Skip to Main

Hook & Hunting: Free Fishing Weekend

Free Fishing Weekend, one of two this year, is happening Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17 and 18. It’s a great opportunity for new anglers to give it a shot.

Michiganders and out-of-state visitors can fish on both inland and Great Lakes waters without a fishing license. All fishing regulations still apply.

The DNR is also waiving recreation passport requirements to access the 103 state parks and more than 1300 DNR-managed boating access sites around the state.

While Free Fishing Weekend is still happening as planned, it might look a little different with less safe ice this year.

“We’ve had a lot of not-good weather lately for ice fishing. So, we would encourage people to look at alternatives to ice fishing, which would include things like river fishing for trout or for steelhead. Those options are available this time of year,” said Mark Tonello, DNR Fishery Biologist. Some cities like Ludington have even put docks back in due to the milder weather, so boat fishing is an option as well.

Michigan has celebrated Free Fishing Weekend every year since 1986.