Wisconsin is a state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States. It borders Michigan to its northeast, Lake Superior and Lake Superior to the north, Minnesota and Illinois to the south, Iowa to the southwest, and Michigan to the west. Wisconsin is known as the “Badger State” because of its excellent inland fishing opportunities. Wisconsin has over 15,000 lakes and 13,500 miles of rivers. There are also over 5,000,000 acres of public land. This gives anglers the opportunity to fish in a variety of ways.
Fishing Season in Wisconsin
The fishing season in Wisconsin can be enjoyed all year, although regulations may vary depending on the species and whereabouts. The most popular game fish species have open season that runs from the first Saturday of May through the first Sunday of March the next year. Some waters have all-year seasons. Wisconsin also offers free fishing weekends in June or January. During these weekends, fishing license requirements are waived. This makes it an ideal time to try fishing for the first time.
Wisconsin Fishing Licenses
Non-residents and residents of Wisconsin must have a fishing licence to fish in any body or water. A resident fishing licence costs about $20, while a nonresident fishing license costs approximately $50. Wisconsin also offers out-of-state visitors one-day and two-day fishing permits. The state uses the fees from fishing licenses to fund conservation efforts, scientific research, as well as fisheries management.
Types of fish in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has a wide variety of fish species. These include salmon, trout, walleye, and musky. The following are some of the most popular fish species that can be caught in Wisconsin:
Walleye is a highly sought-after fish among anglers in Wisconsin. They can be caught in deep water in the spring, fall and winter, as well as in the summer months close to weed beds and structures.
2. Northern Pike
Northern pike can be found in many Wisconsin lakes and rivers. You can catch them with live bait, lures, or spoons. They are loved by catch-and-release anglers as they prefer to hang out in weedbeds.
Musky is the largest freshwater fish species found in Wisconsin. Muskies are well-known for their fighting abilities, so anglers travel from all over the country to try and catch one. They are found in deep, clear water and require skillful fishing techniques.
Wisconsin is known for its trout fishing. Many streams and rivers in the state are stocked with brown, rainbow, and brook trout. You can catch trout in cold, clear waters using a variety techniques such as fly fishing, spin fishing and bait fishing.
Wisconsin Fishing Spots
There are many lakes, rivers and streams in Wisconsin for anglers to choose from. These are some of the top fishing spots in Wisconsin:
1. Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan is most well-known for its trout and salmon fishing. The lake is known for its large-sized catches, including Chinook Salmon, Steelhead Trout, Coho Salmon, and Steelhead Trout. From late April to August is the best time to fish.
2. Lake Winnebago
Lake Winnebago, the state’s largest inland lake, is well-known for its walleye fishing and lake sturgeon fishing. Walleye fishing is best in the spring and autumn months, while sturgeon fishing can only be done in the spring.
3. Chippewa River
Anglers love the Chippewa River for its large number of smallmouth bass, walleye and trout. It is best to fish here during the summer months, when the water is low but the fish are active.
4. Namekagon River
Fly fishing enthusiasts love the Namekagon River for its calm waters and large trout population. The river flows through the ChequamegonNicolet National Forest, providing anglers with a peaceful fishing experience in a natural setting.
Guides and Outfitters in Wisconsin
Hiring a guide or outfitter to help you get the most out your Wisconsin fishing experience is a great way to learn. These are some of the top fishing outfitters and guides in Wisconsin:
1. Hayward Fly Fishing Company
Hayward Fly Fishing Company offers guided fly fishing trips along the Namekagon River and other nearby rivers. The company offers guided fly fishing trips on the Namekagon and nearby rivers for anglers of all skill levels.
2. Tight Lines Fly Fishing Company
Tight Lines Fly fishing Company is a full-service trout outfitter that also has a De Pere retail shop. They offer guided fly fishing trips to both beginners and experts.
3. Hayward Guide Service
Hayward Guide Service offers guided fishing trips on many of our area’s lakes and rivers. They offer guided ice fishing trips in the winter months, and are well-known for their expertise with musky fishing.
Wisconsin Fishing Regulations
To protect fish habitats and populations, Wisconsin has strict regulations for fishing. To avoid any penalties, it is important to review the current fishing regulations before you go fishing. These are some of the rules to remember when fishing in Wisconsin:
1. Bag and Possession Limit
Each species has a bag and possession limit that limits the amount of fish an angler can take home. To avoid breaking any regulations, it is important to know what your daily bag limit is and what your possession limit for each species.
Many Wisconsin fisheries require anglers practice catch-and release. This means that the fish are returned to the water unharmed. These fisheries benefit from catch-and-release practices that help maintain healthy fish populations.
3. Fishing gear
Wisconsin bans certain fishing gear such as spears, nets, and explosives. Before you go on a fishing trip, it is important to review the regulations.
Tips for fishing in Wisconsin
While fishing in Wisconsin can be both fun and challenging, it is important to be prepared before you go. These tips will help you get the most out your Wisconsin fishing trip.
1. Locates to Research
Wisconsin has many fishing spots that cater for different fish species and angling methods. You can research the locations in advance to help you pick the best spot based on your preferences.
2. Check the Weather Conditions
Wisconsin’s weather is unpredictable. Before you go fishing, make sure to check the forecast. Be prepared for any weather changes, dress appropriately, and bring raingear.
3. Use the right equipment
The right equipment can make a big difference in your fishing experience. To increase your chances of success, you should consider your target fish species when choosing the bait, lures, or rods.
4. Follow Fishing Regulations
To maintain healthy fish populations and habitats, it is important to follow the fishing regulations. Follow the catch-and release rules where applicable and adhere to the bag and possession limits.
The state of Wisconsin offers many fishing opportunities, including fly fishing for trout in the pristine streams and musky fishing in the deeper waters. A guide or outfitter can help you learn the best spots, techniques and tactics. For a memorable fishing experience, make sure you follow all fishing regulations and use the correct equipment.