Traverse City Fishing: Your Ultimate Guide

Studying Time: 7 minutes

Need to know what makes a Traverse Metropolis fishing journey so particular? The clue’s within the title! Northern Michigan’s largest metropolis lies immediately alongside the shore of Grand Traverse Bay. This deep physique of water, break up into east and west bays, is related to the mighty Lake Michigan. Oh, and the Boardman River, maybe essentially the most distinguished waterway on this space, empties into the bay’s western arm.

Mainly, the bay serves because the assembly level for these two well-known fisheries. After they come collectively, they’re an unstoppable power of unimaginable angling motion! Grand Traverse Bay is bustling with a few of the world’s most prized freshwater sport fish, and the Boardman River bears witness to Salmon and Steelhead runs. It’s an actual angler’s paradise.

Earlier than you come expertise fishing in Traverse Metropolis for your self, there are most likely just a few stuff you’re questioning about. What, precisely, are you able to catch right here? And the place are the most popular spots to forged a line? Don’t fear – we’ve coated all of this and extra for you beneath.

What can I catch in Traverse Metropolis?


With two styles of Salmon on supply, and two fisheries simply bustling with these fish, how might this species not make the highest of our record? Chinook and Coho Salmon each inhabit Grand Traverse Bay and the Boardman River. Regardless of the place you select to forged a line right here, you’ll be in good firm!

In the event you’re on the lookout for a trophy catch that’ll hit your line with the power of a freight prepare, Chinook is the opponent for you. On the lookout for the perfect battle pound-for-pound? Set your sights on Coho. They’re beloved in Traverse Metropolis for his or her acrobatic leaps out of the water and immense tough-fighting expertise.

The perfect time to forged a line for Salmon differs relying on the place you need to fish. The Boardman River’s Salmon inhabitants journey upriver in fall, whereas Grand Traverse Bay’s Salmon are irresistible between Could and October. Trolling is the preferred technique to goal these fish on the bay and past. Skilled anglers can check out fly fishing on the Boardman River.


It’s no surprise that Trout fishing in Traverse Metropolis is so in style. The Boardman River is a first-class Trout fishery, boasting wild Brook Trout, massive Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout – often known as Steelhead. Then there’s Grand Traverse Bay, which can also be inhabited by Brown and Rainbow Trout, together with Lake Trout.

With so many alternative varieties on supply, it’s no shock that native anglers have invented numerous methods to fish for ’em. Head to the Boardman River, and also you’ll discover one Trout fishing method that stands head and shoulders above the remainder. Yep, we’re speaking about fly fishing! You’ll be capable to forged a line on the fly for all Trout varieties come March.

With regards to fishing Grand Traverse Bay, the Trout chew is sizzling all all through the fishing season, which often begins round March and lasts till winter. Trolling is the preferred method, and Lake Trout are positively essentially the most plentiful species. But it surely’s not unusual to come across Rainbow and Brown Trout too!


Though Traverse Metropolis is extensively often called a prime location for Trout, Steelhead, and Salmon, it’s additionally a secret Bass fishing hotspot. In the event you’re trying to hook gigantic Smallmouth varieties, this locale is the right place to forged a line. Grand Traverse Bay is house to a formidable variety of Smallies, particularly from the top of April by means of to late fall. Largemouth are on supply right here, too.

It’s fully doable to fill your boat with simply Bass, and the bay’s crystal clear waters imply you’ll have a front-row view of the thrilling angling motion these fish present. In the event you’re into sight fishing, you couldn’t decide a greater place! Focus your consideration across the edges of sand flats, the place these fish wish to mattress. They like to munch on grubs and tube baits.

You can too select to discover Traverse Metropolis’s inland lakes for these fish, with Lengthy Lake being a well-liked spot. It’s house to Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, with April by means of late fall once more being the preferred months. Loads of native anglers wish to fish from their kayaks on this space, which solely provides to the sense of tranquility and “again to fundamentals” fishing. Solid your line round weedy areas and also you’ll be in for a Bass bonanza!

And Extra!

Truthfully, Traverse Metropolis is house to such unimaginable freshwater fish that it was arduous to slender down the record. Though we predict the species we outlined above are the perfect this metropolis affords, they’re on no account the one targets right here.

In the event you’re on the lookout for a family-friendly journey, you’ll be happy to know that the bay is inhabited by some tasty Panfish – Perch and Bluegill. Casting a line for ’em is the right technique to introduce little ones and novice anglers to the magic of fishing. Need to reel in an enormous fish? Pike and the odd Musky lurk these waters, too. Lastly, Walleye are plentiful within the bay between Could and September.

