2017 Winter Free Fishing Weekend - official event list

Check out the current list of officially registered 2017 Winter Free Fishing Weekend (February 18 & 19) 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 2017 Winter Free Fishing Weekend no DNR Recreation Passport will be required at any state park or recreation area!

Bay County Benzie County
Emmet County Gogebic County
Grand Traverse County Gratiot County
Huron County Ingham County
Iron County Isabella County
Leelanau County Macomb County
Mecosta County Montcalm County
Newyago County Oakland County
Otsego County Roscommon County
Tuscola County Van Buren County
Wexford County  

 

 

 

 

 

Bay County
Event Name: Free Fishing Festival
Location: Saginaw Bay Visitor Center at Bay City State Recreation Area, 3582 State Park Drive, Bay City
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 9 am to 6 pm
Details: Activities focus on getting out and exploring Michigan's winter recreation. Activities include an Ice Fishing Derby, Youth Ice Fishing Clinic, and other demonstrations!
Contact: blaschkav@michigan.gov, 989-667-0717

Benzie County
Event Name: First-Annual Inter-Loch-Ness Tri-County Ice Fishing Tournament
Location: Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: 6 a.m. (Saturday) until 3 p.m. (Sunday)
Details: Fish any lake in Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties! More information available online at gtasfa.com/. Anglers should register online or at Haven's Interlochen Party Store.
Contact: info@gtasfa.com

Event Name: Take a Kid Ice Fishing
Location: 602 Main Street, Frankfort (City of Frankfort Marina)
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 12 p.m.
Details: Join the Benzie Water Festival as they host "Take a Kid Ice Fishing"! Rods, bait, shanties and volunteer instruction will be provided.
Contact: joshuastoltzis@gmail.com, 231-640-0200

Emmet County
Event Name: Friends of Oden Fish Hatchery Ice Fishing Event
Location: Camp Petosega, 11000 Camp Petosega Road, Alanson
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: TBD
Details: A day of free ice fishing on Pickerel Lake with gear, bait, food and entertainment provided.
Contact: mhent@hughes.net, 231-548-5694

Gogebic County
Event Name: 8th Annual Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Contest
Location: Wakefield VFW Post 9084
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Details: Join this annual ice fishing contest where lots of prizes are raffled off!
Contact: clerk@cityofwakefield.org, 906-229-5131 x 1002

Grand Traverse County
Event Name: First-Annual Inter-Loch-Ness Tri-County Ice Fishing Tournament
Location: Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: TBD
Details: Fish any lake in Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties! More information available online at gtasfa.com/. Anglers should register online or at Haven's Interlochen Party Store.
Contact: info@gtasfa.com

Gratiot County
Event Name: Fish the Chip during Free Fishing Weekend
Location: Any river-running Chippewa Watershed Conservancy sites
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: Sunrise to sunset, both days
Details: Fish the Chippewa River or any of its tributaries from any of Chippewa Watershed Conservancy river-running preserve sites.
Contact: katie@chippewawatershedconservancy.org, 989-772-5777

Huron County
Event Name: Caseville Shanty Days
Location: 5020 N. Caseville Road, Caseville
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: 11 am to 10 pm (Saturday) & 11 am to 5 pm (Sunday)
Details: The 25th annual Shanty Days will feature a two-day contest for anglers. The angler who catches the biggest walleye, lake trout, yellow perch or northern pike will win a prize!
Contact: email@casevillechamber.com, 989-856-3818

Ingham County
Event Name: Beginning Fishing - Tools, Live Bait, Terminal Tackle & Lures!
Location: Grand River Bait & Tackle, 16999 South US 27, Suite A, Lansing
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 6 pm
Details: In this seminar, participants will build a beginner's tackle box from the ground up. Attendees will learn what terminal tackle, live bait and artificial lures produce best in the mid-Michigan area and for what species of fish, as well as how to develop a thorough tackle and tool collection without breaking the bank. Some important safety tips will also be discussed.
Contact: 517-482-4461

Iron County
Event Name: Fuzz & Dave's Mid City ice fishing contest
Location: Any Iron County lake
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: TBD
Details: Join the Fuzz & Dave's Mid City Caspian ice fishing contest. Hosted by the Mid City Bar & Grill, located at 224 East Caspian Avenue in Iron River.
Contact: lbander@up.net, 906-367-3398

