Free winter fishing this weekend in Michigan

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos is reminding Southwest Michigan residents that Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17-18, mark the first of two free fishing weekends in Michigan this year. The summer weekend is scheduled for June 9-10.

“Twice a year, Michigan offers a weekend when residents and out-of-state visitors can get out and enjoy fishing — at no charge,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “The free fishing weekends help increase awareness of Michigan’s world-class fishing and also provide an excellent opportunity for families to introduce the joy of fishing to children. This weekend is also a chance for even the most experienced angler to try winter fishing for the first time.”

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.

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

Proos noted the website also includes information about ice fishing and ice safety. Click on “Getting Started” to see links to useful articles, like “Fishing Technique: Ice Fishing, The Coolest Sport Around” on ice fishing basics and “Ice Safety Tips” on what to know before going out on the ice.

“I encourage Southwest Michigan anglers — and those who have never gone fishing — to get out and take part in one of our state’s premier outdoor activities this weekend,” Proos said. “Ice fishing can be dangerous for those who don’t follow safety procedures or head out unprepared, so please remember that having fun starts with being safe.”