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10 great public access fishing spots on Michigan's Pere Marquette

10 great public access fishing spots on Michigan's Pere Marquette

Sep 15, 2023

Brad Smith

The PM is one of the best fishing rivers in the world for a reason. 

The Pere Marquette River, often referred to as the "P.M.," is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Flowing through the stunning Manistee National Forest, this river is renowned for its pristine waters, exceptional trout and salmon fishing, and picturesque natural beauty. To help you make the most of your adventure along the Pere Marquette River, we've highlighted ten public access points that will guide you through this wilderness wonderland.

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  1. Bowman Bridge Access Site

The Bowman Bridge Access Site is a perfect starting point for your Pere Marquette River journey. Located near Walhalla, this access site provides parking facilities and a sturdy bridge that allows you to cross the river and fish the eastern bank. 

  1. Custer Road Access Site

As you venture south along the river, you'll come across the Custer Road Access Site. This spot offers convenient parking and a well-maintained pathway to the river's edge. Whether you're an angler or a nature enthusiast, this location is a fantastic place to take in the river's beauty and catch some fish. 

  1. Scottville Riverside Park

Moving downstream, the Scottville Riverside Park offers a pleasant mix of nature and urban amenities. You can take a break from the water and enjoy a picnic, or explore the nearby town of Scottville for a taste of local culture. 

pere marquette

  1. Indian Bridge

Indian Bridge is an iconic location along the Pere Marquette River. This historic covered bridge not only provides a unique photo opportunity but also offers access to the river's west bank. From here, you can follow a trail that winds through the woods, offering the chance to spot local wildlife and many holes that hold resident trout, as well as steelhead and salmon during the fall and winter months. 

  1. Upper Branch Bridge Access Site

The Upper Branch Bridge Access Site is perfect for those seeking solitude. Located further downstream, it offers a quieter experience with minimal traffic and beautiful river views.

  1. Gleason's Landing

Gleason's Landing is a favorite spot for fishermen. It's a superb location to cast a line for steelhead, salmon, or trout. The nearby campground is also a great place to set up camp and experience the magic of the river at sunrise and sunset.

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  1. Bowman Lake Road Access Site

Bowman Lake Road Access Site is an excellent place to launch a kayak or canoe for a leisurely little fishing trip down the river. The calm waters near this site make it ideal for beginners.

  1. Rainbow Rapids Access Site

Rainbow Rapids is another remarkable access point. Actually, this spot is pretty famous. Ask any fishing about a spot on the PM, and they'll probably name this one. The riffles and rapids in this section of the river provide a thrilling challenge for any fisherman and is a prime spot during the salmon run.

  1. Sulak Landing

Sulak Landing is perfect for those seeking an extended fishing trip down the river. You can leave a vehicle here and embark on a multi-day adventure downstream, with camping spots available for those looking to immerse themselves in the wilderness.

  1. Gleason's Landing to M-37 Bridge

Finally, the stretch from Gleason's Landing to the M-37 Bridge offers a picturesque journey through lush forests and meandering river bends. This section is perfect for those who want to spend several hours or even a whole day exploring the river's hidden treasures. This is also the fly fishing only section and 100% catch and release at all times of the year. 

The Pere Marquette River is a natural wonderland waiting to be explored. Whether you're an angler, a paddler, or simply seeking a peaceful escape into nature, these ten public access fishing spots offer a gateway to the river's beauty. Remember to respect the environment, follow any regulations, and leave no trace so that this pristine wilderness can be enjoyed by generations to come. So, grab your gear, embark on an adventure, and experience the magic of the Pere Marquette River.