Ice Fishing In Michigan

If winter fishing is something you love or maybe something you have always want to try, Michigan is the place to be. There are plenty of opportunities to catch a large variety of fish, including bluegill, walleye, perch, pike and crappie.

The state has 4 -5 months of weather cold enough to support ice fishing in Michigan each year. Depending on the lake, safe ice can start as early as the beginning of December and last through April. When local lakes freeze over, fishers have access to areas that they can’t normally reach during open water season. This provides the perfect opportunity to hook into  Walleye, Perch, Trout, Northern Pike…

For those who don’t know much about ice fishing, here is a quick action to do: drill a hole in the ice, drop a line and wait for fish catch bait. You can sit on your chair or set up camp on a lake but "which lake is fishing near me?". Let read and explore lakes for ice fishing in Michigan. 

Lake Gogebic, Michigan

It’s home for great ice fishing! The lake is best known for its  famous Perch ice fishing in Michigan and the lake’s next big catch is Walleye. Besides Walleye and Perch, Smallmouth Bass and Northern Pike can be hooked.

Lake Mitchell and Cadillac, Michigan

The ice starts to thicken and becomes safe for anglers from December to March, it has the perfect conditions for Northern Pike, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Crappie, to thrive.

Right next to each other, Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac, which freeze over at the same time and produce all the same species. Lake Cadillac is known to produce better Perch and much bigger Pike than Lake Mitchell. You can have good fishing through March or April.

Hamlin Lake

To some people, Hamlin Lake is the premier ice fishing spot in Michigan because it is located next to Lake Michigan. Hamlin is a deep lake, but it still freezes over in December and fishers can go fishing in safety before the Christmas holidays. Ice usually forms first on Hamlin’s northern arm, stretching east of the dunes. 

You will have good results fishing for Walleye early in the season.

The crappie fishing on Hamlin gets hot in February and lasts through March most years. Generally considered the best winter fishing lake in all of Michigan, Hamlin Lake produces big Bluegill and Northern Pike which are bigger than any other lake in the state. You can catch Panfish and Walleye here as well.

Houghton Lake

Houghton Lake is located right in the center of the north of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and the largest inland lake in the state. The lake is quite shallow so Houghton Lake is one of the first lakes  to freeze in winter and ensures safe ice fishing conditions for anglers.

It offers safe ice in December until early April, you can expect excellent ice fishing  here and Crappie, Bluegill, Walleye and Sunfish are found in abundance in this lake.

Cass lake

Cass lake is located very near Metro Detroit. This lake generally freezes over sometime in mid December and has safe ice conditions in late December to early January. 

It’s proximity to the city and its abundant populations of Perch, Crappie and Bluegill and big size of Pike and Walleye which fishers can catch easily in ice fishing in Michigan make Cass a favorite for family fishing outings in winters.

You can take a look the table below to know more about other lakes ice fishing in Michigan and it will help you answer your thinking “fishing near me?” 

Part of Michigan


Type of Fish 

Keweenaw Bay

Brown Trout, Whitefish, Lake Trout, Coho Salmon 

Upper Peninsula

Little Bay De Noc 

Walleye, Yellow Perch

Munuscong Bay 

Yellow Perch, Walleye 

Munising Bay 

Whitefish, Coho Salmon

Lake Gogebic 

Yellow Perch, Walleye

Burt Lake

Yellow Perch, Walleye

Higgins Lake

Lake Trout, Whitefish, Northern Pike

Northwest Lower Peninsula

Houghton Lake

Walleye, Bluegill, Crappie, Sunfish

Black Lake 

Walleye, Yellow Perch, Sturgeon

Thumb Lake 

Yellow Perch

Cadillac, Mitchell lakes

Yellow Perch, Crappie, Northern Pike 

Northeast Lower Peninsula

Fife Lake 

Yellow Perch, Walleye, Northern Pike

Long Lake 

Yellow Perch 

Reeds Lake 

Northern Pike, Bluegill

Southwest Lower Peninsula

Harwood Lake

Yellow Perch, Bluegill

Sessions Lake

Walleye, Bluegill

Long Lake

Northern Pike

Lake St. Clair 

Yellow Perch

Devil Lake

Yellow Perch, Walleye

Bear Lake 

Yellow Perch

Southeast Lower Peninsula

Crescent & Upper Bushman lakes


Stony Creek Impoundment

Walleye, Crappie

Lake Orion & Big Lake 

Northern Pike

Cass & Wolverine lakes 


Ice Fishing in Michigan lakes is the inspiration for us to create beautiful, quality fishing shirts. Visit these products and we look forward to accompanying you on your fishing trips.