Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend Events for Families

All fishing licenses are waived for two days only, June 8-9, 2019. Gather up your gear and reel in the fun with your whole family at these Michigan Free Fishing Weekend events.

Little boy in shorts and a hat fishing from the shore

Love to fish? On June 8-9, 2019, southeast Michigan families can take advantage of Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend.

All fishing licenses are waived for those two days this summer (the fun happens again next February), so grab your rod and your bait and head out to one of these awesome free fishing events.

Not only do all of these events include free fishing, but numerous activities will be held as well.

From snacks and beverages to fishing competitions, these events have something in store for everyone in your family. They are perfect for expert fishermen – as well as little tots just learning to cast a line.

Don’t forget: Some events require advance registration, so make sure to reserve your spot! And be sure to check ahead to see if some of these fishing spots require an entrance fee. All catch restrictions still apply.

Mid City Summer Fishing Derby

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June 8, 2019

  • Address: 224 Caspian Ave., Caspian
  • Phone: 906-265-9277
  • Time: 5 a.m.-7 p.m.

You can try your hand at fishing and see how many walleye, yellow perch, northern pike or bluegill you can catch.

Les Cheneaux Islands Second Annual Bass Challenge 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Hessel Marina, Hessel
  • Phone: 906-484-3935
  • Time 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Choose from boat, shore, kayak or pier fishing during this annual. Participants can weigh their three heaviest bass.

TNT Fishing Tournament

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Stony Creek Metropark, 4300 Main Park Drive, Shelby Township
  • Phone: 586-883-2263
  • Time: 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

You can cast your line from the shore or boat during this tournament. Awards go to the largest fish in three categories: bass, pike and other. Breakfast and lunch included. Proceeds go to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The Brighton Optimist “Kids’ Free Fishing Derby” 

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Downtown Brighton area
  • Phone: 586-206-6787
  • Time: 7:30 a.m.-noon

The Brighton Optimist Club puts on this fun event, which features fishing in Mill Pond.

Croswell Fishing Contest 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Riverbend Park, Pack St., Croswell
  • Phone: 810-679-3904
  • Time: 8-11 a.m.

The four lucky anglers that catch the longest fish score cash prizes. There’s a $20 participation fee to fish three rods.

Take-A-Kid Fishing 2019

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Rotary Park, Coldwater
  • Phone: 517-617-6738
  • Time: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

The first 100 kids that register get a free fishing rod, which they can then use to snag the biggest fish they can. Kids must be accompanied by an adult.

Crego Park Fishing Derby 

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Crego Park, 2400 Hall St., Lansing
  • Phone: 517-483-4291
  • Time: 9-11 a.m.

Kids ages 3-15 compete to catch the biggest fish. Trophies go to the winner in different age brackets.

Techumseh Parks & Rec Free Fishing Derby

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: 403 S. Adrian St., Tecumseh
  • Phone: 517-423-5602
  • Time: 9-11 a.m.

Kids 12 and under compete to see who can catch the biggest fish.

Joe Scholtz Memorial Free Fishing Derby 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Leppien Park, St. Louis
  • Phone: 989-681-2549
  • Time: 9 a.m.-noon

Kids are split into different age categories and then work to catch the biggest fish. Prizes go to the winner from each group.

Meridian Youth Fishing Derby 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: 5151 Marsh Road, Okemos
  • Phone: 517-853-4614
  • Time: 9 a.m.-noon

Kids 16 and under compete to win prizes for biggest fish and the most fish caught.

Muskegon State Park – Hook, Line & Sinker

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Muskegon State Park, 3560 Memorial Drive, North Muskegon
  • Phone: 231-744-3480
  • Time: 9 a.m.-noon

Meet at the channel fishing pier and cast off in celebration of Free Fishing Weekend. Gear and bait provided.

Bay City State Park Free Fishing Festival 

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Bay City Recreation Area, 3582 State Park Drive, Bay City
  • Phone: 989-667-0717
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

This fun festival offers a family fishing derby, youth fishing clinic, kids’ casting contest, educational programming and much more.

Ontonagon Youth Fishing Derby 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Ottawa National Forest, 1209 Rockland Road, Ontonagon
  • Phone: 906-884-2085
  • Time: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

This 29th annual fishing derby is aimed at kids 16 and younger. Bring your gear and see what you can snag.

Marshall Rec Fish n’ Float 

June 8, 2019

  • Address: 323 W. Michigan Ave., Marshall
  • Phone: 269-781-5166
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-noon

In addition to fishing, families can enjoy archery activities, canoeing and kayaking.

Hillsdale Kiwanis & Hillsdale County Conservation Club Kids Fishing Derby

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Lewis Emery Park, 2541 Union St., Osseo
  • Phone: 517-523-2146
  • Time: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Bring your fishing gear and cast out on the lake to see what you can catch. A free hot dog lunch, ice cream and drinks provided. Prizes go to the largest catch in each age group.

Young State Park – Kid’s Fishing Tournament 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Young State Park, 2280 Boyne City Road, Boyne City
  • Phone: 231-582-7523
  • Time: 10-11:30 a.m.

Kids 13 and under go fishing to catch either the biggest fish or the most fish. Prizes go to both. All supplies provided.

Bald Mountain Recreation Area – Rec 101: Intro to Fishing

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 1330 E. Greenshield Road, Lake Orion
  • Phone: 248-693-6767
  • Time: 10 a.m.-noon

Learn basic fishing skills and then try out your new skills on the lake. If you have fishing gear, bring it.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area – Hook, Line & Sinker 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: 2104 S. Briggs Road, Middleville
  • Phone: 269-795-9081
  • Time: 10 a.m.-noon

There’s fishing-themed games, trivia and prizes.

