Anyone who ever said you can’t fish in the city clearly never spent any time in Detroit. From rolling rivers and local fishing holes to the unofficial “Sixth Great Lake,” the Detroit area offers some of the best fishing spots in the midwest for bass, walleye and more.
- Cass Lake – A few miles west of Sterling Heights, 1,280-acre Cass Lake is an excellent smallmouth bass fishing spot that also harbors crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, yellow perch and several other species. Marshbank Park and Dodge 4 State Park provide access. Some of the best fishing takes place in summer around weed beds near deep water, and in the winter through the ice near the boat launch.
- Pontiac Lake – Accessible through Indian Springs Metropark, Pontiac Lake is one of the best catfish lakes in the Detroit area, with lots of fish in the 15 to 20 inch range, along with an increasing number of 10-pounders. Bass are also available, though their numbers are more impressive than their size.
- Detroit River – The spring walleye run in the Detroit River is nothing sort of extraordinary, as millions of fish make their way into the river from Lake Erie in search of spawning sites. Look for big ‘eyes from mid-February into April around rocky shores, reefs and shallow humps.
- Belleville Lake – About 30 minutes southeast of downtown Detroit, Belleville Lake is one of Michigan’s best crappie lakes, and this 1,200-acre Huron reservoir is at its best in spring, when both black and white crappies spawn in shallow reeds, weeds, brush and wood cover.
- Lake St. Clair – The great-granddaddy of all Detroit fishing spots, Lake St. Clair spans more than 400 square miles, and it’s one of the best smallmouth bass lakes on the planet. You can catch fish just about any time of year, but two periods stand out: the spring spawn season and the feeding frenzy that takes place in fall as big bass stock up for winter. Consider that Lake St. Clair also offers world-class perch, walleye and muskie action, and you’ve got one of the best fishing spots imaginable.
A current Michigan fishing license is required for all fishing spots in the Detroit area. You can pick one up at most bait and tackle shops across the state, or order yours online through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website.