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Learn to fish

Two girls standing on a dock with life jackets on holding up fish they caught

Learn to fish

Now is a great time to get started fishing!  

It’s so easy to get started with fishing in Michigan. Here’s a checklist of what you need:

  • Choose your company. Do a solo outing, grab some friends for some fishing fun or make it a family trip.
  • Buy your fishing license. If you’re a Michigan resident, you can get an annual license for just $26.
  • Pick up some gear. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Some basic rods and reels, hooks, sinkers, bobbers and baits are all you need.
  • Decide where you want to go. Fish your local lake, book a charter on one of the Great Lakes or plan a trip to a special stream.
  • Think about what species you want to fish for. Do some bobber fishing for panfish, throw lures at bass, target walleye or fall in love with something else.

Buy your fishing license »

Classes and clinics

Hook, Line and Sinker

This FREE program teaches kids how to fish!

We'll teach casting and fishing basics, and can provide you with a fishing pole to use if you don't have your own.

Outdoor Skills Academy

The Outdoor Skills Academy classes and clinics provide a more in-depth skill development opportunity for teens and adults.

The classes are offered for a fee and require registration free. 


Family Friendly Fishing

Fishing spots that are family friendly, easy to access and have a high likelihood of catching fish.

Fishing home page

Visit the fishing home page for more information about fishing in Michigan.

Free Fishing Weekends

Two weekends each year are designated as Free Fishing Weekend. No license needed!

Great Lakes fishing

Prime fishing sites on the Great Lakes and times of year when great opportunities exist.

Kid-friendly fishing information

Find fun activities for kids and sign up for our Fish Bites newsletter, dedicated to kids.

License information

Information on who needs a license, how much they cost and where you can buy them.

Trout Trails

Biologist-verified great trout waters with site descriptions, regulations and more.

Weekly fishing report

This weekly report is intended to give you an idea of fishing conditions around the state.


Fishing safety and etiquette

How to: Catch and release

How to: Choose the right equipment for panfish

Clean and care for your catch

How to: Fishing for panfish

How to: Fishing bait