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12 Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan: Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and More

12 Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan: Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, and More

If you love fishing, Michigan is the perfect state for you. It is home to over 11,000 Lakes, so there are endless possibilities for where to drop your line. In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of some of the best fishing lakes in Michigan so you can start planning your next trip.

Here are our top 12 picks for the best lakes in Michigan for fishing:

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is one of the best fishing spots in Michigan due to its long history as a commercial fishery and beautiful scenery. The large freshwater lake is home to many species, such as largemouth bass, trout, walleye, salmon, trout pike, and white fish smelt yellow perch. It also offers many great locations to enjoy fishing, such as marinas and harbors, lighthouses, fishing shacks, and local tackle shops.

Lake Michigan can be reached easily from local marinas or hiking to shoreline areas. Follow regulations based on where you are fishing so that you can have an enjoyable experience without any legal trouble.

Incredible sunrise over Lake Michigan and the Mackinac Bridge, colorful water

Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair is an excellent fishing lake for several reasons. First, it offers some of the best muskie fishing in the country, with fish averaging 15 pounds and 30 pounds regularly caught. Second, walleye are plentiful in Lake St Clair and the Detroit River during the March-April spawning run. Thirdly, the smallmouth bass is also prominent in both places.

Lake St Clair spans an international border between Detroit and Ontario, Canada, and connects southern Lake Huron with eastern Lake Erie via a deep shipping lane.

Lake St. Clair

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is a great fishing lake in Michigan for several reasons. First, it is one of the top smallmouth waters in the country, making it an excellent destination for anglers looking to catch bass. Second, it boasts 50 miles of the western basin in Michigan alone, providing plenty of opportunities to catch walleye and other fish species. Thirdly, Luna Pier and Monroe are two departure ports within the state that provide easy access to this popular lake.

Furthermore, Lake Erie is located just west of Ohio along its western basin portion – meaning that those with an appropriate fishing license can also enjoy its waters there!

Erie, Pennsylvania, USA and Tower

Lake Huron

Lake Huron is a great fishing lake due to its large size and abundance of available species. It is the third-largest freshwater lake on the planet, covering an astounding surface area of 23,007 miles. Anglers can expect to encounter numerous species, such as lake trout, walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, sunfish, whitefish, and various types of catfish. Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron is known nationally for its fabulous walleye fishery, with large specimens caught during the spring spawning run in April and May.

Lake Huron borders Ontario, Canada, at 60 miles long by 30 wide, making it one of the largest lakes in the United States except for the five Great Lakes, which cover an even larger surface area of 8112 miles long by 2781 wide each. Saginaw Bay, located within Lake Huron, offers great fishing opportunities year-round, with excellent walleye catches available during April/May and throughout the winter months!

Aerial panoramic landscape view of a bay on the Great Lakes

Lake Superior

Lake Superior is the largest of Michigan’s great lakes and one of the best fishing lakes in the state. The lake is home to various fish species, including walleye, pike, and perch. Anglers can find good fishing spots all around the lake, but some of the best areas are near the Sault Ste. Marie Canal and in the waters off of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Coastline of Lake Superior on a beautiful autumn day

Burt Lake

Burt Lake covers an area of 17000 surface acres and can be accessed from Indianville or Burt Lake ports. Canoes or kayaks work best for reaching fish havens if the winds are agreeable. There are also several areas to launch from – lakeside or bank fishing is possible too!

Burt Lake is filled with various fish species. It has smallmouth and largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, muskie, northern pike, sunfish, rock bass, bluegill, and crappie. There are boat rentals available lakeside, so it’s easy to access.

Burt Lake

Black Lake

Black Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Michigan. The lake is two miles east of Detroit. It connects southern Lake Huron and eastern Lake Erie, providing excellent opportunities for anglers to catch jumbo sizes muskies, walleye, and smallmouth bass. Black Lake also has a shallow bowl which makes it ideal for trolling or any other fishing technique.

The Detroit River flows into Black Lake during the March-April spawning run, allowing anglers to catch large walleye. Additionally, Black Lake has plenty of spots where you can troll for muskies or fish for smallmouth bass in its waters and the river that flows into it.

