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Fishing Elk Lake

AKA: Elk River Lake

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Elk Lake, MI

Popular Fish Species Elk Lake, MI

Elk Lake Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth bass are a plentiful and a favorite of many locals at Elk Lake, particularly during spring and summer months. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good anytime they are shallow - in spring, during high water, mornings in summer and during warmer fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap, and around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons.

Elk Lake Popular Fish - Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch Fishing

Elk Lake has for decades, supported a healthy population of yellow perch. They are a favorite species for locals who enjoy fishing at Elk Lake. Fishing for yellow perch is simple, their primary diet consists of minnows and other small fish, insects and worms. Yellow perch tend to gather in small groups and hang out on relatively deep structure, near cover and/or drop-offs. Use a small hook and sinker. Bait a small hook with minnows, worms or small jigs using 6 to 10 pound line. They make for an excellent fish fry, are a food source for many of the larger predator fish in the lake, and they are fun to catch in winter when ice fishing.

Elk Lake Popular Fish - Lake Torut

Lake Trout Fishing

Fishing for lake trout in Elk Lake has been good for anglers properly rigged to get to them in the depths of Elk Lake. These large trout can be caught from as shallow as 15 to 30 feet in Spring and Fall, to as deep as 150 feet or more during Summer and Winter. Good electronics are a big help in locating lake trout. They feed on baitfish, so jigs rigged to imitate their prey often work well straight down under the boat. Trolling with numerous set-ups can also produce good catches. It is a monumental help to use fish finders to locate lake trout. When the lake freezes over, ice fishing for big lake trout with spoons can deliver some great catches.

Elk Lake Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, black crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, lake trout, bluegill, rock bass, yellow perch, muskie and northern pike at Elk Lake in Michigan.

Like the proverbial deep blue sea, Elk Lake is over 200 feet deep and has a healthy population of lake trout. About 9 miles long and mile and a half wide, the lake has 7,700 surface acres. Located in the northwest part of the lower peninsula, at Elk Rapids, the lake sports 28 miles of shoreline for recreation and fishing.

Elk Lake, situated in northern Michigan, is a stunning destination that offers fantastic fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. With its clear blue waters and diverse fish species, Elk Lake is a popular spot for both recreational and avid anglers. The lake is known for its abundant populations of lake trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, and panfish. Anglers can cast their lines from the shore or venture out on a boat to target these prized catches, creating memorable fishing experiences amidst the scenic beauty of Elk Lake.

Elk Lake, with its exceptional fishing opportunities, invigorating boating experiences, and convenient camping facilities, stands as an enticing destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Michigan. Whether you're an avid angler, a boating aficionado, or simply seeking a serene camping retreat, Elk Lake offers an unforgettable escape. Its diverse fish species, expansive waters, and breathtaking landscapes combine to create an impressive outdoor experience that will leave visitors with cherished memories of their time spent in this natural paradise.

Everything you need for a camping and fishing vacation is here at the ready. A marina, parks, camping, shopping, dining, boat launch ramps and excellent choices for fishing await your arrival. The lake has healthy populations of bass, perch, muskie, walleye, trout, pike and bluegill - among others. While most of the shore is lined with homes and boat docks, there are sections of the lake available to anglers who prefer to fish from the bank. These access areas include campgrounds, parks and public areas. The lake supports all types of watercraft including sailboats, pleasure boats, ski boats, canoes, kayaks and all manner of fishing boats.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Michigan

Primary fish species residing in Elk Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Black crappie Walleye Rainbow trout Lake trout Bluegill Rock Bass Yellow Perch Muskie Northern pike

Elk Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating enthusiasts will find delight in exploring the expansive waters of Elk Lake. With its vast surface area and calm conditions, the lake is perfect for various boating activities. Whether you prefer cruising along the shoreline, water skiing, or enjoying a leisurely pontoon ride, Elk Lake provides an ideal setting. Boaters can take advantage of the public access points and boat ramps to easily launch their watercraft and embark on their adventures on the crystal-clear waters.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Elk Rapids Marina on Elk Lake
Rentals: Pontoon boats
231 264-9500

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor Boat Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Cedar Street, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with docks and plenty of paved parking.

Elk Lake Drive Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off Elk Lake Drive, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Kewadin Kayak Launch
Located in the northern section of the lake, off Carin Highway, this is a portage area with paved parking.

Whitewater Township Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Park Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Elk Rapids Marina on Elk Lake
118 Bridge St
Elk Rapids, MI 49629
231 264-9500

Fishing Guides On Elk Lake

Fish With Jim Outfitters - trout

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Michigan Fishing License.

For those seeking a longer stay, Elk Lake offers camping facilities that allow visitors to fully immerse themselves in the natural splendor of the area. Nearby campgrounds provide amenities such as picnic areas, fire pits, and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable camping experience. Waking up to breathtaking views of the lake, spending the day fishing or boating, and gathering around a campfire under the starry night sky create cherished memories of outdoor relaxation and connection with nature.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Honcho Rest Campground - 231 264-8548

Whitewater Township Park & Campground - 231 267-5091

Everflowing Waters Campground - 231 938-0933

Elk Lake MI Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Elk Lake
Honcho Rest Campground
8988 Cairn Hwy
Elk Rapids, MI 49629
231 264-8548


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