2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend - official event list

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Check out the current list of officially registered 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend (February 17 & 18) 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 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend no DNR Recreation Passport will be required at any state park or recreation area!

Bay County Benzie County
Chippewa County Genesee County
Gogebic County Grand Traverse County
Huron County Ingham County
Iron County Leelanau County
Macomb County Newaygo County
Oakland County Otsego County
Roscommon County Van Buren County
Wexford County


Bay County
Event Name: 25th Annual Winter Festival
Location: Bay City State Park, Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, 3582 State Park Dr, Bay City
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 9 am to 7 pm
Details: There will be so many activities at this annual event that's perfect for the whole family! Come see the Family Ice Fishing Derby, Youth Ice Fishing Clinic, raffle and other winter activities!
Contact: blaschkav@michigan.gov, 989-667-0717

Benzie County
Event Name: Interlochness
Location: Haven's Interlochen Party Store
Date: Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
Time: 6 am (Saturday) until 4 pm (Sunday)
Details: Fish any lake in Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties in this competitive event. This event is hosted by the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association.
Contact: johnratcliffe2424@yahoo.com, 231-714-4565

Chippewa County
Event Name: Fishing for a Cure
Location: 23477 S. Bay Road, Pickford
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 6:30 am until 5:30 pm
Details: This ice fishing tournament, hosted by Tau Kappa Epsilon, will give its proceeds to St. Jude Children's Hospital.
Contact: npearson@lssu.edu, 906-424-0456

Genesee County
Event Name: BucTown Fishing Explorer
Location: 6255 Neff Rd, Mt. Morris (behind Beecher High School Pond)
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 9 am to 3 pm
Details: This event is catch-and-release fishing only. Fishing equipment will be provided to any youths under the age of 12.
Contact: walkerml41@aol.com, 810-449-9112

Gogebic County
Event Name: Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department 9th Annual Ice Fishing Contest
Location: Wakefield VFW Post 9084, 107 W. US Highway 2
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 11 am to 4 pm
Details: Join this 9th annual event that features thousands of door and raffle prizes and lots of indoor kids activities!
Contact: jlniemel@hotmail.com, 906-364-0729

Grand Traverse County
Event Name: Interlochness
Location: Haven's Interlochen Party Store
Date: Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
Time: 6 am (Saturday) until 4 pm (Sunday)
Details: Fish any lake in Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties in this competitive event. This event is hosted by the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association.
Contact: johnratcliffe2424@yahoo.com, 231-714-4565

Huron County
Event Name: Caseville 26th Annual Shanty Days - Ice Fishing Contest
Location: Wash's Gun & Tackle, 5020 N Caseville Road, Caseville
Date: Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
Time: 7 am to 5 pm, both days
Details: This two-day contest will reward for the biggest walleye, lake trout, yellow perch and northern pike caught. Details can be found at casevillechamber.com.
Contact: email@casevillechamber.com, 989-856-3818

Ingham County
Event Name: Meridian Township Annual Ice Fishing Derby
Location: 1990 Central Park Drive (Central Park South), Okemos
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 9 am to 12 pm
Details: Please join Meridian Township Parks & Recreation at Central Park South for this annual ice fishing derby!
Contact: dillon@meridian.mi.us, 517-853-4614

Iron County
Event Name: Annual Mid City Fishing Derby
Location: Mid City Bar and Grill, 224 East Caspian Ave, Caspian
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 5 am to 7 pm
Details: This family fun event awards prizes for largest perch, northern pike and walleye caught on any lake in Iron County.
Contact: lbander@up.net, 906-367-3398

Leelanau County
Event Name: Interlochness
Location: Haven's Interlochen Party Store
Date: Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18
Time: 6 am (Saturday) until 4 pm (Sunday)
Details: Fish any lake in Benzie, Grand Traverse or Leelanau counties in this competitive event. This event is hosted by the Grand Traverse Area Sport Fishing Association.
Contact: johnratcliffe2424@yahoo.com, 231-714-4565

Macomb County
Event Name: Lake St. Clair Metropark Free Youth Ice Fishing Derby
Location: Lake St. Clair Metropark, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township (Day Sail Launch)
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 7 am to 12 pm
Details: Bring the kids for a free lesson in ice fishing! Equipment, shelter, bait and lunch will be provided. This event is hosted by the Macomb Sportsmen Society.
Contact: georgepretty@yahoo.com, 248-342-7778

Newaygo County
Event Name: Dam 2 Dam Ice Fishing Contest
Location: Croton Township Campground, 7683 S Croton Hardy Drive, Newaygo
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: Sun-up to 3:30 pm
Details: This ice fishing contest has a $5 entry fee with proceeds going to TrueMentors. The event is hosted by Croton Bay Trading Post.
Contact: michellescbtp@gmail.com, 231-652-2250

Oakland County
Event Name: Free Ice Fishing Derby
Location: Seven Lakes State Park, 14390 Fish Lake Road, Holly
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 10 am to 2 pm
Details: Join the fun and bring the whole family! Loaner equipment will be provided, as well as refreshments, prizes and a warm fire!
Contact: colea3@michigan.gov, 248-634-7271

Otsego County
Event Name: Northland Sportsmen Club Kids Fishing Derby - Otsego Lake
Location: Otsego Lake State Park, 7136 Old Highway 27 South, Gaylord
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 9 am to 12 pm
Details: Come experience this free fishing derby for kids!
Contact: monfortonjim@yahoo.com, 989-619-9393

Roscommon County
Event Name: Higgins Lake Roscommon WinterFest
Location: 11747 N Higgins Lake Dr, Roscommon, and nearby venues
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: Throughout the day!
Details: Join this annual event for only $5 per person. This event will feature a fishing derby, pancake breakfast, kids karnival with horse-drawn carriage rides, and much more! For more information visit hlrcc.com.
Contact: info@hlrcc.com, 989-275-8760

Event Name: Catch Us If You Can Double Down
Location: Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake St. Helen
Date: Saturday, February 17 & Sunday, February 18
Time: All day, both days
Details: Tagged fish have been released into Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake and Lake St. Helen. Any angler who catches one of these tagged fishing during the 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend will win a $50 gas card.
Contact: infor@visithoughtonlake.com, 989-422-2002

Van Buren County
Event Name: Winter Activity Day
Location: Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery, 3427 County Road 652, Mattawan
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 10 am to 3 pm
Details: Lots of activities are planned at this event including hatchery tours, snowshoe rentals, a winter scavenger hunt, ice fishing seminars, jig making and much more!
Contact: ramseys2@michigan.gov, 269-668-2876

Wexford County
Event Name: Ice Fishing Seminars and Youth Fishing Contest
Location: Carl T Johnson Hunt and Fish Center, 6087 E M-115, Cadillac
Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 12 pm
Details: Learn from the experts at this fun event! For more information visit Michigan.gov/huntfishcenter
Contact: shawe@michigan.gov, 231-779-1321