Photo by Tom Gifford 

Fishing in Manistee

Fishing in Manistee – What a Catch!

Manistee County in West Michigan has an abundance of places where anglers can catch a variety of fish. Numerous charter captains make Manistee their home port, and will happily take you out on Lake Michigan to fish for salmon and trout.

The Manistee River runs 190 miles through the northern Lower Peninsula, entering Lake Michigan along the city of Manistee in West Michigan. The Manistee River is considered to be one of the best steelhead, salmon, and trout rivers in Michigan and the Great Lakes.

Carved through deep glacial sands, the Manistee River has a remarkably stable flow of clean, cold water year-round. This makes it a tremendously popular river for fishing. Over the course of its 190-mile length, the river drops in elevation from around 1,250 to 579 feet, with an average stream gradient of about 2.9 feet per mile.

Manistee Fish Cleaning Station

“Designed by anglers for anglers” is how the Manistee Fish Cleaning Station is being described. Built in 2013 with funding support from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, it is located at the city’s First Street Beach and offers more than just fish cleaning stations. Full-color, educational signs are now in place — with information about Manistee’s historic prominence as a prime location for anglers, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to properly clean a trout or salmon. There’s also information about the Creel Census Clerks from the DNR Fisheries Division and their importance in letting anglers know where the fish are biting.

The city invited input for the fish cleaning station from those who catch salmon and even some of the top charter boat captains in the area.

Manistee has a rich history in sport fishing and the new cleaning station at First Street Beach is a great addition to the city and will help the thousands of anglers that enter tournaments along Lake Michigan.

Some of the Amenities Include:

  • Fabricated trays that hold and drain fillets
  • Splash guards around each of the six cleaning stations
  • Retractable hoses
  • Dedicated location for anglers to wash down their coolers
  • Station is under cover and well lit
  • One cleaning station that is accessible to accommodate people in wheelchairs
Chinook Salmon, trout, and steelhead are among the types of fish that can be caught on the open waters of Lake Michigan. | West Michigan Guides

Charter Boat Fishing

Manistee is home to the finest charter captains anywhere, all eager to share their knowledge and experience with you. Exciting charter boat fishing and an abundance of salmon and trout make fishing in Manistee a trip you’ll remember! Various fishing tournaments take place during the busy summer months, with the chance to win big money with that big catch. You can book a charter boat for half day or full day — so bring your sunscreen, cooler, and favorite beverage, and leave the rest to your Manistee charter boat captain!

For more information, please contact:

Manistee County Sport Fishing Association

P.O. Box 98, Manistee, MI 49660

(231) 887-4474


Activities & Attractions in West Michigan

West Michigan Lighthouses

A site to behold along Lake Michigan, these structures with a rich history give both a sense of safety and a beautiful site.

North Country Trail

Created in 1980, this trail has 1,000 miles running through Michigan, which also runs through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.