On Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, everyone in Michigan – including residents and non-residents – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.
Those two days make up the Summer Free Fishing Weekend – an annual effort to promote Michigan’s plentiful fishing opportunities. While many individuals and families will head out to fish for free on their own, the Department of Natural Resources is pleased to share there are numerous organized events scheduled throughout the state to celebrate the weekend as well. Some of these events include:
- Fishing 101 at Interlochen State Park in Interlochen (Grand Traverse County)
June 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to fish? Participants will receive a brief introduction to fishing basics such as the different types of tackle, lures, baits and tips on where to fish and how to clean your catch. Courtesy of American Boat Rentals, participants will then join their instructor out on the lake where they will get a hands-on fishing experience. Space is limited so please sign up in advance. Fishing rods and bait will be provided. Please note a Recreation Passport is required for entry.
- Forever Fighters Fishing Frenzy in Linwood (Bay County)
June 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This is a fishing contest for kids ages 2 to 14. Trophies will be provided for each age group, along with Pheasants Forever Activities, an air gun trailer, hunting dog demonstrations, food and drinks, and a raffle. The event is designed to introduce kids to fishing and other outdoor activities.
- Meridian Township Fishing Derby in Okemos (Ingham County)
June 9 from 9 a.m. to noon
This event will offer visitors the chance to fish for free! Prizes will be awarded for biggest fish, second biggest fish, first fish caught and most fish caught.
- Ottawa National Forest Free Kid’s Fishing Derby (Ontonagon County)
June 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Ottawa National Forest is hosting an exciting, fun-filled day of fishing for kids and their families. Community youngsters are invited to come out to the Ontonagon Marina with their fishing rods, tackle boxes and bait – some fishing rods and tackle will be available to loan, if needed. Every child fishing at the derby will receive a prize for participation. In addition to free fishing, the day will also feature prize drawings, a fish identification contest, a net demonstration at noon, and a casting contest. There is no cost to enter the park or the contest.
- River Days Kids Fishing Fest in Detroit (Wayne County)
June 9 from 8 a.m. to noon
This free event at Milliken State Park & Harbor is designed to give families, parents, grandparents and children in the greater Detroit area the opportunity to enjoy the fun of fishing along the Detroit Riverfront while building community, creating family memories, enjoying the great outdoors, and learning about water stewardship and sustainability. Event highlights include fishing instruction, prizes, free food, face painting, arts and crafts and a kid’s fun zone. Please note a Recreation Passport is required for entry.
There are many more events scheduled in various locations throughout the state, including in Bay City, Boyne City, Chelsea, Clare, Coldwater, Crystal Falls, Detroit, East Tawas, Escanaba, Flint, Grant, Grayling, Hale, Holly, Howell, Ionia, Iron River, L’Anse, Lake Linden, Lupton, Marenisco, Mattawan, Metamora, Negaunee, Newaygo, Oakland, Osseo, Paradise, Pinckney, Ray Township and throughout Roscommon and St. Clair counties. For more information about the 2012 Summer Free Fishing Weekend please visit www.michigan.gov/freefishing.
Michigan has been celebrating the Summer Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1986. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, 36,000 miles of rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.