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7 Spots to Experience Excellent Fishing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Looking for some great spots to fish in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? We’ve got you covered!

Few things are as satisfying as reeling in a fish – not to mention the inevitable peaceful solitude on the water. Traveling Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is one idyllic place to enjoy a fishing trip and the wonders of a remote stream or lake.

No matter if you consider yourself a fishing expert or you’re just a casual fisherman, Upper Peninsula fishing is peaceful, fun, and home to many excellent fishing spots. Whether you’re seeking a trophy king salmon or trout or looking to do some bass fishing off a dock, you can do all that and more.

So pack up the car with all your best fishing gear to explore Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, inland lakes, or miles of rivers. Or you can book an Upper Peninsula fishing charter.

Either way, you’ll have an excellent time and make great memories, whether you catch fish or not.

Salmon Fishing-Two Hearted River
Salmon Fishing | photo via destinationanglerpodcast

Fishing Your Way Through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

What’s the best way to fish Michigan’s Upper Peninsula? Cross over the Mackinac Bridge and work your way up. Along the way, you’ll find many great fishing spots and have the chance to visit quaint Upper Peninsula towns.

Seek Out Big Game Fish Around St. Ignace/Straits of Mackinac

Cross the Mackinac Bridge and start your U.P. fishing journey in the Straits of Mackinac. This five-mile stretch joins Lake Huron and Lake Michigan and separates Michigan’s two peninsulas.

If you’re looking for “big game” fishing in Michigan, this is a great spot. Several companies offer seasonal fishing charters for anglers to try their luck at catching salmon, steelhead, muskie, trout, bass, pike, and other species.

If you’re looking for another spot closer to St. Ignace, check out East Moran Bay. On the southwest side of the city, fishermen can fish from a pier and be treated to great views of the water while casting for smallmouth bass, perch, and sunfish.

Conversely, anglers can visit West Moran Bay on St Ignace’s west side and book a charter to fish for chinook salmon, steelhead, coho salmon, brown trout, and lake trout.

Canoe Fly Fishing-Up
Canoe Fly Fishing | photo via ffwoman001

Fish the Les Cheneaux Islands Around Cedarville/Hessel

Continue your journey by driving north on I-75 and heading east on Highway 134. You will soon arrive in the Cedarville and Hessel area and the Les Cheneaux Islands.

This area has all the ingredients for a good fishing trip: Great fishing spots, beaches, and small-town charm.

Where fishing is concerned, fishermen have plenty of options to choose from. They can fish the channels or head to open water to fish for bass, whitefish, salmon, perch, and other species.

For anglers in search of big catches, the islands have some great Atlantic Salmon fishing as well as a steady population of chinook salmon, lake trout, and steelhead. Northern Pike numbers have increased as well in recent years.

Attend DeTour’s Annual Salmon Fest

This quaint village is northeast of the Mackinac Bridge, close to Lake Huron, and is one of the truly great spots to enjoy the Upper Peninsula.

The village has three public boat launches for fishermen to cast off from and there are several local charters in the area eager anglers can use to catch Atlantic salmon, lake trout, and Chinook salmon.

Visit in August for a three-day Salmon Fest, an annual celebration that DeTour hosted since 1986. This event is held on the St. Mary’s River and invites fishermen to fish for chinook salmon, trout, and Atlantic salmon.

Prizes are awarded for the biggest catches of each species and there’s also a kid’s division and daily contests.

Discover Some of the Best Fishing Around Drummond Island

Continue east to Drummond Island on your U.P. Peninsula journey.

Fish the pristine shoreline where you’ll discover fishing at its best, with shallow bottom flats and beautiful weed beds. Underwater reefs provide a challenge to any fisherman.

This is truly an outdoor lover’s paradise and a fishing enthusiast’s greatest dream and each season brings the chance to fish for a new species.

Spring and fall bring anglers to the island to fish in the shallows for yellow perch (which pair well with the morel mushrooms found on the island in the spring).

Visit in the summer for the opening of the walleye and northern pike seasons.

Escanaba River
Perch Fishing | photo via taylahweigh

Indulge in Peaceful Pier Fishing in Grand Marais

Now head north to Grand Marais.

If you have kids with you on your fishing excursion, you will have to make it a point to travel through here the last two days of June. They will be holding a Kids’ Fishing Pond along with the event for adults – the Grand Marais Offshore Challenge.

Pier fishing here is a great pastime, and you can hook some whitefish, lake trout, and coho salmon. The fish seem to bite the most when the weather is less than ideal, but pier fishing on a sunny day can be very relaxing too.

When fishing from a boat, you will find the best luck by trolling east and west of the bay. Some of the best picks in the Grand Marias region are Nawakwa Lake and Lake Superior, but you can also fish Grand Sable Lake and Blind Sucker Flooding if you’re looking for inland lakes to fish.

