We share information, guidance, and advice covering all aspects of interest for the angling communities and fishing enthusiasts in Lake Michigan. As an angling enthusiast, we always want to provide the latest trends and fishing spots in Lake Michigan where you can enjoy and get a memorable experience. We offer a range of information from Fishing reports, tips & techniques, boat charter tours, fishing spots & regulations, recommended gears, and much more to give you a great experience out there in waters.
Best Fish Species & Opportunities in Lake Michigan
Type of Fish
How to Fish
Best Time of Year
Average Fish Size
|Coho Salmon||pier boat||mid February / March to May||2 - 3 lbs.|
|stream||Sept. / Oct.||3 - 4 lbs.|
|Chinook Salmon||pier boat||May; mid-July to September||7 - 12 lbs.|
|stream||Sept. / Oct.||7 - 12 lbs.|
|Steelhead (Skamania)||pier boat||mid-June to mid-Aug.||7 - 10 lbs.|
|stream||July - February||7 - 10 lbs.|
|Steelhead (Michigan or Winter-run)||pier stream||late October to March||7-10 lbs.|
|Lake Trout||boat||mid June to August; mid-Oct. to Nov.||8 - 12 lbs.|
|Yellow Perch||pier boat||June to mid-September||8.0 - 10.0 inches|
|Smallmouth, Largemouth and other Sunfish species||pier boat||June to September||10-16 inches 6-8 inches|
State-wise Fishing Reports & Guide:
With the surface area of 22,404 square miles, Lake Michigan is a premier destination for anglers and sports fishing. It shares shoreline with four states namely Michigan (13,237 square miles), Wisconsin (7,358 square miles), Indiana (234 square miles), & Illinois (1,576 square miles). The lake is home to over 100 aquatic species of varying varieties, including salmon, trout, walleye, perch and various types of suckers. You can fish at piers, or from boats in deep water.
Indiana’s Lake Michigan border is the smallest of the four states bordering the lake, with 43 miles of shoreline and 224 square miles of water. It also has limited facilities for boaters and anglers, but there are some great fishing opportunities. There are plenty of boating slips and many local attractions.
Indiana DNR Fishing Regulations (2022 Version)
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources requires an individual to obtain a license to fish in public lakes, streams, rivers, tributaries, and boundary waters in Indiana.
How to Purchase a License
Online: Visit on IN.gov/INHuntFish and purchase license fee.
In Person: There are about 500 listed retailers in the State of Indiana to get the license or visit the DNR Customer Service Center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.
By Mail: You can send a check or money order (payable to DNR) or credit card info to:
Licenses DNR Customer Service Center
402 W. Washington St., W160 Indianapolis, IN, 46204
To Know More Click the Link below,
Indiana’s Statewide Fishing Size & Bag Limits
Daily Bag Limit
|Black Bass: largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass (in lakes)||5, any combination of largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass||14 inches|
|Black Bass: largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass (in rivers and streams)||5, any combination of largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass||No fish 12 to 15 inches may be kept, and no more than two fish over 15 inches may be kept.|
|Black Bass: largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass (in Lake Michigan)||3, any combination of largemouth, smallmouth, or spotted bass||14 inches|
|White Bass, Hybrid Striped Bass||12, any combination of white bass or hybrid striped bass||No more than two fish may exceed 17 inches|
|Walleye, Walleye-Sauger Hybrid (Saugeye), Sauger||6, any combination of walleye, walleye-sauger hybrid, and sauger||For Walleye: 14 inches south of SR 26; 16 inches north of SR 26 For sauger and saugeye: No size limit|
|Muskellunge and Tiger Muskellunge||1 muskellunge or 1 tiger muskellunge||36 inches2|
|Northern Pike||33||24 inches; no more than one 30 inches or longer|
|Catfish: Channel, Blue, Flathead (in streams)||None||13 inches; no more than one blue or one flathead catfish 35 inches or longer, and no more than one channel catfish 28 inches or longer may be kept|
|Catfish: Channel, Blue, Flathead (in lakes, reservoirs)||105||None|
|Shovelnose Sturgeon||None||25 inches|
Best Fishing Sites in Lake Michigan Indiana shoreline
- The Michigan City pier, basin, and adjoining ramp.
- Trail Creek (Trail Creek Marina).
- A public fishing site for shoreline anglers exists next to the Michigan City DNR building (handicap accessible).
- Port of Indiana.
- Burns Waterway.
Check Out the Ports & Marinas in Lake Michigan, Indiana
West Side of Lake Michiganhttps://www.lakemichiganangler.com/pages/west-side-of-the-lake
East Side of Lake Michiganhttps://www.lakemichiganangler.com/pages/east-side-of-the-lake
Illinois’ Lake Michigan coast includes three distinct watersheds namely Pike-Root watershed, the Chicago River watershed, and the Little Calumet-Galien watershed. Pike-Root watershed which stretches from southeastern Wisconsin into Illinois covers 32 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The Chicago River watershed covers 29 miles of Lake Michigan lake shore and the southernmost part of the Illinois Coastal Zone includes the Little Calumet-Galien watershed covering 2 miles of the lake shoreline.
