Trout Fishing In Michigan
Guide to fishing for rainbow, brook, brown and lake trout in local lakes and streams.
Michigan is a haven for trout fishing enthusiasts, offering a wealth of opportunities to pursue various trout species in its pristine lakes and rivers. The state is home to three primary trout species: brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout. The purpose of this page is to share basic information about trout fishing and identify trout fishing waters in the state.
Brown trout are highly sought after by anglers due to their impressive size and challenging nature. They can be found in both lakes and rivers throughout Michigan. Rivers like the Au Sable, Manistee, and Pere Marquette are renowned for their brown trout populations, while lakes such as Lake Michigan and Lake Huron also offer excellent opportunities for brown trout fishing. The state record for brown trout in Michigan stands at an impressive weight of over 41 pounds.
Rainbow trout, known for their vibrant colors and acrobatic fights, are another popular trout species found in Michigan. These fish can be caught in lakes and rivers, with the Great Lakes tributaries providing exceptional fishing opportunities. Rivers like the Boardman and Betsie are famous for their rainbow trout populations, attracting anglers with their impressive size and feisty behavior. The state record for rainbow trout in Michigan is over 20 pounds.
Brook trout, Michigan's only native trout species, hold a special place in the hearts of many anglers. These beautifully colored fish are commonly found in small, remote streams and coldwater lakes. Michigan's Upper Peninsula, particularly areas like the Pigeon River Country State Forest, offers pristine habitats for brook trout fishing. The state record for brook trout in Michigan is over six pounds.
Michigan is also known for its "trophy waters," designated streams and rivers managed to produce large trout. These areas, such as the famous section of the Au Sable River known as the "Holy Waters," are carefully regulated to ensure the growth of trophy-sized trout. Anglers seeking trophy trout often flock to these areas, where they can challenge themselves with fly fishing techniques and have a chance at catching record-breaking fish.
Trout fishing in Michigan is not just limited to rivers and streams. The state's lakes, including the Great Lakes and their tributaries, provide exceptional opportunities for trout fishing. Whether trolling for trout in the open water of the Great Lakes or targeting them in the mouths of rivers and streams, anglers have a wide range of options to explore.
Michigan maintains records for trophy-sized fish caught in the state, including trout species. Anglers have the opportunity to pursue state records, whether for brown trout, rainbow trout, or brook trout, and strive to break the existing records.
With its diverse trout species, pristine lakes, and beautiful rivers, Michigan offers an outstanding trout fishing experience. Anglers can immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the state while pursuing their favorite trout species, whether casting in rivers, trolling in lakes, or fly fishing in remote streams. The thrill of catching trophy trout and the chance to break state records make trout fishing in Michigan an unforgettable adventure for anglers of all levels.
Cold, clear water creates ideal conditions for trout. And, Michigan has lots of it, including ice fishing options. Aside from the rivers and streams containing trout there are quite a number of larger lakes with healthy trout populations. These lakes include Black Lake, Brevoort Lake, Burt Lake, Crystal Lake, Elk Lake, Glen Lake, Indian Lake, Lake Charlevoix, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Leelanau, Lake Michigamme, Lake Michigan, Lake St Clair, Lake Superior, Manistique Lake, Mullett Lake, Torch Lake and Wixom Lake.
Trout Species In The State
World record: 42 lbs 2 oz
State Record: 26.5 lbs
World record: 14 lbs 8 oz
State Record: 9.5 lbs
World record: 40 lbs 4 oz
State Record: 41.45 lbs
World record: 72 lbs 0 oz
State Record: 61.5 lbs
Click the images and links above for species details.
Select the best trout lures and baits
Michigan Record Trout
The state record rainbow trout came out of Lake Michigan.
The state record brook trout was taken out of Clear Lake.
The state record for brown trout came from the Manistee River.
The state record for lake trout was served by Lake Superior.
The 5 primary trouts are the rainbow, brook, brown, cutthroat and lake trout. Browns are considered the most difficult to catch and brookies are the easiest. Pure cold water is key to survival of the trouts.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources stock trout in waters across the state. Visit their website for details and information regarding trout stockings in Michigan.
Watch trout fishing videos to see trout anglers in action.
Additional trout information
Trout locations and info, by state.
The habits of trout.
Trout are considered some of the most difficult fish to fool. Once you locate Michigan waters with a population of trout, the challenge becomes identifying trout flies and lures that will trigger strikes. Visit the trout fishing page to learn more about the habitat each of the trouts prefer.