Michigan is home to some of the best freshwater fishing in the country.
At one point in their lives or another, every angler should take a trip to the Mitten. Here are five places you need to hit on your next fishing trip to Michigan.
First, hit up Cabela’s Tackle Shop to gear up with everything you’ll need, top to bottom. Pack your passport too, you’ll see why.
For optimum fishing, plan your visit to the Wolverine state for the last week in July to the first or second week in August. This list is about fishing a new kind of species in every location, which should be the goal of every angler bucket list trip, right?
Destination 1: St. Joseph, Summer-Run Steelhead
To begin your trip, fly into Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Pro tip: start looking now to get awesome low prices for the summer. From there, you’ll want to rent a car and make the three-hour drive to St. Joseph on the southeastern corner of Lake Michigan.
Here, you’ll find yourself at some of the best summer-run steelhead fishing in the United States. Because the Indiana DNR stocks steelhead continually in the St. Joseph River, they’ll begin to gather at the mouth of it downstream in St. Joseph, Michigan because the warmer weather will drive them to cooler water.
Destination 2: Manistee, Chinook Salmon
From St. Joseph, make the three-hour drive north in your cozy rental car to Manistee on the northeastern coast of Lake Michigan. Chinook salmon are heading upstream all summer and will be in high catchable numbers in early August.
While you could test out your own skills alone, it’s best to hire out a guide to get you into some deeper and quieter spots to nail that king salmon you’ve always wanted.
Destination 3: Sault Ste. Marie, Northern Pike and Muskies
Are you ready for the most beautiful drive ever? You should be because from Manistee, you’ll drive four hours north and cross the barriers of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to arrive in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie. Pro tip: it’s pronounced Soo-Saint-Marie.
What waits here for you in Lake Superior is incredible northern pike and muskie fishing opportunities that will be at their peak in July, and heading to deeper water by late July. Conquer that problem by hiring out a charter to get you into the deeper weed beds in quiet bays. Practice your finesse for the muskies, you’ll need it.
Destination 4: Isle Royale, Lake Trout
Say goodbye to your rental car, by this time it’s no doubt heard stories of success and stripped lines alike. From here, you’re hopping on an hour plane ride across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie Airport in Canada to Thunder Bay International Airport, also in Canada.
Rent a car to get to Isle Royale and plan to spend most of your time in Michigan in this scenic and incredibly beautiful national park. The lake trout are in abundance from June to August, so it will be open season by the time you arrive. Fly fish from the shore, and plan to hop on a kayak to explore the area and hook into some monster lakers.
With all those stops, you’ll have yourself a trip to remember. Don’t forget a camera, the Michigan landscapes can rival the best of them.