Northern Michigan offers world-class bass fishing. The fall season is a great time to fish for bass with one of Sport Fish Michigan’s experienced Captains!
Watch this Michigan smallmouth bass return to its nest shortly after being caught on a drop shot rig on Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City fishing with Traverse City Bass showing the importance of catch & release bass fishing especially during the spawn.
Ron Dohm of the Traverse City Central High School Bass Fishing Team urges students around the state and the nation to get involved and start a competitive bass fishing team at their own high school. Get information at BassMaster.com/Nation. Ron is sponsored by Sport Fish Michigan.
Recognition – at last! And every bit of it deserved!
Bassmaster Magazine and Bassmaster.com, the publications of B.A.S.S. just published the 2014 listings of the 100 hottest fisheries on the planet, and it feels like redemption for those of us that fish Grand Traverse Bays. Coming in at number 9 on the list of best fisheries, Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay even topped last year’s champ: Lake St. Clair. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Last year’s list lumped the entirety of Lake Michigan together, glazing over the very distinct bass fisheries that different areas of the lake have to offer. This year, two of the top ten spots went to Lake Michigan bass fisheries. This distinction provides Lake Michigan with the recognition it deserves. Five of the six Michigan lakes named are in northern Michigan, with Lake St. Clair as the only exception. With 5 of the top 100 best bass fisheries on the planet here in northern Michigan, it’s hard to not feel proud as punch to be a bass guide based in Traverse City!
This is exciting news to everybody who loves northern Michigan, and has been highlighted on several radio news broadcasts, as well as on the 9 & 10 Television News. On their May 1st Hook and Hunting segment, 9 & 10 News asked me for my thoughts on what this means to the Traverse City area, and what makes fishing on Grand Traverse Bay so special.
Naturally, the answers running through my mind were many, but with a limited segment, time only allowed for the boiling down to the “best of.” Here are some of my thoughts on the Bays ranking number 9, and what it means to northern Michigan:
- With water clarity approaching 40 feet much of the year, and an average water clarity around 30 feet in the summer, the Bays resemble waters of the Caribbean. Watching fish swim is often easy to do, and sight casting to cruising fish is something that we can commonly do throughout the year.
- Burt Lake, Mullet Lake, Thunder Bay, Lake Charlevoix, and Grand Traverse Bays are the 5 lakes located in northern Michigan. Lake St. Clair is the only lake in southern Michigan on the list. All of these fisheries boast phenomenal smallmouth bass fishing, and St. Clair also has a fantastic largemouth fishery.
- Both water clarity and world-class fishing are what national television fishing shows are looking for, and northern Michigan delivers! With well-known television shows like Hook N’ Look, Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show, The Bass Pros, One More Cast with Shaw Grigsby, Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine all regulars, the area has certainly drawn its share of big-time anglers. Babe Winkleman has also filmed his long-time show here, as well.
- The additional attention brought to the area will help the local economy, through increased bookings for guides such as my own Traverse City Bass Guide Service and Sport Fish Michigan. It will also help other area businesses like hotels, gas stations, fishing license revenues, restaurants, etc.
- The area is very family friendly, and there are lots to do to entertain the troops when the fishing day is done. Then again, with such good fishing, I’m not sure how somebody could get enough!
- Wineries, microbreweries, beaches, hiking trails, canoe and kayak rentals, sightseeing, and many other activities are sure to keep families and individuals busy. Choosing what to do is the easy part. Having to choose what not to do is probably the difficult part.
- Even though Bassmaster ranked Grand Traverse Bay as the number 9 bass fishery on the planet, northern Michigan boasts other spectacular fisheries as well. The entire Great Lakes salmon fishery began just to the south of Traverse City, near the town of Frankfort on the Platte River. The Platte still has a world-class coho salmon fishery, and the king salmon fishing around Frankfort is stellar. Steelhead fishing on the area rivers is a favored past-time of countless anglers. Rainbow and brown trout are also highly sought-after species. In fact, the recent world record brown trout was caught on the Manistee River, just to the south of Traverse City. Lake trout, whitefish, walleye, perch, smelt, and even muskies fill out the impressive list of great angling opportunities in the area, regardless of the preferred method for fishing- be it casting, fly fishing, jigging or trolling.
- With so many wonderful options in the area, Michigan is a fisherman’s paradise, not just during the warm summer months, but year-round!
Elaine Finucane from Tennessee, holding a beautiful bass from East Bay. The weather was gloomy out near Traverse City, but the fishing was good. We caught a lot of fish, despite the rain and cool temps.
Set your compass to True North and visit Traverse City. Toward mountains of sand, toward new sights and sensations, toward the true bounty of nature.
The Traverse City area, and the surrounding northern Michigan areas got a whopper of a snowstorm just a few days ago. Yes, it’s March, and we’re all experiencing some serious cabin fever, ready to break out onto the water for some open water fishing. It is still winter, however, and this fact was proven by the massive snow we got this past Friday. 18.5 inches fell at my house on Friday night alone, with several more inches added over the weekend. Power was knocked out to much of the area, as was cable, Internet and phone lines. Continue reading