On Saturday, Feb. 16, and Sunday, Feb. 17, everyone in Michigan – including residents and non-residents – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.
These two days make up the Winter Free Fishing Weekend – an annual effort to promote Michigan’s plentiful fishing opportunities. Michigan has celebrated the Winter Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1994. While many individuals and families will bundle up and head out to fish for free on their own, the Department of Natural Resources is pleased to point out that there are numerous organized events scheduled throughout the state to celebrate the weekend as well. Some of these events include:
Ice Fishing Derby at Seven Lakes State Park in Oakland County
Feb. 16, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This event, sponsored by the Izaak Walton League of America, Fenton Chapter and Seven Lakes State Park, will provide some equipment and lots of prizes. Please note a Recreation Passport is required for park entry.
Ellsworth Shiverfest in Antrim County
Feb. 16 and 17, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day
This annual outdoor festival highlights winter activities, including fishing, snowshoeing and sledding.
Ice Fishing Class at Runkle Lake in Iron County
Feb. 17, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (CST)
This free class is offered to youth and adults. Bait will be supplied by the DNR and equipment will be available on a limited basis. DNR staff will provide instruction on techniques and methods for fishing in the area.
Please note all events are subject to weather conditions.
There are many other Winter Free Fishing Weekend events scheduled in various locations throughout the state, including in the counties of Bay, Clinton, Gogebic, Ingham, Monroe, Montcalm, Ogemaw, Presque Isle, Tuscola, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.