Great Fishing in Michigan
Guide to fishing in the Great Lakes State
There are thousands of lakes, ponds and streams available for fishing in the state of Michigan. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about the best fishing lakes in the state, plus the species found in each lake. We will focus here on the larger impoundments offering a nice variety of fish to pursue. Many of these lakes offer fishing boats for rent.
Michigan offers a rich and diverse fishing experience with its variety of species, encompassing warm water fisheries, cold water fisheries, ponds, lakes, and rivers. Anglers have the opportunity to pursue a wide range of fish species, making Michigan a premier fishing destination.
Warm water fisheries in Michigan are teeming with popular gamefish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, walleye, and various panfish species. Lakes like Lake St. Clair, Lake Charlevoix, and Houghton Lake are renowned for their warm water fishing, attracting anglers seeking exciting catches and trophy-sized bass. Ponds and smaller lakes across the state also provide excellent opportunities for anglers to target species like bluegill, crappie, and perch.
Michigan's cold water fisheries, primarily centered around the Great Lakes, offer thrilling experiences for anglers targeting trout and salmon species. Lakes such as Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, and Lake Huron are famous for their populations of Chinook salmon, coho salmon, lake trout, brown trout, and steelhead. These cold water species provide exhilarating battles and are highly sought after by anglers who enjoy trolling, casting, or fly fishing in the expansive waters of the Great Lakes.
In addition to the vast array of lakes, Michigan's rivers and streams offer exceptional fishing opportunities. Rivers like the Au Sable, Manistee, and Pere Marquette are renowned for their trout fishing, with abundant populations of brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. These rivers provide anglers with the chance to test their skills in fly fishing and enjoy the serene beauty of Michigan's natural landscapes.
Michigan's abundant ponds, lakes, and rivers provide opportunities for anglers of all ages and skill levels. Whether fishing from a boat, casting from the shore, or wading in a river, there is something for everyone. With its variety of warm water and cold water fisheries, anglers can experience the thrill of catching a trophy bass, the excitement of reeling in a salmon, or the tranquility of fly fishing for trout.
It is important for anglers to familiarize themselves with fishing regulations, including season dates, size limits, and bag limits, to ensure the sustainability of fish populations and maintain healthy fisheries for future generations. Obtaining the appropriate fishing license is also essential to comply with state regulations.
Michigan's diverse fishing opportunities, ranging from warm water fisheries to cold water fisheries, and encompassing ponds, lakes, and rivers, make it a haven for anglers. With its abundant fish species and scenic natural surroundings, Michigan offers an unforgettable fishing experience that caters to the preferences and passions of all anglers.
Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, white bass, white perch, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, coho salmon, bowfin, longnose gar, muskie, northern pike, sauger, sturgeon and tiger muskie in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams.
Ice fishing is very popular for many of these sunfish.
Major Michigan Lakes & Species
Lake & Fish Chart
This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments.
For a detailed list of primary fish species in MI, plus state fish records, see the list below.
Fishing lake sizes and locations in the state.
Belleville Lake is a 1,270-acre lake in the southern part of the Lower Peninsula, at the town of Belleville.
Black Lake is a 10,000-acre lake at the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, at Waverly.
Brevoort Lake is a 4,200-acre lake in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula, at Brevoort.
Burt Lake is a 17,000-acre lake in the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, at Indian River.
Cass Lake is a 1,280-acre lake in the southeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Pontiac.
Coldwater Lake is a 1,610 acre lake near the southern border of the Lower Peninsula, at Kinderhook.
Crooked Lake is a 2,300-acre lake in the northern part of the Lower Peninsula, at Alanson.
Crystal Lake is a 9,800-acre lake in the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula, at Beulah.
Elk Lake is a 7,700-acre lake in the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula, at Elk Rapids.
Fletcher Pond is a 9,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Hillman.
Glen Lake is a 6,300-acre lake on the upper west edge of the Lower Peninsula, at Glen Arbor.
Grand Lake is a 5,700-acre lake in the northeast corner of the Lower Peninsula, at Kralow.
Gun Lake is a 2,680-acre lake in the southwest part of the Lower Peninsula, 10 miles west of Hastings.
Hamlin Lake is a 5,000-acre lake in the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula, at Hamlin.
Higgins Lake is a 10,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Higgins Lake.
Holloway Reservoir is a 1,975-acre lake in the eastern portion of the Lower Peninsula, 15 miles northeast of Flint.
Houghton Lake is a 20,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Houghton Lake.
Hubbard Lake is an 8,800-acre lake in the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Caledonia.
