You’re thinking about tackling the largest freshwater lake in North America, but you’re not sure where to start.
We’re here for you.
Lake Superior shares its borders with Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The Lake gets fed by over 200 rivers, and it houses some of the best fishing on the Great Lakes.
Something interesting that intimidates a lot of anglers is the depth of the lake. Off the shore of Minnesota, you can find depths of two hundred feet within a mile or two of the shore. Some of the fish you want to catch can be as deep as one hundred feet beneath the surface so expect a deepwater fishing experience on this lake.
In this article, we’re going to help you learn and understand everything you need to know about fishing Lake Superior.
Where to Fish Lake Superior
The first question you might be asking yourself is,
“Where do I fish this gigantic lake?”
When you’re fishing Lake Superior, it’s not like taking a trip out to the local pond, and you need to have a plan ahead of time if you want to be successful. We’ve researched for you, and we’re going to help you choose the ideal spots to fish on Lake Superior.
Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan
This port town is on the northeastern end of Michigan’s upper peninsula. The town is right along the Canada-US border and is the second most populous city on the upper peninsula.
Sault Ste. Marie was originally settled by Native Americans over 12,000 years ago and was a crossroads for a lot of fishing and trading of the tribes that lived around the Great Lakes.
Today, fishing weedy areas around the Waiska and Izaak Walton bays is incredibly popular among summer anglers. Traveling to this area in June and July grants you excellent fishing for walleye, northerns, and whitefish.
The locals recommend launching from Charles T. Harvey City Marina and trolling the deeper weed beds.
This port town is on Lake Superior at the Northern section of Wisconsin. The town had a population of 8,216 according to the 2010 census and was initially settled in 1854.
In this town, the bass season opens the first weekend of May, and this occurrence draws anglers from all over. Regulations allow bass anglers to keep only one bass of 22 inches or better, so you know this area houses a substantial population of fish for recreational and sport anglers.
If you’re on a boat, the locals recommend launching from Second Landing and Kreher Park, and they say to fish overlooked weed beds to find smallmouth bass.
Isle Royale, Michigan
If you’re craving a truly unique fishing experience on Lake Superior, you might want to take a ferry from Grand Portage, Minnesota out to Isle Royale. This island is part of Michigan and is the third largest lake island in the world.
The island actually contains 450 smaller surrounding islands and is 45 miles wide. Currently, the island is a state park, but there are still some full-time residents. Locals recommend taking a trip out here from June to August and cast spoons and spinners.
You can take a ferry from Grand Portage out there and catch some pretty big lake trout. Local anglers say that shore fishing is great on the lake and there are plenty of spots around resorts and cabin rentals that feature their own docks and favorable rates.
Stannard Rock, Michigan
We continue to up the ante with more unique fishing opportunities on Lake Superior. The number of cool fishing excursions off the ports of this lake is truly incredible. You can take one of several fishing charter boats from Marquette, Michigan out to Stannard Rock which was named the “loneliest place on the continent.” The locals say it might be the loneliest place, but the fish are definitely not lonely because this small island houses some of the best fishing in the entire country.
There is a forty mile trip from Marquette out to the reef and experts recommend fishing this area early in the morning if you want to catch fish in the shallow waters. When the sun comes up the fish tuck away into the deeper reefs making it harder to catch them.
Copper Harbor, Michigan
This town is on the northeastern section of the state in Keweenaw County. The Keweenaw Peninsula is a section of land that juts out from the top of the state. The population here is 108 as of 2010, and the town once existed as a major port for shipping copper from local deposits during the 19th century.
Today, anglers travel to this area between September and November to catch a special local species called Splake. These fish are a hybrid between brook trout and lake trout, and interestingly enough, we have never even heard of this fish. They are known only to this area of the country, and after reading and learning more about this fish, we might be making a trip to Copper Harbor this fall.
What Can You Catch on Lake Superior
Now that you know where to fish on Lake Superior let’s cover what you can catch when you get there. Of course, the lake is huge, so this will vary entirely based on where you are fishing, but this is more of a general guideline of what to expect.
The most common fish you’ll find on Superior is the Lake Trout between two and three pounds with the biggest weighing in at as much as forty pounds. Expect to find these fish in the deeper parts of lakes in warmer months and shallow sections during the cold months.
Depending on where you are fishing you can find a wide variety of salmon including Atlantic, chinook, coho, and pink. Everyone has a different take on where and how to catch salmon, but many local experts say that pink salmon come around every odd number of years and chinooks and coho prefer colder water in the early summer months.
The smallies you’ll find on Superior are smaller than some you might find in your backyard pond, but they are easy to catch and abundant during the warm weather months.
You’ll find walleye in shallow waters early in the morning and late in the evening. They are most commonly found during warm weather months which is true to most of the fish in this lake because of extreme water depths.
Here are some record catches and their locations on Lake Superior to get you excited:
- Atlantic Salmon: 12 pounds, 13 oz; in Baptism River at Tettegouche State Park
- Brown Trout: 16 pounds 12 oz, Lake Superior, northeast of Two Harbors
- Chinook Salmon: [shared record] 33 pounds 4 oz, Poplar River, Lutsen and Lake Superior, near Duluth
- Coho Salmon: 10 pounds 6.5 oz, Lake Superior, northeast of Two Harbors
- Lake Trout: 43 pounds 8 oz, Lake Superior, Hovland
- Lake Whitefish: 10 pounds 6 oz, Lake Superior, northeast of Lutsen
- Pink Salmon: 4 pounds 8 oz, Cascade River, Lutsen
- Steelhead Rainbow: 16 pounds 6 oz, Devil Track River, Grand Marais
- Walleye: 17 pounds 8 oz, Seagull River, end of the Gunflint Trail
Best Fishing Charters on Lake Superior
Now you know where to fish and what you can expect to catch. We’re even going to help you plan your trip. When you’re fishing a lake this large, and you don’t know exactly where you’re going, it helps to have a plan ahead of time. Here are some of the best fishing charters we could find according to Fishingbooker.com
- 4.75 stars
- Duluth, MN
Lake Superior Hatteras Fishing
- 4.75 stars
- Duluth, MN
- 5 stars
- Duluth, MN
- Five stars
- Silver Bay, MN
Lake Superior Fun Facts
Here are a few things you may not know about this monster of a lake.
- The lake contains 10% of the entire planet’s fresh water.
- The deepest point in the lake is 1,333 feet.
- There have been 350 recorder shipwrecks on Lake Superior, and over 10,000 lives have been lost in the water. (don’t be scared)
- The lake has as much water as all the other lakes combined plus three more Lake Eries.
- The lake contains 78 different species of fish.
- Over 300 streams and rivers empty into Lake Superior
- If all the water were drained from every body of water on North America, the lowest point of the continent would be the base of Lake Superior.
- In the summer, the sun sets 35 minutes later on the west end of the Lake than at its southeastern end.
The largest freshwater lake in the country houses some of the most exciting fishing spots in the entire world.
If you have a favorite spot to fish on Lake Superior or you’re from one of these port towns listed above be sure to leave us a comment with some awesome insider information on your experience, we’d love to hear from you!