Pere Marquette Travel and Fishing Tips

Here are some handy resources you can use when planning a fishing trip to the Pere Marquette River.

Seasons of the Pere Marquette

The PM is truly a year-round fishery and caters to the ability of all anglers. Nearly all year long it’s possible to enjoy a great day on the river and catch trout, salmon, and steelhead.

Rigging for migratory fish

Steve Fraley has an excellent article on how to tie up both chuck-n-duck rigs and indicator rigs for salmon and steelhead. Additionally, he explains how to effectively present your fly to increase your odds of legal hook-ups.

Maps

The Pere Marquette has more than 70 miles of fishable water that’s available to anglers. There is a lot of public land that can be accessed, but there is also much private ownership along the river. We recommend you pick up a map in the shop, or view and print the maps we have online. Please respect the rights of private landowners and do not trespass on posted lands. When wading you can enter private property if you stay within the clearly defined banks of the stream, and only walk the bank to avoid a hazard.

Lodging

There are numerous campgrounds and motels in the Baldwin area. We recommend Motel BBT.

Car Shuttles

When floating the river in your own boat, it’s often helpful to have your vehicle moved downstream so it’s there when your float is done. Baldwin Bait & Tackle is happy to arrange a car shuttle for you. Stop into the shop and ask for one, or give us a call at 231-745-3529.

Fishing License

A valid Michigan fishing license is required for everyone over the age of 17 when fishing the Pere Marquette River. You can purchase fishing licenses at the BBT shop, or it’s easy and quick to purchase a fishing license online through the State of Michigan website. Licenses are valid from March 1 of a given year through March 31 of the following year.

Float Permits

If you plan to float the Pere Marquette between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, you are required to have a Watercraft Permit from the National Forest Service. These permits can be purchased online or at the USFS office in Baldwin. The permits are required of each boat that intends to float between the public access points of The Forks and Indian Bridge. If you float outside of this summer-time window, you do not need a float permit.

Parking Permits

The State of Michigan does not require a parking permit at public DNR access points.

However, the US Forest Service does require a Recreation Pass at its public access points. These access points include: Claybanks, Green Cottage, Gleason’s Landing, Bowman Bridge, Rainbow Rapids, Upper Branch, Maple Leaf, and Indian Bridge. A USFS Recreation Pass may be purchased at the site, a District Office, or online.