Fishing in Bay City, MI: The Complete Guide

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One squint at the position of Bay Municipality will tell you everything you know well-nigh the local angling scene. With the Saginaw River running through the city, Saginaw Bay at its doorstep, and Lake Huron just vastitude the bay, there’s no denying that fishing in Bay City is nothing short of incredible. Add to that the city’s love of festivals, good eating, and a welcoming spirit, and you’ve got your next angling destination.

Bay Municipality River Walk in Bay City, Michigan on a sunny day

Wherever you tint your line in the city, there’s a endangerment you’ll find something good at the end of it. All the freshwater game fish are in the cards, and you can hit the water any day of the year. Yes, plane during the unforgiving Michigan winter – considering ice fishing is a way of life in Bay City. But, one thing at a time. We’ll walk you through the species you can catch, how to do it, and where to find the weightier bite.

Best Fish to Reservation in Bay City, MI

If you’ve got freshwater game fish on your mind, Bay Municipality will not disappoint. With three unshared persons of water at your disposal, the list of eligible species is impressive. Here’s what you can squint forward to.


There’s no overstating how good the Walleye zest is in and virtually the city. Whether you’re fishing the river, the bay, or the lake, there’s increasingly Walleye here than you can catch, literally. Flipside perk is that they’re misogynist year-round, plane in the darkest days of winter.

A woman in sunglasses holding a big Walleye while standing on a boat, with water and cloudy skies in the background
Photo taken by Jireh Charters

Walleye move virtually quite a bit during the year, so the key is knowing where they are. Spring marks their spawning season when they move up to Saginaw River. Here they’ll stay and spawn in March and April. During this time, it’s not unliable to alimony Wallies. River fishing remains on point until late June when most of these fellas are in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.

Speaking of Saginaw Bay, summer is probably the weightier time to target Walleye here. They venery relatively tropical to shore without spawning, then flee to deeper waters to steer well-spoken of the heat. They’re very zippy during this time, expressly if you go out early in the morning.

Walleye know how good they have it in terms of food, so they’re unchangingly feeding. Trolling allows you to imbricate increasingly water and reservation more, but you’ll need a trolling motor for uneaten stealth. Jigging for Walleye is a increasingly hands-on approach, and live minnows are the live morsel to try. As for the artificials, diving crankbaits, plugs, and soft plastics won’t let you down.

Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch fishing in Bay Municipality is a staple of the angling scene. These fish are the most worldwide reservation both in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron. You can target them all year, but the zest is at its weightier in the summer. Perch stay zippy plane during the sufferer of winter, which is why they’re a unconfined ice fishing species.

A smiling villous man in a hat holding two Yellow Perch, with frozen waters overdue him
Photo taken by Northstar Fishing Adventures

However, things have been waffly in the Yellow Perch fishery in the past few years. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources has made sure that Walleye has been regularly stocked every year, to alimony the fish thriving. It seems that they overdid it considering now Walleye are munching on Yellow Perch and have significantly downsized the population.

You can still find plenty of Perch, but the numbers are not nearly as good as they once were. Yellow Perch are a unconfined “beginner” fish, so families with children and novices will enjoy going without them.

The weightier time to go without these small, succulent fish is usually early in the morning and evening when they come closer to land to find food. Ice fishing for Yellow Perch is excellent, and a unconfined way to get yourself a hearty meal during the winter.

Northern Pike

We can’t talk well-nigh all the fishing potential of the Saginaw River and Bay without mentioning the mighty Northern Pike. They’re not the most sought-after species, but they grow big and feisty, and you can use that to your advantage. The unshut season lasts from spring to late fall, depending on the year’s regulations.

A man in a cap and sunglasses standing on a fishing boat, holding a Northern Pike with water and grey skies in the background
Photo taken by Dietrich Sportfishing Charters

Pike are trick predators and, as such, like to venery virtually underwater vegetation, waiting for their prey to swim by. When you find weed beds in the waters up to 15 feet deep, there’s a endangerment you’ll find hungry Pike there.

