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Fishing the Sanctuary of the Great Lakes

Fishing is an all-around fun family activity in Alpena. Photo courtesy, Charles Kennedy.

Whether you’re taking the kids out to create some relaxing memories, or on the hunt for the next trophy catch, Northeast Michigan is THE destination for sport and recreational fishing.

There are more than 100 accessible bodies of water (300,000 acres of open water) in the 4-county Northeast Michigan area. Alpena serves as base camp for your fishing expedition. Within an easy drive of Alpena, you’ll find numerous inland lakes and river systems that offer a variety of healthy fish species. Locations for trolling, fishing off the river bank, fly fishing, fishing from a dock or canoe, a perfect reed bed for your bass boat, and even deep water options abound in and around Alpena.

Relive the lazy summer days of your childhood with a hook and bobber while your feet dangle in the refreshing water. Venture out to the big lake and reel in the wildest of the wild fish populations that have never before seen a lure. Experience the unique fishing habitat created by hundreds of historic shipwrecks resting on the bottom of Lake Huron in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. There is even a

Alpena is a popular bass fishing hotspot. The Outdoor Channel’s popular Major League Fishing tv series has filmed in Alpena three times.

multitude of great fishing spots within the city limits of Alpena. We don’t even stop when the snow starts! As soon as the lakes freeze over they are dotted with ice fishing shanties. If you love fishing, you need to put Alpena on your list.

Take care of your fishing license online! Just follow this link and you’ll be on the water in no time!  DNR ELicense

*** Help prevent the spread of invasive species! Wash your watercraft before putting in at a new body of water. Find out more here:***

Explore our Fishing Heritage

It all started in the waters of Northeast Michigan. Alpena’s first settlement was a fishing village on Thunder Bay Island just off the coast of the mainland. Throughout the centuries, fishing has been a constant throughout our story. Learn more at Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan where you can view the different fish species to be found in and around Alpena. Walk through the historic Fishing Village and see the Katherine V, an authentic Great Lakes fishing tug. The museum is also home to the retired DNR research vessel the Chinook.

Michigan Catch & Cook

For a full water-to-table fishing experience,  make arrangements for a Michigan Catch & Cook adventure at one of these two participating restaurants!  Thanks to partnerships between the Courtyard Restaurant, Twin Acres 19th Hole Restaurant, Two Hearted Charters, Trout Scout Charters, and WipeOut Charters,  you can take your fresh catch to one of these restaurants and have it prepared and served to you the same day!



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