Hot Spots: Fletcher’s Floodwaters in Michigan

FletchersEach summer, hundreds of fishermen pack up the car, hitch the boat, and grab a few buddies for their annual fishing trip. Some seek tropical havens and exotic fish such as tarpon or permit, while others yearn to be flown to a lodge somewhere far north for a week of trolling for salmon. However, no matter where you spend your summer fishing trip, nothing beats the simple majesty of a rugged cottage nestled on an inland lake, and Fletcher's Pond in Hillman, Michigan is just such a place.

Located in the northeastern region of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, Fletcher's Pond has been a popular bass fishing location for several years. Covering nearly 9,000 acres, and possessing an average depth of six feet, twelve at its deepest points, the man-made lake's shoreline is riddled with fallen trees and stumps–a bass fisherman's dream. Other than bass, the lake is also home to several other species, including northern pike, muskie, perch, crappie, and even the occasional dogfish. Such a wide variety of fish species allows any angler to experiment with different tackle, and, if they're lucky, with different recipes after a day on the lake is in the books.

Once on the water, you'll find Fletcher's Pond to be a truly rewarding fishery. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits will be your best friends here for bass and pike, especially among the stumps and submerged trees that crowd the shorelines. Weedless spoons and swimbaits have also proven themselves to be effective, as well as soft plastics twitched along the timber. Also, be sure to use strong fishing line in the lake (braided lines are a popular choice), as it is quite weedy in many places, and the stumps will cause you to use lures quickly if your line is sub-par. For anglers seeking panfish action, live bait under a bobber will pull bluegill to the boat all day long, while fishing the deeper, submerged railroad bed that runs across the lake will yield crappie.

To stock up on tackle, there are several establishments in the area where you can find lures, maps, licenses, and bait for any species. Wild Bill's Bait and Tackle is located within minutes of the lake and contains an array of tackle, including rods and reels. Downtown Hillman is home to A-1 Woods and Water, where you can find several rare variations of popular lures, as well as the more common, proven baits that have been around for years.

Another choice for all your tackle needs while enjoying Fletcher's Pond is Jack's Landing, a popular resort right on the water that is comprised of a quaint hotel with a restaurant and bar, several cabins on the lake, a campground, and a bait and tackle shop. Aside from staying directly at Jack's Landing, there are also several other hotels in the area, cabins available for rent year round, and campgrounds, all of which are within a few minutes of lake access.

Fletcher's Pond is the ideal location for the fisherman who yearns to escape tourism and commercialism during a fishing trip, while still having several everyday luxuries at your disposal. With record-setting fish caught each year, several accommodating hotels and cabins close to the water, and any number of locations at which to eat, relax, and buy tackle, this beautiful gem of a fishery, seemingly hidden among Northeast Michigan's untouched wilderness, is the perfect lake for your next trip. Be sure to bring a few buddies and your checkbook; you'll need it to put down a deposit for next summer after you fall in love with Fletcher's Pond.

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