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Bass Fishing In Michigan

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Guide to smallmouth and largemouth bass fishing in MI lakes.

By Rick Seaman

Bass fishing At Daybreak

Michigan Bass Fishing

Bass fishing in Michigan is a beloved pursuit, cherished by anglers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. Few experiences rival the thrill of hooking into a largemouth or smallmouth bass, making it a timeless pastime that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice angler eager to learn the ropes, mastering the art of bass fishing can be immensely rewarding. That's why this page is dedicated to offering invaluable insights and tips on bass fishing, providing a comprehensive guide on everything from bass fishing techniques to essential bass-catching strategies. Whether you're seeking advice on selecting the perfect lure or honing your casting skills, we're here to equip you with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel on the water. Dive into our wealth of information to discover the secrets of successful bass fishing and unlock the full potential of your angling endeavors.

Bass fishing basics video.

Bass Fishing Favorites

Largemouth Bass Fishing In Michigan

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass are the most abundant, and most pursued bass in Michigan. They are available in most warm-water lakes in the state, they tend to thrive in most water conditions and grow to bragging size in relative short order. Often called big mouth bass, or wide mouth bass, they are savvy predators that feed on most things that live in their territory. Bass in the 5 to 10-pound range are common in Michigan. The state record largemouth bass is over 11 pounds.

Finding & Catching Bigmouth Bass

Anglers can target big mouth bass in various lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Spring and early summer are typically the best seasons for targeting largemouth bass as they are more active and feeding in the shallows near shoreline cover. Start with topwater baits, as they cover the water most efficiently. Reaction baits like crankbaits and spinnerbaits are the next choice. For finicky bass, plastic worms and jigs may entice a bite as you can move them very slowly around cover. In the heat of summer and the cold of winter bass move to deeper water, usually following the baitfish. Jigs, drop shot rigs and spoons are a good approach for bass holding in deep water. Vary your retrieve speed and action to find what the bass like today!

Smallmouth Bass In Michigan

Smallmouth Bass

While smallmouth bass don't grow as large as their cousin the largemouth, they make up the difference with tenacious fights. Known for long battles and spectacular jumps, smallies grow fat and strong but rarely exceed ten pounds. Their range and locations are often with or nearby the largemouths. The state record smallmouth bass is over 9 pounds. The state boasts world-class smallmouth bass fisheries, particularly in waters like Lake St. Clair, Lake Charlevoix, and the St. Clair River. Whether you're casting from the shore or navigating the scenic waterways in a boat, Michigan offers ample opportunities to pursue both largemouth and smallmouth bass throughout the fishing season.

Anglers employ various techniques when targeting bass in Michigan. These include using topwater lures, crankbaits, jigs, soft plastics, and live bait presentations. Different strategies may be effective depending on the time of year, water conditions, and the behavior of the fish. It's important to familiarize yourself with local regulations and practice catch-and-release to preserve the bass populations and ensure the sustainability of these fisheries for future generations.

Whether you're a seasoned angler or a novice, Michigan's bass fishing scene provides endless excitement and the chance to land trophy-sized fish. The combination of scenic waterways, diverse habitats, and robust bass populations makes Michigan a top destination for bass fishing enthusiasts from all over. So grab your fishing gear, explore the state's beautiful lakes and rivers, and get ready for an unforgettable bass fishing experience in the Great Lakes State.

Best Bass Fishing Lakes In Michigan

Michigan Fishing Lake at Sunset

While you can find bass in ponds, rivers and state park lakes, the vast majority of bass are caught out of larger major lakes including Black Lake, Brevoort Lake, Burt Lake, Crystal Lake, Elk Lake, Fletcher Pond, Glen Lake, Grand Lake, Hamlin Lake, Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake, Hubbard Lake, Indian Lake, Lake Charlevoix, Lake Erie, Lake Gogebic, Lake Huron, Lake Leelanau, Lake Michigamme, Lake Michigan, Lake St Clair, Lake Superior, Long Lake, Manistique Lake, Mullett Lake, Sanford Lake, Torch Lake and Wixom Lake. Visit the Bass Knowledge Center for additional, valuable information about bass and bass fishing.

Bass In Michigan

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 11.94 lbs

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 9.98 lbs

Click the images and links above for species details.

The state record largemouth bass is a tie, one from Big Pine Island Lake and the other came from Alcona Dam Pond.

The state record smallmouth bass was caught from the Indian River.

Top 5 bass fishing lures for Michigan this year

When bass are shallow, spinnerbaits, crankbaits and stickbaits are the most productive. As they move deeper, worms and jigs are among the top producers.

Michigan Smallmouth Bass

L.T. Miller shows off a real nice smallmouth bass he caught from Tippy Pond. Read his fishing article here.

Bass fishing book

Catch big bass!

Understanding the primary seasonal movements of smallmouth bass and largemouth bass is key to locating them on local lakes in the Great Lakes State. Read Ernest Miller's insight into Michigan Smallmouth fishing in Tippy Pond.

Bass are one of the most sought after of all the game fish. Its appeal spans cultures, age groups and genders to tap on the heart strings of anglers everywhere. Join us in our endeavor to offer information about bass fishing on your favorite bass lake in Michigan.


Bass fishing information by state.

AL Bass Fishing AR Bass Fishing AZ Bass Fishing CA Bass Fishing CO Bass Fishing CT Bass Fishing DC Bass Fishing DE Bass Fishing FL Bass Fishing GA Bass Fishing HI Bass Fishing IA Bass Fishing ID Bass Fishing
IL Bass Fishing IN Bass Fishing KS Bass Fishing KY Bass Fishing LA Bass Fishing MA Bass Fishing MD Bass Fishing ME Bass Fishing MI Bass Fishing MN Bass Fishing MO Bass Fishing MS Bass Fishing MT Bass Fishing
NC Bass Fishing ND Bass Fishing NE Bass Fishing NH Bass Fishing NJ Bass Fishing NM Bass Fishing NV Bass Fishing NY Bass Fishing OH Bass Fishing OK Bass Fishing OR Bass Fishing PA Bass Fishing
RI Bass Fishing SC Bass Fishing SD Bass Fishing TN Bass Fishing TX Bass Fishing UT Bass Fishing VA Bass Fishing VT Bass Fishing WA Bass Fishing WI Bass Fishing WV Bass Fishing WY Fishing


The lifecycle of bass

The more you know about the seasonal migration of bass, the more likely you are to be looking in the right area next time you visit Michigan bass fishing lakes. Visit the bass fishing page for more in-depth information about bass activities.