Hiawatha National Forest


Fishing in the Hiawatha National Forest is among the best in the country. Your choices are unlimited for an exciting angling experience. You can start narrowing them down by choosing if you want to go after warmwater or coldwater fish. For warmwater fish, you can't beat Brevoort Lake. Brevoort is a 4,230-acre lake offering good fishing for walleye, perch, smallmouth bass, and a wide variety of other warmwater fish. For coldwater fishing, the Carp River, offers fishing for a wide variety of salmon. Brown trout are also plentiful in the summer. Taylor Creek features excellent brook trout fishing throughout the summer. Buck Bay Creek also supports a good population of wild brook trout, as well as spring steelhead. Be sure you have your Michigan fishing license—it's required to fish anywhere in the state.

Warmwater Fishing Lakes
The waters mentioned below aren't the only places good fishing can be found, but they are among the better ones.

Bear Lake - Northern pike, bullhead.
Beaton Lake - Largemouth & smallmouth bass, perch.
Big Bass Lake - Northern pike, largemouth & smallmouth bass, bluegill.
Big Murphy Lake - Northern pike, largemouth & smallmouth bass, rockbass, bluegill.
Chicago Lake - Northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill.
Clear Lake - Largemouth bass, smelt, perch.
Colwell Lake - Northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, purnpkinseed sunfish, black crappies.
Corner Lake - Northern pike, largemouth & smallmouth bass, bluegill, perch, walleye.
Crooked Lake - Northern pike, largemouth bass, perch, bluegill, black crappies, bullhead.
Dana Lake - Northern pike, smallmouth bass, tiger muskellunge, rockbass, bullhead.
East Lake - Largemouth bass, perch, northern pike.
Gooseneck Lake - Tiger muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, largemouth & smallmouth bluegill, bass.
Indian Lake - Tiger muskellunge, northern pike, perch, walleyes, smallmouth bass, bluegill, rockbass, pumpkinseed sunfish.
Ironjaw Lake - Northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkin seed sunfish, black crappies, bullhead.
Jackpine Lake and Leg Lake - Smallmouth bass, bluegill, northern pike, largemouth bass, black crappies, bluegill, bullhead.
Little Bass Lake - Largemouth bass, bluegills, northern pike, black crappies, perch.
Lyman Lake - Largemouth bass, bluegill, northern pike.
Minerva Lake - Largemouth bass, perch.
Mowe Lake - Northern pike, largemouth bass, sunfish.
Muleshoe Lakes - Northern pike, perch.
Steuben Lake - Northern pike, largemouth bass, perch bluegill, walleye.
Swan Lake - Rainbow trout (following reclamation in early 1985).
Thunder Lake - Northern pike, largemouth & smallmouth bass, walleye, bluegill, perch, black crappies, bullhead.
Triangle Lake - Northern pike, largemouth & smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappies

Brevoort Lake Fishing
Brevoort Lake is a relatively undeveloped, 4,233-acre lake. Forest vegetation makes up much of the shoreline, although it has many sandy beaches on parts of the south shore. It It has a sandy bottom. The lake is 30-feet deep in spots, but generally ranges around 1,020 feet deep.

A 2,100-foot-long walleye spawning reef was constructed in the lake by the Forest Service to provide stable rock structure on which fish can spawn, making walleye reproduction more successful. Previously, the shifting sand bottom did not allow for this success. Walleye fishing is getting better. Crayfish and other water animals have used the rocks as cover and smallmouth bass have started to congregate around the reef.

Walleyes are light-sensitive fish that usually stay close to the bottom in 8-20 feet of water during the day. Most feeding activity occurs at dawn and dusk, but they will often continue to feed in shaded areas. Still fishing, slow trolling, or drifting with night crawlers, minnows, and leeches are effective. Use of a spinner, with trolled or drifted baits, often increases the number of strikes. Jigs with twister tails and minnow-imitating pugs can also be effective. Walleye are a schooling fish. A spot that produces one fish often has several more.

Other species of fish caught here are crappies, perch, sunfish, northern pike, and muskellunge.

Brevoort Lake Campground is found at the western end of the lake. There is a public boat ramp in the campground.

Warmwater Tips and Techniques

Bass: Early in the season, bass can be taken with a crawler harness or artificial minnow while trolling or casting along shore. As the season progresses, surface lures used late in the evening or in early morning become an effective method for getting bass to strike, especially in the clearer lakes. Jigs fished with a night crawler can also be very effective near deep water weed beds.

Crappies: Use minnows or small yellow or white jigs. Fish near logs, brush, and weed beds. Crappies suspend in mid depths, at times, making them difficult to locate. Move until you find them.

Northern Pike: One of the most effective baits in this area for northern pike is minnows. Effective artificial baits include Mepps spinners, and red, white, and silver spoons. Weedless lures are often necessary in attracting pike out of areas they inhabit during the summer months. Larger pike usually inhabit deep water near weedy drop-offs in hot weather.

Panfish: Use small worms on small hooks, light line. Flyrod poppers work well near weedbed.

Coldwater Fishing Lakes

Banana Lake - Rainbow trout.
Buck Bay Creek - Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, pan fish.
Camp 7 Lake - Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, pan fish.
Carr Lake - Brook trout, brown trout, northernpike, perch.
Clear Lake - Splake, largemouth bass, smelt, perch.
Lake 23 - Rainbow trout, bass.
Nineteen Lake - Rainbow trout.
Square Lake - Brook trout.
Swan Lake - Rainbow trout (following reclamation in early 1985).
Norway Lake - Brook trout (following treatment in 1987).
Taylor Creek - Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, pan fish.


Fishdam River -
Brook, brown, rainbow.
Eighteen Mile Creek - Brook.
Carr Creek - Brook (above Carr Lake); Brown (below Carr Lake).
Kilpecker Creek - Brook.
Stutts Creek (all branches) - Brook.
Delia's Run - Brook.
Little Murphy Creek - Brook.
Indian River - Brook, brown.
Big Murphy Creek - Brook, brown.
Sturgeon River - Brown, brook.

Coldwater Tips & Techniques
The Fisheries Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is managing several lakes in this area for certain species of fish. In order to maximize your chances for a successful fishing trip, the following recommendations are offered.

Trout: Your fishing method should be influenced by water temperature. In streams, worms are best at temperatures below 50 degrees F. Spinning lures and worms work well at temperatures up to about 60 degrees F. Spinners are especially effective during high water. At temperatures about 60 degrees F flies are often the best choice, though tiny spinners and spoons and small worms fished on 2-4-point teat line can also produce well early and late in the day. Trout feed most actively at 55-65 degrees F. Take along a thermometer to locate this preferred temperature when in unfamiliar territory.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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