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    Fishing in Grand Rapids

    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 Insider's Experience: Fishing Edition
    Grand Rapids Waters Offer Plenty of Opportunity

    Spring fishing. What’s not to like? The air is clear and cool and birds are often singing. Fish are hungry and readily...

    Howard Meyerson
    March 29, 2021
    Beginner’s Guide to Fishing in Grand Rapids

    Anglers of all experience levels can find a great amount of fish in and around the Grand Rapids area no matter what...

    Kirsetin Morello
    April 18, 2019
    Insider Tips for Ice Fishing in Grand Rapids & West Michigan

    West Michigan offers lots of opportunities for outdoor winter activities, such as fat-tire biking, snowshoeing, skiing,...

    Kirsetin Morello
    February 5, 2019

    Fish Species

    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.

    Public Fishing

    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.

    Fishing Equipment

    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.

    Fishing Licenses

    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.

    Charter Fishing

    Whether you're into sport fishing on Lake Michigan or rather explore the local rivers, there are different options for both.

    Ice Fishing

    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?

    Explore Michigan's Outdoors

    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.