Reeling in a weekend of free fishing

      The 2014 free fishing weekends are scheduled for February 15-16 . There will be another free fishing weekend kicking off the summer season on June 7-8

      Anglers can cast a line for free fishing fun across Michigan this weekend.


      2014 free fishing weekends

      are scheduled for February 15-16 . There will be another free fishing weekend kicking off the summer season on June 7-8

      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 will still apply.

      Michigan has offered free fishing weekends since 1994 to help introduce the sport to younger residents while promoting the state's water resources. Michigan has more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams.

      Free fishing

      weekend events

      across northern Michigan include:

      Alpena County:

      Reel Fun Ice Fishing Tournament

      Grand Lake in Alpena

      Saturday, February 15

      12:00 to 3:00 p.m.

      This 6th annual tournament has all proceeds going to the River Center. First prize is a 2014 John Deere gator. Only 1,000 tickets will be sold. Prizes will go to the top 30 places. Please note it costs $25 per person to participate.

      For more information, visit

      or call: 989-595-3919

      Antrim County:

      Ellsworth Shiverfest

      Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16

      All day, both days

      Ellsworth Shiverfest celebrates all there is to do in Ellsworth in winter, from sledding to snowmobiling to hiking to fishing and more!

      Contact: 231-360-0676

      Cheboygan County:

      Waterways Ice Festival

      Mullett Lake Marina (7700 Mullett Lake Road, Cheboygan)

      Saturday, February 15

      8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

      The Waterways Ice Festival is a winter event put on by Mullett Lake Promotions for the northern communities in and around Mullett Lake. The ice fishing contest, one of several activities, runs all day and provides families an opportunity to enjoy/try ice fishing at little or no cost. All proceeds of the 3rd annual event go to selected organized youth groups in Cheboygan County. Please note there is an entry fee, $7.50 per person/$15 per family.


      , 231-268-3377

      Emmet County:
      Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga (11000 Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga, Alanson)

      Saturday, February 15

      12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

      Come to this event to do some fishing. All gear will be provided, as well as hot dogs, hot cocoa and cookies.

      More information email:

      or call: 231-330-3445

      Newaygo County:

      Dam to Dam Ice Fishing Contest

      Croton & Hardy Pond

      Saturday, February 15

      6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

      Participants can fish all morning and then return to the American Legion for the weigh-in. There is a $5 fee per adult to participate, children are free with a registered adult. All proceeds will be given to Big Brother and Sisters of Newaygo County.

      Contact: 231-652-2250

      Otsego County:

      Northland Sportsmen's Club Winter Ice Fishing Derby

      Otsego State Park (7136 Old 27 South, Gaylord)

      Saturday, February 15

      8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

      This is a free event hosted by Northland Sportsmen's Club and local sponsors. Categories include ages 0-5, 6-10 and 11-16. All participants must register to win prizes. Prizes will be given for most fish, biggest fish, littlest fish (not including bait) in each age group. All entrants must be accompanied by an adult. Bait tackle and ice holes provided. Please note a Recreation Passport is required for entry.

      Contact: 989-732-9164

      Roscommon County:

      Catch Us if You Can

      Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake, Lake St. Helen

      Saturday, February 15 and Sunday, February 16

      All day, each day

      Catch a tagged fish in any of the three lakes listed above during the 2014 Winter Free Fishing Weekend and you will receive a $50 gas card and be entered into a drawing for $100,000 and a new boat package. Plus, all anglers who catch a tagged fish will receive a special prize!


      , 989-422-2002

      Event Name: WinterFest 2014

      Location: North Higgins Lake State Park boat launch (11511 W. Higgins Lake Drive, Roscommon)

      Date: Saturday, February 15

      Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

      Details: WinterFest is a family-oriented event held each year that includes ice skating, cardboard sled racing, broomball tournament, Kid's Karnival games, wagon rides, chili cook-off, polar plunge (sponsored by Special Olympics), snowmobile radar run, and ice fishing derby. Prizes during the derby are awarded for fish categories and fish sizes. Children are strongly encouraged to participate to learn the sport of ice fishing. Please note, a $5 WinterFest badge allows entry to all events.


      , 989-275-8760

      Wexford County:

      Youth Ice Fishing Contest

      Mitchell State Park (6093 E. M-115, Cadillac)

      Saturday, February 15

      12:00 p.m.

      Youth-oriented ice fishing contest. For more information, contact the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at 231-779-1321. Please note a Recreation Passport is required for entry.

      Contact: 231-779-1321