Isabella County
Event Name: Fish the Chip during Free Fishing Weekend
Location: Any river-running Chippewa Watershed Conservancy sites
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: Sunrise to sunset, both days
Details: Fish the Chippewa River or any of its tributaries from any of Chippewa Watershed Conservancy river-running preserve sites.
Contact: katie@chippewawatershedconservancy.org, 989-772-5777

Leelanau County
Event Name: First-Annual Inter-Loch-Ness Tri-County Ice Fishing Tournament
Location: Benzie, Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: TBD
Details: Fish any lake in Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties! More information available online at gtasfa.com/. Anglers should register online or at Haven's Interlochen Party Store.
Contact: info@gtasfa.com

Macomb County
EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER
Event Name: Free Youth Ice Fishing Derby
Location: Lake St. Clair Metro Park, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 7 am to 12 pm
Details: Join this annual event hosted by the Macomb Sportsmen Society.
Contact: georgepretty@yahoo.com, 248-342-7778

Mecosta County
Event Name: Fish the Chip during Free Fishing Weekend
Location: Any river-running Chippewa Watershed Conservancy sites
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: Sunrise to sunset, both days
Details: Fish the Chippewa River or any of its tributaries from any of Chippewa Watershed Conservancy river-running preserve sites.
Contact: katie@chippewawatershedconservancy.org, 989-772-5777

Montcalm County
Event Name: Fish the Chip during Free Fishing Weekend
Location: Any river-running Chippewa Watershed Conservancy sites
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: Sunrise to sunset, both days
Details: Fish the Chippewa River or any of its tributaries from any of Chippewa Watershed Conservancy river-running preserve sites.
Contact: katie@chippewawatershedconservancy.org, 989-772-5777

Newaygo County
Event Name: Dam to Dam 2017
Location: Croton Bay Trading Post, 8249 S. Croton Hardy Drive, Newaygo
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: TBD
Details: Come ice fishing on Croton Pond at this event sponsored by Croton Bay Trading Post, WLAV and Leinenkugel.
Contact: 231-652-2250

Oakland County
Event Name: Seven Lakes State Park Free Ice Fishing Derby
Location: Seven Lakes State Park, 14390 Fish Lake Road, Holly
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: TBD
Details: This kid-friendly event is sponsored by the Izaak Walton League of America.
Contact: dunkelj1@michigan.gov or colea3@michigan.gov, 248-634-7271

Otsego County
Event Name: Northland Sportsman Club Fishing Derby
Location: Otsego Lake State Park, 7136 Old 27 South, Gaylord
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: TBD
Details: Join this special event held at the Otsego Lake State Park boat launch.
Contact: monfortonjim@yahoo.com, 989-619-9393

Roscommon County
Event Name: WinterFest 2017
Location: Higgins Lake, North Higgins Lake State Park
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 8 a.m. to ??
Details: Join this annual event for only $5 per person. The Higgins Lake Fishing Derby will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. from North Higgins Lake State Park. Tons of other activities will be held as well. For more information visit hlrcc.com/chamber-events/winterfest.
Contact: info@hlrcc.com, 989-275-8760

Event Name: Catch Us If You Can - Double Up
Location: Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake St. Helen
Date: Saturday, February 18 & Sunday, February 19
Time: All day, both days
Details: Catch one of the more than 200 tagged fish in Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake or Lake St. Helen and win a prize.
Contact: info@visithoughtonlake.com, 989-422-2002

Tuscola County
Event Name: 22nd Annual Ice Fishing Contest
Location: The Fowler Center for Outdoor Learning, 2315 Harmon Lake Road, Mayville
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: TBD
Details: Join this annual contest and try to catch the $7,000 northern pike! The contest is hosted by Rob Trott and Susie Trott of Great Lakes Outdoors.
Contact: camp@thefowlercenter.org, 989-670-2050

Van Buren County
Event Name: Wild about Winter Activity Day
Location: Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
Details: Ice Fishing 101 courses will be offered at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Additional activities will include snowshoeing, a winter scavenger hunt and much more!
Contact: ramseys2@michigan.gov, 269-668-2876

Wexford County
Event Name: Family Ice Fishing
Location: Carl T. Johnson Hunt & Fish Center, 6087 M-115, Cadillac
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 12-4 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.
Contact: shawe@michigan.gov, 231-779-1321