Best Midwest & Up North Fishing Trips

There are so many good fishing destinations in the midwest and up north.  The first part of this page will be setup to highlight some of the very best.  With so many great destinations, please scroll down towards the bottom also, because there are so many awesome destinations that will not make the top of the list.

View by Species of Fish

Canada offers some of the best fishing opportunities in North America for smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, muskie and lake trout.  There are other species of fish to target as well and there are plenty of fishing resorts, lodges, cabins & cottages that will accommodate you on your next Canadian fishing trip.

Ontario – If you want to experience some excellent fishing for walleye, northern pike, muskie, smallmouth bass, lake trout, perch and even crappie, you will be able to find plenty of places to fish in Ontario.  Some of the most popular drive-in fishing destinations are Lake of the WoodsLac SeulRed LakeEagle Lake and Lake Nipissing.  There are a number of boat-in and fly-in fishing destinations that offer some unbelievable fishing opportunities for numbers of fish and quality-sized fish.

Other Parts of Canada – Ontario gets most of the attention from anglers planning fishing vacations, but there are some unbelievable fishing destinations in the other provinces of Canada.  Take a look at AlbertaManitobaNewfoundland & LabradorNorthwest TerritoriesOntarioQuebec and Saskatchewan for more information.

Lake Erie Kelleys Island, Port Clinton, Put-In-Bay and Sandusky are some of the popular places to visit in Ohio if you are planning a Lake Erie fishing trip.  Walleye are king here, but you can also catch smallmouth bass, perch, salmon and trout.

Bemidji, MN Area – The Bemidji area lakes provide many recreational opportunities.  With over 400 lakes in a 25 mile radius, there are plenty of options for boaters and fishermen.  Most fishermen come here for the tremendous walleye fishing, but you can also target northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, perch, crappie and other panfish.

Boundary Waters – If you love to fish, explore the outdoors and are ready for an adventure, this might be the perfect place for you to visit.  You will be able to fish for walleye, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, lake trout, stream trout, whitefish, perch, crappie and sunfish.  The area lakes, streams and rivers provide some of the finest smallmouth bass fishing in the country.

Brainerd Lakes – Numerous resorts and hotels are located in Brainerd giving you many options for either a family trip or a weekend fishing trip with friends. The fishing is good on most of the lakes in the area.  Most anglers target walleye, northern pike and bass.  There are good numbers of fish as well as some trophies in the Brainerd Lakes Area lakes.

Lake Vermilion is an excellent lake that has 40,000 acres of water, 365 islands and 1200 miles of shoreline.  If that wasn’t enough, it stretches 40 miles across the heart of Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region.  This lake is a great place for an outdoor getaway.  There are plenty of resorts along the lake to take care of your accommodations.  Because of the size of this lake, you should have no problem finding an area on the water all for yourself. Many trophy muskie and walleye are caught on Lake Vermilion every year.  Largemouth and Smallmouth bass are plentiful and they are underfished.  If you like northern pike, 10 to 15 pound fish have become common because of the slot limit.

Lake Winnibigoshish is one of the best, if not the best, walleye lakes in Minnesota.  Visitors love coming to Lake Winnie for the outdoor recreation.  Boating, fishing, hunting, swimming, hiking and biking are very popular in this area.  There are plenty of resorts around the lake to make your trip a comfortable one.  The fishing is remarkable.  If you are looking for a lake that has lots of walleye and northern pike, you might want to plan a trip to Lake Winnie.

Leech Lake is one of the most popular tourism destinations in all of Minnesota.  There are numerous recreational opportunities here such as fishing, boating, hunting, golfing, hiking, biking and much more.  You will find a variety of accommodations here to fit your needs. Leech Lake has been recognized as one of the most consistent walleye fisheries in the state. There are also good numbers of northern pike in the 5 to 10 pound range as well as many largemouth bass in the 3 to 5 pound range.  Perch, rock bass and sunfish are loaded in this lake making it a perfect place to introduce the kids to fishing.  Muskie and smallmouth bass can also be caught in Leech Lake.

Branson, Missouri – 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.

Door County, WI – Rated as one of the top ten vacation destinations in America, Door County has so much to offer.  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.  Walleye, northern pike and perch are also plentiful making this area an unbelievable place for fishing. With all of the different opportunities, you might catch your personal record for a variety of species all in one vacation.

