Salmon Fishing in Michigan: A Guide to the Best Locations

Where to Fish for Salmon in Michigan: A Guide for Anglers


Looking to catch some salmon in the beautiful state of Michigan? You’re in luck! With its vast freshwater resources and stunning scenery, Michigan offers a plethora of prime locations for salmon fishing. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top spots throughout the state where you can reel in these prized fish.

The Great Lakes: A Salmon Paradise

Michigan’s greatest asset when it comes to salmon fishing is undoubtedly its proximity to the Great Lakes – Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie. These majestic bodies of water are home to several species of salmon including Chinook (King), coho, pink, and Atlantic varieties. Let’s dive into each lake and discover which areas yield the best chances for a successful outing.

Lake Superior

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising Bay Area

Situated along Lake Superior’s southern shore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore boasts breathtaking vistas that make any angling experience memorable. The Munising Bay area is especially renowned among anglers due to its deep waters and abundance of baitfish, attracting sizable numbers of Chinook salmon during their spawning season from late July through September.

Keweenaw Peninsula – Eagle Harbor & Copper Harbor

Heading further north on Lake Superior brings you to the Keweenaw Peninsula. Here you’ll find two fantastic spots: Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor. These areas offer ideal conditions for catching both Chinook and coho salmon throughout summer until early fall. The rocky points around these harbors serve as excellent staging grounds before fish migrate up rivers for spawning.

Lake Huron

Tawas Bay – East Tawas State Dock Area

Moving to Lake Huron, the East Tawas State Dock area in Tawas Bay is known for its remarkable salmon fishing opportunities. The depths of this bay provide a thriving habitat for Chinook and coho salmon, drawing anglers from across the state. Fishing around submerged structures and drop-offs during late summer and early fall can prove particularly fruitful.

Thunder Bay – Alpena

In Thunder Bay near Alpena, you’ll discover another hotspot for salmon fishing on Lake Huron. This expansive bay offers various locations where both Chinook and Atlantic salmon are frequently found. Targeting waters near river mouths or rocky shores during spring or early fall often yields impressive catches.

Lake Michigan

Manistee River – Manistee

The Manistee River flowing into Lake Michigan is a prime spot for avid anglers seeking trophy-sized salmon. Known as one of Michigan’s premier steelhead rivers, it also attracts significant numbers of king, coho, pink, and Atlantic salmon during their migration periods in spring and fall.

Frankfort & Arcadia – Benzie County

Frankfort and Arcadia are two charming coastal towns located within Benzie County that boast fantastic fishing opportunities on Lake Michigan. These areas feature deep waters close to shorelines where Chinook salmon congregate before heading up feeder streams to spawn. Late summer through early fall is an ideal time to try your luck here.

Lake Erie

Huron-Clinton Metroparks – Lower Huron Park (Belleville)

While not as renowned as the other Great Lakes’ offerings when it comes to salmon fishing, Lake Erie still presents excellent opportunities at certain locations like Belleville’s Lower Huron Park within the Huron-Clinton Metroparks system. Here you can target both Chinook and coho salmon during their fall run, making it an accessible option for anglers residing in southeastern Michigan.

Detroit River – Monroe

Lastly, the Detroit River near Monroe provides another viable option for salmon fishing enthusiasts. The river’s deep channels and strong currents create ideal conditions for catching Chinook and coho salmon during their annual migrations from Lake Erie to spawn in tributaries. Fall is generally the most productive time to cast your line here.


Michigan offers a multitude of incredible destinations where you can fish for salmon. From the shores of Lake Superior to the rivers flowing into Lake Michigan and beyond, anglers are spoiled for choice when it comes to pursuing these prized fish. So grab your gear, check local regulations, and head out to one of these fantastic locations – unforgettable adventures await!