There’s nothing more satisfying than reeling in the day’s big catch. With spring and summer comes more chances to fish throughout West Michigan. If you don’t have your own boat or gear, no problem! Many charters will supply you with everything you need, and some area restaurants will even cook up what you catch for dinner that night! Grab your rod & reel and read on to learn about some of the best fishing spots in the state!
Fishing in Southern West Michigan
Cranberry Lake Campground in Marcellus has a great fishing lake where you can take out your boat or rent one of theirs. They have bluegill, crappie, perch, bass, northern pike, and more. Children love the campground and the chance to catch some fish, making it a great weekend destination for the whole family.
The Marshall area has lakes galore for your next fishing excursion. Try Upper or Lower Brace Lakes, where adequate parking and a good launch area await with a variety of fish. Nottawa, Stuart, and Duck Lakes are also great boat fishing lakes. For fishing along the water, try the Kalamazoo River at Stuart’s Landing in Marshall. Not only can you fish there, you can also take a stroll on the scenic riverwalk.
Get your fishing pole and tackle box ready, the Kalamazoo County Parks are a great place to catch the big one! Whether you prefer to get out in a boat or fish from the shore, you can find your perfect spot at one of the five Kalamazoo County Parks. Boat ramps are available at Cold Brook, Prairie View, and River Oaks County Parks, or you can head out to Markin Glen and Scotts Mill to find a peaceful spot on the shore.
Home to more than 100 lakes, including two chains of lakes, Coldwater Country is a haven for relaxation on the water. Bluegill, perch, pike, and walleye are amongst the fish caught in the area. Anglers are bound to find a hot spot for reeling in the catch of the day. Pontoon and equipment rentals are available making it even easier to get out on the water.
More Fishing in Southern West Michigan
- Acker’s Point Resort, Delton
- Bay Pointe Inn Lakefront Resort, Shelbyville
- Big Lake Outfitters of Saugatuck, Saugatuck
- Sea Hawk Sport Fishing Charters, Stevensville
Fishing in Central West Michigan
With towering dunes, breathtaking sunsets, and easy access to an abundance of marinas, launch ramps, charters, and bait and tackle shops, Muskegon may be a fisherman’s fresh water paradise. Muskegon boasts 57 beautiful inland lakes with several dockside restaurants offering to cook what you catch. Heading north, you’ll find White Lake nestled between the cities of Whitehall and Montague, which offers easy access to Lake Michigan, seven marinas, and plenty of launch ramps. The Muskegon area welcomes everybody looking to fish with their lakes, marinas, restaurants, and more!
Mecosta County has a ton of inland lakes surrounding it. The biggest piece of water that runs through Mecosta is the Muskegon River. There is plenty of room to run your boat and go fishing on the south end of the county or even do a little tubing down the north end of the river. There’s also Morley Pond, Chippewa Lake, Blue Lake, and so many more nearby, giving you plenty of fishing options to choose from.
The Holiday Inn Express in Ludington is the perfect homebase for your next fishing trip. The hotel is 19 minutes from Hamlin Lake, where you’ll find a variety of fish including tiger muskie, northern pike, walleye, and more. Pentwater is 18 minutes away and Manistee is 29 minutes away, each with plenty of places to fish as well. The Pere Marquette River is 15 minutes from the hotel and is a home port for many charter captains. You’ll have several good choices when you stay in Ludington for your next fishing trip!
More Fishing in Central West Michigan
- 1 Adventure Company, Macatawa
- Baldwin Bait & Tackle & Motel BBT, Baldwin
- CoHooker Charter Fishing Service, Holland
- Nelson Charters, Grand Haven
- Pere Marquette River Lodge, Baldwin
- Pickerel Lakeside Campground and Cottages, Baldwin
- Red Moose Lodge, Baldwin
- Stowaway Charters, Ludington
- Therapy Too Sport Fishing Charters, Ludington
Fishing in Northern West Michigan
Experience the freshest fishing experience at Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island with their Lake to Plate: Fishing and Culinary Experience package. The two night package includes accommodations, a five hour private fishing charter, dinner with the fish you catch that day, and round trip ferry tickets on Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry. They’ll even package any fish caught and not eaten during your dinner so you can take them home with you.
