Best Midwest & Up North Fishing Trips

Best of the Best – Midwest & Up North

Door County   –   Rating 10.0
Rated as one of the top ten vacation destinations in America, Door County has so much to offer.  With hundreds of miles of scenic shoreline, there are numerous recreational opportunities in this area.  From swimming on the beaches, shopping, dining, hiking, sight-seeing, boating or fishing, Door County has something here for everyone.  Door County is known for having a great salmon and trout fishery as well as being one of the top smallmouth bass destinations in the country.

Lake of the Woods     –     Rating 10.0

Rated a perfect score, Lake of the Woods is unbelievable.  If you ever get the chance to experience this fishery, you will know why we rated this a 10.0.  This lake has plenty of services to accommodate you on your trip, you can catch good numbers of fish and go after trophy fish too.  It’s all here on Lake of the Woods.

Lac Seul  –  Rating 10.0

Lac Seul may be the best drive to lake in Canada that gives you the opportunity to catch huge numbers of walleye to go along with big fish too.  Walleye, muskie, pike and smallmouth bass are available.  You will find more muskie and smallmouth bass on the eastern part of this lake.  Pike and walleye are all over the lake in good numbers.

Red Lake, ON  –  Rating 10.0

Red Lake has some incredible fishing for northern pike, walleye and lake trout.  It is a good numbers lake and trophy fish are very common.  It’s a big lake and it’s a long drive, but there are a surprising amount of resorts and services here to help make your trip a memorable one.

Traverse City, MI   –     Rating 10

Traverse City is the main town that sits on Grand Traverse Bay.  The bay is a very popular tourist area.  Plan on finding many restaurants, shops, accommodations and more in this area.  This area offers some outstanding fishing for lake trout, salmon and smallmouth bass.  Grand Traverse Bay is a bay of Lake Michigan formed by part of Northern Michigan. The bay is 32 miles long, 10 miles wide and up to 620 feet deep in some spots.  It is divided into two arms by the Old Mission Peninsula.   The fishing can be incredible, especially for smallmouth bass.  There are also so many lakes within a 30 minute drive that also offer some awesome fishing.  Fish the bay or go inland.  Either way, you have some awesome options when visiting this area.

Saginaw Bay    –     Rating 9.75

Saginaw Bay is a bay within Lake Huron located on the eastern side of Michigan.  It forms the space between Michigan’s Thumb region and the rest of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  Saginaw Bay is a large bay covering 1,143 square miles.  It is one of the most popular places to fish for walleye in the United States.  You can find them in good numbers and many trophy fish are caught here too.  You can also fish for smallmouth bass, perch and northern pike.

Bemidji, MN     –     Rating 9.5

Bemidji is an awesome fishing town.  You will plenty of lakes which offer several different species of fish.  Go after muskie, northern pike, walleye, bass and panfish.  There are plenty of places to accommodate you here as well.

Brainerd, MN     –     Rating 9.5

Brainerd is another destination similar to Bemidji.  Lots of places to stay, plenty of services and excellent fishing for a number of different fish.  Go after pike, walleye, bass, panfish and even muskie in the area.  There is a lake for pretty much everything just a short drive from Brainerd, Minnesota.

Branson, MO     –      Rating 9.5

Branson, Missouri has grown to become one of the most popular vacation destinations in the midwest.  There is something to do in Branson for the entire family.  There is plenty of entertainment with tons of live shows in the numerous theatres.  There is plenty of shopping, restaurants and golf courses. For the fishermen, you have the option of fishing Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo or Bull Shoals Lake.  You can catch a variety of fish depending on what lake you decide to fish.  Some of the species to catch are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, trout, white bass, crappie, catfish and bluegill.

Eagle Lake, ON  –  Rating 9.5

Another good Canadian drive-in lake for muskie, pike, walleye and smallmouth bass.  You can find a lot of trophy-sized fish in Eagle Lake.  It is a huge lake and you may have to put some time in to find good numbers of fish, but they are in here and at times, the fishing can be outstanding.

Ely, MN     –     Rating 9.5

Ely is home to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  The fishing can be flat out incredible in this area.  You have plenty of services here to accommodate you, however, there are boat motor restrictions on many of the better lakes in this area.  Leave the 250 horsepower motor and go old school when fishing here.  If you like a little adventure, you may want to consider a trip here.  You can get action like in Canada, but you may have to do it out of a smaller boat, canoe or kayak.

