Ice fishing classes offered during free fishing weekend

WATERSMEET – The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host two ice fishing classes in the western Upper Peninsula during the upcoming weekend, which is the winter free fishing weekend.

On Saturday, an ice fishing class will be held at Bass Lake, which is just north of Watersmeet in Gogebic County. On Sunday, a class will be held at Runkle Lake, which is just east of Crystal Falls in Iron County. Both classes will be from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST.

DNR Parks and Recreation staff from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and fisheries staff from the Crystal Falls DNR field office will teach ice fishing tactics for all ages and skill levels, although youths must be accompanied by an adult. Participants will be provided with instruction on techniques and methods to use when fishing for species in the local area.

Live bait will be supplied and equipment will be available on a limited basis. Participants who have ice fishing gear are encouraged to bring their own equipment.

The annual winter free fishing weekend was initiated by the DNR in 1994 and allows Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors the opportunity to fish for free without a fishing license. However, all other fishing regulations must be followed.

For more information about participating in the Bass Lake or Runkle Lake events, contact DNR fisheries biologist Mark Mylchreest at 875-6622 or

Communities throughout the state are coordinating 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend events. For more information, including a listing of events, visit