The Northwoods of Wisconsin offer some excellent fishing opportunities for a variety of fish such as walleye, muskie, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, northern pike and panfish such as perch and crappie.  There are so many different lakes to fish throughout the Northwoods that it may be difficult to pick just one or two to fish on your trip.  This area is known for its excellent walleye and muskie fishing.  Trophy muskie over 48 inches are caught here every year.  Fall is typically the best time if you’re looking to catch a big muskie. Some of the popular towns of the Northwoods, WI are: Boulder JunctionEagle RiverMinocquaSt. Germain and Three Lakes.

Hayward, WI is located in northwestern Wisconsin.  Its small hometown atmosphere and unique setting make it a great vacation destination.  The recreational opportunities are endless with over 55,000 acres of lakes.  Fishing is good for muskie, northern pike, walleye, bass, crappie, perch and other panfish.  Hayward is home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, where world record catches are registered.

The Turtle Flambeau Flowage (WI) is located in Iron County Wisconsin, near the towns of Mercer and Butternut.  The Flowage consists of nine lakes, three rivers and several creeks.  The flowage offers some beautiful surroundings and plenty of water for the outdoor enthusiasts.  Boating and fishing are very popular on the flowage.  Water skiing and jet skiing are permitted in some areas, but very limited, which makes it nice for the fisherman looking to find some peaceful surroundings.   The Flowage supports a diversity of fish species including walleye, muskie, northern pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass, sturgeon, and a variety of panfish.

Chequamegon Bay is a popular fishing destination in Wisconsin, although, this area doesn’t draw nearly as many visitors as some of the other popular destinations in Wisconsin.  This is definitely an area worth visiting.  The fishing is outstanding for huge smallmouth bass, lake trout, walleye, salmon and brown trout.

Bays de Noc (MI) – The Bays de Noc area covers over 200 miles of shoreline in the southwestern part of the Upper Peninsula.  There are beautiful sand beaches to go along with many places to stay, good food and excellent fishing.  The area is comprised of three cities and towns, all situated on the shores of Little Bay de Noc – Escanaba, Gladstone and Rapid River.  Little Bay de Noc is known best for its trophy walleye fishing during the fall, but you can catch a variety of fish throughout the year on these waters.  Anglers catch smallmouth bass, northern pike, perch and crappie to go along with the awesome walleye fishing.

Lake Gogebic (MI) is located in the Upper Peninsula and it is Michigan’s largest inland lake. This lake is very popular for fishing, boating and camping.  With over 13,000 acres of water, there is a lot of water here to fish, but with some good electronics and a fishing map, you should be able to narrow down some of the better fishing spots a lot faster.  Lake Gogebic is known as a very good walleye and perch lake, but you can also target northern pike, smallmouth bass and whitefish.

Lake Michigan in Michigan offers so many opportunities for anglers looking to get in on some of the awesome salmon & trout fishing this lake has to offer.  Some areas also have good rivers to fish and the Grand Traverse Bay is known for some awesome smallmouth bass fishing too. There are so many ports that you can fish from.  These areas are some of the more popular areas to visit:  Benzie County, MIDouglas & Saugatuck, MIGlen Arbor, MIGrand Haven, MIGrand Traverse BayHolland, MIMackinaw City, MIManistee County, MIMuskegon, MISouth Haven, MI and St. Joseph, MI.

Lake Huron in Michigan provides very good fishing for salmon, trout, walleye and other species of fish.  Saginaw Bay is famous for its amazing walleye fishery and you can also target some nice jumbo perch in the bay too.  Some of the popular areas to fish Lake Huron from Michigan are Alpena, MIMackinaw City, MI and Saginaw Bay.

Detroit River (MI) – More information coming soon (an excellent walleye fishery in the spring)

Lake Saint Clair (MI) 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.

View All Featured Fishing Destinations


Lake Superior

Way Up North (Near the Border)

Highway 2 (At or Above)
But not way up north

Below Highway 2

View all Minnesota Fishing Destinations




Down South (Milwaukee – Madison on Down)

Central Wisconsin

Just Lake Michigan

Northern Wisconsin

Tell us what you think.  Feel free to leave a comment about a great destination that we may have overlooked.

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