Fishing in Lower Michigan

Fishing in Lower Michigan
One of the first noticeable aspects of Michigan is that it is surrounded by freshwater lakes on all sides but one. The Great Lakes lead to many small rivers, inland lakes and tributaries that extend throughout the state. This is one of the reasons why fishing is one of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the state. There are many species of fish to catch and several different ways to catch them, such as boat, shoreline or wading down the river. Fishing is almost everywhere on Michigan's lower peninsula.

Salmon Fishing

Salmon fishing is popular in lower Michigan. Two popular types of salmon include the mint silver king salmon and the chinook salmon. Some of the lower rivers in Michigan can start to see salmon run as early as the first week of August. For northern areas of the Lower Peninsula, salmon can run as late as the middle week of November. Salmon fishing is popular on rivers and streams throughout the state, especially the White River and the Muskegon River.

Musky Fishing

Musky fishing is popular in Michigan. There are several locations where musky are readily abundant, such as large inland freshwater lakes, reservoirs, rivers, the Great Lakes and the bays of the Great Lakes. Peak musky fishing is generally in late spring right after the muskies have finished spawning. Fall is also a popular time because the fish go after bait before the onset of the long winter ahead.


There are several locations to find fish in lower Michigan. On the lake or pond, steep shore banks, rocky areas, weed beds, sunken bodies of land, spring holes, submersed tree trunks and rocks, open water, lily pads, docks and piers are all locations where fish can be found. With freshwater streams or rivers, merging currents, small waves, eddies and boulders are all locations where fish could be. Large bays such as Grand Traverse Bay and the Saginaw Bay areas are also good fishing locations. Choosing areas where the large Great Lake meets the bay is where the highest population of fish will be.


Smelt dipping is a different type of fishing in that it doesn't require an angle rod or fly fishing rod. All you need to go smelt fishing or dipping is to obtain a net and a bucket and start dipping. No bait required. The smelt run in the very early spring just after the ice begins to disappear. When the smelt spawn they can easily be caught in the hundreds of thousands. Smelt are populous off the shores of the Great Lakes but can also be found plentiful on tributaries and bays extending from the Great Lakes.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a sport that is enjoyed every winter when the lakes have frozen over. Fishermen set up camp in small ice shanties or shelters that protect them from the wind and weather. They use an auger to drill into the ice until they reach water. They then use a specialized ice fishing pole that drops bait into the water. Fisherman can catch many types of Michigan fish this way, including crappie, trout, bass and whitefish.

Article Written By Julie Boehlke

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

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