Hard Water School fishing clinic hosted at William Mitchell State Park – Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center.
Interpreter Ed ShawThis is a mixed virtual/on-ice class teaching more advanced ice fishing skills. Each participant will pick a specific topic of interest and be assigned a pro fisherman from Team USA, HT Enterprises, Clam Outdoors, Vexilar or Ice Force. We will have one pro to every five students.  We will spend the first virtual lesson gearing up, rigging and preparing to fish in great detail. The second day will be on the ice and fishing about eight hours. The third day we will meet on the ice and fish 8 a.m. to noon.

Participants must be mobile and willing to travel – bring an ORV or snowmobile, or be prepared to walk long distances. Lakes will vary based on species interest and where the fish are biting. Overnight at a local hotel is recommended. We may fish a different lake each day.

There will be augers, and some loaner shanties (available on a first-come, first-served basis but not shared). We encourage you to bring your own equipment if possible. We will not be able to share this year. We also encourage the whole family to come.

Participants, employees and volunteers will be required to wear face coverings and will make every effort to maintain at least 6 feet separation throughout the class. See below for additional safety protocols that will be followed.

Cost for the class is $75. This includes a box lunch Saturday and Sunday, bait and door prizes/goodie bags.

Participation is limited to 20 students.

To register for this class, go to Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses and click on the “Purchase a license” button. Sign in (using either a username and password or your ID and birthdate), and find the class under the Outdoor Skills Academy tab.

For more information contact Edward Shaw at 231-779-1321 or shawe@michigan.gov.

Recreation Passport is required for entry into Mitchell State Park.

Please note: Cancellations must be made two weeks prior to the class to guarantee a refund.

Additional COVID-19 safety protocols that will be followed include:

  • Access to park or visitor center facilities will be limited to restroom use, with processes in place to limit the number of visitors in a facility at any one time.
  • No program props or materials will be shared or passed between participants.
  • Staff will regularly clean and disinfect equipment and other touchable surfaces.
  • Handwashing facilities with disinfecting soap will be available to employees and program participants. Additionally, participants will be provided with antiseptic hand sanitizers or towelettes.
  • Participants will be asked to complete a health form, and employees and volunteers will follow State of Michigan policy for daily health screening.

This class is part of the Department of Natural Resources Outdoor Skills Academy, which offers in-depth, expert instruction, gear and hands-on learning for a range of outdoor activities at locations around the state. Learn more at Michigan.gov/OutdoorSkills.