Fishing is one of Northern Michigan’s favorite pastimes. So it’s no surprise that fishing and Mackinac Island go hand in hand. Stepping onto Mackinac Island is like stepping back in time, so while you are on a summer trip to your favorite island, be sure to book a fishing charter and sail the open seas searching for your next big catch.
Hotel Walloon has great fishing, and is located right on the blue waters of Walloon Lake. There are also many options nearby where you can charter a boat, which Hotel Walloon’s concierge service is more than happy to assist with.
For years, veteran fly-fishing enthusiasts have kept the storied streams, lakes, and deep waters of the Traverse City area to themselves, letting the rest of the world forget that Northern Michigan was once famed as an angler’s mecca. But there’s no keeping things quiet forever, and the spotlight once again returned when Fly Rod & Reel listed Traverse City as one of its “12 Top Fly-Fishing Retirement Towns.” Together with such spots as Key West, Durango, and Park City, editor Jim Reilly chose Traverse City as one of a dozen “finest places for living out the dream.” As the legendary bass angler Hank Parker once said about Traverse City, “The fishing was beyond my wildest expectations.”
Charlevoix is centrally located to Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake, Lake Michigan, and many inland lakes. These beautiful lakes offer over 100 different fish species to catch. With many boat launches in the area, fishing enthusiasts will have no problem accessing any of these waterways. Leaving your boat behind? The Pine River Channel provides easy access to on-shore fishing as well. If you want a charter for fishing, you’ll have many options to choose from. Exploring Charlevoix’s natural waterways is a must for anybody looking to catch a variety of fish!
Benzie County is known for year-round fishing of rainbow, brook, brown, and lake trout, as well as smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, bluegills, whitefish, rock bass, and sturgeons on the rivers and lakes. There are registered fishing guides who can help visitors find desirable areas to fish on Benzie County’s many rivers, streams, and lakes. Fish often caught on charter fishing excursions include steelhead, Coho salmon, King salmon, brown trout, and lake trout ranging in size weighing as much as 30 pounds. Ben Wolfe, a well known fishing guide in Northern Michigan, even calls Benzie County “the birthplace of salmon fishing.”
Indigo Bluffs RV Park & Resort in Empire has fishing charters that run directly from their resort to Lake Michigan or Glen Arbor. Both offer the chance to catch salmon, lake trout, and perch. Grab a charter, and you can have a delicious fish fry back at your camper, tent, or RV.
More Fishing in Northern West Michigan
- Bella Vista Inn, Bear Lake
- Boyne Highlands Resort, Harbor Springs
- Cadillac Sands Resort, Cadillac
- Camp Daggett, Petoskey
- Crystal Adventures Lodging & Rentals, Thompsonville
- Pilgrim Village Resort, Cadillac
- Portage Point Inn and Marina, Onekama
- SpiderLakeCottage.com, Traverse City
2017 Fishing Information
This year’s salmon season is forecasted to be another excellent one, and with some help from Originator Sport Fishing Charter in St. Joseph, it’ll be excellent for you too. Book this spring and save with $40 off a trip on the St. Joseph River Steelhead Charter and $100 off any Lake Michigan charter from Mondays to Thursdays in April. If you would like to catch spring salmon at a reduced price, now is the time to book.
Manistee is hosting the 8th Annual Tight Lines for Troops Charity Fishing Tournament on May 19th and 20th. Make Insta-Launch Campground & Marina your home base for this fun event. They cater to families and fish enthusiasts wishing to enjoy their time on the water. Veterans participating in the tournament receive free camping or discounted lodging at one of their rental units. Those coming to support the troops can receive an extra night of camping with a two night stay. Enjoy a nice weekend fishing while supporting a great cause!