Field & Stream Magazine named Grand Rapids the nation’s 6th best fishing city. You can cast your line in the Grand River that runs through downtown, try your luck in dozens of outlying rivers and lakes, or charter a boat to fish the coastal waters of Lake Michigan.
The Grand River is home to many species, including steelhead, salmon, smallmouth bass, lake trout, coho, skamania, catfish, bass and walleye. Nearby waters add bluegill, bullhead, carp, crappie, sunfish, northern pike, muskie, perch and whitefish to the list. Check the Michigan DNR's Weekly Fishing Report (click Southwest Lower Peninsula) or, for information specific to the Grand Rapids area, the Werkman Outfitter's Fishing Report.
You’re never more than six miles away from a body of water in West Michigan – and many of them are open to the public for fishing.
Get all the gear you need at Al & Bob’s Sports or Cabela’s. Fly fishers can get outfitted at Great Lakes Fly Fishing Company, Nomad Anglers, Orvis and River Bound Fly Fishing.
A license is required for everyone 17 years of age or older. Visitors can obtain a 24-hour or 72-hour license at bait and tackle shops and Meijer stores around town, or purchase one online.
Visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website for even more fishing info.
Whether you're into sport fishing on Lake Michigan or rather explore the local rivers, there are different options for both.
Fishing is an all-season sport in Grand Rapids. Once winter ice sets in, anglers head to frozen inland lakes and river bayous to indulge in what may be the coolest sport of all. Reeds Lake, just steps from the (warm) restaurants and shops of East Grand Rapids, is dotted with ice shanties during the snowy season. Local devotees also trade whispers of their success on Camp Lake, Cranberry Lake, Lime Lake and Long Lake – all within 20 minutes of downtown. Need some advice from a local expert ?
Reeds Lake is one of the many inland lakes that are popular for ice fishing in the Grand Rapids area.
Photo by Experience Grand Rapids
Whether you’re a camper, boater, hiker, angler, mountain biker, birder, ORV enthusiast or are interested in one of our state’s many other recreation opportunities – there’s no better time to get outside and explore Michigan's outdoors and fishing opportunities.