When it comes to fishing, Michigan people already know their state rocks with bass, lake trout, walleye, salmon, and thousands of inland streams, lakes and rivers.
This is one of the reasons he was ranked second in The best and worst states of 2021 for fishing study published ahead of National Hunt and Fish Day in America, by LawnLove.com.
âI would say it’s # 1 for fishing,â Warren’s Larry Newcom said.
He and his wife, Brenda, and their friends, Harvey and Rose Marie Guenther of Roseville took advantage of the sunny weather on Friday and left early. By mid-morning, the group had already caught bass, catfish, bluegill and perch from the Coastal Park near Selfridge Air National Guard base in Harrison Township.
However, they had nothing to show for it.
âWe are sport fishermen. So we catch and release, âsaid Harvey, who has known Larry since kindergarten and has been fishing almost as long as he has been.
âI started when I was three, so I’ve been fishing for about 65 years,â said Larry, helping his wife bait her line. She and Rose Marie also love the sport and are among the 19.7 million women who have joined the ranks of fishing enthusiasts in 2020.
Don’t ask them to put the worm on the hook.
âIt’s no surprise that Michigan is ranked among the top fishing states in the country, with 11,000 inland lakes and more coastline than any state except Alaska,â said Nicki Polan, Director executive of the Michigan Boating Industry Association, an Oakland County resident who enjoys boating on Lake St. Clair in Macomb County.
âThe state offers over 1,200 boating access sites and 80 public marinas, making it easy for fishermen to get on the water. The diversity of fishing possibilities is also unmatched – from panfish to bass fishing, from rainbow trout to muskellunge and everything in between, the list of species available for fishing is long, âsaid Polan.
These points are what helped Michigan in the ranking, which was based on overall scores in a variety of categories, including community interest in the sport (fishing license, fishing competition, and fishing charters) , abundance of water sources (coastal or landlocked, percentage of state covered by water, coastline mileage, marinas and number of fishing trails), cost, supplies and fishery resources.
Michigan lost to Alaska for first place.
Alaska is king for its salmon. Its geography also offers a variety of options for fishing such as saltwater, freshwater, fly fishing, and ice fishing.
Michigan has it all except the big catches from ocean fishing.
However, fishing in Alaska comes at a cost. Of all the states ranked in the study, Alaska charges the highest price for fishing licenses per holder. There is also an additional expense related to travel and charters.
If you’re looking to get into Alaskan fishing, the best time to go is summer, which marks the end of king salmon season and the peak time for catching pink, sockeye, silver, and chum salmon.
As for Michigan, anytime is a good time.
Anglers can be found on lakes and rivers as early as the spring thaws and as late as the dead of winter.
âMichigan’s performance is no surprise,â said Sav Maive’s report for Love Lawn. âAfter all, the name of the state derives from the Ojibwa word Michigama, which means big lake.
Surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan has the longest freshwater coastline in the world. And although it took second place overall, followed by Maine in third, with nearly 65,000 lakes and ponds, it earned it first place in the Access category.
According to the study, the best places to fish in Michigan are Saginaw Bay, Lake Union, which is one of the deepest lakes, and of course the 275,000-acre Lake St. Clair.
âWhat can I say about this incredible body of water,â said Polan, of the freshwater lake which won its own first place ranking for the best bass fishing in the world.
Rhode Island took third place after Michigan, followed by Florida, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Alabama and Minnesota.
Discover the other rankings determined by the study as well as some interesting statistics.
Highest percentage of state covered by water:
- Rhode Island
Lowest percentage of state covered by water:
- Nevada, Nebraska, Wyoming and Iowa (tied)
- New Mexico
Most fishing charters and guides:
- North Carolina
- new York
The fewest charters and fishing guides:
- Delaware and North Dakota (tied)
- Nebraska and Iowa (tied)
Most fishing gear stores per 100,000 inhabitants:
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
The fewest fishing gear stores per 100,000 inhabitants:
- Rhode Island
- new York
Interesting facts discovered during the study:
- 55 million Americans fish at least once a year, highest since 2007
- 969 million fish outings were experienced by Americans in 2020, up 10% from 2019, an increase fueled by the pandemic
- 19.7 million women played sport in 2020, up 10% from 2009
- 3 million lakes exist in Alaska
- 3,168 fish were caught in 24 hours, an unofficial record of “Marathon Man” Jeff Kolodzinski on September 11, 2021