings.


Exceptions do exist. Not all Wisconsin waters follow the general dates for the hook and line or trout season. You must still consult the current regulations' particular county or boundary waters tables to determine if any special season dates exist for the specific waters you plan to fish with hook and line.

Species Not Listed

Species not listed have no open season. For species that are listed, It is illegal to fish for those species during the closed season - this includes catch-and-release fishing. It is also unlawful to take, transport, possess or sell any wild animals specified by the DNR's endangered or threatened species list within the state. Be sure to be familiar with the fish on this list.