The fishing is free and the rewards infinite

Free Fishing Weekend gives anglers of all ages and skill levels a chance to drop a line for free.

Free Fishing Weekend gives anglers of all ages and skill levels a chance to drop a line for free.

STATEWIDE — Winter fishing offers more people the opportunity to fish because a boat isn’t required and the icy surfaces of the vast number of ponds, lakes and rivers provides pretty easy access.

The state encourages everyone to take part in its second segment of Free Fishing Weekend that takes place Feb. 19-20. The summer segment typically takes place every June. Both provide free fishing to residents and non-residents with no fishing license required. All state fishing regulations still apply, however.

Michigan is home to thousands of miles of fishing waters, providing plenty of opportunities for city dwellers, as well as those in suburbia to find ample fishing opportunities. Because not everyone has access to fishing equipment, many of the towns, Parks and Recreation Committees and state parks provide some rental equipment, boring equipment and bait. Fishing seminars, derbies and informational opportunities vary from site to site, but the derbies are the big draw with all-day fishing, refreshments and lunches available. Locally, Lapeer and Oakland County will be providing two fishing derbies and the Wheelin’ Team will be offering its own fishing derby on Potter’s Lake in Lapeer that will run in conjunction with the free weekend. Wheelin’Team is a dedicated group of volunteers and members whose main goal is to get physically challenged men, women and kids involved in all types of sporting opportunities, hunting, air rifle shooting and fishing.

Marty Madden of Madden’s Lounge in Davison will also host an annual fishing derby and day out at the Hilltop Camp Ground, southeast of the Lake Nepessing exit off I-69 in Lapeer. For those closer to Oakland County and its borders, a similar day of fun takes place at Seven Lakes State Park. Details on the weekend plans at each site, visit and the Feb. 10 issue of the View Newspapers or log on to

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