Walleye Fishing Upper Peninsula Michigan: Top Locations for a Successful Catch

Fishing Upper Peninsula Michigan PIC

Walleye fishing in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers anglers an abundance of opportunities to reel in this popular gamefish. The region’s pristine waters serve as the perfect haven for walleyes, attracting both experienced and novice fishermen alike. With numerous lakes, rivers, and bays to choose from, there’s no shortage of excellent fishing spots in the Upper Peninsula.

Lake Gogebic, the Manistique River, Bays de Noc, and St. Mary’s River are just a few of the premier walleye fishing destinations in the area. Each of these locations offers unique settings and challenges for anglers, making Upper Peninsula Michigan a top destination for walleye enthusiasts. Whether using traditional angling techniques or fly-fishing, you’ll find your perfect fishing getaway in the Upper Peninsula.

Key Takeaways

  • Walleye fishing is a popular activity in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, thanks to its abundant lakes, rivers, and bays.
  • Top walleye fishing destinations include Lake Gogebic, the Manistique River, Bays de Noc, and St. Mary’s River.
  • Anglers of all skill levels can enjoy an unforgettable fishing experience in the Upper Peninsula’s scenic locations.

Lake Gogebic

Description of Lake

Lake Gogebic is the largest inland lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, boasting 13,380 acres of prime fishing waters. Surrounded by 960,000 acres of Ottawa National Forest, it offers a serene and beautiful setting for fishermen looking to reel in some impressive catches. The lake is particularly well-known for its walleye population, making it an ideal landing spot for walleye fishing enthusiasts.

Tips for Fishing

To maximize your chances of success while fishing at Lake Gogebic, consider the following tips:

  1. Season: Spring and fall are the best times to fish for walleye on Lake Gogebic, as they tend to move into shallower waters during these seasons, making them easier to catch.
  2. Bait and Tackle: Using live bait, such as minnows or leeches, is highly effective for catching walleye. Jigs, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits can also yield good results when targeting this species.
  3. Structure: Focus on fishing around underwater structures like drop-offs, weed beds, and points where the shoreline changes. Walleye are often found in these areas, especially during their feeding times.
  4. Patience: Walleye are known for being elusive and sometimes challenging to hook. Practice patience and persistence to increase your chances of a successful day on the water.

Specific Spots on the Lake

When fishing at Lake Gogebic, there are several hotspots you won’t want to miss, some of which include:

  • Bergland Bay: This area of the lake is shallow and contains numerous weed beds, making it an excellent place to catch walleye, particularly in the spring months.
  • Fisherman’s Bay: Located on the eastern side of the lake, Fisherman’s Bay offers rocky and clay banks, providing ample opportunity to find walleye hiding among the underwater structures.
  • Porcupine Bay: A deeper section of the lake, Porcupine Bay is known for holding walleye in its depths, as well as providing an excellent place to catch smallmouth bass and northern pike.

Remember to adhere to local fishing regulations, and enjoy your time exploring the beautiful waters and pristine wilderness surrounding Lake Gogebic.

Manistique River

Overview of the River

The Manistique River flows through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is a popular destination for anglers looking to fish for a variety of species, including walleye. The expansive river system offers ample opportunities for both shoreline and boat fishing in northern Michigan, and when targeted effectively, it can deliver good numbers of fish.

Productive Sections and Access Points

There are several key areas and access points along the Manistique River where walleye can be caught in good numbers. According to the Ultimate Fishing Site, the fall months provide the best walleye fishing experience, especially in the Manistique River.

Some notable sections and access points include:

  • Dollarville Dam: Fish downstream of the dam for northern pike and other fish species.
  • Gulliver: A small town situated on the banks of the river also offers good fishing opportunities.

Additionally, many lakes surrounding the Manistique area, like Bay de Noc, are also great walleye fishing spots.

Seasons and Techniques for Targeting Walleye

To maximize your walleye fishing success in the Manistique River, it is important to understand the best seasons and techniques to use.



  • Drifting: Drifting with live bait, such as minnows or nightcrawlers, can be an effective way of targeting walleye in the river. Use a bottom bouncer or sinker to keep your bait near the riverbed, where walleye often hold.
  • Trolling: Using crankbaits or slow-moving artificial lures, trolling is also effective in covering larger stretches of water while searching for walleye.

By experimenting with different techniques, targeting productive sections of the river, and visiting during the optimal fall season, you can make the most of your walleye fishing experience on the Manistique River.

Bays de Noc

Description of Location and the Bays

Bays de Noc, located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is a prime destination for walleye fishing. Consisting of two bays, Big Bay de Noc and Little Bay de Noc, the area is known for its trophy walleye fishing, especially during fall and spring months. Lake Gogebic, another popular walleye fishing spot, is situated nearby.

Areas to Focus On

When targeting walleye in Bays de Noc, some key locations to pay attention to include:

  • Little Bay de Noc: Best known for its fall walleye population, where the average size ranges from 8-12lbs, with most catches occurring during nighttime.
  • Big Bay de Noc: While not as famed as its smaller counterpart, still offers excellent opportunities for anglers seeking walleye.
  • Lake Gogebic: A top spot in Upper Peninsula where walleye fishing is a popular activity.

