Fishing in Michigan is always a treat – with over 150 species that includes walleye and northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass,  plus many varieties of salmon and trout.

When you consider that Michigan borders on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake St Clair then it’s apparent that this state is surrounded by thousands of options for saltwater or freshwater fishing.

With this many options it’s important to understand the fishing regulations and fishing license requirements before you hit the water. We’ll cover the highlights here, and encourage you to dig into DNR for the details.

Michigan Fishing Regulations

The State of Michigan states:

  • Any adult who is helping a minor must have a license
  • A license must be with anyone targeting fish, amphibians, crustaceans and reptiles

Fishing License Period

Michigan fishing licenses are available as:

  • 1-day fishing licenses (with the ability to add a day if needed)
  • Annual fishing licenses
  • 3-Year fishing licenses
  • Lifetime fishing licenses

Extra Licensing Fees

Michigan requires all non-residents to purchase a sportcard.

Free or Reduced Fee Michigan Fishing Licenses

The State of Michigan offers free fishing licenses or reduced fishing licenses for :

  • Michigan residents who are veterans with total disability Michigan residents who are active-duty military
  • Residents who are currently in full-time federal active duty status
  • Non-residents who are in federal active-duty status and are currently stationed in Michigan qualify for resident pricing

Michigan Fishing Licenses are NOT Required For

Michigan provides ways to enjoy fishing without permits and tags, most notably:

  • Fishermen under the age of 17 d not require a fishing license, however, they are expected to know the fishing rules and regulations

Buy a Michigan Fishing License