Fishing, Lakes & Rivers

fishing at sunrise

Michigan Fishing Guide (MDNR)    Michigan Fishing Calendar       

Michigan Hunting Calendar        Buy Michigan Fishing License On-line

Between the lakes and nearby rivers, the area boasts an incredible sport fishery. Anglers can find walleye, pike, perch, rainbow trout and all manner of pan fish in the immediate area.

Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell have large populations of walleye, northern pike, crappie, bluegills, perch, large mouth and small mouth bass. The two lakes are connected by a canal built during the long and interesting northern Michigan logging era. The canal was originally built so lumbermen could float timber from the shores of Lake Mitchell to waiting sawmills on Lake Cadillac. Today the canal serves as a convenient link between two of Michigan's most popular fishing lakes.

Together Lakes Cadillac and Mitchell offer over 3,700 acres of prime fish holding habitat.

  • Lake Cadillac is approximately 1,150 acres in size and features over 400 acres of prime fish-holding weed cover. A fertile body of water, 50% of the lake is 15 feet deep or less.
  • Lake Mitchell is connect to Lake Cadillac via a canal constructed in the late 1880s.  It is the largest of the area's three major lakes at 2,580 acres.  The lake is a prime all-sports lake in the area with an average depth of 8.5 feet.  Over 95% of the lake is less than 15 feet deep.  There are many access points to the lake, with the Mitchell State Park being the primary.  There are two hotels and one restaurant available on the shores of Lake Mitchell plus one convenient store.
  • Lake Missaukee is located only 15 minutes east of Downtown Cadillac.  The lake covers 1,880 acres and is roughly oval in shape.  Water depths range from 5 feet to 27 feet.  Much of the center portion of the lake bottom is covered with a wide variety of native aquatic plants.  Lake Missaukee offers an extensive public beach with shoreline campsites and dining.

Show off your catch, take it to Pilgrims Village in Cadillac just south of the Canal (M-115/M-55) and they'll take your picture and put you on the web.


  • Big Manistee River is one of the premier rivers of Michigan, offering over 90 miles of access and varied difficulty levels, from beginner to expert paddling experiences (depending on the segment).  This river is wide and smooth-flowing.  Some parts have tighter navigation and fast switchbacks, which may take you a little off guard, but overall in the Cadillac region, this river is perfect for the casual paddler.  With all of those switchbacks, you will quickly find many sandbars, perfect for socializing and sunbathing.
  • Pine River watershed is located 20 minutes west of Cadillac, south of M-55.  It has a drainage area of 265 square miles, and ultimately discharges to Tippy Dam Impoundment in Manistee County.  The watershed includes parts of four counties: Wexford, Osceola, Lake, and Manistee.  The  mainstream is approximately 49 miles long and is formed by the confluence of the North Branch and East Branch of the Pine River near Tustin in Osceola County at an elevation of 1,102 feet (336m).  The Pine River requires watersport recreation passports for all watercraft and may be obtained at the US Forest Service Station.
  • Pere Marquette River is lcoated 20 minutes southwest of Cadillac and drains an area of approximately 740 square miles.  Roughly 53 percent of the watershed is in Lake County.  The mainstream starts at the confluence of the Middle Branch and Little South Branch, know as the "Forks" and flows in a westerly direction for approximately 67 miles to its mouth at Pere Marquette Lake, just south of the City of Ludington.


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Chippewa Landing

10420 Chippewa Landing Trail
Manton, MI 49663
Phone: 231-313-0832

Pilgrim Village Fishing Shop

181 S Lake Mitchell Dr.
Cadillac, MI 49601
Phone: (231) 775-5412

Pine River Paddlesport Center

9590 M-37
Wellston, MI 49689
Phone: 231-862-3471

Wilderness Canoe Trips LLC

6052 Riverview Road
Mesick, MI 49668
Phone: 231-885-1485

William Mitchell State Park

6093 East M-115
Cadillac, MI 49601
Phone: 231-775-7911

Open Year Round: Yes

Bait Shop North

104 S Main St
Lake City , MI 49651
Phone: 231-839-3474

Millers Corner Bait

6991 W Jennings Rd
Lake City , MI 49651
Phone: 231-839-0440
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Fish Michigan Specials

Kids have fun ice fishing with their buddies

We want you to experience the great fishing available in our lakes and rivers!  Come to Cadillac!

Nestled in the northwest corner of Michigan, 1.5 hours from Grand Rapids (Straight up US-131), and 45 minutes south of Traverse City.  We have three large bodies of in-water (Lake Cadillac, Mitchell and Missaukee) coupled with three awesome rivers (Pine, Manistee and Pere Marquette Rivers) offering year around angling opportunities.

The following area specials are offered, Click on the Blue Hyperlink for property details, advanced reservation required:

  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites  We would love to  accommodate our "fishing friends" during your fishing excursions in the Cadillac area.  Our hotel has been newly renovated for the guest.  All the guest rooms have a refrigerator and microwave.    There is also a great hot breakfast, pool, hot tub and fitness center for our guest.  We look forward to serving you.  
  • Evergreen Resort.  We are minutes from our lakes and rivers, with ample parking for your snowmobiles & trailers.  We have put together a 15% discount rate plan good from now through June 24th.  It can be booked directly through us or through our website using the promotional code fish1.   
  • Coyote Crossing Resort.  We are just off M-55 west of Cadillac, minutes from the Manistee & Pine Rivers, snowmobile trails and Caberfae Peaks Ski Resort.  We offer Weekday specials year around call for details.  Group packages available too!  
  • Hampton Inn - Cadillac.  We are a full-service hotel with a robust  complimentary breakfast, pool and work out facility, minutes from downtown, lakes and rivers.  Call direct and ask for our mid-week deals.
  • Chippewa Landing.  We are closed in the Winter, but please check us out for your Spring to Fall travel needs.

Print out this survey, and turn it in to the address below and we will mail you a FREE Cadillac T-shirt to thank you for coming to our area!

Printable depth map of both Lake Cadillac & Lake Mitchell

Pilgrim Village Fishing Report


go to for latest area fishing reports.

For additional pictures of fish being caught on our lakes, go to our website Pilgrims Village Fish Report Page.    If you would like to receive the fishing report to your inbox send your email address to: