The Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan

The Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan
No matter what time of year you're fishing in Michigan, you'll find a lake full of fish somewhere in the state. Whether you're bundled up to go ice fishing or relaxing on the shore of Lake Michigan during the summer, or looking for a day on the lake outside of Detroit, the state's lakes offer a variety of fish that can be caught from a boat or from shore. Explore the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, and see what the state has to offer anglers.

Hamlin Lake

Located along the western coast of the lower peninsula of Michigan, you'll find Hamlin Lake, rated by Michigan Sportsman Magazine as one of the best winter spots for catching bluegills. The 5,000-acre lake is well-stocked year-round with northern pike, crappie, walleyes, perch and bass, but during the colder months, you'll find tip-ups and shanties all along the ice where diligent fishermen are waiting for the panfish or walleye to bite. Hamlin Lake also offers ice skating and cross-country skiing on the miles of trail around the shore.

Cass Lake

Cass Lake is just 30 miles northwest of Detroit, and it's a popular destination for city-dwelling anglers. Michigan Sportsman Magazine names it as one of the top lakes for catching both largemouth and smallmouth bass in the state. Bass season begins at the end of May, but Michigan has recently changed its law, so that you can catch and release bass before then. Cass Lake is busiest and best stocked in the early spring, though you'll find activity there throughout the year. Several parks are located along the lake's shore, so if you don't have a boat, you can still fish from the shoreline.

Lake St. Clair

Straddling the US/Canadian border, Lake St. Clair is just a few miles north of Detroit, and it's named as one of the best lakes for fishing by Michigan Sportsman Magazine. The lake is known for the muskies you can catch there, and they are particularly well-stocked in the summer months. You'll also find a solid walleye, bass and perch population in Lake St. Clair. Experts like outdoor writer Tom Morrison recommend using tube bait on the lake with eight-pound line on spinning gear. The area near the old dumping grounds near the mouth of the Detroit River is recommended as a popular spot that can yield many fish.


Article Written By Ashley Talley

Ashley Talley has been a professional writer for more than 10 years, specializing in travel and health. Her work has been published in "Coastal Living" magazine, "Wrightsville Beach Magazine" and "Choice," an anthology praised by "Vanity Fair" and the "LA Times." She graduated from Brown University with honors and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from the University of North Carolina.

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