A guide to the Michigan fishing experience

Published 4:07 pm Thursday, April 14, 2016

Every year, fishing on Michigan’s abundant waterways contributes billions of dollars to the state economy — money that helps support thousands of small businesses as well as local communities and schools.

Anglers also help support state conservation efforts and fisheries management by purchasing licenses and controlling populations.

I encourage Southwest Michigan families and out-of-state visitors to get out this summer and enjoy some of the world’s best fishing on both inland and Great Lakes waters. It’s fun, relaxing and important to preserving our great outdoors.

Get to know fishing rules, seasons, regulation changes, license information and more in the official 2016-2017 Michigan Fishing Guide. It is available where fishing licenses are sold or online at www.michigan.gov/fishingguide.

According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the new publication is intended to be useful to anglers in the field by being printed on higher-quality paper to better withstand wear and tear and is produced in a smaller size to better fit in tackle boxes.

As this is a two-year guide, always check online for the most recent information, including any new regulation changes at www.michigan.gov/fishing.

Before you head out, don’t forget to get a new license. The new fishing license season started on April 1. The DNR offers two simple ways to purchase a fishing license in Michigan. Anglers can visit a local license retailer or DNR Customer Service Center to buy one in person. Licenses can also be purchased online 24 hours a day, seven days a week at www.mdnr-elicense.com.

All 2016 fishing licenses are valid through March 31, 2017 and are good for all species.

Looking for a big fish? Anglers have caught some record-setting fish in Southwest Michigan over the years. The most-recent record was set in 2014 when a 52-pound Flathead Catfish was caught in Barron Lake in Cass County. Records for the Longnose Sucker and Northern Hog Sucker have also been set in the St. Joseph River in Berrien County, and Cass County’s Magician Lake was home to a state-record Black Bullhead.

I hope you all have a chance to get out on the water and experience the joy of fishing. It is truly one of the things that makes Michigan such a great place to live and raise a family.


Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents Southwest Michigan.