Skip to main content

The Ultimate Midwest Fishing Road Trip [PICS]

This summer, take a fishing road trip to visit these seven incredible destinations.


We’ve come up with the ultimate Midwest fishing road trip. We’ll start our journey in Minnesota – “The Land of a 10,000 Lakes” – and head west to the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. Our fishing road trip will hit seven of the best fishing destinations in the Midwest along the way.

So grab your fishing gear, gas up the car, truck or RV and let’s hit the road.

Click through the slideshow to view the ultimate Midwest fishing road trip.


Image via

Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Start your journey in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” at Lake Minnetonka – a revered bass fishing destination near the Twin Cities.

Lake Minnetonka is a beautiful lake packed to the brim with largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, panfish and walleye. The lake’s numerous bays and tributaries provide endless opportunities for anglers to catch fish both big and small.

Hire a charter boat or guide or fish on your own. Either way, you’re bound to have a great fishing experience.

Mississippi River, Northern Iowa

Image via

Some of the best fishing in the Midwest is on the northern Iowa section of the Mississippi River. Grab a hotel in Dubuque or Guttenberg and fish the Mississippi River for a quintessential Midwestern angling experience.

There are plenty of shallows here for those looking to enjoy a back-to-the-basics fly fishing experience. Excess tree stumps and other underwater cover provide a teeming habitat for fish and present a unique and fun challenge for fishermen. Bass and bluegill are the most abundant catches.

Lake Shelbyville, Illinois

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Cross the Mississippi River and head to Lake Shelbyville in Illinois. This lake is one of the country’s premiere muskie fishing destinations. Lake Shelbyville may not look like much on a map, but its spindly, river-like sprawl leaves plenty of space to setup a fishing spot for a day or two.

Lake Wawasee, Indiana

Image via

Time to drive five hours east of Lake Shelbyville to Indiana’s Lake Wawasee – one of the best bass lakes in the country. This incredible fishery was featured on Bassmaster’s 2013 list of the best bass lakes in the US. It’s also a great place to bag pike.

Given the lake’s reputation as a fishing hotspot, it’s no surprise that Wawasee is swarming with anglers during summertime weekends. If you have a choice in the matter and want to avoid a busy waters, arrange your trip so that you end up in Indiana in the middle of the week.

Lake Erie, Ohio

Image via

There’s no excuse to miss out on fishing Ohio’s Lake Erie shoreline while you’re traveling through the Midwest. Our favorite spot to fish on the shores of Lake Erie is Port Clinton, which is located just northwest across the Sandusky Bay from Sandusky, Ohio. The town is famous for its walleye fishing (they drop giant walleye instead of a ball during their New Year’s Eve celebration). That being said, you can catch lots of different species here. Charter a fishing boat for the best results.

Lake St. Clair, Michigan

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Ranked by Bassmaster as 2013’s best bass fishing lake in the country, Lake St. Clair is one of the ultimate sport fishing destinations in the US. Lake St. Clair’s biggest claim to fame is its burgeoning smallmouth bass fishing opportunities. St. Clair also plays host to muskie, walleye and several other species. In fact, the fishing here is so outstanding that you may feel the urge to call off the rest of your trip and spend a few days trolling the waters for all they’re worth.

Lake Charlevoix, Michigan

Image via

Lake Charlevoix is one of the many great inland fishing lakes scattered throughout northern Michigan. The best time to visit this lake is during the summer, when the waters are glistening and the cottages along the shore become home to anglers from far and wide.

From the moment you first lay eyes on Charlevoix’s glistening waters, you’ll understand why it’s such a popular destination. But the lake’s natural beauty comes second to its excellent fishing prospects. The lake boasts bass, salmon, steelhead, brown trout, and more.

Lake Charlevoix is another place where you might just want to settle down and rest for a while.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

Image via

We’re westward bound and setting a course for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan.

The Sleeping Bear Dunes are consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. Take some time off from your fishing odyssey and soak in the jaw-dropping natural beauty of this park.

When you’re ready to fish, Lake Michigan will be waiting at your feet. Go for a solitary kayak fishing trip, or charter a boat and ask the captain to tell you the Legend of Sleeping Bear. It’s the perfect cap to your Midwest fishing journey.

View the Best Bass States Slideshow

Check out the top 10 states for bass fishing

you might also like

The Ultimate Midwest Fishing Road Trip [PICS]