Spring marks the start of a new fishing season in Michigan. Every year over 1.2 million anglers take to the lakes and waterways in Michigan, creating a $2.5 billion impact on the local economy.
Michigan is home to more than 11,000 lakes, 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline and 20,000 miles of streams, providing some of the most diverse freshwater fishing in world. It consistently ranks in the top five states for bass fishing, and Field & Stream recently named Michigan the best fly fishing state in America.
Those interested in going fishing in Michigan have a wide variety of options in locations, targets, lures, and licenses. For the ultimate handbook to local angling opportunities download the 2018 Michigan Fishing Guide from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The online resource is chock-full of information regarding seasons, regulations, required licensing, and more.
Generally speaking, whether heading out on a charter, or sitting on the dock of a lake, if you want to fish in Michigan, you will need a license. The 2018 license season took effect April 1, and runs until March 31, 2019.
If you’re not sure about your level of interest in the sport, and just want to get your feet wet so to speak, the state offers Free Fishing Weekends twice a year. On those weekends, no fishing license is required, nor is a Recreation Passport for entry into state parks and recreation areas. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing for all species of fish. Keep in mind that all regulations will still apply. Many locations around the state even offer special events and activities on those dates. The upcoming Free Fishing Weekends are June 9-10, 2018 and February 16-17, 2019.
Anglers in Michigan can search for a wide variety of species including bass, lake sturgeon, muskellunge, northern pike, panfish, salmon, trout, walleye, yellow perch, and more. Some may only be catch and release, while others have specific seasons, so it’s good to keep abreast of changing regulations. For example, new regulations worth noting this year include:
The DNR website has abundant additional information available to heighten each angler’s experience including a trout fishing online map app, a fishing forecast, stocking database, and even a weekly report anyone can subscribe to for free to find out where the fish are biting.
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