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Fishing Houghton Lake

AKA: Lake Houghton

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By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

Houghton Lake, MI

Popular Fish Species Houghton Lake, MI

Houghton Lake Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

Houghton Lake offers good fishing for largemouth bass. Lately the fishing here for bass has continued to impress bass fishing enthusiasts. Some big bass roam Houghton Lake, thanks to excellent fisheries management by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, as well as the availability of extensive cover for both baitfish and bass. When the bite is good, bass typically move shallow and are quite aggressive. If you find them shallow and they are not tempted to bite, slow down and use smaller, lighter baits. All bass caught before the Saturday before Memorial Day must be immediately released for conservation efforts. Fishing for largemouth bass is good virtually any time they are shallow - in spring, mornings in summer, and during warm Fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap. Around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, big worms, jigs and spoons are three good weapons. In winter, spend your time fishing Houghton Lake on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time.

Houghton Lake Popular Fish - Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Smallmouth bass are a favorite of many locals in the cool waters of Houghton Lake, as they are tough fighters and exciting to catch. Fishing for smallmouth bass is good anytime they are shallow - in spring, during high water, mornings in summer and during warmer fall afternoons. Smallmouth bass caught before the Saturday before Memorial Day must be immediately released for conservation efforts. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap, and around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In winter, spend your time on deeper structure with small worms, jigs and spoons.

Houghton Lake Popular Fish - Walleye

Walleye Fishing

Thanks to good fisheries management, a healthy population of walleye are thriving in the waters of Houghton Lake this year. May and June tend to be the best time for weekend anglers to catch them. During this time they tend to move shallower and closer to shore. Other times of the year they are more likely to roam around in deeper water. As always, staying close by schools of baitfish. They are eager to feed throughout the lake, but tend to concentrate around structure on points, flats and ledges off the river channels. A proven method for catching walleye here is trolling with spinners tipped with live bait, or trolling with long-billed, deep diving crankbaits. However casting live bait, jigs, worms and spoons also works 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 during other times of the year.

Houghton Lake Fishing Video

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, black crappie, walleye, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, rock bass, yellow perch, bowfin and northern pike at Houghton Lake in Michigan.

The largest inland lake in the state, Houghton Lake is a 20,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the lower MI peninsula, at the town Houghton Lake. 30 miles of shoreline surround this fishing paradise offering camping and outdoor activities year round.

Houghton Lake, located in northern Michigan, is a renowned destination for fishing enthusiasts seeking a rewarding angling experience. As the state's largest inland lake, Houghton Lake offers over 20,000 acres of pristine waters and diverse fish species, making it a prime spot for both recreational and serious anglers. The lake is known for its abundant populations of walleye, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, and 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 surroundings of Houghton Lake.

Houghton Lake, with its exceptional fishing opportunities, serene boating experiences, and convenient camping facilities, 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, Houghton Lake offers an unforgettable escape. Its diverse fish species, expansive waters, and picturesque landscapes combine to create an impressive outdoor experience that will leave visitors with cherished memories of their time spent in this natural gem.

Take advantage of local fishing guides, marinas, parks, campgrounds, shopping and dining to enhance your vacation or fishing trip to Lake Houghton. Shoreline fishing from the bank in warm weather, or ice fishing in winter make this a great destination for fishing enthusiasts without a boat. One can also choose from a variety of rental boats, available at the lake. On calm days a canoe or kayak may be a good option, but when the wind blows larger family, pontoon or fishing boats are advisable. Anglers have many species to pursue as the lake has healthy populations of walleye, perch, bluegill, pike, sunfish, crappie and bass.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Michigan

Primary fish species residing in Houghton Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Smallmouth bass Black crappie Walleye Bluegill Pumpkinseed Sunfish Rock Bass Yellow Perch Bowfin Northern pike

Houghton Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
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 Houghton Lake, allowing visitors to explore the expansive waters and enjoy the natural beauty of the surroundings. Whether it's cruising along the calm waters, water skiing, or leisurely pontoon rides, Houghton Lake offers a serene and picturesque boating experience. Public access points and boat launches are available, ensuring convenient access for boaters looking to set sail and navigate the vast expanse of the lake.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Be Water Rentals
Rentals: Canoes, kayaks and pontoon boats
989 459-1333

Brian's Lakeside Marina
Rentals: Pontoon boats
989 422-6720

HLM Boat Rentals
Rentals: Pontoon boats
989 387-4978

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

DNR Boat Launch Lakeview Park
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Town Line Road, this is a six-lane, concrete ramp with docks and tons of paved parking.

Houghton Lake Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Old US Highway 27, this is a six-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

North DNR Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southeast section of the lake, off Pub Fishing Site, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Bayview Harbor Marina
119 Doeskin Dr
Houghton Lake, MI 48629
989 387-1614

Brian's Lakeside Marina
8320 W Houghton Lake Dr
Houghton Lake, MI 48629
989 422-6720

Fishing Guides On Houghton Lake

Freshwater Therapy Fishing Guide Service - walleye, crappie, bass

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

Fishing License

Click here for a Michigan Fishing License.

For those seeking a longer stay, Houghton Lake offers camping facilities that allow visitors to fully 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 stunning 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

West Houghton Lake Campground - 989 422-5130

Poplars Resort & Campground - 989 422-5132

Houghton Lake state forest park Campground - 989 275-5151

Au Sable State Forest Campground - 989 422-5522

Great Circle Campground - 989 821-9486

Houghton Lake MI Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Houghton Lake
West Houghton Lake Campground
9371 W Houghton Lake Dr
Houghton Lake, MI 48629
989 422-5130


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