Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)
Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)
Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)
Contact Us: 833-I-GO-FISH (446-3474)

Top Fishing Charter Destination: Lake Michigan

May 10, 2019

Lake Michigan Fishing

lake-michigan-horizon-wisconsin-newport-state-park

Looking for a great Midwest Fishing Adventure? Be sure to add Lake Michigan to your list of top Fishing Charter Destinations! Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake not shared with our Canadian neighbors. The lucky states of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin have direct access; and each state boasts major ports along the coast of this Great Lake. With its large surface area (over 22,000 square miles) and volume (second largest Great Lake), fishing charters in Lake Michigan have ample opportunity for some great fishing!

Thanks to the stocking of trout and salmon in the late 1960s, Lake Michigan’s freshwater offers great fishing opportunities for the many visitors who travel near and far to this Great Lake. Today the fishing industry is booming, and anglers are sportfishing for walleye, steelhead, brown trout, perch, coho salmon and more!

In the “handy” state of Michigan, ports in Holland, Muskegon, Ludington, Manistee and Traverse City are just a few favorites. In Illinois, fishing enthusiasts have the opportunity to get in the action with several Chicago Fishing Charters available for full day or half day Lake Michigan charters. And let’s not forget about Wisconsin. With major ports in Milwaukee and Green Bay, a Lake Michigan fishing charter is a great option for those Wisconsin summer family vacations. With so much coastline and choices, it’s hard to pick just one good starting point; but you really can’t go wrong when planning your Lake Michigan fishing trip.

What Fish are in Lake Michigan?

Fishing Lake Michigan offers a great variety of freshwater species. With several rivers feeding into Lake Michigan, as well as bays, harbors, and inlets – there’s a lot happening under the water throughout this large lake. Whether you’re shore fishing, offshore fishing, nearshore fishing, or even ice fishing, here’s what fish species inhabit Lake Michigan:

Lake Michigan Trout

  • Walleye
  • Perch
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Chinook Salmon (King Salmon)
  • Coho Salmon
  • Steelhead (Rainbow Trout)
  • Lake Trout
  • Brown Trout
  • Northern Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Lake Sturgeon
  • Muskellunge
  • White Bass
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Bullhead Catfish
  • Carp
  • Smelt
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie

Keep in mind, there’s plenty of fish in the sea lake… and some are on the endangered species list (looking at you, Sturgeon). But that doesn’t mean you won’t find anglers reeling them in; it just means that catch-and-release is important for some species, and not so important for others. For this reason it’s always best to hire a Professional Lake Michigan Charter Captain or Fishing Guide to help know the difference.

Best Season to Fish Lake Michigan

Fishing Lake Michigan is very seasonal… it depends on what time of year you’re fishing to know what you’re likely to catch. Generally, the most popular fishing season for Lake Michigan is from April to November.

Arguably the most popular species in Lake Michigan are the salmon and trout. Anglers usually start in early April targeting Brown Trout and Lake Trout. The trout tend to fight very hard in the frigid waters and average 12lbs; some Coho Salmon are reeled in during the Spring as well. Once the waters warm up anglers are also fishing for Coho Salmon, Steelhead and Lake Trout; Chinook Salmon also start showing up in larger numbers. Coho Salmon are more abundant at the end of the year before the waters turn cold again.

While there are Largemouth Bass in Lake Michigan, the Smallmouth Bass are actually more abundant here. You also have the very popular Walleye and Perch that anglers of all ages like to target. Again, April to November is your best bet for fishing these particular species.

Popular Fishing in Lake Michigan

Trolling Lake Michigan for trout or salmon is generally the most popular fishing technique here. That’s not to say you won’t find bottom fishing charters or light tackle fishermen/women – it’s really whatever style you’re most comfortable with. Drift fishing and fly fishing are also very popular near the shores, bays, and harbors of Lake Michigan.

While the main lake basin generally does not freeze solid enough for ice fishing or safe travel, the harbors and bays of Lake Michigan often have ample ice fishing opportunities. We recommend ice fishing with a Professional Fishing Guide to target the salmon, trout, steelhead, pike, perch, and walleye during the winter season.

Ice Fishing in Wisconsin

Fishing Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is often referred to as the “Third Coast” of the U.S.; and with over 1,600 miles of coastline it makes sense that it’s in the running (after the Atlantic Coast and the Pacific Coast). If you do a hire a Professional Lake Michigan fishing guide, be sure to bring along your fishing license and any stamp required for the fish you plan to target. Having trouble finding the best choice for your Lake Michigan vacation? Check out FishAnywhere.com – search the city you’re staying in and you’ll be offered up a nice selection of options at the best prices anywhere! Find out why Lake Michigan easily finds its way to our Best Fishing Charter Location Destination list!

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