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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Fish & Wildlife > Fishing > Lake Michigan Fishing Lake Michigan Fishing

Lake Michigan Pier 

Fishing in Lake Michigan and tributaries

Indiana’s share of Lake Michigan is the smallest of the four states bordering the lake. Indiana has 43 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 224 square miles of Lake Michigan water. Click here to use the interactive 'Where to Fish' map 

Fishing reports are updated weekly.

Fishing Information


When, Where and What to fish for in Lake Michigan

Type of Fish
How to Fish
Best Time of Year
Average Fish Size
Coho salmon pier,

mid February/ March thru May

2 - 3 lbs.

3 - 4 lbs.
Chinook salmon some pier, boat

May; mid-July thru September

7 - 12 lbs.

7 - 12 lbs.
Steelhead (Skamania) pier, boat

mid-June thru mid-Aug.

7 - 10 lbs.

7 - 10 lbs.
Winter-run steelhead pier, stream late October-thru March 7-10 lbs.
Lake trout boat mid June thru August; mid-Oct. to Nov. 8 - 12 lbs.
Yellow perch pier, boat June to mid-September 8.0 - 10.0 inches
Smallmouth and other sunfish species pier, boat June to September 10-16 inches; 6-8 inches
Fishing report hotlines
Lake Michigan: (219) 874-0009 (not a toll-free call)
St. Joseph River:  (574) 257-8477 (not a toll-free call)

Fishing by season, Lake Michigan and its tributaries

Click on the links below to find out more detailed information on when to fish for certain species in Lake Michigan.

Winter fishing Lake Michigan

Spring Fishing in Lake Michigan

Summer fishing in Lake Michigan

Fall fishing in Lake Michigan

Stream fishing in Lake Michigan

Where to Fish on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Fishing

  • The Michigan City pier, basin, and adjoining ramp (owned by City of Michigan City), provide access for both shore and boat anglers.
  • Another municipal ramp is located upstream on Trail Creek (Trail Creek Marina).
  • A public fishing site for shoreline anglers exists next to the Michigan City DNR building (handicap accessible).
  • A public fishing site for shoreline anglers (handicap accessible) is available at the Port of Indiana. Various private marinas along Burns Waterway (State Road 249; Burns Ditch) provide boat launching facilities

Stream Fishing of Lake Michigan tributaries

Trail Creek has 10 public fishing sites; two are handicap accessible.

 Public fishing sites include:

  • Site next to the DNR building; Hansen Park (E Street)
  • Winding Creek Cove (8th/Dickson Streets)
  • Fire Station #2 (2005 E. U.S. 12)
  • Robert Peo Public Access (Liberty Trail)
  • Karwick Nature Park (Karwick Road)
  • U.S. 35 (Chapala Parkway)
  • Trail Creek Forks (U.S. 20)
  • Johnson Road (Johnson/Wozniak Roads)
  • Creek Ridge Park (7943 W. County Road 400 North).

The DNR public access site and Creek Ridge Park are both handicap accessible.

The East Branch of the Little Calumet River and Salt Creek also provide public access for fishing opportunities.

  • Salt Creek runs through Imagination Glenn County Park and Haven Hollow Park, both offering angler-access.
  • Two state-managed public fishing sites are also located on Salt Creek, the Chustak Public Fishing Area and the Salt Creek Public Fishing Area, both located near Valparaiso.
  • Deer Creek Path, a public access site at Ameriplex Woods (State Road 249/Ameriplex Drive) and Burns Harbor Public Access (State Road 149/Navaho Drive) both offer fishing opportunities on the East arm of the Little Calumet River.
  • Portions of the East Branch of the Little Calumet River flow through the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore property, which the public can utilize. For more information about fishing on the Dunes National Lakeshore property, call (219) 926-7561 or visit maps.htm.

REMEMBER: The majority of the Lake Michigan tributaries run through private property; permission from the landowner to fish is required on these private lands.

Warmwater discharges in Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan Fisheries Status and Management Reports