2016 Winter Free Fishing Weekend - official event list

Check out the current list of officially registered 2016 Winter Free Fishing Weekend (February 13 & 14) events. Perhaps you'll attend one, or perhaps one will spark your interest in planning your own event!

All fishing license fees will be waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on all waters for all species of fish. All other fishing regulations still apply. For Free Fishing Weekend events in your area, click on any county listed below.

Please note that some events do require pre-registration and/or a fee. Please note, during the 2016 Winter Free Fishing Weekend no DNR Recreation Passport will be required at any state park or recreation area!

Bay County  
Charlevoix County Emmet County
Gogebic County Grand Traverse County
Hillsdale County Huron County
Iron County Mackinac County
Macomb County Newyago County
Oakland County  
Oceana County Otsego County
Roscommon County Washtenaw County
Wexford County Van Buren County

Bay County
Event Name: Winter Festival
Location: Bay City State Recreation Area, 3582 State Park Drive, Bay City
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Details: A full day of Go! Get Outdoors and Winter Free Fishing Weekend activities! Activities focus on getting out and exploring Michigan's Winter Wonderland. Activities include a Family Ice Fishing Derby, Youth Ice Fishing Clinic, Ice Fishing Fun Fair, Snow Snake Clinic & Competition, Winter Wildlife Watching programs, Snowshoe Hikes & Owl Prowl!
Contact: blaschkav@michigan.gov, 989-667-0717

Charlevoix County
Event Name: Tall Tales Tackle Fish-Off
Location: 108 E. Garfield, Charlevoix
Date: Saturday, February 13 & Sunday, February 14
Time: TBD
Details: Tall Tales Tackle is a non-profit bait shop with a mission to provide employment and employment training for individuals with different needs. Free Fishing Weekend is the perfect time for them to have their first big community event!
Contact: talltalestackle@gmail.com, 989-329-5150

Emmet County
Event Name: Free Fishing Fun
Location: Camp Petosega, 11000 Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga, Alanson
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 12 to 4 p.m.
Details: This a free fishing event for kids in kindergarden through 8th grade. Parents should accompany as well. Lunch will be provided.
Contact: mhent@hughes.net, 231-330-4588

Gogebic County
Event Name: 7th Annual Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Contest
Location: Wakefield VFW Post 9084, 107 U.S. Highway 2, Wakefield
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST)
Details: A family-friendly fishing event that serves as the Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department's largest fundraising effort. Funds are used to purchase fire suppression equipment. Please note there are entry fees - $3 for kids ages 4-12 and $5 for those age 13 and up. Event has door prizes for every entry, table raffles, and a 50/50 raffle. The Fire Department sponsors a face painter and clown for free and offers indoor children activities as well. The Wakefield Public Library will be there with a story and craft related to fishing.
Contact: clerk@cityofwakefield.org, 906-364-0729

Grand Traverse County
Event Name: Fife Lake Chamber Fishing Derby
Location: DNR parking lot, E. State Street, Fife Lake
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Details: This event features a $1,000 grand prize for the largest fish caught, chili cook-off, sleigh rides, craft show, shanty decorating contest, and much more! Please note, there is a $25 fee for each entry into the fishing derby.
Contact: kathy@fifelakelodging.com, 231-357-2767

Hillsdale County
Event Name: Free Fishing Access
Location: Whiskey River Campground, 1561 W. Bear Lake Road, Hillsdale
Date: Saturday, February 13 & Sunday, February 14
Time: dawn to dusk (both days)
Details: The public is welcome to come to the Whiskey River Campground to enjoy some winter ice fishing. Bring your own equipment and enjoy a quiet day on the ice. Free admission to the property is provided during Free Fishing Weekend.
Contact: whiskeyrivercampground@gmail.com, 517-243-0723

Huron County
Event Name: Caseville "Shanty Days" Ice Fishing Contest
Location: 40-mile radius of Caseville
Date: Saturday, February 13 & Sunday, February 14
Time: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (both days)
Details: This ice fishing contest is held through Walsh's Gun & Tackle. No pre registration is required. This is a $5 cost to weigh in. The contest will recognize the biggest walleye, lake trout, yellow perch and northern pike. Prizes will be $50 & $30 for each category, up to $320 total awarded on Sunday.
Contact: email@casevillechamber.com, 989-856-4465

Macomb County
Event Name: Youth Ice Fishing Derby
Location: Lake St. Clair Metro Park, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 7 to 11 a.m.
Details: The Macomb Sportsmen Society (MSS) is hosting its 3rd Annual Youth Ice Fishing Derby. Bring the family and MSS will teach them how to ice fish. All bait and gear is provided; participants may bring their own as well. The cost is free and includes lunch and hot chocolate. First through third place finishers will receive prizes in age division (9 and under / 10 to 16). Plan to dress accordingly for this outdoor event. Register by emailing George at georgepretty@yahoo.com.
Contact: 248-342-7778

Mackinac County
Event Name: 1st Ever Frostbite Pike Contest
Location: Curtis
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Details: Come join this fishing contest on South Manistique Lake, Big Manistique Lake, North Manistique Lake, Milakokia Lake and Millecoquin Lake. Please note, there is a cost to participate at $20 per adult and $10 per child.
Contact: curtiscofc@sbcglobal.net, 906-586-3700

