Fishing in Michigan

Last updated on July 17th, 2021 at 03:03 pm. Originally published on July 12th, 2021

Michigan is home to the world’s best catches that an RV fishing trip has to offer. With a more extensive coastline than Oregon and Florida combined, plus 3,000 rivers and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan has many places to fish. Trout, salmon, walleye, bass, and perch are commonly found in the Wolverine State’s waters. Michigan’s waters are ideal for both experienced and beginner anglers, but be sure that you check with the Department of Natural Resources to understand the state’s fishing laws and regulations and where to fish at different times of the year. Any angler aged 17 and older requires a valid Michigan fishing license to fish in the state.

A silhouette of a fisherman fishing off a pier on a lake

Fishing Spots in Michigan

Saginaw Bay

Head out north of Detroit City, and you will find Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, which is one of the largest lakes in the United States. Here, you will enjoy all types of fishing. The site has a fishing pier on the Pinconning River and a floating platform on the bay, which is just a few meters from the parking lot. The fishing area is extensive, and you can rent fishing equipment if you don’t have your own. Bass, carp, pike, bullhead, sunfish, walleye, and perch are commonly found in this spot.

Lake Leelanau

Fishing and camping in Michigan become attractive at Lake Leelanau, which is a 45-minute drive away from Traverse City. At 1.5 miles wide and 20 miles long, the lake is among Michigan’s best inland lakes for walleye fishing. You will find numerous access points near the shore, and you can hire a boat and get into the deep waters to enjoy the best fishing. The lake teems with bass, trout, sunfish, pike, perch, and walleye. Fishing at Lake Leelanau is perfect from August through winter, and RV campgrounds like Lake Leelanau RV Park have numerous campsites with full hookups, picnic tables, a fire pit, and free cable TV.

Lake St. Clair

Located just two miles east of Detroit, Lake St. Clair is one of Michigan’s good fishing spots. This 275,000-acre freshwater lake is part of the Great Lakes system and teems with walleye, muskie, pike, yellow perch, catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, carp, bullhead, sunfish, and smallmouth bass. Here, you will find numerous fishing charters and guides to enhance your angling experience. Besides fishing, you can enjoy other outdoor activities, including swimming and water skiing. If you wish to spend a night here, there are numerous bush camping sites nearby.

Lake Charlevoix

Lake Charlevoix is another perfect answer to where to fish in Michigan. You will find numerous access points near the lake between Boyne City and Charlevoix. Although you can fish from a boat, shore fishing is the most fantastic way to land various fish species, including crappie, bluegill, catfish, walleye, smallmouth bass, and rock bass.

Manistee River

Flowing into Lake Michigan, the Manistee River provides an unmatched angling experience. Located about six miles southeast of the small community of Alba, the river features concrete walkways and a fishing pier that offer plenty of fishing opportunities to anglers of all ages and skills. You will find numerous fishing spots along the banks, but the Tippy Dam might be the best spot to land trout and salmon. Although the Manistee River is known for salmon and steelhead fishing, you can catch other fish species, including trout and smallmouth bass.

Lake Michigan

Your angling experience in Michigan will not be as memorable without a visit to Lake Michigan. The lake boasts more than 185 marine species, including fish species such as chinook salmon, steelhead, and coho salmon in offshore waters. Grand Haven, Ludington, and St. Joe in western Michigan are perfect ports for that action.

Pere Marquette River

Just 66 miles from the Pere Marquette is the Pere Marquette River, a renowned fishing spot for anglers who like fly fishing in Michigan. This spot is famous for salmon and brown trout. The fall season is the best for salmon whereas spring and summer are best for trout. You will find around 2,200 campsites with convenience stores, freezers, playgrounds, and laundry rooms nearby.

Where to Fish in Michigan

Although Michigan offers unique fishing experiences, Traverse City’s angling adventure is extraordinary. This city lies along the shore of the Grand Traverse Bay, a deep body of water connected to the scenic Lake Michigan. The Boardman River, one of the most famous waterways in this region, also flows into the bay’s western edge. When the two unite, they form an unstoppable force of great fishing. The Grand Traverse Bay bustles with world-class freshwater game fish, and the Boardman River teems with steelhead and salmon, making Traverse City a fisher’s paradise.

Camping and Fishing in Michigan

Before you leave for camping and fishing in Michigan, ensure that you bring some necessities with you. With multiple fishing spots teeming with numerous fish species, you will want to fill your tackle box with equipment that can attract all the different types of fish. It is also a good idea to bring a cooler with some ice to help you transport some fish home for dinner.

Even though there are numerous campsites in Michigan, search online to check their availability. Also, make sure that you have a valid Michigan fishing license. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about fishing.

With an RV rental, your fishing trip will be a little more comfortable! After you’ve spent a long day fishing, grill up your catch right at your campsite. Then, retire inside to enjoy all the comforts of home on board your RV. Plan your perfect fishing getaway with an RV rental from RVshare.

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