Tips to Make the Most of Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend

All fishing licenses are waived for two days only, June 12-13, 2021.

Love to fish? On June 12-13, 2021, southeast Michigan families can take advantage of Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend — and this year, free off-road vehicle, state parks and boating weekend, too!

In 2021, things are looking a little different during this annual event. Fishing licenses and state park entry fees are still waived, but because metro Detroit and Ann Arbor are coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, the events are limited this year.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy an afternoon of fishing with your family. Here are some tips and trick to help make the most of Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend in 2021.

Free Fishing Weekend events

While many of the dozens of annual Free Fishing Weekend events are off this year, there are some socially distant or virtual ones running. Here are the details on those happenings.

4-H Youth Virtual Fishing Derby

June 11-13, 2021

Address: Any waterway near you

This virtual event introduces kids ages 5-19 to fishing basics while also helping them build confidence. Grab your gear and try a variety of fishing challenges for your shot at a prize. Kids do not need to be in 4-H to participate. Registration is due by noon on June 13, 2021.

Monsters of the Deep Fishing Tournament

June 12, 2021

Address: Scofield City Park, 404 Thompson St., Howell

Howell Recreation is celebrating Free Fishing Weekend by challenging local fishers to catch the biggest fish. The tournament is open to kids ages 2-13. Registration is $11.50/person.

Cargill Kid’s Fishing Derby

June 12, 2021

Address: Pine Shores Golf Course, 515 Fred W. Moore Highway, St. Clair

Kids enjoy fishing games and a touch tank as they cast out to catch some fish. Bring your own pole and bait. All ages welcome. Life jackets recommended.

More Free Fishing Weekend fun

Families that don’t want to venture out to a local event in 2021 can still take full advantage of the waived fishing license fees. Here are some tips and other ways to make the most of the weekend closer to home.

Casting out with kids

An expert with the Michigan Wildlife Council offers tips on preparing for a fishing trip with kids, including what to bring, ways to keep them from becoming bored and more.

Places to fish in metro Detroit and Ann Arbor

Check out our list of fantastic fishing spots in Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties!

First Fish Certificate

If your kids catch their first fish ever this year, download the free first fish certificate by the Michigan DNR and celebrate their catch! They offer one you can include a photo with, too.

My Big Fish Certificate

Did your kiddo snatch a huge catch? Celebrate it with this free downloadable certificate from the Michigan DNR — add your photo to it, too.

Learn about kids’ fishing licenses

If your kid really enjoyed fishing during the Free Fishing Weekend, get details on what you need to do to get your child a fishing license so he or she can fish any time of year.

This post is updated twice per year.

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