It’s almost that time again for the winter annual free fishing weekend in Michigan. The 2013 Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for February 16 and 17. On this weekend all fishing license fees will be waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland and the Great Lake waters for all species of fish. All fishing regulations will still apply.
Michigan offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, over 11,037 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams. Included are 12,000 miles of trout waters, for which approximately 1,000 miles are considered Michigan's finest.
Ice fishing has always been a popular sport. Some enjoy the peacefulness or solitude it offers, while others enjoy the time spent with fellow shanty neighbors. Unfortunately, research has shown that fishing in general has been on a steady decline with our younger generation. Lack of fishing opportunities, demanding schedules and replacing physical leisure time with electronics are some of the reasons. This free weekend is a perfect opportunity for experienced anglers to share their knowledge and expertise to their children and grandchildren. Following safety guidelines and properly bundling up will provide a safe and warm first ice fishing trip for a child or teenager, as well make a lasting and rewarding experience for both of you. According to the DNR, it’s also educational as people who fish tend to understand the natural aquatic network of plants and animals that help to sustain fish as well as the regulations that govern fishing in Michigan.
If you’re new to ice fishing this free fishing weekend also provides the perfect opportunity to give it try. As long as you promise not to steal their favorite fishing hole, most ice fisherman are friendly and willing to give out some pointers and show novices the ropes. Although modern day equipment has made it easier to enjoy with portable ice fishing shanties, heaters, portable cooktops and such, to get started or just try the sport it doesn't take much equipment, especially if you can borrow some. Be sure to read my article ‘What you need for ice fishing’ for tips on equipment and where to find it at local Flint area fishing shops. You’ll even learn what a Swedish Pimple is. You also might want to take a few minutes to watch this fun and entertaining video I've attached to this article. Happy fishing!
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