Newyago County
Event Name: Dam to Dam 2016
Location: Croton Township Campground, 7683 S Croton Hardy Dr, Newaygo
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: Sun-up to 3:30 p.m.
Details: Join this 10th annual event with all proceeds going to Big Brothers and Sister in Newaygo County. The event is supported by Leinenkugel, Nesquick, WLAV, Croton Bay Trading Post and other businesses within the community. It offers ice fishing, ice golf, tons of raffle prizes and a good day to get outdoors and enjoy some winter fun. Please note there is a cost to participate; $5 per adult, while children age 13 and under are free with a registered adult.
Contact: michellescbtp@gmail.com, 231-652-2250

Oakland County
Event Name: Ice Fishing Derby
Location: Seven Lakes State Park, 14390 Fish Lake Road, Holly
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Details: This event is sponsored by Izaak Walton League of America, Fenton Chapter and Seven Lakes State Park. This event is open to the public and participation is FREE. Limited equipment (fishing poles, bait, ice augers) will be available to use for those that don't have any. Prizes will be awarded. Bring the whole family for a day of fun. Refreshments will be available.
Contact: 248-634-7271

Oceana County
Event Name: Pentwater Lake Perch Fishing Tournament
Location: Pentwater Lake, Pentwater
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Details: If there's no ice then bring your boat! Register at: Pentwater Angler, Cenzo's Market or pentwater.org. There is a fee of $5 per adult, $2 per kid, or $10 per family. Various prizes given!
Contact: travelinfo@pentwater.org, 231-869-8681 (Joe)

Otsego County
Event Name: Kid's Fishing Derby
Location: Otsego Lake State Park, 7136 Old 27 South, Gaylord
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Details: Equipment and bait will be provided or anglers can bring their own! Prizes will be awarded. A warming hut will be available with coffee and hot chocolate.
Contact: 989-619-9393

Roscommon County
Event Name: Catch Us If You Can
Location: Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake St. Helen
Date: Saturday, February 13 & Sunday, February 14
Time: All day, both days
Details: Participate in the 2015-16 tagged fish contest! If you catch a yellow-tagged fish during Free Fishing Weekend on Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake or Lake St. Helen then you get TWO $50 gas cards! Your fish must be verified according to contest rules available at visithoughtonlake.com/walleye.shtml
Contact: info@visithoughtonlake.com, 989-422-2002

Event Name: WinterFest 2016 Fishing Derby
Location: North Higgins Lake State Park, 11511 W. Higgins Lake Drive, Roscommon
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Details: This Fishing Derby is for participants of WinterFest 2016! Participants will need to purchase a $5 WinterFest badge, which includes entrance in the Fishing Derby, entrance to the Chili Cook-Off, Kids Karnival, morning pancake breakfast, and MUCH more! Fishing Derby has prizes for all ages for longest fish. Winter fun in a beautiful setting! Children under the age of five are free.
Contact: info@hlrcc.com, 989-275-8760

Washtenaw County
Event Name: Family Ice Fishing & Bonfire
Location: Eddy Discovery Center, 17030 Bush Road, Chelsea (Mill Lake boat launch off McClure Road)
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Details: Make your own ice fishing jig stick at the Discovery Center, then head to Mill Lake to try ice fishing There will be ice fishing demonstrations, as well as an area cleared for skating. Learn to play and enter a Snow Snake contest. Warm up afterwards around a bonfire with marshmallows and hot chocolate. Park at the Mill Lake Boat Launch on McClure Road or hike/ski over from the Discovery Center. Please note, there must be 6 inches of ice on Mill Lake for this event to take place.
Contact: 248-634-7271

Wexford County
Event Name: Youth Fishing Derby
Location: Carl T. Johnson Hunt & Fish Center, 6087 M-115, Cadillac
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 12 to 4 p.m.
Details: Join Outdoor Skills Academy Pro-Staff at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center for an on-the-ice experience and learn how to ice fish. Carl T. will have rods and other gear available for use and will teach you the basics of how to target panfish in the great north. Instructors will cover how to use electronics to locate and catch fish (Vexilar Flashers), tight lining, setting tip-ups, and what tackle to use. All students will need to dress properly for this outdoor event. Participants will meet at the Carl T. Johnson Hunt & Fish Center for introductions and then hit the ice. Students will be broken into groups and will rotate through various stations. The cost for the program is FREE! Registration is required as seats are limited. All bait and materials are provided; however, you may bring your own gear if you have it.
Contact: shawe@michigan.gov, 231-779-1321

Van Buren County
Event Name: Winter Fishing Safari
Location: School Section Lake, CR665, south of Glendale
Date: Saturday, February 13
Time: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Details: This ice fishing tournament is for anyone who is a member of the Michigan Steelheaders. This tournament is for panfish and will feature a youth division for those age 12 and under. For the rules and more information, go to Pylesporthole.com and look for the South Haven Steelheaders link.
Contact: russellp4@frontier.com, 269-806-7636