How can I fish in Traverse Metropolis?

On a Boat

With massive bays, winding rivers, and inland lakes all at your disposal, essentially the most handy technique to fish Traverse Metropolis is on board an area constitution boat. You’ll discover them dotted throughout the town’s lakefront, in addition to alongside the river’s banks. Relying on the place you need to go, you’ll be capable to select from quite a lot of vessels. Bass boats and boats constructed for river fishing are particularly in style right here.

Fishing from a vessel means you’ll be capable to journey to the hotspots extra effectively, observe your goal fish once they’re on the transfer, and benefit from your captain’s professional information. You’ll additionally be capable to check out quite a lot of strategies below the steerage of an area who is aware of these waters. This usually ends in the primary factor all anglers are on the lookout for – extra hookups!

On Foot

In the event you’d quite not hop aboard a vessel, don’t fear. There’s quite a lot of methods to forged a line right here with out a boat. Traverse Metropolis is house to quite a lot of piers and docks, lots of which supply up fishing alternatives. In the event you’ll be visiting the Boardman River, you’ll discover loads of pockets which can be excellent for wade fishing.

Though the number of species you’ll be capable to goal on foot are the identical as from a ship, you usually gained’t be capable to goal the trophy-sized varieties that stay in deeper waters. Nevertheless, should you’re on the lookout for a technique to discover this metropolis’s angling alternatives that’s enjoyable, accessible to newbies, and simple on the pocket, on foot fishing is the reply.

From a Kayak

We already talked about that native anglers wish to sort out (pun meant!) Traverse Metropolis’s inland lakes in a kayak. Are you assured in your means to wield a rod and maneuver a vessel on the similar time? This technique of fishing offers you the possibility to get again to nature and expertise these fisheries in a completely distinctive method.

In the event you’re sight fishing for Bass, for instance, then nothing is extra thrilling than cruising this space’s lakes in a kayak, watching out to your goal fish. The motion isn’t simply restricted to the lakes, both – you’ll additionally be capable to discover the bay. An added bonus is that you just’ll discover a good number of locations to lease a kayak from situated throughout the town.

The place can I fish in Traverse Metropolis?

Regardless of the way you need to fish Traverse Metropolis, or the place you need to fish, you’ll discover quite a lot of areas to select from. As the town is on the smaller facet, you just about simply have to determine on the physique of water you need to discover after which can go from there. Nevertheless, there are some spots that stand heads and shoulders above the remainder. Listed below are a few of our favorites…

  • Clinch Park Marina: Also called Duncan L Clinch Marina, this space’s harbor is value paying a go to to. Fish on foot, and also you’ll be capable to forged a line in Grand Traverse Bay. You’ll encounter something from Trout, to Salmon, to Steelhead.
  • Boardman Lake: Sharing a reputation with the favored river, this lake can usually get barely ignored. It’s properly value a go to, although! You’ll discover an abundance of Walleye and big Pike right here, in addition to Smallies. It’s a fantastic place to check out your kayak fishing expertise, too.
  • Discovery Pier: Completely positioned alongside the shoreline of Grand Traverse Bay’s western arm, this pier supplies entry to some severely fish-filled waters. The entire bay’s species, together with Salmon and Trout, are on supply.
  • Robbins Bridge: Okay, so we could be dishonest a little bit bit with this one. Mainly, if you wish to fish the Boardman River, head to the stretch that runs between Oleson Bridge and Robbins Bridge. Robbins Bridge is very plentiful, with Brook and Brown Trout making common appearances. Salmon and Bass are within the playing cards, too.

Guidelines and Rules

Each angler over the age of 17 must deliver alongside a sound Michigan fishing license. This is identical whether or not you select to fish from a pier, a kayak, or on board an area constitution. Fortunately, it’s a straightforward course of that may be accomplished on-line. There are some circumstances in which you’ll apply for a reduced-cost license. Examine ’em out, and discover out the place you should purchase your license in our useful information.

Traverse Metropolis Fishing: An Unforgettable Expertise

So there you will have it. In the event you’re trying to discover two world-class fisheries, in addition to an entire host of different fish-filled locales, then a go to to Traverse Metropolis can’t be missed. You’ll be capable to forged your line for some freshwater A-listers, earlier than enjoyable in a waterfront tavern, sipping on one of many space’s well-known craft beers. What are you ready for? Seize your rods and reels and expertise the magic of fishing in Traverse Metropolis!

Have you ever ever fished in Traverse Metropolis? The place did you go? What did you catch? Any ideas and methods to share with us? Tell us within the feedback beneath. We love listening to from you!

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