Oden State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center – Free Fishing Day Celebration 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Oden State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center, 3377 US-31, Oden
  • Phone: 231-348-0999
  • Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Fish on the pier from 10-11:30 a.m. After, enjoy other family activities and snacks. Bait and rods provided on a first come, first served basis.

Shelby Township’s 33rd Annual Youth Fishing Derby

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: 52700 Van Dyke Ave., Shelby Township
  • Phone: 586-731-0300
  • Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Kids 15 and under are invited for a day full of fishing fun.

Seven Lakes State Park – Free Fishing Derby 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Seven Lakes State Park, 14390 Fish Lake Road, Holly
  • Phone: 248-634-7271
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Meet at the Meadow Ridge Shelter on Big Seven Lake for a fun day of fishing. Loaner gear is available. Refreshments and prizes provided.

Muskegon Conservation Club’s Free Fishing Derby for Children

June 8, 2019

  • Address: Muskegon Conservation Club, 1921 Lake Ave., Muskegon
  • Phone: 231-774-9690
  • Time: 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Kids ages 4-12, and an adult caretaker, use live bait and single hooks to snag the biggest fish they can. No artificial lures allowed. Wax worms will be provided.

Fishing with My Family 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Mid-Michigan Community Action Center, 1574 E. Washington Road, Farwell
  • Phone: 989-386-0982
  • Time: 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Kids of all ages will enjoy casting out during this fun family event.

Barton City Kids Fishing Tournament

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Jewell Lake, Barton City
  • Phone: 989-590-0127 or 989-736-3401
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kids 15 and under can participate in this fun fishing competition. Rods, bait, hot dogs and lemonade are all provided.

Kids Fishing Day 

June 8, 2019

  • Address: 10736 U.S. Highway 2, Rapid River
  • Phone: 906-474-6302
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

This 28th annual event is hosted by the Great Lakes Sportfishermen Association and feature fishing, raffles, food and more.

Port Huron Township Free Fishing Clinic For Kids 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: William Thompson Pond, 40th St., Port Huron
  • Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Enjoy an afternoon of fishing on the pond and a casting contest. Bait and rods will be provided.

Family Fun Fishing Day 

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Detroit RiverWalk area, Detroit
  • Phone: 248-993-2896
  • Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Generator’s Club of Detroit hosts this fun family-friendly fishing event.

Seymour Lake United Methodist Church – Family Free Fishing Event

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Seymour Lake United Methodist Church, 3050 S. Sashabaw Road, Oxford
  • Phone: 248-572-4200
  • Time: 1-5 p.m.

Using barbless hooks, families can practice their catch-and-release fishing techniques. Fishing games, hot dogs, snacks and equipment provided.

DNR Outdoor Adventure Center Free Fishing Weekend

June 8, 2019 

  • Address: Milliken State Park, 1900 Atwater St., Detroit
  • Phone: 313-396-6886
  • Time: 2-4 p.m.

Put your fishing skills to the test and compete for both the largest and smallest fish caught. Equipment, bait and instruction provided. Pre-registration required. Outdoor Adventure Center admission fees apply.

Sterling State Park Free Fishing Weekend 

June 8, 2019 

  • Sterling State Park, 2800 State Park Road, Monroe
  • Phone: 734-289-2715
  • Time: 7-10 p.m.

This event puts a twist on the free fishing weekend fun by hosting families at dusk. Bait tackle and rods provided.

Cade Lake Campground Fishing Contest 

June 8-9, 2019

  • Address: Cade Lake Campground, 68911 Plumb School Road, Sturgis
  • Phone: 269-651-3330
  • Time: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily

Prizes will be awarded to the top three fish caught in the men’s, women’s and children’s category.

Catch Us If You Can Double Down

June 8-9, 2019 

  • Address: Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake and Lake St. Helen area
  • Phone: 989-422-2002
  • Time: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

If you tag a fish on one of three lakes, you could score yourself two $50 gas cards.

Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area Family Fishing Derby

June 8-9, 2019

  • Address: Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area, 3871 Herd Road, Metamora
  • Phone: 810-797-4439
  • Time: 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. daily

Moms, dads, teens and tots can all participate in this derby. Prizes go to the largest weighted fish caught in the youth and adult categories.

Free Fishing Weekend at Lake Heron 

June 8-9, 2019

  • Address: Holly Recreation Area, 8100 Grange Hall Road, Holly
  • Phone: 810-407-0975
  • Time: 10 a.m.-noon and 4-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-2 p.m. Sunday

Poles, bait and instruction are all provided. Bring your family and a drive to catch some whoppers.

Rice Lake Fishing Derby 

June 9, 2019 

  • Address: 51610 Rice Lake Road, Lake Linden
  • Phone: 906-296-0365
  • Time: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Lake Linden Hubbell Sportsmens Club presents this fun fishing tournament. Bring your equipment and compete for the biggest catch.

Kids’ Fishing Fest 

June 9, 2019 

  • Address: William G. Milliken State Park, 1900 Atwater St., Detroit
  • Phone: 844-622-6367
  • Time: noon-4 p.m.

Staff from the Michigan DNR, Outdoor Adventure Center and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will give fishing lessons. Snacks, giveaways, bait and equipment included, courtesy of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Go Fish 

June 9, 2019 

  • Address: Marshbank Park, 2805 Hiller Road, West Bloomfield
  • Phone: 248-451-1914
  • Time: 4-6 p.m.

Staff provide hands-on fishing instruction for first timers. Those that catch the smallest or largest fish win a pole. A picnic lunch from Buffalo Wild Wings is provided. You must release all of the fish you catch.

 This post was originally published in 2016 and is updated regularly.