Fishing the Great Lakes

Fishing the Great Lakes:

Together the Great Lakes contain the biggest mass amount of freshwater in the world. These lakes lie between the United States and Canada. They are home to many different fish species. Some of the most common inhabitants of the Great Lakes are the various species of Trout, Salmon, Perch, and Bass. However, each lake is known for its own popular fish species.

For over 100 years these lakes have housed the world’s largest freshwater fisheries, containing both native and introduced species. Commercial fishing has declined in the past 100 years, but still relies heavily of the fish of the Great Lakes. On each lake there are fishing charters that go out of the many ports each day.

Lake Michigan:

The waters of Lake Michigan vary according to the area. The northern part of the lake is colder and less developed than the other lakes. Around Chicago and Milwaukee, the lake temperatures are warmer and the area is heavily developed. Lake Michigan offers nearly 100 different species of fish, the most popular being Salmon and Steelhead. Other fish located here are Alewife, Bowfin, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Bloater, White Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, Chinook Salmon, Lake Herring, Coho Salmon, Northern Pike, and White and Yellow Perch. Some of the ports and marinas of Lake Michigan are; Port Sheldon, Benton Harbor, Chicago, Winthrop Harbor, Frankfurt, Aradia, and Grand Haven.

Lake Huron:

The second largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Huron is located on the US-Canada border. A popular port on Lake Huron is Port Austin, where the Trout fishing is said to be the best in the world. There are also many other freshwater fish such as; Bass, Whitefish, Salmon, Steelhead, Walleye, Perch and Brown Trout. Lake Huron also has underwater ledges and deep water reefs that are bursting with fish. Ports and marinas located on Lake Huron are; Port Elgin, Port Huron, Port Austin, Port Franks, Grand Bend, and Saginaw Bay.

Lake Superior:

Lake Superior is the largest of all of the Great Lakes, and has the most surface area of any lake in the world. This lake holds enough water to submerge both North and South America under 1 foot of water. It is the coldest and deepest, reaching over 1,300 ft in depth. With most of the land surrounding still left as forest, it is not heavily populated. There are more than 60 different fish species located in Lake Superior. Some of these species include; Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Bloater, Carp, Chinook Salmon, Lake Herring, Coho Salmon, Lake Sturgeon, Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Rainbow Smelt, Ruffe, Round Whitefish, Smallmouth Bass, and White and Yellow Perch. Some of the marinas and ports located on Lake Superior are; Port Wing, Duluth Seaway Port, Twin Ports, St. Louis Bay, and Presque Isle Marina.

Lake Erie:

Lake Erie produces the most fish of all of the Great Lakes, and is the second smallest. The most prized game fish of this lake is the Chinook Salmon, also known as the “King Salmon”, recording up to 47” and 44lbs. Lake Erie also houses Yellow Perch, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Carp, Lake Herring, Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, White Bass, Walleye, and Yellow and White Perch. It is said that there are Jumbo Perch now in Lake Ontario. Some of the popular marinas and ports of Lake Erie are; Port Clinton, Port Stanley, Port of Monroe, and Port of Erie.

Lake Ontario:

Lake Ontario, best known for its salmon and trout fishing, is located between Upstate New York and Canada. There are several different species located in this lake; Atlantic Salmon, Carp, Brown Trout, Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Lake Herring, Lake Trout, Lake Whitefish, Northern Pike, Rainbow Trout, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, White Bass, and White and Yellow Perch. This lake holds many species that are unique to the area and not found in the other Great Lakes. These species include; Atlantic Salmon, American Eel, Bullheads, and Sunfish. The actual fishing season starts as soon as the ice melts. Most of the fishing in the spring takes place near the shore where the waters are warmer. The best trout fishing is in April, May and June. Once July hits, it is time to fish for Chinook salmon, Coho salmon, and steelhead. These are located farther into the lake. There are numerous fishing charters at the local Lake Ontario ports. Kingston, Little Sodus Bay, Niagara River, Oswego, Sackets Harbor and Port Dalhousie and a few of the ports surrounding Lake Ontario.

For the competitive angler; there are many fishing tournaments scheduled year round on the Great Lakes. Most occur during the spring, summer and fall months because of the ice on the lakes and the frigid temperatures in the winter. Once you have reeled in your prize winning fish, offers helpful tips to clean and preserve your catch.

Kristy Bateman is the writer for Earl’s Blog on These articles are unique and helpful to anyone interested in learning about boating and or fishing. Please visit to view a variety of unique articles from Kristy. is The Simplest Solution to Buying and Selling ‘Ur’ Boat.