Seven Top Tips for Fishing the Midwest this Summer

June 21, 2023
7 min read

Seven Top Tips for Fishing the Midwest this Summer

June 21, 2023
7 min read
Share this post

Early mornings, long days, and plenty of sunshine add up to one thing: summer is here. For anglers in the Midwestern states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa, the rivers, creeks, and lakes provide exciting options to catch a variety of species. Use these seven top tips for fishing the Midwest this summer. Whether you live near Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, or one of the many smaller towns across the region, you can discover fishing the Midwest this summer.

Know Who to Contact

Local, trusted knowledge can only be gained by contacting a local fly or tackle shop, and these shops make it a priority to gain the best up-to-date information available. Whether the goal is to find a out of the way creek or pond, or gain more information on a popular tailwater or reservoir, use the Find Fly Shops tool in the onWater app to find and contact local fishing stores and fly or tackle shops.

Know How to Use Maps

You know that you a certain hatch is going to occur soon, but do you know where you can access the water or what the wading might be like? Using Topo Maps to help you find more places to fish is a new way to discover more fishing options. With a topo map you can learn if the current is fast or slow, if the hike in or out will be an easy one or a lung-burner. The private and public property parcel information found on onWater's maps also provide you with information so you never have to worry about trespassing.[caption id="attachment_2014" align="aligncenter" width="650"]

Photo by Hans Johnson[/caption]

If You Like to Fish Rivers and Creeks, Know the Flow

Fish inhabiting rivers and creeks, rely on flowing water to survive. The movement of water provides food, oxygen, and quick access to safety from predators. Anglers must understand the importance of stream flows. Throughout the Midwest, hundreds of stream flow gauging stations are placed on rivers and creeks. By using the onWater app anglers can get real-time information on local rivers and creeks. Knowing these flows is one thing, but, each river or creek may fish differently with rising or lowering flows. For that intel, contact a local fly or tackle shop.

Know the Gear for the Species

The Midwest is home to numerous species of gamefish. There are the trout and steelhead rivers in northern Michigan. Illinois is home to hundreds of largemouth bass lakes and ponds. The small creeks and rivers in the Driftless Area have smallmouth bass and trout. A day of fishing in the Midwest also means having the proper gear. Fly fishing anglers need rods in line weights ranging from 3-weights to 7-weights. Conventional anglers need a mix of light-action and stiff-action rods. Flies, lures, plugs, spinner-baits, and more are all different for each species and for each water body and an accurate local fishing report is key. There is a lot that goes into being an angler in the Midwest, and a lot of gear to go with it.

Boats are Nice, but not Essential

Anglers on foot or in a boat can find equal opportunities to fish. Small ponds, rivers, and creeks are ideal for walking and wading. The detailed maps found in onWater feature all the relevant access points. For boating anglers, the size of the waterbody often dictates the size of the craft. Powerful bass boats allow you to cover a lot of shoreline and fish a large area or perhaps access to waters that might hold a state record musky. Sleek and quite kayaks and canoes serve up stealth and a tranquil connection to water. With the abundance of water found in the Midwest states, it is impossible for one boat to be best suited for it all. For those anglers who enjoy fishing on foot or using a boat isn't an option, the diverse array of fishing options in the Midwest means there's always a place to go fishing this summer.

Fish Early or Fish Late. If You're Lucky, Fish Both

The longest duration of summer sunlight occurs in June and July. On most rivers, creeks, lakes, and ponds in the Midwest states, by noon the sun has penetrated into the water for a few hours. By mid-summer many fish species are less active during periods of bright sunshine. Avoid these midday doldrums and plan your fishing for early morning and late evening hours. If you must fish during midday, consider finding fisheries with thick foliage that can shield the sunshine from the water. This article about using satellite imagery helps unlock finding fisheries with foliage or shaded areas.

Save Time and Get Accurate Directions the First Time

The Midwest is filled with numerous backroads, so directions to a good fishery scribbled on a bar napkin may not always be accurate. It is best to use the most up-to-date maps found with onWater. Your fishing time is too valuable to be spent deciding which fork in the road leads to the best fishing. Thousands of fishing spots in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois are available to explore. Use the Get Directions feature get there without delay.The summer fishing season in the Midwest is full of exciting opportunities. Use these seven tips for fishing the Midwest to explore the variety of waters from Minnesota to Michigan and every state in between. The tools found in onWater will help you make better fishing decisions and explore your water with confidence.

onWater for all species
Discover More Ways to Fish With Confidence

Be sure to read onWater fishing blog posts to plan better and fish smarter.

How to Find Rivers Near You for Fishing

Five Keys to Planning Your Next Do It Yourself Fishing Trip and How to Make it Your Best One Yet

Three Reasons to Love Your Local Fly Shop

Get fishing updates on the fly

Thank you! You're now subscribed.
Oops! Please try again later.