Skip to content

Barrett: Enjoy free winter fishing this weekend

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Tom Barrett is encouraging residents to participate in the first of Michigan’s two free fishing weekends on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 16-17. The summer weekend is scheduled for June 8-9.

“In an effort to increase awareness of Michigan’s great fishing, the state offers two weekends each year when people can get out and enjoy fishing — free of charge,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte. “I encourage anyone who loves fishing and the outdoors to take advantage of this free weekend. It is a great opportunity to try winter fishing for the first time or introduce the joy of fishing to children.”

During the weekend, all fishing license fees will be waived and vehicles will be able to enter state parks and use boating sites without a recreation passport. Residents and visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland lakes and the Great Lakes for all species of fish, but all fishing regulations still apply.

To celebrate the free fishing weekend, organized activities have been scheduled across the state. These activities are coordinated by a variety of organizations, including local and state parks, constituent groups, schools, businesses and others.

For more details on Winter Free Fishing Weekend, including a list of activities across the state, visit

The website also includes a link to information about ice fishing in the “Learn to Fish” section. An “Ice Fishing Basics” article features good safety advice and basics on getting started and commonly used equipment.

“Before you head out on the ice, remember that the two most important parts of winter fishing are being safe and being prepared,” Barrett said.