Michigan Ice Fishing Vacation

If you are searching for a great Michigan ice fishing vacation spot, grab your Michigan fishing license and look at some of the best places for ice fishing in Michigan!

Why Michigan Ice Fishing?

Fishing magazines, books and DVDs paint the glamor of trout and bass fishing with alluring sunsets and warm weather. However, many people are unaware of another type of fishing that some folks (like us!) enjoy just as much: ice-fishing. Anticipated with the same excitement as trout and bass fishing, an ice-fishing vacation can be the perfect solution for an otherwise a busy life.

Below is our list of the top 10 spots that may want to consider for your next Michigan ice fishing vacation.

Top 10 Places for Ice Fishing in Michigan

Michigan Ice Fishing Vacation

1. Lake Missaukee

At just under 2,000 acres, Lake Missaukee in Lake City offers a shallow terrain and a bounty of sunfish and bluegills. If you have never visited Lake Missaukee, start on the south end just off Green Road. After that, visit the east side of Green Road where you'll find winter perch and walleyes.

2. Lakes Mitchell & Lake Cadillac

A lot of ice fishermen love these Cadillac Michigan lakes because it is easy to find safe ice long before Christmas and some of the catches can reach the size of trophy fish! Often, the ice fishing at these lakes provides a great catch right up until the ice melts away.

3. Hamlin Lake

Known for its huge bluegills and other panfish, Hamlin Lake has become another favorite for ice fishing enthusiasts near Ludington, Michigan. Spread over 5,000 acres, Hamlin offers a wide variety of pike and walleyes, too. Recently, some pike had been measured at up to 36 inches.

4. Houghton Lake

At 20,000 acres, Houghton is the biggest inland lake in Michigan and offers shallow waters with safe ice often through April. Panfish are plentiful on first ice because they go on feeding binges and 30-inch pike are common catches.

5. North Lake Leelanau

Many ice fisherman consider Leelanau one of the most consistent ice fishing lakes in Michigan. If you know how to time the season right, you can find trophy-size walleyes near Cemetery Point and brown and lake trout through the rest of the season.

6. South Lake Leelanau

Connected to North Lake Leelanau by a channel, fish visit both lakes freely. But, while the North end is home to plenty of trout, the South side a huge variety of walleyes, perch and bluegills. At over 5,000 acres, South Lake Leelanau is bigger than its brother up north and offers shallow waters, too.

7. Intermediate Lake

At just over 1,500 acres, Atrim County’s Intermediate Lake freezes early and can be a great place to start your ice-fishing getaway. Walleyes and perch are in abundance at first ice and 12-inch perch can often be found just off Deepwater Point where the water rarely exceeds 25 feet.

8. Saginaw Bay

Though Saginaw Bay receives first ice a little later than other lakes, a lot of ice anglers love fishing location. If you have never been to Saginaw, start at the end of Linwood Road right off Bay City State Park. In midwinter, you can find a bigger population of walleyes in the deeper waters.

9. Higgins Lake

Located near Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake offers a completely unique ice-fishing adventure. With depths approaching 130 feet and first ice coming as late as the tail end of January, many ice anglers avoid Higgins. But, if you want yellow perch, you may find this an ideal location…well worth the wait!

10. Gull Lake

Gull typically provides safe ice sometime in January and is home to a wide selection of fish including rainbow trout, bluegills and even yellow perch. Though the bluegill usually top out at 9 inches, they are plentiful, offering a great crop.


Michigan provides dozens of wonderful places to take an ice fishing vacation. The most difficult choice won't be finding a good spot for a getaway. The difficult part is selecting which one from out top 10 of great Michigan ice fishing spots.



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