Trolling Techniques and Equipment

To increase the chances of success in walleye fishing in Bays de Noc, several trolling techniques and equipment are recommended:

  • Leadcore line: By using leadcore line, the bait is brought down to the depths where walleye typically reside.
  • Jigging: Jigging is an effective method to catch walleye, especially when using live bait like minnows or nightcrawlers.
  • Crankbaits: Trolling with crankbaits allows covering large areas of water quickly, increasing the chances of finding and attracting walleye.
  • Planer boards: When targeting walleye in open water, using planer boards helps cover a wider area while trolling.

With the combination of the right location, techniques, and equipment, anglers can confidently pursue walleye in Bays de Noc and enjoy a rewarding fishing experience in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

St. Mary’s River

Overview of the River

St. Mary’s River, located in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is a popular destination for anglers in pursuit of the coveted walleye. The river, part of the Lake Huron watershed, spans over 200 miles and offers a diverse fishing experience. It acts as a 75-mile system made up of a river, bays, and associated lakes that connect Lake Superior with Lake Huron. This diverse ecosystem supports a healthy population of walleye, smallmouth bass, northern pike, yellow perch, white bass, and lake sturgeon, making it an ideal spot for walleye fishing.

Hotspots to Fish

St. Mary’s River is home to some of the best walleye fishing spots in the Upper Peninsula. Anglers can enjoy shore fishing, trolling, and boat fishing at various locations along the river. Some of the top hotspots for walleye fishing in St. Mary’s River include:

  • Raber Bay: Known for its abundant walleye population, Raber Bay offers both shore and boat fishing opportunities.
  • Lake George: This branch of the St. Mary’s River is a popular spot for trolling walleyes.
  • Munuscong Bay: Fishermen flock to this location for excellent ice fishing opportunities, especially during the winter months.

Seasons and Tips

The best time for walleye fishing in St. Mary’s River is during the months of May and June and again from late August through October. During these times, walleye are more actively feeding and tend to be found in shallower waters. Utilizing live bait, such as minnows, can increase your success rate significantly. As water temperatures rise throughout the season, anglers should begin to target deeper water to find feeding walleye. Trolling with artificial lures, especially crankbaits and jigging techniques, can also prove effective in landing these prized fish.

Paying attention to the river’s current and structure can help you find the best fishing spots. Focusing on areas with changes in water depth, bottom structure, and vegetation can lead to greater success. Remember to adapt your technique and tackle to suit the specific conditions of the river and the walleye’s behavior during different seasons for the best results.


Summary of the Best Walleye Fishing Opportunities in the UP

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers a variety of walleye fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. Some of the best spots to catch walleyes in the UP include Lake Gogebic, where veteran guides can help you reel in impressive catches. Another popular location for walleye is the St. Marys River, which connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron.

Tips for a Successful Fishing Trip

To ensure a successful fishing trip in the Upper Peninsula, consider these tips:

  • Be prepared: Equip yourself with appropriate gear such as rods, reels, tackle, and bait specific to walleye fishing.
  • Study the area: Familiarize yourself with the water conditions, and preferred habitats of walleyes in your chosen location.
  • Know the regulations: Adhere to local fishing regulations to protect the fish population and ensure a sustainable future for the sport.
  • Hire a guide: If you are new to the area or need some guidance, consider hiring a professional guide who can show you the best spots and techniques for catching walleyes.

Final Thoughts on Enjoying Walleye Fishing in the Beautiful UP

Walleye fishing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan offers a unique and rewarding experience for anglers. With stunning natural surroundings and a healthy population of walleyes, it provides a perfect setting for a memorable fishing trip. By following the tips mentioned above and respecting the local environment, anglers can enjoy the sport for years to come while creating cherished memories with friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top walleye lakes in the Upper Peninsula?

Some of the best lakes in the Upper Peninsula for walleye fishing include Lake Gogebic, the Manistique River, and the Tahquamenon River. In particular, Lake Gogebic has a strong reputation for walleye fishing, attracting anglers from all over. The Manistique River is another great spot to target walleye, as well as northern pike and smallmouth bass.

When does walleye fishing season start in Michigan?

The walleye fishing season in Michigan typically starts in late April or early May. Be sure to consult the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the most up-to-date regulations on walleye fishing, as these may be subject to change.

What are the size limits for walleye in Michigan?

Size limits for walleye in Michigan can vary depending on the specific body of water. It is important to refer to the current Fishing Guide provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the most accurate information on size and possession limits.

What are the best walleye lures and rigs in Michigan?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the best walleye lures and rigs in Michigan, as different techniques work better in different conditions. Popular options include crankbaits, jigs, and spinnerbaits. When fishing in murky water, brightly colored lures can be effective at attracting attention. The key is to experiment with different lures and techniques to find what works best in the specific body of water you’re fishing.

Which months are ideal for walleye fishing?

While walleye fishing can be productive throughout the year, the best months for walleye fishing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan typically include May, June, and October. During these months, walleye tend to be more active, making them more likely to bite.

Are there any recommended walleye fishing charters in the Upper Peninsula?

There are several walleye fishing charters available in the Upper Peninsula that cater to anglers of all skill levels. When choosing a charter, it’s essential to research and find a reputable guide with positive reviews and plenty of experience. A great starting point can be found at UP Travel, which provides information on fishing opportunities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


Hi, I’m Kurt and I’m the author of walleyemania. I’ve been fishing for Walleye since I was a kid and I love sharing my tips, tricks, and stories with other anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you’ll find something useful and entertaining on my site. I cover everything from the best gear, baits, and techniques to the best spots, seasons, and recipes for Walleye fishing. Join me on my journey to catch more and bigger Walleye!

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