Let’s Go: Fishing Spots for Families

Go Fishing Day is June 18. Find a place to fish with the kids nearby or farther away.

Near: Fishin’ Hole Close to Home

Tucked-in snugly on all sides by Kensington Metropark, Kent Lake offers a variety of shore-side alcoves for a quiet day of fishing. And, at this 1,200-acre lake in Milford, the bass are in charge.

“If you want to catch bass, it’s best to fish by boat,” says Jennifer Hollenbeck, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks’ interpretive services manager. “There are two individual boat launches available.”

But when Hollenbeck and her family – including her two kids, ages 7 and 10 – cast their lines, they pick a spot on the shore and spend their day catching pan fish.

“Kent Lake is our go-to fishing lake. Part of what I love about the lake is that since it’s surrounded by the Metropark, there aren’t any houses or other buildings to block the view,” says Hollenbeck. She recommends making a day of it by packing a picnic and taking the kids to the Splash ’n’ Blast water park. There’s also plenty of hiking, a nature center and two lakeside beaches.

“You can really mix up your day,” Hollenbeck says. “It’s a good spot for a mini vacation.”

Family Fishing Day is 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, June 10: Ages 8-plus with adults; borrow a pole or bring yours. Pre-register! $3/kids, $5/adults, $10/park.

Find more details at metroparks.com/kensington.

Far: Double Your Angling

You don’t even need to pack a fishing pole when you head off to Lake Cadillac and its sister Lake Mitchell. Use William Mitchell State Park campground as your home base – it’s right between the two.

“They’re big lakes but they’re also shallow, making them great for fishing,” says Ed Shaw, park interpreter at nearby Carl T. Johnson Hunt and Fish Center. Daily in summer, you can check out a rod and reel at the center (bait, too!) – and they’ll even give you a little how-to. “We’re here to help,” says Shaw, who regularly fishes with his three kids.

Find more information at explorecadillac.org.

Farther: Reel Fun in the UP

Lake Gogebic sits in the middle of the Ottawa National Forest. Our Upper Peninsula’s largest natural lake brims with perch, walleye, crappie, bullhead and bass.

“I’ve traveled all over the U.S. and Canada, and this is still one of the best places I’ve found to fish,” says Jon Sibley, a longtime guide at Fish With Guy near the lake. “Typically, you can catch 15-to-20-inch walleye here.”

Find more information at fishwithguy.com.

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