Plentiful fishing opportunities surround Marquette area


FALL FISHING SEASON—A local fisher catches a small mouth bass. With the fall season in fall swing, it’s a prime time to fish in the Marquette area. Dallas Wiertella/NW

Dallas Wiertella, Staff Writer

Fishing is a familiar activity for students attending Northern Michigan University, and the Marquette area offers opportunities in magnitude with lakes and rivers all around. With locations ranging from deep in the woods to right off the side of the road, students won’t have a hard time finding their new spot.

DNR Deputy Public Information Officer John Pepin wants to help keep NMU students and the Marquette community informed on the great opportunities available … With temperatures dropping with the change of seasons, the time to get into fishing is now. 

“Currently we are moving into the fall season where we have a lot of salmon and steel heads,” Pepin said. “Some of the best places, especially this time of year, are the great lake tributaries like Dead River and Carp River. They are close to Marquette and offer tremendous fishing this time of year.” 

Fishing is all about patience and experience, although it shouldn’t deter someone from starting and gaining the experience to have a successful trip. Fishing isn’t about what is at the end of your line, it’s more about the experience, Pepin said.

“A lot of the people that I go fishing with don’t even care if we catch anything,” Pepin said. “It’s the experience of being out on the water or being in the wilderness and getting to listen to the river and the birds and maybe even seeing some of the other animals.” 

NMU embraces all outdoor activities with many programs supporting the preservation of the wilderness, but also informing students on what they need on getting out and enjoying the Upper Peninsula. One such organization is the NMU Fisheries and Wildlife Association, which look to educate their members and the Marquette community about wildlife.

The best resources are the DNR and Superior Outfitters, senior Fisheries and Wildlife President Ally Kozina said. Others include tackle shops in the surrounding towns of Negaunee and Ishpeming. Many students take pride in their fishing here from the moment they make it to Marquette. Sophomore Sam Zwiefelhofer has been fishing for his entire college career at NMU thus far, and has even started his own fishing page on Instagram called “samzfishing”. There you will find his posts about the fish he catches and his experiences in the U.P.

“I have been fishing in the U.P. my whole time here at Northern Michigan University and I have enjoyed every second of it,” Zwiefelhofer said. “The temperate climate here allows anglers to fish year-round whether it be ice fishing or just casting off the bank. This means that on almost any given day one can have the opportunity to catch some fish.”

During the winter season, ice fishing is another opportunity for students, although having experience or an experienced friend is almost necessary. The DNR’s website at offers a lot of information on the do’s and don’ts of ice fishing and general safety. 

“Ice fishing is decent in the U.P., but not specifically Marquette since the harbor doesn’t freeze over safely enough often.” former Fisheries and Wildlife President and NMU alumni Max Majinksa said. “Munising Bay is good if you have experience where you can catch whitefish and/or burbot. Teal Lake is another popular spot.”

With many great opportunities for student fishers near campus, the DNR advises students to check out their website and learn more about U.P. fishing and get out and enjoy the outdoors.