Best Fishing in the Midwest

Summer. Not everyone loves the scorching sun and high humidity that plagues the Midwest come July, but most love the occasional sighting of fireflies, the additional hours of sunlight, and the opportunity to partake in outdoor activities like bicycling, hiking and even fishing—but if you live in a landlocked state, finding a good spot to drop a line can be a challenge let alone finding reasonably priced accommodations for your stay. So here’s a short list of eight lakes, in eight Midwest states where the fishing is good and where you just might spot a firefly or two. And once you’re ready to plan your trip, check out all the cheap hotels available in and around your destination, then sit back and relax—and let the fish bite.

INDIANA: Lake Wawasee
If you like bass, then this is where you need to be. But be warned, it’s a busy spot for both recreational boaters and fishermen alike. Try for a hotel in Syracuse.

OHIO: Lake Erie
Halfway between Cleveland and Toledo, Lake Erie is loaded with Walleye as well as yellow perch, brown trout and rainbow trout. Try for a hotel in Sandusky.

WISCONSIN: Sturgeon Bay
A top spot to fish for bass there’re a number of high-level bass fishing tournaments held here. But you can also catch salmon, trout and a few other species. Try for a hotel directly in Sturgeon Bay.

MISSOURI: Lake of the Ozarks
If you’ve ever wanted to catch a fish as big as “Catfish Hunter” in Grumpier Old Men (no, the movie wasn’t filmed here—but the Hunter could have a few cousins here) then this is your lake! And when you’re not on the lake, you can shop for just about anything at the Osage Beach outlet stores. Find a hotel directly next to the lake itself.

MICHIGAN: Lake St. Clair
Everyone knows there’s great fishing in and around the Great Lakes, but just northeast of Detroit is this beauty of a lake well stocked with Muskie, sturgeon, bass, and walleye. Try for a hotel in St. Clair Shores.

IOWA: The Mississippi River
Up here the Mississippi is known for dishing out fish rather than mud—try fly fishing for bluegill or bass. Look for hotels up north near in McGregor outside of Pikes Peak State Park, or further south in Guttenbergor Dubuque.

MINNESOTA: Lake of the Woods
This gorgeous and somewhat isolated lake on the border of Canada and the U.S. is a great spot for relaxation and for catching good-sized walleye among other species. Try for a hotel around Baudette.

ILLINOIS: Lake Shelbyville
In the middle of the state and near Eagle Creek State Park, this lake is one of the best places in the country to fish for Muskie. Look for hotels in and around Shelbyville.

This post was originally published on MapQuest.


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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

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