Hook Your Next Catch: Where to Buy Fishing License in Montello WI

2024 Guide: Get Your Fishing License in Montello WI

Are you ready to cast your line and reel in the catch of a lifetime in the picturesque city of Montello, Wisconsin? Before you embark on your fishing adventure, it’s crucial to obtain a valid fishing license. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the types of fishing licenses available, where to purchase them, and the essential fishing regulations you need to know for a successful and compliant fishing experience in Montello.

Why Are Fishing Licenses Required?

Fishing licenses are mandatory in Wisconsin and most other states for several important reasons:

  • Conservation: The sale of fishing licenses helps fund conservation efforts, including habitat restoration, fish stocking, and research projects that maintain healthy fish populations for future generations of anglers.
  • Management: Licensing allows state agencies to effectively manage fish populations, monitor angler participation, and make data-driven decisions to ensure the long-term sustainability of fisheries.
  • Access: The revenue generated from fishing licenses supports the maintenance and improvement of public fishing access points, such as boat ramps, fishing piers, and shore fishing areas.

By obtaining a fishing license, you not only comply with the law but also contribute to the preservation and enhancement of Wisconsin’s valuable fishing resources.

Types of Fishing Licenses in Montello WI

Montello offers two main categories of fishing licenses to cater to both residents and visitors:

Resident Fishing Licenses

If you’re a proud resident of Wisconsin, you can choose from a variety of resident fishing license options:

  • Annual Fishing License: Valid for one year from the date of purchase, granting you the freedom to fish throughout the seasons. As of 2024, the annual resident fishing license fee is $20.
  • One-Day Fishing License: Perfect for spontaneous fishing trips or when time is limited. The cost for a one-day resident fishing license is $8.
  • Senior Citizen Annual Fishing License: Available at a discounted rate of $7 for Wisconsin residents aged 65 and above.

To qualify for a resident fishing license, you must have maintained residency in Wisconsin for at least 30 consecutive days before purchasing the license.

Non-Resident Fishing Licenses

For those visiting the charming city of Montello, the following non-resident fishing licenses are available:

  • Annual Fishing License: Ideal for frequent visitors who plan to fish in Wisconsin for an extended period. The annual non-resident fishing license fee is $50 as of 2024.
  • One-Day Fishing License: Suitable for short fishing trips or weekend getaways. The cost for a one-day non-resident fishing license is $10.
  • 15-Day Fishing License: A cost-effective option for longer stays, allowing you to fish for 15 consecutive days. The 15-day non-resident fishing license fee is $28.

It’s important to note that non-resident anglers under the age of 16 must also possess a valid fishing license to fish in Wisconsin waters.

Where to Buy a Fishing License in Montello

Obtaining your fishing license in Montello is a breeze, with both online and in-person options available:

Online Purchase

In the digital age, buying your fishing license online is a convenient and hassle-free process. Simply visit the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website, create an account, and follow the step-by-step instructions to purchase your desired license. Once the transaction is complete, you can print your license or save it on your mobile device for easy access.

Advantages of buying your fishing license online include:

  • 24/7 availability
  • Instant delivery of your digital license
  • Ability to reprint your license if lost or damaged
  • Option to auto-renew your license for the next season

Local Retailers

If you prefer a more traditional approach, Montello has several local retailers where you can purchase your fishing license in person. Some popular options include:

  • Montello Sport Shop: Located at 23 Main St, Montello, WI 53949. Open Monday through Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm and Sunday from 7 am to 5 pm.
  • Ace Hardware: Find them at 280 Church St, Montello, WI 53949. Open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.
  • Kwik Trip: Visit their store at 21 Underwood Ave, Montello, WI 53949. Open 24/7 for your convenience.

Remember to bring a valid form of identification and be prepared to provide your personal information when purchasing your license in person.

Fishing Regulations in Montello WI

To ensure a sustainable and enjoyable fishing experience for everyone, Montello has specific fishing regulations that anglers must adhere to:

Bag Limits

Bag limits refer to the number of fish you can legally keep per day. In Montello, the bag limits vary depending on the species of fish:

  • Panfish: 25 in total, including bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed, and yellow perch.
  • Walleye: 5 in total, with a minimum length of 15 inches. Only one walleye may be over 20 inches.
  • Northern Pike: 5 in total, with a minimum length of 26 inches. No maximum length limit applies.

It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific bag limits for your target species to avoid unintentional violations.

