Best Pier Fishing in Michigan

Pier in lake michigan
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Michigan offers a variety of pier fishing experiences that are as rich and diverse as its Great Lakes coastline. With over 3,288 miles of shoreline, your fishing adventures here can be as vast and varied as the freshwater itself. The Great Lakes provide an unmatched backdrop for anglers seeking to reel in a big catch or simply enjoy a serene day with a rod and reel in hand. As you explore pier fishing in Michigan, you’ll have the opportunity to target a range of species from the common perch to the coveted salmon, all while basking in the state’s natural beauty.

Ludington North Breakwater

The Ludington North Breakwater pier extends confidently into the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan. Recognized not only for its fishing opportunities but also for the iconic North Breakwater Light, this pier is a gem in Ludington, Michigan.

During your visit, you can expect to encounter a mixture of fish species, making every casting experience unique and potentially rewarding. Your targets here are likely to include:

When you cast your line into these waters, stay abreast of local weather conditions, as the pier is known to close if wind speeds exceed just 10 mph for safety reasons.

Here’s what you may need for a successful fishing day:

  • Fishing rod: Medium-heavy power rod.
  • Bait/Lures: Live bait for walleye, spoons, and meat rigs for salmon
  • Miscellaneous: Fishing license, weather-appropriate clothing, and life vest for safety

As an angler, you’ll receive stunning views of both the lake and shoreline. Fishing reports suggest that the best catches are typically offshore in depths of 120 to 200 feet, specifically 70 to 90 feet down.

Safety note: The local regulations stress the importance of not venturing out during high winds. It’s essential to prioritize your safety above all else.

South Haven South Pier

A pier that jets out into lake michigan

When you visit South Haven, Michigan, the South Haven South Pier stands out as a beacon for anglers looking to cast their lines into Lake Michigan. Boasting a picturesque lighthouse, the pier provides an easily accessible fishing spot with a good chance of catching various freshwater species.

Species You Can Catch:

To ensure a fruitful fishing trip, it’s recommended that you’re equipped with the appropriate gear. For perch, a simple perch rig accessorized with minnows or wigglers can be effective. If you’re aiming for bass, a spinner might be your tool of choice.

Fishing Gear Tip:

  • Perch Rig: Minnows, Wigglers
  • Bass: Spinner

Before heading out, remember that a fishing license is required and can be obtained online or at local bait and tackle shops. Stay informed about current fishing regulations to remain in compliance with state laws.

License Purchase & Regulations Inquiry:

  • Online
  • Local Bait & Tackle Shops

Your on-shore adventure starts at the South Haven South Beach parking lot located at 99 Water Street. From there, a short walk leads you to the pier entrance.

Parking & Accessibility:

  • South Haven South Beach Parking
  • Short walk to pier entrance

Manistee North Pier

When you visit Manistee North Pier, you’ll be at the heart of Michigan’s prime fishing spots. This pier, located at the mouth of the Manistee River as it feeds into Lake Michigan, offers you a unique opportunity to reel in a variety of fish that are both abundant and diverse in species.

Species You May Catch:

  • Chinook Salmon: Noted for runs starting in late August.
  • Coho Salmon: Typically follow about a month after Chinooks.
  • Steelhead and others: Present depending on the season.

Fishing Tips:

  • Time: Early morning, around 3 AM, is optimal for fishing till daylight.
  • Lures: Use glow KO wobblers in 3/4 ounce size.
  • Spot: The end of the North Pier tends to be particularly fruitful.

Access and Amenities:

  • Parking: Available nearby.
  • Location: Accessible via US-31, following signs to North Pierhead.
  • Facilities: Compare against local sources for the latest on amenities.

Frankfort North Pier

When you’re seeking an outstanding pier fishing experience in Michigan, the Frankfort North Pier presents itself as a sterling choice. This pier is situated on Lake Michigan in the quaint city of Frankfort, known for its ample fishing opportunities and scenic views.

The Frankfort North Pier extends from the beautiful shores into the deep blue of Lake Michigan. Nestled close to the town of Frankfort, it’s easily accessible for anglers with ample space for casting lines.

Target Species:

  • King Salmon
  • Coho Salmon
  • Steelhead
  • Lake Trout
  • Brown Trout

Fishing Techniques:

  • Casting spoons or plugs during the salmon run
  • Drifting spawn bags for steelhead
  • Still fishing with live bait for trout

During the right seasons, you might find yourself amidst a surge of the salmon run, giving you a thrilling chance to reel in a sizable catch. Your best bet is to hit the pier early in the morning or during the late evening hours, as these are peak times when fish are most active.


  • Well-maintained walkways
  • Railings for safety
  • Nearby bait shops to stock up on supplies

Grand Haven South Pier

Your search for exceptional pier fishing in Michigan is well-served at Grand Haven South Pier. Positioned within the scenic Grand Haven State Park, this pier affords you both a historic atmosphere and rich fishing prospects with its iconic lighthouse serving as a picturesque backdrop.

