The spring/fall runs of steelhead and salmon, the resident brown trout and “brookies” make the PM River extremely popular for fishing.
Photo by Tom Gifford
Fishing in Manistee County
Fishing in Manistee – What a Catch!
Manistee County in West Michigan has an abundance of places where anglers can catch a variety of fish. Numerous charter captains make Manistee their home port, and will happily take you out on Lake Michigan to fish for salmon and trout.
The Manistee River runs 190 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula, entering Lake Michigan along the city of Manistee in West Michigan. The Manistee River is considered to be one of the best steelhead, salmon, and trout rivers in Michigan and the Great Lakes.
Carved through deep glacial sands, the Manistee River has a remarkably stable flow of clean, cold water year-round. This makes it a tremendously popular river for fishing. Over the course of its 190-mile length, the river drops in elevation from around 1,250 to 579 feet, with an average stream gradient of about 2.9 feet per mile.
Manistee Fish Cleaning Station
“Designed by anglers for anglers” is how the Manistee Fish Cleaning Station is being described. Built in 2013 with funding support from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, it is located at the city’s First Street Beach and offers more than just fish cleaning stations. Full-color, educational signs are now in place — with information about Manistee’s historic prominence as a prime location for anglers, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to properly clean a trout or salmon. There’s also information about the Creel Census Clerks from the DNR Fisheries Division and their importance in letting anglers know where the fish are biting.
The city invited input for the fish cleaning station from those who catch salmon and even some of the top charter boat captains in the area.
Manistee has a rich history in sport fishing and the new cleaning station at First Street Beach is a great addition to the city and will help the thousands of anglers that enter tournaments along Lake Michigan.
Some of the Amenities Include:
- Fabricated trays that hold and drain fillets
- Splash guards around each of the six cleaning stations
- Retractable hoses
- Dedicated location for anglers to wash down their coolers
- Station is under cover and well lit
- One cleaning station that is accessible to accommodate people in wheelchairs
Charter Boat Fishing
The Manistee area is a paradise for those who love boating and fishing. Spring is the time to catch trout, walleye, and pike. Summer and fall feature the very best in salmon and steelhead fishing.
Manistee has many charter captains, eager to make your fishing excursion a successful one. Whether you’re a first-time angler, or an experienced fisherman, Manistee area charter captains will guide you in what to bring and what to expect on the big lake. Their boats include GPS, fishfinders, marine radios, and radar. You’ll have a safe and enjoyable fishing adventure from captains who know what they’re doing and are eager to share the fun with you.
Rates on a charter boat are quite competitive and range from half day excursions to full day. All persons over the age of 16 are required by Michigan law to have a fishing license, and one-day licenses are available from sporting goods and retail stores in town.
It’s the perfect way to spend the day with friends or family as your charter captain guides you to the best spots. From boat to table- nothing is better than a fresh fish dinner. What a way to vacation!
For more information about fishing in Manistee County, please contact:
Manistee County Sport Fishing Association
P.O. Box 98, Manistee, MI 49660
More Activities & Attractions in West Michigan
West Michigan boasts numerous museums to learn about the area’s rich history and to expand knowledge through activities and exhibits.
The Pere Marquette River area is rich with wildlife, offering great outdoors hunting and fishing opportunities.
The Michigan Audubon Society Lake Bluff Center overlooks Lake Michigan near Manistee and features wildlife and a bird sanctuary.
Todd and Brad Reed offer Photography Workshops throughout the year. These classes are great for beginners as well as seasoned professionals.
The West Michigan area, with many small lakes and rivers to explore, is a popular location for paddle sports.
Before you make a splash in Lake Michigan, check out the water temperatures for beaches from Manistee, Ludington, Pentwater, and Silver Lake.
Standing tall and proud along the shores of Lake Michigan, Point Betsie marks the southern entrance to the Manitou Passage.
Agriculture plays a large role in the economics of Mason County. Take this self-guided tour to learn about agriculture in Mason County.
Take one of the most scenic drives in the nation as you travel across M-22 in Manistee County. A long winding road of adventure awaits!