Fishing in the Great Lakes

The great lakes truly are one of nature’s phenomenon's. While saltwater seas are known to reach tremendous sizes, a body of freshwater that matches the great lakes is practically unheard of. 

The Great Lakes cover 95,000 square miles, making them collectively the largest freshwater body on the planet, by far. In fact, Lake Superior, only one of the five great lakes, is by itself the largest freshwater lake in the world. They hold over 10,000 miles of shoreline and hold 90% of the United States’ water supply. No matter what shore you’re on, the Great Lakes are an awe-inspiring sight.

Every year, millions of people flock to the Great Lakes for world-class boating and fishing. It’s one of the best destinations for anglers of all types; so let’s learn more about these natural wonders. 


How did the giant lakes, which basically amount to a freak of nature, ever come to be formed? It took thousands of years and trillions of gallons of water, but eventually nature carved out what we now call the Great Lakes.

About 20,000 years ago, a giant ice shelf covered the area of the Great Lakes, as well as most of North America. As the world warmed, the massive glacier started to slowly creep back to the north, and over a period of thousands of years, it carved deep basins into the relatively soft ground. What it left behind is now the basins of the lakes, but it still needed water to fill the valleys. Slowly but surely, the ice melt from the north drained southward, eventually filling the massive valleys of the Great Lakes. Scientists believe that the Great Lakes as we know them were completed about 3,500 years ago.


Trout and salmon are two of the most popular species to fish in the Great Lakes, particularly because they can be less common in other bodies of water. (Walleye, for example, are found in the Great Lakes but are also common across many regions.) You can travel to the Great Lakes for Atlantic salmon, king salmon, brown trout, lake trout, steelhead, and more. The lakes also give plenty of opportunities for smallmouth bass fishing, especially in small inlets, bays, and river connections.


Like the species themselves, there are practically infinite fishing destination for the Great Lakes, but we’ll try to give you some pointers. First of all, any major city on the lakes will have charters available. This includes Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, and many more. If you’re ever in these cities, look into the local charter companies.

If you want something with fewer skyscrapers and more pine trees, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a popular choice. The coast of Superior in northern Minnesota, starting near Duluth, is also a fabulous get-away destination.

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