Illinois DNR Fishing Regulations (2022 Version)
ILLINOIS RESIDENTS: A resident sport fishing license may be obtained by anyone who has been a resident of Illinois 30 days prior to purchase. Sport fishermen under 16 years of age, and persons declared legally disabled or blind, may fish without a license. Owners or tenants may fish in waters on or flowing over their lands without a license.
NON-RESIDENTS: Non-residents of Illinois may purchase sport fishing licenses to fish waters of the state. Non-resident sport fishermen under 16 years of age may fish without a license. All other non-resident sport fishermen must purchase sport fishing licenses before fishing in Illinois.
To Know more visit, https://ifishillinois.org/
Illinois Statewide Fishing Size & Bag Limits
Daily Bag Limit
|LARGEMOUTH BASS, SMALLMOUTH BASS, SPOTTED BASS||6||None|
|MUSKELLUNGE, NORTHERN PIKE AND THEIR HYBRIDS||1 muskellunge & 3 northern pike may be taken per day||36˝ in total length or longer|
|CRAPPIE (WHITE, BLACK OR HYBRID CRAPPIE)||None||None|
|BLUEGILL, REDEAR SUNFISH, OTHER SUNFISH||None||None|
|PADDLEFISH||Daily harvest limit is 2 paddlefish.||None|
|ALLIGATOR GAR||Harvest limit is 1 alligator gar per 24 hours.||None|
|STRIPED BASS (OCEAN ROCKFISH), WHITE BASS, YELLOW BASS AND HYBRIDS||3||less than 17˝ in total length|
|TROUT AND SALMON||Daily harvest limit is 5 trout or salmon|
|WALLEYE, SAUGER OR THEIR HYBRID||6||must be 14˝ in total length|
Best Fishing Sites in Lake Michigan Illinois shoreline
- North Point Marina
- The Port of Waukegan (Waukegan Harbor)
- Park Avenue Launch Ramp
- Lloyd Park in Winnetka
- Evanston Launch Ramp
- Diversey Harbor in Lincoln Park
- Burnham Harbor
- 31st Street Harbor
- Jackson Harbor
- Calumet Harbor
Check Out the Ports & Marinas in Lake Michigan, Illinois,https://www.lakemichiganangler.com/pages/west-side-of-the-lake
Wisconsin is bordered to the East by Lake Michigan covering 7,358 square miles of shoreline forming the largest freshwater lake entirely positioned in the United States. More than 1.6 million Wisconsin citizens get their drinking water from Lake Michigan. More than 250,000 anglers enjoy their sport fishing opportunities and their harbors and marinas support a $9.4 billion dollar a year recreational boating industry.
Wisconsin DNR Fishing Regulations (2022 Version)
In Wisconsin, you can fish without a license if you’re under 16 years old and if you’re born before the year 1927. Individuals with below criteria need to possess license:
- If you are a first-time buyer and don't fish Wisconsin or returning to fish after at least 10 years without a license.
- For anglers who want to give Wisconsin fishing a try for one day only.
- Active-duty military on furlough or leave who are Wisconsin residents and veterans.
Wisconsin Statewide Fishing Size & Bag Limits
Daily Bag Limit
|Trout And Salmon||5||None|
|Largemouth and Smallmouth bass||5||None|
|Walleye, Sauger and hybrids||5||None|
Best Places to Fish in Lake Michigan, WI
- Oconto River
- Green Bay
- Door County - North
- Door County - Middle
- Door County - South
- Ahnapee River - Kewaunee
- Kewaunee River - Kewaunee
- East and West Twin Rivers - Two Rivers
- Manitowoc/Branch River - Manitowoc
- Fischer Creek - Manitowoc
- Pigeon River - Sheboygan
- Sheboygan River - Sheboygan
- Sauk Creek - Port Washington
- Milwaukee River
- Menomonee River - Milwaukee
- Root River - Racine
- Pike River - Kenosha
Check Out the Ports & Marinas in Lake Michigan, Wisconsinhttps://www.lakemichiganangler.com/pages/west-side-of-the-lake
Michigan is loaded with lakes, sandy beaches, quaint lighthouses, majestic waterfalls and even historic shipwrecks. It spans the entire west coast of Michigan’s lower peninsula covering 13,237 square miles of the shoreline.
Michigan DNR Fishing Regulations (2022 Version)
- You must purchase a license if you are 17 years of age or older. If you are under 17, you may fish without a license, but you are required to observe all fishing rules and regulations.
- Your annual fishing license is valid from March 1 of a given year through March 31 of the following year.
For Purchasing Fishing License you must have:
- Michigan Driver's License; or
- Michigan Identity Card ; or
- Driving license from your state of residency; or
- A DNR Sportcard (issued by license dealers).
Fishing License Eligibility:
- Need to be a permanent resident within the boundaries of the state
- Should be a full-time student at a Michigan college or university, and reside in Michigan.
Learn more at https://www.michigan.gov/dnr
Michigan Statewide Fishing Size & Bag Limits
Daily Bag Limit
|Largemouth Bass Smallmouth Bass||5||14"|
Best Places to Fish in Lake Michigan, MI
Southern Lake Michigan (Southwest Lower Peninsula)
- Tiscornia Park
- Silver Beach County Park
- Holland State Park
- South Haven seawalls
Central Lake Michigan (Northwest Lower Peninsula)