It’s not unusual to vaccinate into a fish that weighs 5 pounds, and getting it into the wend is going to be a rencontre considering Pike won’t requite in easily. Flipside perk of Pike fishing is that they’re tasty, so you’ll have a hearty meal to enjoy without your trip.

These fish are voracious eaters and they’ve got the teeth to prove it. It’s important to be uneaten shielding when handling Pike considering they won’t hesitate to take you (and your fingers) on. They respond well to a variety of lures, and the rule of thumb is the shinier, the better. Spoons, spinners, and stickbaits are all good choices to get their attention.

Trout (Rainbow, Brown, Lake)

Along with Walleye, Trout are flipside prized reservation that you can squint forward to when fishing in Bay City. Lake Huron boasts strong Trout action, and that privilege extends to Saginaw Bay and the Lower Saginaw River. It’s no small feat that you’ve got three premier Trout fisheries so tropical to each other. The unshut season usually lasts from April–September.

A man in warm winter suit sitting in an ice fishing tent, holding a Lake Trout
Photo taken by Kick Ass Outdoors

Rainbow Trout – aka Steelhead – are probably the most popular targets, simply considering they’re the most numerous. Come spring, the mouth of Saginaw River becomes one of the ultimate hotspots for Rainbows in the state.

Saginaw Bay is known for its big Lake Trout. Lakers prefer deeper waters but, in the bay, they have no problem feeding in only a few feet of water. If you’d like to travel to the unshut waters of Lake Huron, Rainbow, Brown, and Lake Trout are at your disposal.

Lake Trout are the biggest of the three, but all three react well to similar presentations. Trolling lures is a good way to get a Trout bite, expressly if you use spoons. Fly fishing for Trout is unchangingly fun, just make sure to go to colder, deeper waters and present your offering tropical to the bottom.


If you’ve got a Unconfined Lake nearby, Salmon fishing is unchangingly an option. That’s exactly the specimen on Lake Huron, where you can find good numbers of Chinook, Coho, and Pink Salmon in the summer. The zest starts heating up in May and June, with the upper season in July and August.

A middle-aged man sitting on a fishing boat, holding a big Chinook Salmon
Photo taken by Reel Respect Fishing Charters

During this time, the lake is at its warmest, which provides optimal conditions for Salmon to gorge surpassing their spawning season starts. You’ll find most Chinook virtually underwater structures and piers. As summer progresses, Coho, Pinkies, and Chinook travel into deeper waters where they’ll feed closer to the marrow – and that’s where you’ll find them.

Low visibility hours are the time to target Salmon, so hours virtually dawn and dusk are your weightier options. The well-spoken waters of Lake Huron with its zillions of morsel fish indulge Salmon to fatten up and get nice and big, which is unconfined news for you. Using salmon roe will definitely spark their interest, but trolling plugs and spoons won’t let you lanugo either.

How to fish in Bay City?

You’ve got three top-notch watersheds at your disposal and no shortage of game fish to chase, but how do you go well-nigh it? Fishing in Bay Municipality takes on many variegated forms, so let’s see what your weightier options are.

Ice Fishing in Bay City

A man in sunglasses holding a Yellow Perch with the frozen Saginaw Bay overdue him, a snowmobile and an ice fishing tent
Photo taken by The Fish Fly Charters

We once mentioned a couple of times that ice fishing is big in the Bay Municipality area. Some would plane go as far as to say that the Saginaw Bay and River are some of the most prolific ice fisheries in Michigan. And with so many fish on the to-catch list, we have to agree. Walleye and Yellow Perch are the most worldwide catches when you’re ice fishing in Bay City, though other species can zest as well.

The ice on the bay becomes unscratched for hard-water fishing sometime in January, and that’s when you’ll see the lake get its second wind. Saginaw Bay is impressively big, and there are ice shanties dotted all over the shore, so all you need is a simple ice fishing setup, warm clothes, and you’re good to go.

Fly Fishing in Bay City

A man standing in a river and tossing a fly with his fly fishing rod

While it might not be as popular as ice fishing, transmissible fish on the fly is a unique wits on the Saginaw River and Lake Huron. When you’ve got Trout in good numbers, you know that fly fishing is going to be strong. Add that to the fact that you could vaccinate into Bass, Walleye, or Pike, and what’s not to like?

