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Your Lake Michigan Fishing Vacation

Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing Vacation

Top 10 Things To Do On Your Lake Michigan Fishing Vacation

Coming to Manistee for a week? Bringing the family? What ever will we do when we are done fishing? Manistee is a special place with something to offer for everyone. Come watch a freighter traverse the river, tell ghost stories (or Fish tales) around the camp fire, take in a Sunset over the lake. The possibilities are endless. Come.. Fish.. Frolic in Manistee this summer!

The Big Draw

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Lake Michigan Chinook Salmon (king)

Summer time is fishing time in the Victorian port city of Manistee Michigan. Big adult king salmon roam these northern Michigan waters. Chinook and coho salmon are the big draw for a lot of anglers. They begin to stage off Lake Michigan rivers in July. Most of these fish have entered the rivers around mid September but there are plenty of opportunities to catch steelhead, brown trout and lake trout all summer long. If you are looking for a Michigan Master Angler Salmon in the 30 pound class, July thru September is the time to go. The Lake Michigan waters off Manistee produce more Master angler Salmon than any other Lake Michigan port. However do not over look the world class lake trout fishery we have in central Lake Michigan, Trout to 25 pounds are caught on a daily basis with June being the best time to find good numbers. I almost forgot to mention how tasty these fish are, nicknamed lake chickens aboard the Tuna Time.

The River Walk

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Manistee River walk

While taking a stroll down the river walk in Downtown Manistee, you are sure to notice the collection of art architectural jewels on every corner, the friendly merchants, and the beautiful Manistee River. These are only a few of the elements that make this such a special place. Courtesy of the Manistee County Historical Society, the 1.75 mile south Riverwalk that runs along the Big Manistee River through the heart of Downtown Manistee contains 25 historic markers/plaques that educate, illustrate and intrigue. A very popular place to catch one of Lake Michigan’s amazing sunsets.

The Beach

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Manistee 5th avenue beach

I am not much of a sunbather but my dear wife enjoys sinking her toes in the white sugar sand. I have traveled the world fishing and vacationing over the past 3 decades, Lake Michigan beaches are second to none. 5th Avenue Beach is considered to be one of Manistee’s most beautiful beaches. The Manistee North Pierhead Lighthouse is also located off of the north pier. The bathhouse is recently reconstructed and features a great food vendor and shower facility. You will also find a great playground for the kids and tennis courts for mom and dad. Even if the beach isn’t your thing, walk the pier and enjoy a Lake Michigan sunset.

The Weir

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Little Manistee river weir

The Little Manistee River weir is an egg-take and salmon harvest facility which is operated by the DNR. The weir is used to block fish on the Little Manistee River in the spring and fall of the year. Steelhead eggs are taken in the spring and chinook salmon eggs are taken in the fall at the weir. The eggs taken at the weir are sent to state fish hatcheries where they are reared and stocked all over Michigan. Eggs are also supplied to several other states.

Wildlife Galore

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Big Manistee River

Lying between the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, is the nearly one-million-acre Huron-Manistee National Forests. The Forests offer year-around motorized and non-motorized recreation opportunities. Most popular are the trails and campgrounds along four nationally designated Wild and Scenic Rivers such as the Pine, Manistee, Au Sable and Pere Marquette.

River Fun

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

The Pine River

Want to try your hand at rafting, kayaking, canoeing ? Maybe just a lazy float in a enter tube? Manistee county is home to 3 major river basins, The Pine, The little Manistee, and The Big Manistee. You can choose from multiple liveries to outfit you and your group for the river adventure of your choosing.


Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club

Are you the the golfing type? Manistee county is home to several golf courses to suit your needs.

Manistee National, A perfect one-two punch of golf can be experienced at Manistee National, just south of Manistee. Here, two golf courses sit within ¼ mile of each other with such a contrast in architecture, style of play and landscape, it feels like they could be states away from one another. Canthooke Valley is carved out of dense hardwoods and is often described as a course you could play every day and never tire of while the Jerry Matthew’s design at Cutter’s Ridge offers one of the highest slope ratings in the State of Michigan.

The Bluffs, Arcadia Bluffs is one of the top public golf courses in the country. The minute you pull off M-22 and make your way up the gradual drive towards the lodge featuring panoramic Lake Michigan views you will quickly see why The Bluffs defines Michigan Golf. With the addition of their South Course in 2018, Arcadia Bluffs now features 36 holes of Championship Golf and a world-class experience to go along with it.

The Highlands, Bear Lake is a great golf environment. It isn’t too long, an isn’t too short. The terrain is varied in all of the right places and you could play the course a dozen times and never find yourself hitting the same approach into the greens. Appropriately named for its location in the rolling hills overlooking Bear Lake, the Highlands has been offering a family and community friendly golf experience for over 50 years.

The Country Club, Don’t let the name fool you, the Manistee Golf and Country Club is open to the public and is one incredible golf value considering you are playing on the shores of Lake Michigan. The course has a great flow of golf holes that provide for a fun but challenging round of golf. With three (3) sets of tees, golfers, from beginners to the more competitive, can enjoy this historic course. At just 5,614 yards from the tips, the course is not going to be the longest you find yourself on, but it makes for a very fun round of golf and is a great walking course.

Performing Arts

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

The Ramsdell Theater

The Ramsdell Theater offers a variety of programming opportunities for community members: Live events, art exhibits, tours, and school field trip opportunities. The RRCA entertains, educates, and engages patrons and the greater community through diverse and inclusive presentations of Music, Theatre, and Dance in a historic theatre. The events include professional performers and presenters, as well as our passionate community talent.

Taste of the North

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

Manistee Farmers Market

In the height of the season enjoy over 50 different vendors featuring local produce and artisan goods. You will also find many diverse shrubs and cut flowers available at the Manistee Farmers Market. In addition, the historic downtown will come alive with street musicians playing live music in front of local shops. Homegrown Saturdays run from the middle of May – early October: 8am-12pm. Rise and shine early, because you won’t want to miss this.

Carnival Time

Lake Michigan fishing Vacation

The Forest Festival

This is the signature event of the Manistee Area Chamber of Commerce. Hosted every year over the 4th of July/Independence Day Holiday, the Manistee National Forest Festival is a Manistee County tradition stretching back over 80 years. Drawing thousands of tourists to the area along with many residents returning with ties to the community, this festival embodies the idea of “Community” that so many love about this area. Each year, the Forest Festival highlights events such as the Festival Marketplace, Carnival, Fireworks over Lake Michigan, and much more!

No matter what your personal taste, you will find things to suit. Come enjoy and relax in Manistee. Don’t forget to book your Manistee salmon fishing charter today!

Get more ideas on what to do on the Manistee Travel Guide.