Department of Natural Resources
Michigan's world-class fishing is in your backyard
Spring is here, and if you’re ready to get out and enjoy some great fishing, you don’t have far to go. Michigan’s world-class fishing is as close as your own backyard or a short trip away, and trout, walleye and pike season openers are right around the corner.
Discover some of the best places to drop a line in fishing destinations around the state.
With nearly 100 bodies of water and 300,000 acres of accessible Lake Huron around the 4-county Northeast Michigan area, Alpena serves as base camp for your fishing expedition. Locations for trolling, fishing off the river bank, fly fishing, fishing from a dock or canoe, a perfect reed bed for your bass boat, and even deep water options abound in and around Alpena.
With more than 100 lakes, including two chains of lakes, Coldwater Country offers countless opportunities for anglers, fishing from shore or boat, to reel in the catch of the day. Notably the largest of the area lakes, Coldwater Lake, is home to an abundance of fish including catfish, crappie, large- and small-mouth bass, northern pike, sunfish, walleye, and yellow perch.
The Gaylord area is truly a water wonderland, with over 90 inland lakes and the headwaters to five major rivers. The sheer abundance and variety of lakes in our county make our waterways an angler's dream come true.
Named the 6th Best Fishing City in America by Field & Stream Magazine, Grand Rapids offers easy access to dozens of rivers and lakes swimming with most every species of Michigan fish. Anglers can catch everything from world-class salmon and steelhead to kid-friendly bluegill and crappie, all just minutes away from big-city culture and entertainment.
Hands down one of Michigan's best fisheries, Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay is rich with world-class walleye, along with other great catch from perch to bass.
Whether you are fishing from the pier, on Lake Michigan on a charter boat, or fly-fishing in the stream, you are bound to catch a big one while in Pure Ludington! Located along Lake Michigan, and home to over 2,000 miles of trout streams and over 40 inland lakes, it’s a fisherman's paradise!
Manistee County is home to three fantastic harbors and three rivers. We also have many public boat launches that will give you access to Lake Michigan, inland lakes and scenic rivers.
There are many opportunities for Michigan fishing in Marquette County, from Lake Superior to many secluded wilderness lakes and Upper Peninsula streams.
Healthy populations of trout, walleye, salmon, and steelhead make this area an angler’s paradise. You can fish from shore at Willow Park or on the jetty, motor out to the Kalamazoo River, or book a charter expedition on the river or in Lake Michigan. Bring your own boat and gear or rent it here and see what’s biting now.
Sault Ste. Marie and the St. Marys River offer one of the most diverse fishing experiences in all of Michigan. Enjoy the thrill of fishing for musky and trophy walleye, practice the finesse techniques you need to land trout or cast into the river and hope for the best.
Whether you’re looking for a quiet fishing experience off the piers along the Black River – or a fun and exciting fishing charter adventure out on Lake Michigan with an experienced fishing guide – we have it here! Fishing charters provide great opportunities to hook a big one on the big Lake: salmon, steelhead, perch or trout.
Traverse City and the surrounding area offer incredible fishing opportunities, and with all the rivers, lakes, and streams in the region, there is a wide variety of species that fisherman can go after. Go for the big experience on Lake Michigan with a chartered captained boat to catch salmon and lake trout; or take the peaceful route and cast for panfish from a canoe on one of the inland waterways.
Purchase a fishing license online at our eLicense site.
The locations listed on this page are Michigan convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) that are part of a partnership program with the DNR. If you are interested in joining the program, please contact the DNR Marketing Manager for more information.