IRON COUNTY— For many, the annual Free Fishing Weekend has become a tradition - a time to get together and have some fishing fun. This weekend offers the opportunity for new fishing enthusiasts to wet a line with friends and family. It’s also a perfect time for youth fishing derbies.
In Iron County, two derbies are scheduled for Saturday, June 7. The long-established Lake Ottawa Kids Fishing Derby participants will keep the Ottawa National Forest rangers busy logging in their catches.
At Bewabic State Park the Youth Fishing Derby will be on Fortune Lake. Both offer prizes and fishing tips for young anglers.
Lake Ottawa is located west of Iron River on Ottawa Lake Road off of M-73. The 23rd annual Kids Fishing Derby which is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service offers children ages 16 and under to test their fishing, casting and racing skills. Registration will be from 7-8 a.m. at the day use building, with the fishing derby beginning at 8 a.m. and other contests will be held throughout the morning. At 11 a.m. prizes will be awarded and lunch served in the day use building. Registration forms will be available the day of the event. All contestants must register with a parent or guardian.
To be eligible, fish must be caught in Lake Ottawa, either from the fishing pier or shore. Kids and parents must provide their own fishing equipment and bait.
Prizes will be awarded for a variety of fish caught and registered. There will be a casting contest, minnow races and a fish identification contest as well as the big fish contest.
Bewabic State Park is located on Fortune Lake between Iron River and Crystal Falls on US-2. During the Free Fishing Weekend youth can cast a line on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Youth Fishing Derby. Michigan Department of Natural Resources Park Rangers will award prizes for largest fish caught as well as for winner of the casting contest. The event is for young anglers up to age 15. Details will be available from the park rangers prior to the event.
Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend, June 7-8, is a great time to take advantage of what Michigan has to offer angler. All fishing license fees will be waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may fishing for all species of fish. All regulations will still apply.
So grab a pole and your family, friends and youngsters, and go fishing.