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The Best Fishing Spots Near Traverse City, MI

Leelanau Pines in Cedar, MI, located on the picturesque Lake Leelanau and just 20 minutes from Traverse City, offers campers a prime location to explore some of the best fishing spots in the area. Traverse City is a fisherman's paradise, with a variety of lakes, rivers, and streams teeming with fish. Whether you're into fly fishing, bass fishing, or just want to enjoy a peaceful day by the water, we've got you covered. Below, we've outlined the 8 best fishing areas near Traverse City, MI, in hopes that you'll soon find your go-to spot!

Fishing Spot #1: Boardman River

The Boardman River is a top choice for fishing near Traverse City. Known for its excellent trout fishing, this river offers opportunities to catch brown, rainbow, and brook trout. The river's clear waters and lush surroundings make it a serene spot for fly fishing near Traverse City, MI.

Fishing Spot #2: Lake Leelanau

Right at our doorstep, Lake Leelanau provides some of the best fishing near Traverse City. This lake is renowned for its diverse fish population, including walleye, northern pike, and smallmouth bass. Whether you're casting from a boat or the shore, Lake Leelanau is a must-visit for fishing enthusiasts.

Fishing Spot #3: Grand Traverse Bay

Grand Traverse Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, offers fantastic fishing opportunities. Known for its deep waters and abundant fish species, anglers can expect to catch salmon, steelhead, and lake trout. It's one of the best fishing spots in Traverse City for those seeking a big catch.

Fishing Spot #4: Platte River

The Platte River is another excellent spot for fishing near Traverse City, MI. This river is famous for its annual salmon run, attracting anglers from all over. Additionally, the river hosts a healthy population of trout and is a popular spot for fly fishing.

Fishing Spot #5: Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake, located a short drive from Traverse City, lives up to its name with its clear, pristine waters. Anglers here can catch a variety of fish, including lake trout, rock bass, and perch. It's a peaceful spot for a day of fishing near Traverse City.

Fishing Spot #6: Torch Lake

Torch Lake is often hailed as one of the most beautiful lakes in Michigan. Its turquoise waters are home to an array of fish species, including smallmouth bass, muskellunge, and whitefish. Fishing at Torch Lake offers both stunning scenery and plentiful catches.

Fishing Spot #7: Elk Lake

Elk Lake is another gem for fishing near Traverse City, MI. Known for its deep, cold waters, it supports a robust population of lake trout, yellow perch, and smallmouth bass. The lake's tranquil environment is perfect for a relaxing fishing excursion.

Fishing Spot #8: Betsie River

The Betsie River is renowned for its excellent trout and salmon fishing. During the fall salmon run, this river becomes a hotspot for anglers. Its scenic views and abundant fish make it one of the best fishing spots in Traverse City.

We hope this guide gave you an idea of which Traverse City fishing spot is the right one for you. If you're looking to stay at a campground near these prime fishing areas, Leelanau Pines offers a variety of cabins and campsites for all types of campers! Plus, we are located right along Lake Leelanau, where you'll be able to bring your pole, bait, and fish the day away—steps away from your site! You can check availability here or give us a call at (231) 228-5742. We hope to see you reel in a big catch (or two) during your Traverse City fishing trip!