River Fishing & Spring Camping

Cool, crisp morning air, your first morning cup of coffee brewed by campfire, sunshine sparkling across the river, and a full day laid out in front of you reserved for fishing. Longing for the simplicity of a campsite and a few days of casting on the river? NewayGo County is the perfect destination for a near Up North spring fishing getaway.

Spring River Fishing Season

March & April are peak season for steelhead fishing on the Muskegon and White Rivers. Each year, as winter comes to a close, anglers make their way to the open water of our area rivers to take part in early spring fishing for steelhead trout, sometimes weighing as much as 20 pounds. The rivers are low and clear at this time of the year, making it an ideal time to give river fishing a try for those new to the sport; or for seasoned anglers to have an experience of a lifetime.

Fisherman with rod, spinning reel on the river bank. Sunrise. Fishing for pike, perch, carp. Fog against the backdrop of lake. background Misty morning. wild nature. The concept of a rural getaway.

River Access

Looking for access points to the rivers? Check out our Muskegon River and White River maps for access and launch locations. A new map is in production which offers more comprehensive details about the Muskegon River. Watch our Facebook page for updates.

A highly recommended area on the Muskegon River is below the Croton Dam at the Pine Street or Thornapple launches. On the White River anglers catch steelhead at the access points below the Hesperia Dam. Be aware that some launch points will require a Michigan Recreation Passport for parking.

Guided Excursions

Think you might need a guide for your fishing excursion? Being that our rivers are a regional hot spot for fishing, there are plenty of guides ready to help you plan a trip to remember. They can lead you to the best fishing spots, provide all of the gear you will need, and even help you reel in a big one!  The DNR has helpful resources for finding a guide at: Charter Information. Also, check out our website for other helpful information at: 4-Season River Fishing.


Caught salmon

Other Helpful Resources

Below is an assortment of resources that may be helpful as you plan your adventure:

37 North Exterior of Building

Get Your Gear

37 North is the NewayGo Tourism Council’s official partner for outdoor gear. Be sure to check them out before heading out on the water. They have everything from kayaks to coolers to outfit your adventure.

Need to stock up on bait, or maybe your waders sprung a leak? Hesperia Sport Shop is a local resource carrying all of the top brands in fishing equipment and live bait. They are conveniently located only one mile from the White River’s dam, and are always happy to answer questions about fishing in the region.

Newaygo Fly & Tackle Co. is a locally owned and operated outfitter for fly fishing, fly tying and tackle in Newaygo. They specialize in angling for resident and anadromous fish in our local river systems. They can set you up with anything you need for your fishing excursion.

Cup of coffee by campfire

Spring Camping

Although our region has many campgrounds, not all of them are open for year-round camping. For early season camping, head to Big Bend Park west of the Hardy Dam, Oxbow Park on the east side of the backwaters of Hardy Dam, or Croton Township Park on the Muskegon River at Croton Pond. Each of these campgrounds offer year-round camping amenities in scenic areas that are not far from area restaurants and other conveniences. Plan your overnight stay, a long weekend, or even an extended stay to explore more of NewayGo County!

Start Planning

Now you are all set with all of the information and resources you will need to plan a grand fishing adventure you won’t soon forget. So, make your plans and head to the rivers of NewayGo County!