Free pass to reel in a fish

      Free fishing weekend is taking place Feb. 16 & 17.

      You can give ice fishing a try this weekend without the cost of a license.


      Michigan Department of Natural Resources

      is waiving all fishing license fees Saturday and Sunday. It's one of two free fishing weekends held each year.

      The summer free fishing weekend will take place on June 8 and 9.

      The DNR says the free fishing events are to get more people interested in the sport, especially children.

      All fishing license fees will be waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes' waters for all species of fish. All fishing regulations still apply.

      There are several community events taking place to celebrate free fishing weekend. Details on the events in northern Michigan are below:

      Antrim County
      Ellsworth Shiverfest

      Ellsworth Community Park, Ellsworth

      Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17


      Shiverfest includes winter events for all ages such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, fishing, sledding, as well as several indoor events.

      Ogemaw County

      Rifle River Recreation Area

      2550 East Rose City Road, Lupton

      Saturday, Feb. 16


      At this event a hay ride, warming fire, coffee, hot cocoa and hot dogs will be provided. Visitors are encouraged to take part in outdoor winter recreation activities, including sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing.

      Presque Isle County
      Reel Fun Ice Fishing Tournament

      Metzelaar Bay, Grand Lake

      Saturday, Feb. 16


      This family-friendly event held on Grand Lake will have more than 30 prizes given away. Purchase of each ticket enters you into a drawing to win a 42" TV. Tickets are $25. Tickets may be found at Clem's Bait and Tackle, Buck's Bait and Tackle, Alpena Chamber of Commerce, or Top O' Michigan Insurance Agency locations. All proceeds benefit The Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary River Center. For more information visit

      Roscommon County
      Catch Us If You Can

      Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake St. Helen

      Saturday, Feb. 16

      Catch one of the nearly 100 tagged fish in Lake St. Helen, Higgins Lake or Houghton Lake and you will receive a $50 gas card and be entered for a chance to win $100,000 and a new boat. The first five tagged fish caught over Free Fishing Weekend will receive an extra free gift.


      North Higgins Lake State Park

      1747 N. Higgins Lake Drive, Roscommon

      Saturday, Feb. 16


      This Annual Winter Festival includes a pancake breakfast, cardboard sled race, chili cook-off, ice fishing contest, Kids Karnival, games and various others activities. A truly fun family event.

      Wexford County
      DNR Youth Fishing Tournament

      Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center

      6087 E M-115, Cadillac

      Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013


      Come visit the Carl T. Johnson Hunting & Fishing Center for its first-ever Free Fishing Weekend ice fishing tournament. Participants can be youth age 16 and under. All kids must be accompanied by an adult.