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The 9 Best Fishing Lakes in Michigan

Discover the best fishing lakes in Michigan, from freshwater lakes to secluded streams. Learn about the top spots for catching fish in the Great Lakes State, from the shores of Lake Michigan to the inland lakes of the Upper Peninsula. Get tips for the best times to go, what to bring, and what to expect.

Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair lies between the St. Clair River and Lake Erie. It is located in the southeastern part of Michigan and is the second largest lake in Michigan with a surface area of 430 square miles.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Muskie, Northern Pike, Catfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Several local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Hampton Inn – Detroit/Madison Heights (15.2 miles), Comfort Inn Pontiac – Auburn Hills (15.5 miles), Super 8 by Wyndham Eastpointe (15.8 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Anaconda Sports (14.4 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: BP at 25 Mile Road and Gratiot (19.1 miles)

Houghton Lake

Houghton Lake is the largest inland lake in Michigan with a surface area of over 20,000 acres. It is located in the north-central part of Michigan and is a popular fishing destination.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, Northern Pike
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Holiday Inn Express Houghton Lake (3.3 miles), Best Western Plus of Houghton Lake (3.7 miles), Super 8 by Wyndham Houghton Lake (5.6 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Cabela’s (7.4 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Buffalo Wild Wings (5.6 miles)

Cass Lake

Cass Lake is located in the northwestern part of Michigan. It is the fourth largest lake in the state with a surface area of 6,812 acres.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskie, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Econo Lodge Hotel (14.3 miles), Holiday Inn Express West Branch (19.3 miles), Days Inn by Wyndham West Branch (19.4 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Cabela’s (10.4 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Shell at M-30 and Potowatami Trail (7.1 miles)

Lake Charlevoix

Lake Charlevoix is a large lake located in the northwestern part of Michigan. It has a surface area of over 14,000 acres and is home to a variety of fish including walleye and northern pike.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Townsend House Inn (2.6 miles), The Weathervane (3.1 miles), The Grayling Inn (9.7 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Three Rivers Fishing (1.1 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Citgo at M-66 and East Jordan Road (10.2 miles)

Mullett Lake

Mullett Lake is located in the northeastern part of Michigan and is part of the Inland Waterway. This lake is over 13,000 acres in size and is home to a variety of fish.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Indian River (9.4 miles), Best Western of Indian River (9.5 miles), Comfort Inn Cheboygan (12.3 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Burt’s Bait Shop (8.7 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Sunoco at Mackinaw Highway and Miller Road (7.3 miles)

Burt Lake

Burt Lake is located in the northeastern part of Michigan and is part of the Inland Waterway. It is just over 11,000 acres in size and is home to a variety of fish.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Indian River (9.4 miles), Best Western of Indian River (9.5 miles), Comfort Inn Cheboygan (12.3 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Burt’s Bait Shop (8.7 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Sunoco at Mackinaw Highway and Miller Road (7.3 miles)

Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake is located in the southeastern part of Michigan. It is a small lake, with a surface area of only 1,584 acres, and is a popular fishing spot.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Bluegill, Sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Comfort Inn Auburn Hills (16.5 miles), Holiday Inn Express Rochester Hills (17.3 miles), SpringHill Suites Auburn Hills (18.2 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Academy Sports + Outdoors (17.4 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Marathon at Auburn Road and Sashabaw Road (12.6 miles)

Portage Lake

Portage Lake is located in the western part of Michigan. It is a small lake, with a surface area of only 2,500 acres, but is home to a variety of fish.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Holiday Inn Express Kalamazoo (13.3 miles), Comfort Inn Plainwell (13.3 miles), Baymont by Wyndham Plainwell (14.0 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Advance Outfitters (12.4 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Marathon at M-89 and Shaver Road (11.2 miles)

Torch Lake

Torch Lake is located in the northern part of Michigan. It is the state’s longest inland lake, with a surface area of 18,770 acres, and is one of the most popular fishing spots in the state.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Shanty Creek Resorts – Summit Village (10.2 miles), Holiday Inn Express & Suites Bellaire, MI (13.4 miles), AmericInn by Wyndham Bellaire (13.4 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: R & R Sport Center (14.3 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Shell at M-88 and Alden Highway (10.2 miles)

Lake Gogebic

Lake Gogebic is located in the western part of Michigan and is part of the Ironwood and Gogebic County. It is the largest lake in the state, with a surface area of over 13,000 acres, and is home to a variety of fish.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Shore fishing, pier fishing, wading, and boat fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Local companies offer equipment rental
  • Fishing Guide Service: Yes, available in the area
  • Closest Hotels to this Lake: Quality Inn & Suites Wakefield (10.3 miles), Days Inn & Suites Wakefield (10.8 miles), Ironwood Motel (11.7 miles)
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Indianhead Sport Center (9.1 miles)
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Michigan fishing regulations apply
  • Amenities of the Lake: Numerous boat launches, marinas, beaches, picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Shell at M-28 and US-141 (7.7 miles)

Find Good Fishing Spots in Michigan and Other Nearby Lakes on The Map

If you’re looking for a great fishing spot in Michigan, explore the Google map below to find some of the best lakes and locations around. From Manistee Lake and White Lake to Lake St. Clair, there are plenty of excellent fishing spots to choose from. Whether you’re after some trout or bass, you can find what you need in Michigan. So why not take a trip up north and explore these lakes and other great fishing locations?

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Michigan

The weather in Michigan for sport fishing throughout the year varies greatly. During the spring and summer months, the temperatures range from highs in the mid-70s to lows in the 40s, making for some beautiful days on the water. In the fall, the temperature range is much cooler, with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. Winter can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping down to single digits and below. Despite the colder weather, some die-hard anglers will still go out on the ice in search of the perfect catch.


Fishing Lakes in Michigan
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