The Best Fishing Lakes In Michigan: What To Catch & Where To Find

young man fishing on lake michigan

Michigan is home to local fishermen and those enthusiasts who like to spend the weekend fishing. With the days of good weather, one of the most enjoyable activities you can enjoy in Michigan is a day of fishing.

Here, you will find the best fly fishing in the country as well as 5 of the 50 most special lakes to fish along with some 150 species of fish to fish among which are for example salmon, lake trout and walleye, to mention a few. 

If you are looking for a place where you can spend the day or even the weekend fishing with the family or friends with all the necessary amenities, then you must be interested in knowing the family-friendly fishing spots Michigan offers. 

Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan: Find the Hot Spot!

Because of its proximity to some of the biggest lakes in the world as well as the abundance of smaller inland rivers and lakes, it is not surprising that the state known as the Great Lakes state has quite several options for fishing. Here is our selection of where to find fishes in Michigan as well as the types of fishes to catch.

1. Burt Lake

    Measuring 26 square miles and located northwest of Michigan, this is the fourth largest lake in the state. Despite a large amount of fishing over the years, the reproduction of one of the dominant organisms, the walleye is the primary source of replacement. This helps keep the lake as a respectable habitat of small walleyes. It also features a large population of largemouth bass, medium-sized pike and deep-water trout that can be caught in this lake. 

    2. Lake St Clair

      Also included in the Great Lakes state's fishing zones is the Lake St Clair which is between Lake Erie and Lake Huron. These lakes are connected through the Detroit and St Clair Rivers. The freshwater helps produce a high population of healthy game fish. Without any doubt, the lake has always had a reputation for being a world-class fishing destination. 

      Some of the fishes you can find in the lake are yellow perch, muskellunge, smallmouth bass, pike, walleye, largemouth bass, and giant channel catfish.

      3. Lake Hubbard

        Situated in northeastern Michigan, Hubbard is named the 12th biggest lake in the state. One of the lake's points of interest is the excellent water clarity, which attracts many fishermen all year round. During the winter season, ice fishing is also popular here.

        Some of the fishes you can catch here include walleye, smallmouth, bass, whitefish, suckers, lake trout, northern pike and gar. Additionally, there is an abundance of walleye, according to an industry survey carried out in a spring season in 2017.

        4. Lake Leelanau

          This lake is located on the Leelanau Peninsula. It consists of two water bodies which are generally known as North and South Lake Leelanau. It is 21 miles long and approximately 1.5 miles wide. Within the north and south of the lake, there are large populations of perches, walleyes, smallmouth and small pike from the north. Lake Leelanau ensures the reproduction of walleyes naturally, with much to capture.

          5. Saginaw Bay

            This bay is situated on the east side of the peninsula from where Lake Huron spans into Michigan's mainland. It is a vast bay that is now one of the main pike-perch fishery areas in the country, with national pike-perch tournaments held in the basin. The yellow perch, black bass, walleyes, and channel catfish are the most abundant in the bay.

            6. Union Lake

              Union Lake is part of the lakes in the west of Pontiac in Oakland County. Despite being the 10th largest in the country, it maintains a reputation for excellent pike-perch fishing thanks to a combination of planting and natural breeding. Fishing in Union is famous throughout the year, with ice fishing offering different challenges during the winter season. 

              Do I Require a Fishing License to Fish in Michigan?

              According to the Department of Natural Resources, admission is free in state parks and recreation areas. While anyone fishing on Saturday or Sunday will not need a license, other rules will remain in effect, such as the size of the fish and the amount of fish that must be kept.

              However, anyone that is above the age of 17 needs to possess a license to fish on Michigan's public water. The fishing license can either be purchased online, through a DNR service center or a licensed agent. 

              Michigan Fishing Laws for Children

              You must inform yourself of the fishing regulations of each place. In general, children under 17 do not need a license to do so and must follow the same indications as those who do have a permit. 

              Children can help unhook the fish, put the fishing rod in the appropriate place; hook the bait; to fix the links or the entanglements; among others. Children can be active people on the day of fishing, always controlled by an older one. 

              Why Go Fishing in Michigan 

              Let's see some of the general benefits of fishing so that you can convince yourself that it will be an excellent activity for the whole family: 

              • Fishing is a type of therapy that helps lower the rates of stress in people. When we fish, we are focused on this activity, so we forget about the worries for a while. 
              • In spite of this, we exercise when we shake the rod and pull a fish that bites the hook. 
              • When we fish, we are in the middle of nature, connected to the lake and everything that surrounds it, which helps us to relax with the sound of the river and the fresh air that comes to our face. 
              • Fishing is suitable for everyone, so it is perfect for doing it with the whole family, and it even becomes an activity where we can make new friends with the same hobby. 

              As you can see, there are many benefits of spending a day of family fishing, and more if we avail ourselves to some of the incredible spaces in Michigan. Good luck!

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