Salmon Fishing-Two Hearted River
Salmon Fishing | photo via destinationanglerpodcast

Enjoy Great Fishing and Scenery in Munising

Munising should come next on your itinerary.

When you want a break, this is the best place to tour some of Michigan’s most historic lighthouses. But you won’t take too long a break as you’ll want to get out in a boat and catch some Chinook salmon.

Fishing from the piers will bring you splake if you cast spawn. Depending on where you go and when you’re fishing, you can hook into Chinook salmon, lake trout, and steelhead on Lake Superior, whether you go out on your own or on a charter.

Munising’s inland lakes also provide great fishing opportunities for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth bass, and largemouth bass. The area’s lakes are also good grounds for panfish.

Have Family Fishing Fun in Au Train

Now let’s say you want to get some bluegill and yellow perch, then you need to head for Au Train!

Besides bluegill and yellow perch, you will also find walleye. Head for Au Train Point and troll for salmon. You will hook some lake trout between Wood Island and Au Train Island in deep water.

If you’re looking for a fun place to fish with the family, Au Train is a great spot. Grab a canoe or a kayak and try your luck fishing on the Au Train River, one of the safest and most enjoyable streams in the state.

Come back in the fall for river fishing and see if you can hook into salmon and trout coming into the river to spawn.

Rainbow Trout-Up
Brook Trout | photo via project.superior

Explore the Many Fishing Locations Around Marquette

Visiting Marquette means you are going to see some fabulous waterfalls. They are going to be flowing during May this year, which is unusual. They normally flow the fastest at the end of April.

Fishermen who visit Marquette have all sorts of options. You can head to Lake Superior for some big lake fishing, fish on Lake Michigamme for a day or two and then try fishing some of the county’s inland lakes.

Fish Lake Superior to catch Chinook and coho salmon, lake trout, and steelhead. Head for some of the inland lakes like East Bass Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Johnson Lake, and Pike Lake to get all sorts of trout and bass as well as northern pike and bluegill.

The rivers such as Carp River, Chocolay River, and Escanaba River offer up brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout.

Try Your Luck in the Deep Waters Around Keweenaw Bay

The last stop for this trip will be Keweenaw Bay.

There is nothing quite like the beauty of this region, and certainly nothing as fabulous as the fishing. Catch rates are up on lake trout and Chinook and coho salmon.

Use cut bait in 200 feet of water to pick up some lake trout. Troll off of Big Louie’s Point and Gay Point to get more lake trout. You can also try jigging in about 140 feet of water to hook some, perhaps your trophy catch!

10 Reasons Why Fishing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a Must-Do

  1. The scenery is breathtaking. With crystal-clear lakes and lush forests, the Upper Peninsula offers some of the most beautiful fishing spots in the country.
  2. The fishing is world-class. The Upper Peninsula is home to some of the best trout, salmon, and walleye fishing in the Midwest.
  3. The solitude is unmatched. With miles of remote shoreline and backcountry streams, you can truly get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet.
  4. The wildlife is abundant. From bald eagles to moose, the Upper Peninsula is home to a variety of wildlife that you’re sure to encounter on your fishing trip.
  5. The locals are friendly. Whether you’re looking for tips on the best fishing spots or just want to chat with some friendly locals, you’ll find plenty of welcoming folks in the Upper Peninsula.
  6. The camping is top-notch. With dozens of state parks and campgrounds, you can easily turn your fishing trip into a full-fledged camping adventure.
  7. The kayaking is incredible. With hundreds of miles of rivers and streams to explore, kayaking is a popular way to fish in the Upper Peninsula.
  8. The fall colors are stunning. If you can time your fishing trip for the fall, you’ll be rewarded with some of the most vibrant foliage in the country.
  9. The ice fishing is unbeatable. When winter rolls around, the Upper Peninsula becomes a wonderland for ice-fishing enthusiasts.
  10. The memories will last a lifetime. Whether you’re reeling in a trophy fish or just enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, a fishing trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is an experience you’ll never forget.
Winter Fly Fishing-Up
Winter Fly Fishing | photo via jesann333

Plan Your Upper Peninsula Fishing Excursion Today

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers the fisherman quite the adventure. The fishing spots listed above are but a few of many that are available.

When you reach Keweenaw Bay and fish to your heart’s content, you can leave by coming back the way you came. Stop at all the places you passed by the first time. Double the pleasure and double the fun!

Then come back again for more. The Upper Peninsula will welcome you back, whether you’re just passing through or you’ve planned the ultimate fishing vacation.

Wherever you’re headed and whatever you’re fishing for, make sure you’ve got your fishing license with you. A license can be purchased at a local shop or online and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has listings online of specific regulations on seasons and rules on certain fish species.

Thanks to Jesse Land for his contributions to this article.