Trout remain the favorite targets of fly anglers and, virtually the Bay Municipality area, you can go for Rainbows and Browns. If you’re testing your luck in deeper waters during summer, you just might get a Laker to bite. Rainbow Trout respond to mayflies and caddisflies, while Bass won’t say no to crayfish flies. Looking for a challenge? Get your streamer flies and go without Pike.

Charter Fishing in Bay City

Older fishermen on a fishing wend holding their rods
Photo taken by Windrift Sport Fishing

When the fishing whoopee is this good, it’s only natural there will be professionals whose mission it is to put you on the fish. That’s exactly the specimen with Bay City, where you’ll find dozens of guides ready to take you to the fun. Going out with local fishing charters allows you to jump into whoopee as if you’re a local yourself.

What’s unconfined well-nigh lease captains in the zone is that their trip offer is straightforward. Outings last between 4–7 hours, and there are some guides that specialize in fishing for specific species, namely Walleye. Also, if you’d like to save some money, you can hop on a shared excursion, where you’ll tint a line and have fun with other like-minded anglers. For a increasingly personalized experience, it’s a good idea to rent a private lease for you and your group.

Where can I fish in Bay City, Michigan?

You’ve got an overview of the most sought-after species in Bay Municipality and how you can fish for them, now let’s talk well-nigh the most productive fishing holes in and virtually the city.

A view from the water of a fishing wend with people fishing on it on the Saginaw River
  • Bay Municipality State Park: If you’re looking to spend a day outdoors without leaving the city, then this is the place for you. The park boasts easy wangle to Saginaw Bay and that ways Walleye, Panfish, and Yellow Perch on the menu.
  • Hot Ponds: These are parts of the bay that are warmer considering of the regular venting from an energy plant. Considering of the temperature, this is a unconfined spot to fish for Smallmouth Bass, Freshwater Drum (also known as Sheepshead), and Carp.
  • The Dredge Island: The waters of the bay and river meet near Dredge Island. Walleye love eating here considering there’s a lot of morsel fish, so if you’re on the lookout for Wallies, this might be your treasure trove.
  • Saginaw River: An angling destination in its own right, the Saginaw River has everything a freshwater fisher could want. The mouth of the river is the gathering place of Yellow Perch, Freshwater Drum, Walleye, Bass, and more.
  • Lake Huron: Pretty much any game fish you’d like to target can be found in Lake Huron. Be it trophy Lake Trout, Salmon, Walleye, or Panfish, this Unconfined Lake will wow you with its diversity and productivity.

Bay Municipality Fishing Regulations

An infographic containing the Michigan state flag, a vector of a boat, and the FishingBooker logo, with text stating "Bay City, Mi Fishing Regulations: What You Need to Know" versus a undecorous background

As is unchangingly the case, some of the first things you need to icon out when fishing in a new place are the local regulations. Thankfully, getting a Michigan fishing license is pretty easy – you just have to decide whether you’d like to buy a daily or a yearly license. The price will depend on whether you’re a resident or not, and senior citizens have a special discount.

You should moreover pay uneaten sustentation to the unshut seasons. Some fish like Walleye, Northern Pike, and Yellow Perch are misogynist all year, but others like Trout and Salmon often have a limited season. If there’s a special species you’ve got on your mind, make sure you discuss it with your lease guide surpassing you go fishing, so that you have the right expectations.

Fishing in Bay Municipality – Freshwater Whoopee for the Books!

An view of boats on the Saginaw River with fireworks in the night sky

There are a lot of angling destinations worth checking out in the Unconfined Lake State, but Bay Municipality has a special charm. Its cheerful undercurrent and the proximity to no less than three fantastic watersheds are reason unbearable to visit the municipality and enjoy all it has to offer. Fishing in Bay Municipality boasts the eyeful and variety that few destinations in Michigan have. Don’t you think it’s time to discover it for yourself?

Have you tint a line in Bay City? How was it? Are there experiences you’d like to share with the community? Is there something you missed? Talk to us in the comments.

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