MUSKEGON, Mich. — Two days, twice a year, families and friends can enjoy one of Michigan's premiere outdoor activities: fishing. And it's free. 

The 2019 free fishing weekends are February 16-17 and June 8-9.

All fishing license fees are waived for two days. And the state's recreational passport is not needed to enter into state parks and recreation areas during the event that's held to promote the state's many fishing opportunities.

"We've got some great places to fish all around Michigan," said Chris Simpson, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer.

During the free fishing weekend, regulations are still enforced.

"So you can only take so many perch, or so many bluegills, or walleye," he said.

Friday, the temperature around Muskegon was in the teens. Still a large group of anglers were clustered at the far west end of Muskegon Lake.

Including Marty Reay and his son who drove to Muskegon early Friday morning from their homes in Portland to catch some perch.

A love for ice fishing, and fishing in general is often passed down from one generation to another. It's the DNR's hope that during the free fishing weekend experienced anglers introduce the activity to others.

"Take somebody with you and try to get some new folks into the sport," Simpson said. "You never know that person might pick it up and run with it."

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