Size Restrictions

Certain fish species have size restrictions to protect their populations and promote healthy growth. In Montello, notable size restrictions include:

  • Largemouth Bass: Minimum length of 14 inches. Only one largemouth bass may be over 18 inches.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Minimum length of 14 inches. Only one smallmouth bass may be over 18 inches.
  • Muskellunge: Minimum length of 40 inches. There is no maximum length limit for muskellunge.

Adhering to these size restrictions helps maintain a balanced ecosystem and ensures the long-term health of fish populations.


Fishing seasons in Montello vary based on the type of fish you’re targeting. Some popular fishing seasons are:

  • Trout: First Saturday in May to September 30. Artificial lures and flies only during this period.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March. Catch and release only from the first Saturday in May to the third Saturday in June.
  • Northern Pike: First Saturday in May to the first Sunday in March. No closed season for northern pike.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the specific seasons for your desired catch to ensure you’re fishing within the permitted timeframes.

Top Fishing Spots Near Montello

Montello and its surrounding areas boast some of the most stunning and bountiful fishing spots in Wisconsin. Here are a few top destinations to consider:

Lake Montello

Nestled in the heart of the city, Lake Montello offers excellent fishing opportunities for panfish, largemouth bass, and northern pike. With its serene atmosphere and easy accessibility, it’s a favorite among local anglers.

Key features of Lake Montello include:

  • 136 acres of fishable water
  • Maximum depth of 12 feet
  • Multiple public boat launches and fishing piers
  • Abundant weed beds and submerged timber, providing ideal fish habitat

Buffalo Lake

Just a short drive from Montello, Buffalo Lake is renowned for its impressive musky and walleye populations. The lake’s clear waters and abundant weed beds create the perfect habitat for these sought-after game fish.

Notable characteristics of Buffalo Lake include:

  • 2,587 acres of fishable water
  • Maximum depth of 65 feet
  • Several public boat launches and a fishing pier
  • Numerous underwater structures, including rock reefs and drop-offs

Fox River

The Fox River, which flows through Montello, provides a unique fishing experience for those who enjoy river fishing. Anglers can target a variety of species, including smallmouth bass, walleye, and catfish, while taking in the breathtaking scenery along the riverbanks.

Highlights of fishing the Fox River include:

  • Over 200 miles of fishable water
  • Diverse habitat, including rocky runs, deep pools, and shallow flats
  • Multiple public access points throughout Montello
  • Seasonal walleye and white bass runs, offering exciting fishing opportunities

Before venturing out to these or any other fishing spots, be sure to check the most current fishing regulations and any local advisories or restrictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a fishing license if I’m under 16 years old?

In Wisconsin, children under 16 can fish without a license when accompanied by a licensed adult. However, they must adhere to all fishing regulations and bag limits. If the child plans to fish independently, they must obtain a valid fishing license.

Can I fish with live bait in Montello?

Yes, live bait is permitted in Montello, but there are some restrictions. Minnows, nightcrawlers, and other live bait can be used on most waters, but there are specific regulations for trout streams and certain lakes. Always check the Wisconsin DNR website for the most up-to-date information on live bait regulations.

Are there any catch-and-release areas in Montello?

Yes, there are designated catch-and-release areas in Montello, particularly for trout fishing. These areas are typically marked with signs and have specific regulations, such as artificial lure only or no-harvest policies. Consult the Wisconsin DNR website or local fishing guides for specific locations and regulations.

What should I do if I witness someone violating fishing regulations?

If you observe any fishing violations, such as fishing without a license, exceeding bag limits, or using illegal methods, report them to the Wisconsin DNR’s confidential tip line at 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367) or submit a report online through the DNR’s violation reporting webpage. Provide as much detail as possible, including the location, date, time, and description of the violation and violator.

Can I purchase a fishing license for someone else?

Yes, you can purchase a fishing license as a gift for someone else. However, you will need to provide their personal information, such as name, address, date of birth, and driver’s license number (if applicable), to complete the purchase. The recipient must carry the license with them while fishing and adhere to all regulations.

What happens if I lose my fishing license?

If you purchased your fishing license online, you can easily reprint it from the Wisconsin DNR website by logging into your account. If you bought your license in person, you can request a duplicate license from the issuing agent or any other license vendor for a small fee. Remember to always carry your fishing license with you when fishing, as it is required by law.

With your fishing license in hand and a clear understanding of the regulations, you’re ready to embark on an unforgettable fishing adventure in Montello. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, the city’s diverse fishing spots and abundant fish populations promise an exciting and rewarding experience. So, grab your gear, cast your line, and get ready to create lasting memories on the waters of Montello, Wisconsin!

Please note that fishing regulations and license fees are subject to change. Always refer to the official Wisconsin DNR website for the most current information before planning your fishing trip.

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