Top Places for Bass Fishing in Michigan

Top Places for Bass Fishing in Michigan
Photo By Jeff Samsel

After a harsh winter, everyone is ready for warmer days and feeding largemouths and smallmouths. It may not seem like those days will ever come, but they will, and when they do, these are the places you'll want to be if you like bass fishing in Michigan.

Lake St. Clair

Detroit's backyard lake is no secret to any Michigan bass angler (or almost any bass angler for that matter), but you can't ignore it when you talk about top places to chase bass. Big and plentiful smallmouths serve up outstanding fishing throughout the warm months on this big border lake. St. Clair is vast, and the schools roam a lot, so it often takes some searching to zero in on the fish. Once you find the right drift, though, you'll have a hard time dragging a tube without getting walloped. Jerkbaits and spinnerbaits also promise big fun with St. Clair smallmouths. In truth, the only shortfall of discussing Lake St. Clair is that we're forced to leave out neighboring Huron and Erie — also outstanding — and the river sections that connect St. Clair with those lakes.

Fletcher Pond

Everything about Fletcher Pond screams "pond" — except for its 9,000-acre size! Also called Fletcher Backwater, this old impoundment of the Thunder Bay River offers plentiful stumps and diverse vegetation, and its fertile waters support what is widely considered the state's finest largemouth population. More than a dozen islands, a complex shoreline and a twisting river channel that divides an otherwise shallow basin create outstanding bass structure. Largemouths and smallmouths grow quickly in Fletcher Pond, but the green ones predominate. Rig with lures you can fish through weeds and stay ready. Fletcher Pond's banks are heavily forested. A few fishing resorts come in handy when you visit.

Big & Little Bay De Noc

These two big bays at the northern end of Green Bay offer outstanding smallmouth fishing to anglers in the Upper Peninsula. Between remoteness and a storied reputation as walleye waters, these bays get very little targeted bass fishing pressure, which makes for aggressive fish. Collectively, the bays offer extensive reef and boulder habitat, weedy flats, defined drops, river influences and more. Early in the season, most big smallmouths hang shallow, and any spinnerbait or grub swam beside a big rock as apt to get smashed. As summer progresses the bass move to a little deeper drops.

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