(WFRV) – Place those tip-ups and get out the bait, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is inviting residents to enjoy a free and fun fishing weekend starting Jan. 15.

According to the DNR, as a way to welcome winter fishing, they have decided to offer a free, license-less, weekend of fishing from January 15 to January 16.

“Free Fishing Weekend is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to give angling a try, without the added step and expense of getting a fishing license,” said Theresa Stabo, DNR Fishing Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation Coordinator.

And while residents wanting to fish in the icy waters this weekend will not need to have a fishing license or trout and salmon stamps, officials say they will still be required to follow all other fishing regulations, such as limits on the number and size of fish you can keep and any seasons when you must release certain fish species.

“Fishing is about so much more than the catch. Get out there and enjoy nature, spend time with friends and family and if you’re lucky, bring home some fish for your next at-home fish fry,” shared Stabo.

And before heading out, get familiar with the following safety reminders provided by the DNR:

Winter fishing safety reminders:

  • Check with local bait shops for current ice conditions in the area you plan to ice fish.
  • Stay safely on shore if ice conditions are questionable.
  • Always tell someone where you are going and when you’ll return.
  • Dress for winter conditions.

Winter fishing gear:

  • Dress in warm layers that are water-resistant.
  • Wear sturdy waterproof boots with spike-style creepers for traction.
  • Have an extra hat and set of gloves.
  • Have a rescue throw rope.
  • Have ice claws.