Winter is in full swing here in Northern Michigan and weekends are often spent skiing and snowboarding at local ski resorts. Our family typically spends weekends at our kid’s hockey tournaments and figure skating competitions. When we are not spending our weekends out of town watching the kids sporting events, my husband can often be found ice fishing out on Crooked Lake here in Petoskey. We only live a few miles from Crooked Lake so it’s nothing for my husband to hop on his snowmobile and spend the afternoon and early evening catching perch or walleye for dinner.
January and February are prime ice fishing months here in Northern Michigan and my husband and his buddies can often be found out on the lake on their days off. Almost all of our inland lakes here in Northern Michigan are frozen right now and you can see multiple ice shacks out on the lakes from shore. My husband and son often count down the month of December and as soon as there is a few solid inches of ice out on Crooked Lake he hauls his shack out and sets up camp for the season. The ice shack stays put for several months and he enjoys going out on his days off. If the kids have a snow day they love nothing more than going with him!
Even if you are not from Northern Michigan, ice fishing is something you can try without spending a ton of money. You don’t need an ice shack, although a pop up is nice to keep you safe from the elements, a bucket with your supplies: ice fishing pole, tip up, ice spud, bait and snacks. If you ask my kids snacks are the most important thing!
Want to try ice fishing for free? Here in Michigan you can ice fish free of charge (no license needed) February 18th and 19th. The DNR recreation passport granting entry to any state park or recreation area in Michigan will also be waived. If you’re new to ice fishing but want to experience it first hand check out Camp Petosega here in Emmet county. Friends of Oden Fish Hatchery will be hosting a FREE ice fishing event Saturday, February 18th. Fishing gear, bait, food and entertainment will be provided free of charge. Head over here for more information!
Free fishing weekend is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the outdoors and enjoy our gorgeous inland lakes.