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Fishing Lake Leelanau

AKA: North Lake Leelanau, South Leelanau Lake

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Lake Leelanau, MI

Popular Fish Species Lake Leelanau, MI

Lake Leelanau Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth bass are a favorite of many locals at Lake Leelanau, as they are plentiful and easy to catch, once located. 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, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits around rip rap. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons. When the lake freezes over, try your luck at ice fishing.

Lake Leelanau Popular Fish - Walleye

Walleye Fishing

Thanks to good management by the fish and game department, a healthy population of walleye are now thriving in the waters of Lake Leelanau this year. They are eager to feed throughout the lake, but tend to concentrate on flats and ledges off the river channels. The best results for catching walleye here is most often by trolling, however casting live bait, jigs, worms, spoons and deep-diving crankbaits also work well at times. When the lake freezes over in winter, ice fishing for walleye can be very productive. Use GPS to locate spots you normally fish prior to icing over.

Lake Leelanau Popular Fish - Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch Fishing

Lake Leelanau has a very healthy population of yellow perch. Fishing for yellow perch is simple, their primary diet consists of minnows and other small fish, insects and worms. Use a simple hook, line and sinker on 6 to 10-pound line using minnows, worms or small jigs. 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.

Lake Leelanau Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass and yellow perch at Lake Leelanau in Michigan.

Less than a mile inland from Lake Michigan, Lake Leelanau is a 14,000-acre lake in the northwest corner of the lower MI peninsula, 10 miles northeast of Traverse City. The 41 miles of shoreline are the focus of attention, both on and off the water.

Lake Leelanau, nestled in the picturesque Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan, is a sought-after destination for fishing enthusiasts seeking a memorable angling experience. With its pristine waters and diverse fish species, Lake Leelanau offers excellent fishing opportunities for both recreational and serious anglers. The lake is known for its populations of walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, and a variety of 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 Lake Leelanau.

Lake Leelanau, with its exceptional fishing opportunities, serene boating experiences, and convenient camping options, stands as a remarkable destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Michigan. Whether you're an avid angler, a boating aficionado, or simply seeking a tranquil camping retreat, Lake Leelanau 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 gem.

This is a great destination for a vacation, a weekend get-away or a serious fishing trip. The lake is stocked well with trout, walleye, perch, sunfish and bass. Numerous locations around the lake provide access for fishing from the bank, and public boat launch ramps are well maintained for launching pleasure, water ski and fishing boats. Kayaks and canoes can be easily portaged from public access areas. In winter, once there is safe ice, the lake delivers pretty consistent ice fishing catches. Area fishing guides can help you locate and catch the various fish species in short order. Several campgrounds, at or near the lake offer campsites and RV hookups.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Michigan

Primary fish species residing in Lake Leelanau

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Smallmouth bass Walleye Rainbow trout Brown trout Lake trout Bluegill Pumpkinseed Sunfish Rock Bass Yellow Perch

Lake Leelanau Amenities

Marina: NO
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 is a popular activity on Lake Leelanau, allowing visitors to fully appreciate the tranquil surroundings and explore the expansive waters. Whether it's cruising along the calm surface, water skiing, or leisurely pontoon rides, Lake Leelanau provides a serene and picturesque boating experience. Public access points and boat launches are available, ensuring convenient entry for boaters looking to set sail and navigate the lake's stunning shores.

Fishing Boat Rentals

PlayNorth Watersports
Rentals: Pontoon boats and kayaks
231 357-3790

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Bingham Boat (DNR East) Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off E Bingham Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Lake Leelanau DNR North Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off N Lake Leelanau Drive, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Lake Leelanau DNR West Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Skyline Drive, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

The Narrows DNR Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the Narrows, east side, off N Eagle Highway, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Fishing Guides On Lake Leelanau

Lake Effect Fishing Charters - walleye

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

Fishing License

Click here for a Michigan Fishing License.

For those looking to extend their stay, Lake Leelanau offers camping facilities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. Nearby campgrounds provide amenities such as picnic areas, fire pits, and restrooms, ensuring a comfortable camping experience. Waking up to breathtaking lake views, 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

Leelanau Pines Campground - 231 228-5742

Lake Leelanau RV Park - 231 256-7236

Wild Cherry Resort RV Park - 231 271-5550

Lake Leelanau MI Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Lake Leelanau
Leelanau Pines Campgrounds
6500 E Leelanau Pines Dr
Cedar, MI 49621
231 228-5742


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