Target Species:

  • Steelhead: Best fished with spawn bags or lures.
  • Whitefish and Menominee: Effective bait includes single eggs fished deep.
  • Lake Trout: Typically caught on jigging spoons in the channel.

When considering methods, you should note that trolling, casting, and jigging all find their place here, with each technique having its season and target species.

Fishing Techniques:

  • Trolling for varied trout species.
  • Casting for the lake’s famous Salmon.
  • Jigging, especially productive for lake trout and whitefish.

For record chasers, while local Rainbow Trout are on the smaller side, the scope of your catch can vary significantly, with some trout tipping the scales at over 20 pounds. Your fellow anglers are likely veterans of many seasons, attesting to the pier’s longstanding popularity.

St. Joseph North Pier

When you visit St. Joseph North Pier, you immerse yourself in one of Michigan’s premier fishing destinations. Located in Tiscornia Park, this pier extends into Lake Michigan and boasts a scenic environment coupled with ample fishing opportunities.

Species You Can Catch:

  • Spring through fall: Steelhead
  • Fall: Whitefish
  • Other varieties of fish throughout the seasons

Tips for Your Fishing Trip:

  • Bait fishing is popular here; ensure you have an adequate supply.
  • The pier is accessible for fishing from the shoreline, making it conducive for anglers of all levels.

Local Insights:

  • Due to the pier’s popularity, you’ll find both quiet spots and bustling areas.
  • Engage with local fishers for real-time advice—they’re often willing to share the day’s conditions and successes.

Regulation Reminders:

  • Be mindful of catch-and-release areas and adhere to designated fishing practices.

Charlevoix Pier

The sun sets behind the Charlevoix Pier, casting a warm glow over the calm waters. Fishing lines dangle over the edge, waiting for a bite

When fishing in Michigan, Charlevoix Pier stands out as a prime location for anglers looking to cast their lines into Lake Michigan. Situated between Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan, this pier provides an accessible spot to target a variety of fish throughout the seasons.

Species You Can Catch:

Utilize crankbaits in these waters—particularly in the cove areas where shallow waters offer ideal conditions. For salmon, the channel near the pier is known to have fish activity, especially in certain times of the year. The migration period for salmon brings them closer to the pier, making it an excellent time for you to visit.

Tips for a Successful Trip:

  • Check local fishing reports for active bites.
  • Pack versatile gear to switch between different fishing styles.
  • Be mindful of the weather as conditions can change swiftly.

The Ferry Beach Fishing Pier offers convenient parking and amenities, making it less of a hassle for you to get to the water with your equipment.

Traverse City Open Space Pier

The pier stretches into Lake Michigan, surrounded by calm waters and distant boats. Anglers cast their lines, hoping to catch the best fish in Traverse City

When you visit Traverse City, the Open Space Pier invites you to experience some of the best pier fishing in Michigan. Stationed along the scenic West Grand Traverse Bay, the Open Space Pier offers both serenity and the thrill of the catch.

Your fishing adventure can include targeting various species, most notably:

The pier isn’t just about fishing; it’s a place where you can absorb the picturesque surroundings of Northern Michigan as well.

Location and Accessibility:

  • Situated along West Bay Shore Drive
  • Easily accessible year-round
  • No fishing license required for pier fishing

Take note that while fishing along the pier, you’re likely to have company, as the area is a favorite among both locals and visitors.


  • Benches for relaxing
  • Enough space for casting
  • Nearby recreational areas

To enhance your fishing experience, you may also explore nearby waterways like the Boardman River, which is known for its trout population and empties into the western arm of Grand Traverse Bay.

Pentwater Pier

Pentwater Pier, casting a warm glow on the calm waters. Silhouetted figures dot the pier, fishing lines casting out into the lake

Pentwater Pier is your gateway to exceptional fishing in Michigan, located within Charles Mears State Park. This 700-foot pier extends into Lake Michigan, providing a prime spot for anglers looking to hook game fish such as salmon, trout, perch, or bass. Here’s what you need to know when planning your next fishing trip to Pentwater Pier:

Fishing Opportunities:

  • Daytime Fishing: Set out floats with shrimp for steelhead.
  • Night Fishing: Cast spoons for potential King Salmon.

Target Species:

Tackle Tips:

  • Silver tackle is a versatile choice.
  • For sheepshead, consider spoons and Ned rigs.
  • Catfish respond well to bait set on the bottom.

The fishing community often shares updates and tips on the Michigan Sportsman Forum, which can be invaluable for your planning. If your interests lie in smallmouth or sheepshead, basic tackle can suffice, and early mornings on the pier might be the perfect time for a peaceful fishing experience.

Lastly, while on the pier, enjoy the picturesque environment of Pentwater. The park is known for its beautiful sunsets and is just steps away from a vibrant and laid-back

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