Fishing in Gaylord, Michigan



By now you’re aware that Otsego County is truly a water wonderland, with over 90 inland lakes and the headwaters to five major rivers.  Along with being an outstanding destination for recreational water sports, our waterways are also an angler’s dream come true.  Welcome to the heart of Fishigan. 

Maybe we don’t have the big open waters of the Great Lakes, but the sheer abundance and variety of lakes in our area make for some awesome fishing!  Choose your lake, get your gear, then plan on reelin’ them in!

Full of “hot spots,” Otsego Lake is on the radar for serious anglers.  Known for producing sturgeon, which can grow over 7 feet long and weigh up to 200 pounds, the county’s largest lake will not disappoint.  While you might not reel in a trophy sturgeon every time, the water is alive with pike, perch, walleye, crappie and bass.  And ice fishermen find Otsego Lake a great place to shanty up when the ice grows thick in the heart of Michigan’s winter

If you haven’t fished the lakes within the Pigeon River Country State Forest, it needs to go on your to-do list.  Many lakes are stocked annually, making the trout fishing excellent.  Be prepared to do some research before heading out, as you may encounter boating and bait restrictions.  The reward is well worth it though, and you’ll find yourself not only in a fisherman’s paradise, but one of the loveliest natural areas in northern Michigan.  Our printable guide to fishing includes information on a sampling of our favorite lakes in the Pigeon River Country.


Read 5 Things to Know About Fishing Blog


Michigan Trout Trails

Sure, Gaylord’s got loads of fantastic fishing lakes-they’re those big blue blurbs all over the map-but did you know the area is stocked with a heap of streams chock full of the north’s famous trout?

Headwaters for the Black, Sturgeon, Pigeon, Manistee and AuSable Rivers can all be found within our county lines.  The Michigan Trout Trails website details biologist-verified trout waters that are often lesser known.  Along with detailed descriptions and photos of each site, this DNR created page lists trout species available, regulations and many other noteworthy insights.  

Visit the Michigan Trout Trails page>>>



Request Our Lakes Brochure


Get Your Gear

Before dropping your line, visit Jay’s Sporting Goods just south of downtown Gaylord.  With a huge selection of fishing rods and gear, bait, knowledgeable staff and all things fishing at your fingertips, you’ll have the right equipment for an evening or week-long excursion on your favorite lake. 


Request Our Visitor’s Guide



For information on public access sites and fishing in Otsego County, use the Printable Guide to Fishing in the Gaylord/Otsego County Area.  Also visit the DNR website for seasons, license requirements and free fishing weekend information.  

Buy your license online 
Buy your license locally

Check out these helpful pages:

Weekly Fishing Report
Fish Stocking Database 
Inland Lake Maps
Fish Species 
Go Fishing in Michigan



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Manuka Lake Rd.
Gaylord, MI

Shallow waters and a unique layout make Lake Manuka excellent for fishing and paddling.
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Lake Manuka

Manuka Lake Rd.
Gaylord, MI
Shallow waters and a unique layout make Lake Manuka excellent for fishing and paddling. More

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