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The 7 Best Fishing Lakes in Southern Michigan

Discover the best fishing lakes in Southern Michigan! From Lake St. Clair to the many inland lakes, find out the top spots to cast your line and the best type of fish to catch. Get the insider tips and tricks to make your next fishing trip a success.

Lake St. Clair

Lake St. Clair is located in the southeastern corner of Michigan, located between Lake Huron and Lake Erie. This lake spans 26 miles, offering plenty of areas for fishing.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Muskie, Perch, Carp, Catfish and Sunfish
  • Types of Fishing: Trolling, Casting, Fly Fishing, Bottom Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at nearby marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: Several local guides are available
  • Closest Hotels to the Lake: Comfort Suites Mount Clemens, Holiday Inn Express & Suites New Baltimore, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Richmond, MI
  • Nearest Fishing Store: The Fishin’ Hole is located 15 minutes away in Chesterfield Twp
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid fishing license, limits on size and number of fish
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boating, swimming, camping, beaches, and picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: BP is located 9 minutes away in New Baltimore

Burt Lake

Burt Lake is located in northern Michigan in Indian River. This lake spans 5,000 acres, making it one of the larger lakes in the area.

  • Types of Fish: Large and Smallmouth Bass, Muskellunge, Walleye, Perch and Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Trolling, Casting, Bottom Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at nearby marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: Guides available for hire
  • Closest Hotels to the Lake: Hampton Inn & Suites Petoskey, Comfort Inn Mackinaw City, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Cheboygan, MI
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Indian River Bait & Tackle is located 12 minutes away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid fishing license, limits on size and number of fish
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boating, swimming, camping, beaches, and picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Speedway is located 8 minutes away in Indian River

Houghton Lake

Houghton Lake is located in the north-central area of Michigan. This lake spans over 21,000 acres and is a popular fishing destination.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Yellow Perch and Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Trolling, Casting, Fly Fishing, Bottom Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at nearby marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: Several local guides are available
  • Closest Hotels to the Lake: Fairview Inn & Suites Houghton Lake, Ramada by Wyndham Houghton Lake, Best Western Plus Houghton Lake
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Houghton Lake Tackle is located 9 minutes away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid fishing license, limits on size and number of fish
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boating, swimming, camping, beaches, and picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Country Gas is located 7 minutes away in Houghton Lake

Lake Gogebic

Lake Gogebic is a large lake located in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This lake spans 13,000 acres, making it a great spot for fishing.

  • Types of Fish: Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Perch and Panfish
  • Types of Fishing: Trolling, Casting, Fly Fishing, Ice Fishing, Bottom Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at nearby marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: Several local guides are available
  • Closest Hotels to the Lake: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ironwood, Comfort Inn Ironwood, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Ironwood, WI
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Gogebic Lodge Bait & Tackle is located 8 minutes away in Gogebic Twp
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid fishing license, limits on size and number of fish
  • Amenities of the Lake: Boating, swimming, camping, beaches, and picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: BP is located 11 minutes away in Bessemer

Big Manistee River

The Big Manistee River is a great spot for fishing in south-central Michigan. This river spans over 120 miles and is known for its abundance of fish.

  • Types of Fish: Large and Smallmouth Bass, Trout, Northern Pike, Catfish, Walleye and Perch
  • Types of Fishing: Trolling, Casting, Fly Fishing, Bottom Fishing
  • Fishing Equipment Rental: Available at nearby marinas
  • Fishing Guide Service: Several local guides are available
  • Closest Hotels to the River: AmericInn by Wyndham Manistee, Best Western Manistee Inn & Marina, Comfort Suites Manistee
  • Nearest Fishing Store: Manistee Bait & Tackle is located 8 minutes away
  • Basic Fishing Regulations: Must have a valid fishing license, limits on size and number of fish
  • Amenities of the River: Boating, camping, beaches, and picnic areas
  • Nearest Gas Station: Shell is located 8 minutes away in Manistee

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

Come explore the lakes and fishing locations of Southern Michigan with the Google Map below! There are plenty of hidden gems to discover, so don’t hesitate to take a look. From the small, serene lakes to the large bodies of water, there is something for everyone. Find the perfect spot for a day of fishing, or the ideal place to take a relaxing evening stroll around the lake. No matter what your preference, the map below will help you find the perfect spot in Southern Michigan.

Check the Weather Forecast for Your Next Fishing Trip to Southern Michigan

The weather in Southern Michigan is ideal for sport fishing throughout the year. During the summer months, temperatures reach an average of 75 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperatures are comfortable for swimming. Winters are cold but mild, with temperatures ranging from 25-35 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year and the humidity is usually between 50-60%.


Fishing Lakes in Southern Michigan
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