Michigan fishing guide

Welcome to your key source for all fishing-related information in Michigan. Discover not only the prime fishing spots but also learn about the diverse species inhabiting these waters. Stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and licensing requirements for fishing in Michigan

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18 waterbodies
339 cities
57 fishes

Licenses for fishing in Michigan

In Michigan, fishing licenses are required for various activities, with specific fees for residents and non-residents. Special licenses are available for seniors, youth, and individuals with disabilities.

For the most accurate and detailed information, it's best to visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website where you can also purchase a fishing license online.

License Type Resident Fee Non-Resident Fee
All Species Fishing Licenses $26 $76
Senior Annual (Residents 65 or older or Residents who are legally blind) $11 -
Daily Fish (Resident or Nonresident) $10/day $10/day
Underwater Spearfishing (Resident or Nonresident) Free Free
Voluntary Youth (Age 16 and under) $2 -
Combo Hunt/Fish Licenses (Resident) $76 $266
Combo Hunt/Fish Licenses (Senior Resident) $43 -


  • These fees include a $1 surcharge for certain licenses.
  • The table covers key types of licenses for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.
  • Special license types and exemptions are available for seniors, minors, and individuals with disabilities.

Fishing Regulations in Michigan

Prohibited Gear and Fishing Methods
  • Fishing with explosives, poisons, drugs, or electrical devices is illegal.
  • Use of set or bank poles, trotlines, and juglines is limited or prohibited in many waters.
  • Snagging fish is not permitted except in designated areas during specific seasons.
  • Commercial fishing gear is restricted to licensed commercial fishers only.
  • Spearfishing is allowed only in certain waters and for specific fish species.
  • Chumming is prohibited in some waters to prevent the spread of diseases.
  • Use of more than three hooks, baits, or lures per line is not allowed.
Catch Limits
  • Walleye: Daily limit varies by water body, typically 3 to 6.
  • Trout and Salmon: Varies by species and water, with specific size and catch limits.
  • Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: Statewide daily limit of 5 combined, with size restrictions.
  • Panfish (Bluegill, Sunfish, etc.): Daily limit of 25 combined in most waters.
  • Northern Pike: Daily limit of 2 to 5, depending on the water body.
  • Muskellunge: Daily limit of 1, with a minimum size of 42 inches in most waters.
  • Yellow Perch: Daily limit of 25 in most waters.
  • Whitefish and Cisco: Varies by water body.
  • Sturgeon: Highly restricted, with harvest allowed only in certain waters and times.
  • Catfish: Generally no daily limit, but restrictions apply in some waters.
Restrictions on Access to Water Bodies
  • Access to certain water bodies may be closed for conservation or safety reasons.
  • Fishing in private waters requires landowner's permission.
  • Restrictions on fishing near dams, fish ladders, and other critical infrastructures.
  • Some areas within state parks and recreation areas may have specific fishing restrictions.
  • No fishing within designated swimming areas or specific distances from shore in some parks.
Zones of Special Regulation
  • Designated trout streams and lakes with specific regulations, including gear restrictions.
  • Catch-and-release only areas, particularly for certain trout streams.
  • Special regulations in effect for waters within designated Natural Rivers areas.
  • Regulated fishing seasons in certain waters for fish species protection.
  • Slot limits and minimum size requirements in specific bodies of water.
Protection of Rare Species
  • Fishing for endangered or threatened species is strictly prohibited.
  • Special regulations in habitats of rare or sensitive species.
  • Areas with fishing restrictions to protect critical habitats and spawning grounds.
  • Mandatory reporting and release of accidentally caught rare species.
  • Measures to prevent the spread of invasive species.
Seasonal Restrictions
  • Seasonal closures for certain species to protect spawning periods, particularly for trout and salmon.
  • Ice fishing restrictions and guidelines in place for safety during winter months.
  • Variable regulations for fishing during spring and fall runs of certain species.
  • Temporary closures or restrictions for environmental or conservation studies.
  • Adjustments in bag and size limits during different seasons for some species.

Most popular cities for fishing in Michigan

The largest and most popular fishing cities in Michigan. Cities in Michigan include information on fishing, as well as a map with fishing spots. Explore the cities to know what fish are caught and in which bodies of water.

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Nearby cities (40)
Nearby waterbodies (18)
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