Black Lake

Saginaw Bay

For many reasons, Saginaw Bay is one of the best places to fish in Michigan. Firstly, it is larger than most other lakes in the U.S., except for the five Great Lakes. This offers anglers more water to explore and, therefore, more opportunities to catch different species such as white bass, yellow perch, walleye, and carp. Additionally, Saginaw Bay provides an excellent fishery for anglers within a reasonable drive from larger cities such as Lansing and Detroit.

The bay also feeds into Lake Huron, which offers anglers across five counties (Tuscola, Iosco, Arenac, Huron, and Bay) access to its warm shallow waters filled with desirable species like lake whitefish, yellow perch, walleye plus carp bullhead smallmouth bass sunfish sucker northern pike largemouth bass.

Saginaw Bay

Gun Lake

Gun Lake is one of the best fishing lakes in Michigan due to its deep maximum depth and abundant fish population. It is known for its large pike, bass, perch, and muskie population, making it a fisherman’s dream.

Gun Lake is located in Montmorency County near Baldwin, Michigan. It has an approximate surface area of 1,743 acres and a maximum depth of 85 feet. The lake is known for having clear water that allows for excellent visibility when fishing or swimming in it.

Gun Lake

Marble Lake

Marble Lake is an excellent fishing lake in Michigan due to its abundance of fish and variety of species. It allows anglers to catch walleye, trout, bass, perch, and more. Marble Lake also provides excellent scenery with picturesque views of the forest surrounding it.

Marble Lake is located in Ishpeming Township in Marquette County, Michigan. It spans approximately 15 acres and has a depth ranging from 6 to 16 feet at its deepest point. The lake can be accessed through several public access points and private docks for those who own property on or near the lake’s shoreline.

Marble Lake

Hamlin Lake

Hamlin Lake has some of Michigan’s top panfish, walleye, northern pike, and musky populations, making it one of the best fishing lakes in the state. The lake teems with walleye, decent-sized northern pike, and huge panfish, making it an ideal destination for anglers looking for a successful catch. Furthermore, Hamlin Lake offers plenty of opportunities for ice fishing, with safe ice typically available before Christmas and lasting until March.

Hamlin Lake is located north of Ludington and can be easily reached via several resorts around the eastern side of the lake or from Ludington State Park, which sits between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan. The lake has two halves separated by narrows – one shallow western side providing excellent sunlight conditions perfect for aquatic vegetation growth. In contrast, the other half offers deeper water near dunes where predators can find prey easily and retreat into deep water if necessary during colder winter months.

Hamlin Lake

Crystal Lake

One of the top fishing places in Michigan is Crystal Lake because of its incredibly clear water, which enables massive catches of lake trout, steelhead, and salmon. The small but stable pike population makes it an even better spot for trophy hunting. Additionally, the abundance of vegetative cover grounds a rich food chain that attracts prey such as yellow perch and lake trout.

Crystal Lake is located in Marquette County in Northern Michigan and has an area of 9,854 acres with depths ranging from 50-120 feet deep and shallow waters that are perfect for panfish hunting. It also offers scenic views at sunset or sunrise from its peaceful surroundings.

What to consider when fishing in lakes in Michigan

When fishing in lakes in Michigan, factors to consider include the following:

History of Success: Look for lakes with a proven track record of producing quality fish.

Available Species: Consider the diversity of each body of water, emphasizing variety and diversification.

Accessibility: Consider the size, location, and access points when determining where to fish. No private ponds should be considered.

Regulations: Check the local fishing regulations, as they vary from lake to lake.

Tips for having the best experience possible on your fishing trip

1. Plan and decide where you want to go fishing. Research the best lakes in Michigan for your preferred species, as well as any regulations that may apply.

2. Pack the right gear for your trip, including fishing equipment, food and water supplies, a first aid kit, and sunscreen if necessary.

3. Make sure you have all of the necessary licenses and permits before heading out onto the water; these can usually be obtained from local bait & tackle shops or online beforehand in most cases.

