Free loaner ice fishing gear and fishing clinics make it easy to try
Wisconsin residents and visitors alike can fish anywhere in Wisconsin without a fishing license on Jan. 18-19 during the state’s second annual winter Free Fishing Weekend.
Free fishing clinics offered at several state parks and ice fishing equipment available for loan from many state parks and offices statewide make it even easier for people to try Wisconsin’s hard water fishing, says Theresa Stabo, Wisconsin’s angler education director.
“Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to discover what ice fishing’s all about in Wisconsin – fun, friends, family and, of course, the fish,” Stabo says.
“Safe ice allows you to walk to spots you’d need a boat to reach during the open water season and nearly 20 of our tackle loaner sites have ice fishing equipment for you to borrow. All you need is a friend to help you drill a hole to get started fishing and develop a new reason to love Wisconsin winters.”
“Kids fish for free every day in Wisconsin, but the Free Fishing Weekend makes it a great time to get the whole family out and any adults who would like to give it a try, Stabo says. Bring along sakes and sleds to give everyone some variety – and an escape from cabin fever, she says.
More tips on taking kids ice fishing can be found on the ice fishing pages of the DNR website, where DNR fish biologist and avid ice angler Skip Sommerfeldt passes on his tried and true tips for successful ice fishing trips with his daughters.
No fishing license or Great Lakes salmon stamp is needed to fish any Wisconsin water. This includes all inland waters and Wisconsin’s side of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River and other boundary waters. Other fishing rules apply, such as limits on the number and size of fish anglers can keep and any seasons when anglers must release certain fish species.