Top Michigan Fishing Spots to Visit This Year

Tell your kids, tell your spouse, tell your boss, tell you neighbors, tell everyone! You’ll be “gone fishin.’”

Whether you are an experienced angler or an amateur, fishing is a great way to spend time outdoors. Fishing provides the opportunity to de-stress from our hectic lives and reconnect with nature on the water. Fishing is also a great way to spend the afternoon with family and friends creating memories and competing for the best catch of the day.

“Whether the story is that there were no fish or that you caught a record catch, there always is one to tell. The lakes, rivers and ponds in Michigan continue to provide Michiganders with the perfect mix of sport and relaxation,” said Elyse Walter, communication specialist for Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries.

Some of the best spots to find fish or scenic views can be found in Michigan. Here’s a list of some of our favorites:

  • Lake Minnawanna, Lapeer County: Metamora-Hadley State Recreation Area surrounds this tranquil “no wake lake.” Anglers can fish off of boats, two fishing docks or on the shore to try their luck with eager carp, catfish, crappie, northern pike, sunfish, largemouth bass and yellow perch.
  • Grand River/Spring Lake, Ottawa County: Catch carp, bluegill, crappie, catfish, bullfish, largemouth bass and northern pike in this southwest Michigan fishing hotspot. Grand River intertwines with other small lakes and creeks on the way to Lake Michigan. Check out multiple fishing destinations in this area to visit multiple spots throughout the weekend.
  • Hopkins Creek, Missaukee County: This small trout stream is stock full of rainbow, brook and brown trout – perfect to find inland trout throughout the summer.
  • Thunder Bay, Alpena County: Thunder Bay lends 23,000 square miles of shoreline fishing any time of the year. Catch Lake Huron walleye, largemouth bass, northern pike and sunfish while exploring Michigan’s eastern coast.
  • Lake Fanny Hooe, Keeweenaw County: Try your luck at this 227-acre UP favorite. Previous smallmouth bass records have been caught in this lake and it is accessible for pier, shore and boat fishing.
  • Deer Lake Basin, Marquette County: This basin boasts a high catch rate of walleye and northern pike from its pond. This catch-and-release lake is part of a chain of lakes, making it easy for boat fishermen to find their favorite spot.

The Department of Natural Resources also waives fishing license fees the third weekend in February and the second week of June for all Michigan residents and visitors. To make fishing more accessible for Michiganders, the DNR is not requiring recreation passports to visit any state park throughout the Saturday-Sunday frenzy. All other fishing rules and regulations still apply.

The DNR has been waiving these fees each year since 1986 in an effort to get more Michiganders outside. Through DNR-supported fishing derbies and tournaments, they are hoping this weekend appeals to everyone, even those who may have never tried fishing before. You can find a list of all the Free Fishing Weekend events throughout Michigan, here.

Where are your favorite fishing spots in Michigan? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment below.

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Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan

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