Indian Lake is an 8,700-acre lake in the south-center part of the Upper Peninsula, at Manistique.
Lake Cadillac is a 1,150-acre lake in the northwest portion of the Lower Peninsula, at the city of Cadillac.
Lake Charlevoix is a 17,200-acre lake in the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula, at Charlevoix.
Lake Erie is a 9,910 square-mile lake on the border at the southeast corner of the Lower Peninsula.
Lake Gogebic is a 12,800-acre lake in the western part of the Upper Peninsula, at Bergland.
Lake Huron is a 23,000 square-mile lake covering the eastern border of Michigan.
Lake Leelanau is a 14,000-acre lake in the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula, 10 miles northeast of Traverse City.
Lake Michigamme is a 4,300-acre lake in the central part of the Upper Peninsula, at Michigamme.
Lake Michigan is a 22,400 square-mile lake running along the westernborder of the Lower Peninsula.
Lake Mitchell is a 2,580-acre lake in the northwest portion of the Lower Peninsula, at the city of Cadillac.
Lake Skegemog is a 2,760-acre lake in the northwest portion of the Lower Peninsula, 7 miles southeast of Elk Rapids.
Lake St Clair is a 275,000-acre lake in the southeast corner of the state, on the US/Canada border, at Detroit.
Lake Superior is a 31,820 square-mile lake running along the northern border of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Long Lake is a 5,600-acre lake in the northeast corner of the Lower Peninsula, at 5 miles north of Alpena.
Manistee Lake is a 860-acre lake located near the western border of the Lower Peninsula, at the city of Manistee.
Manistique Lake is a 10,100-acre lake in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula, 10 miles west of Roberts Corner.
Mullett Lake is a 17,300-acre lake in the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula, at Mullett.
Muskegon Lake is a 4,150-acre lake in the western part of the Lower Peninsula, at the town of Muskegon.
Portage Lake is a 2,100-acre lake in the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula, at Onekama.
Sanford Lake is a 1,200-acre lake in the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Sanford.
South Manistique Lake is a 4,000-acre lake in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula, 10 miles northwest of Naubinway.
Torch Lake is an 18,800-acre lake in the northwest part of the Lower Peninsula, at Torch Lake.
Union Lake is a 465-acre lake in the southeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at the town of Union Lake.
Wixom Lake is a 2,200-acre lake in the northeast part of the Lower Peninsula, at Edenville.
Fish Species & State Records in Michigan
World record: 22 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 11.94 lbs
World record: 11 lbs 15 oz
State Record: 9.98 lbs
World record: 58 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 40.0 lbs
World record: 123 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 52.0 lbs
World record: 6 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 4.12 lbs
World record: 5 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3.39 lbs
World record: 25 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 17 lbs 3 oz
World record: 17 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 6 lbs 9 oz
World record: 42 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 26.5 lbs
World record: 14 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 9.5 lbs
World record: 40 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 41.45 lbs
World record: 72 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 61.5 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 12 oz
State Record: 2.75 lbs
World record: 2.2 lbs
State Record: 1.53 lbs
World record: N/A
State Record: 1.8 lbs
World record: 2 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 2.15 lbs
World record: 5.4 lbs
State Record: 2.36 lbs
World record: 3.0 lbs
State Record: 3.62 lbs
World record: 2.4 lbs
State Record: 1.38 lbs
World record: 6.8 lbs
State Record: 6.44 lbs
World record: 4.6 lbs
State Record: 2.0 lbs
World record: 4 lbs 3 oz
State Record: 3.75 lbs
World record: 79 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 32.62 lbs
World record: 97 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 46.06 lbs
World record: 33 lbs 7 oz
State Record: 30.56 lbs
World record: 9 lbs 10 oz
State Record: 1.94 lbs
World record: 21 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 14.0 lbs
World record: 50 lbs 5 oz
State Record: 18.0 lbs
World record: 69 lbs 9 oz
State Record: 58.0 lbs
World record: 55 lbs 1 oz
State Record: 39.0 lbs
Estimated world record: 1,100 lbs
State Record: 193.0 lbs
World record: 51 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 51.19 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
State of MI Fishing Information
Visit AA-Boats-Boating.com to find information about fishing boats in Michigan and other boating information.
Visit our section dedicated to fishing activities for kids in MI. It includes information about kids fishing with stories, photos and tips for where and how to take a kid fishing in Michigan.
You can find a listing of MI fishing guides here. If you are a fishing guide in Michigan or know of a good resource, please send us information for consideration.
Fish for big bass
Excellent largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities exist for anglers.
Fishing in all states