Coming soon to a body of water near you is the first Free Fishing Weekend to be held in Michigan during the year 2016. Fishing is a sport that is enjoyed by many throughout Michigan and the rest of the United States. In Michigan in particular, access can be had to 3,000+ miles of Great Lakes shoreline as well as more than 11,000 inland lakes along with and rivers and streams to the tune of tens of thousands of miles. With access to so much aquatic real estate, it makes good sense to go fishing, and even more to do so for free.

Fishing is a sport in which anglers of all ages can enjoy themselves. Not only will they be reeling in fish, but Michigan's Free Fishing Weekend will allow participants to create memories as well as new traditions within families and amongst friends. The upcoming Free Fishing Weekend will take place on the 13th and 14th of February with the second event planned in June. During each Free Fishing Weekend, license fees will be waived for both Michigan residents as well as those visiting from out of state, so if you have family and friends visiting from elsewhere, they, too, can be included in the fun. All species of fish are eligible for catch, but standard fishing regulations will still apply.

If you want to participate in the Free Fishing Weekend but aren't sure where or how you'd like to do so, below are some events you might wish to attend. Do note, however, that preregistration may be necessary. Check here for more information.

-Tall Tales Tackle Fish-Off will be located at 108 E. Garfield, Charlevoix County on February 13th and 14th. This is put on by a non-profit bait shop of the same name working to provide employment opportunities and employment training for those in need.

- Free Fishing Fun will be taking place on February 13th from 12:00 to 4:00 PM at Camp Petosega, 11000 Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga, Alanson. It is free for kinds K-8 and lunch will served.

-7th Annual Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Contest will be held at Wakefield VFW Post 9084, 107 U.S. Highway 2, Wakefield, on the 13th of February from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. There are entry fees based on age of participant ranging from $3 to $5 and proceeds go to purchase equipment for the fire department.

-Fife Lake Chamber Fishing Derby will be held in the DNR parking lot, E. State Street, Fife Lake from 6:00 AM to 4:0 0 PM on the 13th. Prizes will be awarded to participants but a $25 entry fee is charged.

-Youth Ice Fishing Derby is taking place at Lake St. Clair Metro Park, 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Township from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM on the 13th. For $5, you will get all the necessary gear for fishing as well as lunch and hot chocolate and some prizes will be awarded.

-1st Ever Frostbite Pike Contest is held in Curtis from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM on the 13th. Entry is $20 for adults and $10 for adults fishing on South Manistique Lake, Big Manistique Lake, North Manistique Lake, Milakokia Lake and Millecoquin Lake.

-Ice Fishing Derby is taking place in Holly on the 13th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and is free but a Recreation Passport is required for entry. Prizes will be awarded and refreshments available.

-Pentwater Lake Perch Fishing Tournament is on Pentwater Lake from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PMon the 13th. Fees are $2 per kid, $5 per adult, or $10 per family. Prizes will be available.

-Catch Us If You Can will be held on Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, Lake St. Helen all day on both the 13th and 14th. Prizes will be awarded for verified fish in accordance with contest rules.

-Family Ice Fishing & Bonfire is being held at Eddy Discovery Center, 17030 Bush Road, Chelsea on the 13th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Both fishing and ice skating will be available followed by a bonfire. This event is pending six inches of ice on Mill Lake.

-Youth Fishing Derby is taking place at Carl T. Johnson Hunt & Fish Center, 6087 M-115, Cadillac on the 13th from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. This event is free and gear will be available for use although you are welcome to bring your own. Registration is required and instructors will be on hand to discuss many relative topics.

Go ahead and start making plans now to enjoy the upcoming Free Fishing Weekend! It is sure to be a great experience for bonding amongst families as well as having fun with old friends and possibly even making new ones. May the fortune of good fishing smile upon you and yours!