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Fishing Lake Michigan from a small boat or watercraft gives an angler the flexibility to fish water not normally accessible to the shore angler. Small boats can vary in size from 20 feet in length to as small as a 6 foot car top boat. Kayaks, inflatable boats, and other watercraft can be used in a variety of locations from harbors, marinas, tributary rivers, river mouths, small bays and other near shore areas. Power options for mobility of the watercraft can vary from self propelled man powered watercraft or paddling to outboard motors or electric trolling motors. Fishing methods used include many of the same methods used from shore (casting, float fishing, fly fishing, bait fishing) or a variety of trolling options.

Safety is the most important aspect of fishing from a small boat or watercraft. Choosing your days to fish safely is extremely important. Bad weather, strong winds or wave height can have a major affect on small watercraft. Cold water temperatures can result in hypothermia. Common sense is your most important ally. If the waves are too high or weather is bad, simply fish another day. There are no fish in the lake that are ever worth risking your life to catch. It doesn't take much to be safe on the water. The most important piece of equipment to have is a good PFD (personal flotation device). A dry suit should be used if fishing from an inflatable or kayak in cold water. After that you should have signal flares, an air horn and whistle. Most of the time, small boat anglers are within sight of shore, but if a fog comes in it is easy to become disoriented so a good compass and GPS are very helpful. A GPS is also helpful for keeping track of your speed while trolling.

The different types of fishing tips, articles and techniques related to Ice fishing are logically separated into several major topic categories.
  • General information, safety and equipment.
  • Species tactics, tips and techniques
  • Specific techniques and tips related to each type of fishing can be found in the different categories. Salmon, trout, steelhead, northern pike, bass, perch, walleye and other species of fish fishing articles are also included.

    General information, safety and equipment:
    Safety Information:
    • PFD Selection, Use, Wear and Care Personal Flotation Device information about selection, usage, wear and care from the US Coast Guard.
    • Hypothermia and Cold Water Survival Hypothermia and cold water survival presentation from the US Coast Guard.
      Kayak Fishing:
      • Rigging a Kayak for fishing How to rig a kayak for fishing. Angling techniques generally used are: casting lures, spoons or jigs; float fishing with bait or jigs; fly fishing; and trolling. Configuring most kayaks for multiple missions is relatively easy.
      • Harbor Launching a Kayak Launching a kayak in areas that have limited shore fishing access can increase your odds for success.
      • Loading a kayak on top of a car Loading a kayak on to the roof of a car is not as difficult as many would assume. Several aids help make the task easier.
      • Landing fish from a kayak Landing a fish from a kayak is really not much different than landing a fish on any other boat.
      • Trolling from a kayak Trolling from a kayak is a very effective technique to catch fish.
        Species Tactics, Tips and Techniques:
        • Shore Fishing Techniques: Fishing techniques that can be used from a small boat or watercraft.
        • Trolling Techniques: Trolling techniques that can be used from a small boat or watercraft.
        • Trout: Rainbow, Lake, Brown, and Steelhead 

        Great Lakes Salmon, Steelhead, Trout and other species Fishing tips, tactics, articles, techniques, and information