Michigan City, Indiana


Public Access sites, Map, Marinas and Boat Launch in Michigan City.

Kids Steelhead Fishing, Michigan City, July 9, 2005

Dad let these smiling kids reel in 4 nice Steelhead. July 9, 2005




As far North as you can go in Michigan City is Washington Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan. The concrete walkway takes you out to the pier, and it is a good 1/2 mile all the way out to the Lighthouse. You can fish from either the East or West side. Bait fish or cast. Seasonal movement of the Salmanoid species dictate popularity during spring, summer, or fall runs. The species include Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Atlantic Salmon, Steelhead "Skamania" Trout, Lake Trout, and Brown Trout. Remember when Pier fishermen would use the effective and efficient cane pole to have less snags when dangling off the rocks and pull up the Lake Michigan Yellow Perch, a notable Midwestern "delicacy".

Washington Park is also home to Michigan City's public beach. Hot summer days, combined with ideal Lake conditions, quickly fill the lot with beachgoers and vehicles with boat trailers. The main lot near the launch has a designated area for trailer parking. From early spring to late fall there is a parking fee, and a boat launch fee. Season passes are available. The boat launch can accomodate 3 vehicles.

Extremely variable. It is usually mid-summer when the Lake temperature finally warms up into the 70's to delight the swimmers. High air temperature and humidity make the lakefront sizzle with heat, and beach/watercraft activity. Fishermen look for Perch and Steelhead.
But the still cool lake water in spring is a different story. Less than one mile inland you could be enjoying a BBQ in shorts, but at the lakefront, a breeze across the cold water may have you reaching for pants and a jacket. Prepare accordingly. The same effect occurs as the lake begins to cool down in the Fall season.

Non-fishermen in your group? Utilize the opportunity to sunbathe on the golden sands and take a refreshing dip in the Lake. Enjoy watersports. Walk to the Zoo. Picnic and playground areas. Old Lighthouse Museum with superb nautical and local history. Variety of activities during the Summer Festival. More information is available at Events and Attractions. Something for everyone. Be cautious of any members in your group who may have the urge to sneak off to Michigan City's "3rd Lighthouse", or Lighthouse Place Outlet Mall (Shop), which is just 4 blocks from Washington Park.


Trail Creek
Public fishing area on the North Bank, looking at the DNR
Headquarters on the South Bank of Trail Creek.
This area is sometimes referred to as the "turning basin".
It is also the location of Michigan City's In-Water Boat Show each August.

Click here for a different "Brrrrr-rific" view. WINTER ON TRAIL CREEK

Trail Creek is one of only 2 Lake Michigan tributaries in Indiana for migratory salmon/trout runs.
Within Washington Park, you may drive up, park, and fish along the North shore of Trail Creek by the Coast Guard/Lighthouse Museum area. A popular spot and easy access. Right across Trail Creek on the South shore is the DNR, and another drive-up public fishing access site. If you have time, try to visit the DNR and observe some beautiful fish & wildlife displays, and ask for maps to the other local public fishing sites.

Unfamiliar visitors to this area probably use the needle in a haystack approach to locating these public access sites to Trail Creek. Some people prefer to stream fish only, and once familiar with the locations and seasonal fish patterns, enjoy bountiful results. The DNR has a detailed map to help identify how to locate these areas. The most difficult to find is the Robert Peo site, located on a dirt road off Liberty Trail leading to Friendship Gardens. Right below, you will find a nice printable map to help you see the general locations.


Robert Peo Site, off Liberty Trail (Friendship Gardens area)
HWY. US 35 Site, off Chapala Parkway (near Fish & Game Club)
HWY US 20 Site, south side of the bridge (bait shop 1/2 block)
Creek Ridge County Park, County Road 400N

Click Image to view a map of All Public Access Sites, and Boat Launches.
It is a 72KB printable image.
Use your "Back" button to return to this page.
Public Site Map

Most of these tributaries are bordered by private land, so be careful as to where you wander. For those who have permission, respect the land and owner by keeping it clean.


STATE RECORD         TRAIL CREEK         1999

State Record Steelhead Trout

Steelhead Trout         June 23, 1999
26.62 lb.       38 inches long
Evan Nicholson

STATE RECORD         TRAIL CREEK         1999

1999 State Record Brown Trout

Brown Trout         Sept. 1999
23 lb.         36 inches long
Steven Bay

In 2001, the State Record for Brown Trout changed hands again. MITCHELL BOLLEK, caught a 25.08 lb. Brown Trout from Lake Michigan. No photo available.

2006 State Record Brown Trout

On April 2, 2006,
Glen Duesing captured the State Record Brown Trout
from Lake Michigan. A beauty, 29.3 lb and 39.75".

(Whiting, Indiana Waters: Photo from IDNR)

AGE 17-64?
Remember your license and Trout Stamp.


Fishing activity, weather, lake conditions, reports, or request for info.

Lake Michigan Fishing Hotline: 219-874-0009
DNR Headquarters, Michigan City: 219-879-5710
Lake Michigan Tackle: 219-872-3474
Kempf Gun/Tackle Shop, by US 20 access: 219-872-7957
LaPorte County Visitors & Convention Bureau: 1-800-634-2650
Sponsored Fishing Hotline: (219) 872-0031 X 820

• NOTE: While the natural instinct of the Salmanoids is to perform their spawning runs, the streams of Indiana are not suitable to sustain natural reproduction. During the spawing run of the Steelhead Trout, the DNR sets up fish weirs (or traps) to catch the Steelhead. The stripped eggs are then taken to the Mixsawbah State Hatchery to be raised into fingerlings. At this size, they are then carefully transported back to streams for stocking in the spring. The DNR announces an annual 2 week period when the streams are closed to fishing to allow the fingerlings to migrate into the lake. This program provides hundreds of thousands of fish for Lake Michigan.

If you have never had a powerful Steelhead grab your hook, you are in for a thrilling experience, with leaping acrobatics in an attempt to escape, heart-pounding anxiety during the battle, and sweaty palms. Casting provides the thrill not found with trolling or bait fishing, because you are holding the rod when the hungry monster strikes. To simulate the "hit" of a Steelhead, cast a hook into a moving freight train, and hold on. You will not always be victorious. Make sure your line and equipment are in top notch condition for any of the Salmon/Trout species.

• HINT: You may have seen some of these fish that are almost as big as the young fishermen. Little people seem to produce great big smiles. If your adventure includes children, please don't disappoint them if you lose the "catch of a lifetime" by using a Snoopy Rod. Your only memory will be the demolished equipment you can mount on the wall, a kid without that smile, and some unfortunate stains in your pants.

Visit the Mixsawbah State Hatchery
5500 S 675 E
Walkerton, IN
Mon-Thur: 7-3 (219) 369-9591
Larger groups, or weekends by appointment.

Is your boat ready? Come visit MARINAS & LAUNCHES   in Michigan City.





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