Northern Michigan’s Burt Lake is one of the area’s most popular fishing destinations. It is one of Michigan’s larger lakes with about 35 miles of coastline and over 17,000 acres of surface area for fishers to enjoy.
Burt Lake has some of the best fishing in the country. In Indian River, you’ll find great opportunities to catch some diverse fish populations year-round.
What you’ll find
You’ll find Walleye, Northern Pike, Muskellunge, world-class Smallmouth Bass, Brown, Rainbow and Brook Trout, Black Crappie, Bowfin, Burbot (real fun ones to battle), Bluegill, Yellow Perch, Steelhead, and Longnose Gar. And those are just some of the fish you’ll find at the end of your hook when you choose to fish Burt Lake, a more traditional fishing lake.
Open water or ice fishing, you won’t be disappointed. Open-water trolling pays off on this lake for Walleye. In the winter, Brown and Rainbow Trout are often caught as well as Walleye and Perch (look between 18 and 24 feet.)
Burt Lake and Mullett Lake are considered “double system” lakes as they are connected through the Inland Waterway’s Indian River.
There are even some charter fishing companies that would be happy to take you out for a day. Limitless Fishing Charters is one of those companies. The captain will prep everything for you, all you have to do is enjoy and fish!
Where to fish
Public boat ramps: Burt Lake State Park (pay for entry) & Maple Bay State Forest Campground Boat Launch (free entry), or use the Mullett- Burt Road launch. A public boat ramp at 3386 Nabanois Trail in Indian River allows boaters to gain access to Burt Lake from the Little Sturgeon River (fees apply). There are also several “road-end” sites around the lake that are convenient for ice fishing.
Don’t have a boat? Don’t worry! Burt Lake State Park offers great shoreline fishing as does Veteran’s Pier at DeVoe Beach in Indian River.
Where to stay
You could camp at either the Burt Lake State Park or the Maple Bay State Forest Campground (above) or at Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge, or any number of cottages, cabins, resorts, hotels, or motels in the Indian River area. There are also many VRBO and AirBNB rentals on Burt Lake.
Get a spread of lines out there and explore all of the depths of Burt Lake. Spend a day on the water and don’t give up on the shallow flats. It’s not easy fishing, but it’s a clean lake with an awesome, sandy bottom, and beautiful views.