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It's been brutal cold in Northern Michigan for a week now. Lots of lakes are locking up tight, you may be able to get to places you couldn't last week. I'll be spuding my way out onto Charlevoix tomorrow in search of them Cisco's...
 

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Good luck. I know they are getting them on Higgins and Lake Leelanau. I went to Portage for some and they weren’t cooperating. Just giant smelt.

I’ve got 2 tourneys this weekend. Saturday in Glen Arbor on Big and Little Glen. Entry fee also gets you access to the chili cook off after weigh in. Sunday Tourney is on Rose Lake. Just a heads up to those trying to avoid a ton of people.
 

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Good luck. I know they are getting them on Higgins and Lake Leelanau. I went to Portage for some and they weren’t cooperating. Just giant smelt.

I’ve got 2 tourneys this weekend. Saturday in Glen Arbor on Big and Little Glen. Entry fee also gets you access to the chili cook off after weigh in. Sunday Tourney is on Rose Lake. Just a heads up to those trying to avoid a ton of people.
Rose Lake in Osceola County? What kind of tourney? Just curious. Thanks and good luck!
 

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I've always been confused by the free fishing weekend? Does it really bring more people out? Are there really that many people that don't go fishing because the cost of a license??? I can see maybe in the summer when people can go throw out a bobber somewhere. But ice fishing takes some pretty serious gear and a bit more effort. Are there really people living here that go out fishing two weekends out of the year because it's free?
 

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I've always been confused by the free fishing weekend? Does it really bring more people out? Are there really that many people that don't go fishing because the cost of a license??? I can see maybe in the summer when people can go throw out a bobber somewhere. But ice fishing takes some pretty serious gear and a bit more effort. Are there really people living here that go out fishing two weekends out of the year because it's free?

Probably not, but some might be able to coax a non-fishing BIL to sit on the ice and drink a few beers ???
 

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Probably not, but some might be able to coax a non-fishing BIL to sit on the ice and drink a few beers ???
That is actually a great point. Everyone has a buddy or family member who talks about giving it a shot or wants to see what it's like. Could be an extra motivation to get them out on the ice.
 

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It helps if you’re bringing someone new along (icefishing) that doesn’t want to buy a license in jan/feb that will expire in March. Some folks don’t want to buy everything until they’ve tried it once.

Another reason Michigan should get out of the Stone Age and use 1 year from date of purchase like Florida did.
 

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It helps if you’re bringing someone new along (icefishing) that doesn’t want to buy a license in jan/feb that will expire in March. Some folks don’t want to buy everything until they’ve tried it once.
A couple guys at work want to try it. But we were supposed to have 16 mph winds with 35 mile gusts. Not the time for a newby without proven clothing.
I’m home this morning myself. Daughter and grandson should be here shortly. Haven’t seen my little pardner in awhile


Sent from my iPad using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've always been confused by the free fishing weekend? Does it really bring more people out? Are there really that many people that don't go fishing because the cost of a license??? I can see maybe in the summer when people can go throw out a bobber somewhere. But ice fishing takes some pretty serious gear and a bit more effort. Are there really people living here that go out fishing two weekends out of the year because it's free?
So what I see, at least in the area that I fish is that guys will set up monster 8 man hubs and have a some buddies out to drink a bunch of beer weather they give a crap about fishing or not. Now that there's 8 guys in the hub that's 24 tipups that can go out. I was out on 3 different lakes up north this past weekend and I can tell you, free fishing weekend brings the pressure up tremendously.
 

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Being your neighbors down south, I came up this past weekend with no intentions of fishing it because of the free weekend, but because that's how my schedule could afford it (and because we have no stinkin ice). I heard plenty of times of how it could be a "mad house"...well it wasn't. I fished Houghton to boot which is a pretty popular destination. And it was very low key in my opinion.
 

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Being your neighbors down south, I came up this past weekend with no intentions of fishing it because of the free weekend, but because that's how my schedule could afford it (and because we have no stinkin ice). I heard plenty of times of how it could be a "mad house"...well it wasn't. I fished Houghton to boot which is a pretty popular destination. And it was very low key in my opinion.
My spots were pretty low key as well but on Sunday we took our lunch on the road and drove around a bit. Burt lake had trucks parked all the way to the end of Maple Bay drive and the Campground at St Park was jammed. That lake gets a lot of pressure when the ice is crappy down here but that was CRAZY. We elected to go back to home ice for the rest of the day but hit Burt on Monday and it was a ghost town, only 2 trucks in the lot and we did well. Monday was included in the free fishing weekend this year so I don't know if the weekend was crazy because of no ice in half the state or for free fishing weekend but I've never seen it like that before.
 

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Some of my relatives who live out of state and have President's Day off use it as a weekend to come ice fish with us and celebrate and extended weekend. One of the ice fishing weekends I always look forward too.
 

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@JitterBugg I was actually was going to say I heard Burt and Mullet were a popular destination this weekend by looks on the reports. Your post just validates that. That's pretty wild it was so busy...and I'm sure Monday wasn't because guys probably took off Sunday night or Monday morning.
 

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I know people that travel to other states during their free fishing weekend to try different water without paying out of state license fees. I would imagine some come here as well for ours.
 

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So what I see, at least in the area that I fish is that guys will set up monster 8 man hubs and have a some buddies out to drink a bunch of beer weather they give a crap about fishing or not. Now that there's 8 guys in the hub that's 24 tipups that can go out. I was out on 3 different lakes up north this past weekend and I can tell you, free fishing weekend brings the pressure up tremendously.
That's exactly what we did, only with 3 huge hubs. Had a ton of tipups out and showed the newbs what it's like to drink beer all day and chase flags all day. They were sleeping by 9:30pm lol
 

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@JitterBugg I was actually was going to say I heard Burt and Mullet were a popular destination this weekend by looks on the reports. Your post just validates that. That's pretty wild it was so busy...and I'm sure Monday wasn't because guys probably took off Sunday night or Monday morning.
Just curious. Where do you get your ice fishing reports from? I went online and the only places I could find them were on this site and the DNR site. Thanks.
 
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