Grand Rapids, MN     –     Rating 9.5

The Grand Rapids area is home to some of the better lakes in the state.  You can catch good numbers of several species of fish including walleye, pike, bass and panfish and trophy-sized fish are possible here too.  You may have to drive a little to find some of the better muskie lakes, but the other species of fish make up for it in this area.

Indian River Area     –     Rating 9.5

Indian River is an unincorporated community in Cheboygan County.  It’s a small town, but there are a couple of lakes here that make this area so special.  Indian River is named after the river which flows through it and it is nestled between Burt Lake and Mullett Lake.  The lakes are a very popular tourist destination.  If you like to get outdoors, there’s plenty for you to do here.  This area is excellent for fishing for a variety of different fish.  Target walleye, northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, trout and panfish.  What also helps this area stand out is the fact that you can target trophy fish for so many different species of fish here.

Iowa Great Lakes     –     Rating 9.5

The Iowa Great Lakes are a group of natural glacial lakes in Dickinson County in northwestern Iowa in the United States. The three principal lakes of the group are Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake.  These lakes are extremely popular in this state.  Whether you are looking to do some boating, fishing or just relax on the lake, this is a great destination.  These lakes have a variety of fish to target.  Anglers can catch largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, yellow bass, white bass, walleye, perch, northern pike, muskie, crappie, bluegill and catfish.  Most anglers fish these lakes for bass, walleye, northern pike and panfish.

Kabetogama Lake     –     Rating 9.5

Kabetogama Lake is very good for fishing.  Once you learn the lake, you can expect to catch smallmouth bass, walleye and northern pike in good numbers and big fish are possible for all 3 species of fish.  Mix in some panfish and you should enjoy your trip here.

Lake Nipissing  –  Rating 9.5

Lake Nipissing is a good drive-in lake for muskie, pike, walleye and bass.  If you put in the time to learn the better spots, you can have a lot of success fishing Lake Nipissing.  Trophy fish are possible too.

Lake Saint Clair    –     Rating 9.5

Lake St. Clair is the smallest lake in the Great Lakes system.  It is not considered as one of the “Great Lakes,” however, it is part of the Lake Erie basin.  Lake St. Clair is shallow, with an average depth of around 10 feet and the maximum depth of 21 feet.

Lake St. Clair offers some excellent fishing.  You can catch trophy smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, perch and muskie.  This lake is unique in that so many different species are targeted by anglers.  There are many anglers that target smallmouth and largemouth bass, while others target the great-tasting walleye, and some anglers go crazy over the muskie in these waters.  Local anglers believe that St. Clair is the best smallmouth bass lake in the state.

Manistee County, MI    –     Rating 9.5

Manistee County is located on Lake Michigan, a part of northwestern Michigan.  Historic Manistee, the Victorian port city, is the county seat, and it features a riverwalk running through downtown to Lake Michigan.  The coastline villages include Onekama, Arcadia, Bear Lake, Copemish, Kaleva, Brethren, and Wellston.  This area offers so much for people that enjoy the being around the water.  Fishing, boating, beaches and plenty of accommodations, restaurants and shops make this a popular tourist destination in Michigan.  The fishing is outstanding with Lake Michigan and the Manistee River getting the most attention here.  Fish for salmon, trout and many other species of fish here.

Mille Lacs Lake     –     Rating 9.5

Mille Lacs Lake used to be a walleye mecca.  While hoping to return to that, the lake still offers excellent fishing for other species of fish.  It has turned into one of the best smallmouth bass lakes in the United States and the pike fishing is very good too.

Rainy Lake     –     Rating 9.5

Rainy Lake is one of the better lakes to fish in the entire United States and the Canada side is even better.  Walleye numbers are good and the pike fishing can be outstanding.  We didn’t even mention the smallmouth bass.  They are here in big numbers and plenty of trophy fish are here too.

Sault Ste. Marie  (MI & Canada)    –     Rating 9.5

Sault Ste. Marie is a city that lies on the northeastern end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the Canadian border and it is separated from its twin city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, by the St. Marys River.  The population was 14,144 at the 2010 census, making it the second most populous city in the Upper Peninsula.  This area has a diverse fishery with salmon, trout, walleye, northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass and other species available too.  It’s a unique fishery because you can fish for so many different fish and there are a lot of trophy fish in these waters too.

View a Complete List of the Best Fishing Destinations up North & Midwest


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