4. Once at your destination lake, find a safe spot to park your vehicle and set up camp if desired; there are plenty of designated camping sites around many lakes that allow overnight stays with proper permits acquired beforehand from local authorities.

5 . When it comes time to cast out into waters, locate fishable areas using knowledge gained from research or advice from locals who regularly frequent this particular body of water.

6. Make sure you know where exactly you’re allowed to fish before stepping foot onto any given lake; each state has its regulations regarding which bodies of water can be fished in, so do your research beforehand!


What species of fish can be caught in Michigan?

145 species of fish can be caught in Michigan, including:

• Northern pike: A large freshwater fish with a long, pointed snout and a dark green or brownish-yellow color. It prefers shallow waters and is often found near weed beds or submerged logs.

• Smallmouth bass: A popular gamefish known for its strong bite and ability to feed on various bait types. It has small mouths compared to other bass species and can be identified by its dark vertical bands and light belly coloration.

• Walleye: A popular panfish known for its shiny, reflective eyes that can help you spot them in murky waters. They have darker spots on their bodies and lighter coloring on their underside region, making them easy to identify when fishing at night or over muddy bottoms.

What type of bait should I use when fishing in Michigan?

When fishing in Michigan, you should familiarize yourself with the species of fish that are best caught during the fall months. These include bass, walleye, pike, muskie, and salmon.

For each type of fish, you should use different types of bait depending on their preferences. Bass can be caught using worms or artificial lures such as buzzing bugs or spinnerbaits. Walleye are known to eat minnows and leeches, so they are good choices for bait when fishing for this species.

Pike and muskie anglers should use live bait like suckers or chubs since these fish do not respond well to artificial lures. Salmon can be lured with eggs or small pieces of trout since they feed heavily before the spawning season begins in autumn.

Are there any restrictions on fishing in Michigan?

Yes, there are some restrictions on fishing in Michigan. For example, you must have a valid license and follow any state or federal government regulations. Additionally, you must abide by local laws and regulations specific to your fishing area. Additionally, certain species may be restricted from being caught or possessed due to conservation efforts or season closures.

No exemptions are given for children under 16 years old as they still need to obtain a license to fish in Michigan. Furthermore, non-resident visitors cannot purchase licenses online but must visit a local bait & tackle shop or license agent for assistance before heading out on their trip.

What is the best time of year to go fishing in Michigan?

The best time of year to go fishing in Michigan is during the fall when fish migrate into shallow waters to spawn. This is because more fish species are available and respond better to certain types of bait and tackle.

Unlike ice fishing which can last up to five months, the regular fishing season typically only lasts from April to November. Additionally, the types of fish that can be caught will vary depending on where you go (for example, Crappie on Lake St Clair or Northern Pike on Cadillac Lake).

How deep are the lakes in Michigan?

The lakes in Michigan range in depth from 50 to 120 feet. Some deepest lakes include Crystal Lake, Lake Superior, and Lake Huron.

What is the best way to find fishing spots in Michigan?

1. Determine your needs and desires: What species do you want to catch, where, and for how long?

2. Research the lakes of Michigan: Check out the records held by each body of water and look at data provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to determine which ones have the most diverse range of species available.

3. Consider accessibility: Consider the size, location, and access points when choosing a lake or river for your excursion; no private ponds appear on our list.

4. Consult social signals from forums: Get advice from locals who know the lay of the land by frequenting fishing forums or speaking with individuals who have fished these waters before!

What species are most sought after in lake Michigan?

Many anglers seek out Lake Michigan for its abundance of salmon and trout. Salmon is typically found in the deeper waters near the lake’s center, while trout tend to stick to the shallower waters along the shore. Other popular fish in Lake Michigan include perch, whitefish, and walleye.

What is the best bass fishing lake in Michigan?

There are many great bass fishing lakes in Michigan, but some stand out above the rest. Lake Erie is considered one of the best bass fishing lakes in the country, and for a good reason. The lake is huge, with plenty of room for the bass to grow and thrive. Lake Erie’s water quality is excellent, making it a great place to fish for bass.