Preparing for the Michigan Spring and Summer Fishing Seasons

As winter starts loosening its grip on most of Michigan in March, a fisherperson’s mind starts to drift to trout streams and warm summer days on the lake.

While you have cabin fever and are waiting for the last ice shelves to leave the rivers and the lakes, prepare now for your fishing trips. There is nothing worse than getting in the river for the first time and feeling water trickle down your leg as you realize there is a small hole in your waters. Or hooking onto a steelhead, only to have your line break because you didn’t change it out and it was weathered. Or opening up your tackle box to realize that you are out of a certain size snap swivel.

Chances are this has happened to all of us. So take the time before the weather turns and get organized!


Fishing License

Start by being properly licensed. Remember, all 2020 fishing license expire in Michigan on March 1st. This often catches up people off guard. Before you hit the stream or lake, make sure you get your license from a local authorized retailer such as a bait shop or party store. You can also purchase it online at


If you are storing your fishing reels in a pole barn or garage, they are subject to wear and tear, even when not being used. The cold weather and moisture in the air during the Michigan winter can weaken the line. Quality fishing line is relatively inexpensive. Be sure to change the line on your reels. A fresh line won’t bind up on you or snap at the wrong time.

Tackle Box

It isn’t fun to be finally in the depth of water you want to be in, with the right conditions, and you can’t find your favorite jig or spoon. Organize your tackle box now, so it is a tangled mess when you need something quickly! Take inventory of your tackle, swivels, leaders, hooks, and bobbers while you’re organizing too.

Stream fishing – waders and vests

Mice love waders. If you stored your waders in your garage, pole barn or shed this winter, get them out and look them over! Not only is it important for your comfort, but it is also important for your safety.

For vests, make sure to go through and check for holes in pockets. It would not be fun a fun fishing trip if your car keys fall in the river through a hole in your pocket. Get your vest organized with flies and spinners that you are planning to use. Also, make sure you have your forceps, knife, scissors, and other accessories that are important for a successful first out in the stream.