Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay Guided Smallmouth Bass Fishing 2017

Traverse City, Michigan

Jon's Guide Service

Northern Michigan's Premiere

Guided Fly Fishing and light tackle fishing Service 

Michigan Guided Smallmouth Bass Fishing 2017



The michigan 2015 Bass season is underway! The weather this season has lead to a later Spring with a near record winter and tons of snow, high water, and  water temps well below the past several seasons.

The local rivers are starting to drop, ice is off our big waters, and things are starting to heat up for the 2015 Smallmouth Bass Season. Grand Traverse Bay is weeks behind with a cold winter! Fish are on deeper drops and are starting to feed heavy! Look for fish to move shallow for the spawn in June, with shallow water fishing remaining good into July.

Open Dates Call Today!

Michigan Guided Summer Bass / trout Special 

Manistee River / Grand Traverse Bay

July 14 - Sept 1 2015

5-6 hrs of fishing, all gear, flies, and tackle provided, soft drinks, coffee, snacks

$275.00         1 or 2 anglers

*Add a 3rd angler for an extra $75.00*


(231) 590 3483

Code# 2014MGSTBS


Located in South Boardman, Michigan and having remote locations in Baldwin, Michigan and Newaygo, Michigan gives us access to dozens of the Midwest's finest "Blue Ribbon Trout Streams." Many of these Blue Ribbon Trout Streams offer year round opportunities for the fly fishing angler. Fly fishing for salmon, trout, and steelhead on Michigan's famous tributaries , and smallmouth bass & carp on the flats of Grand Traverse Bay is what we do best. Jon's Guide Service is a full service, year round fly fishing guide service. Our Michigan fly fishing guide service offers instruction and guided fishing on Michigan's Manistee River, Pere Marquette River, Muskegon River & more such as the Betsie River and Platte river as well as the AuSable River! Jon's Guide Service provides fly fishing gear for trips and instruction on many of the major rivers in the State of Michigan, such as Winston, Sage, Simms, Cortland, Rio, SA. With a diverse set of guides located all over the state of Michigan, finding a guide for Western Michigan, Northern Michigan, Michigan's Upper Peninsula, or guided fly fishing on Michigan's Lake Huron and Michigan's Lake Michigan is not a problem, if booked in advance. Our fly fishing guide service and instruction are provided by FFF certified casting instructors, and guides who offer years of experience guiding Michigan rivers. Jon's Guide Service does everything it can to make your trip a fishing trip of a lifetime!


Michigan Hatch Chart


 Michigan Smallmouth Bass Fishing 

Michigan Guided Smallmouth Bass Fishing

1).  Fishing for Smallmouth Bass in Grand Traverse Bay

2).   How we fish for Michigan trout in the spring.

3).  What flies should I fish for spring Trout?

4).  When & Where to fish for Trout in Michigan.


About the Guide 

I have been a fishing guide in Michigan for over 30 years. Rivers such as the Pere Marquette, Manistee, AuSable and Betsie have been playgrounds and my office for many seasons.  FFF certified casting instructor, Orvis endorsed guide and school instructor, Head Guide of the largest outfitter east of the Rocky Mountains, and  fly shop owner have built years of experience in fishing & fly fishing Michigan waters and around the world. Join me and explore the great fishery and experience that Michigan rivers have to offer. My guide service is about providing a safe, educational experience that will be remembered for years to come. Our goal is to put you on the best fishing your day has to offer!

Guide / Owner  Capt Jon Kestner

Now booking trips for the 2017 season 

How to Book A Guide Trip

Give a call ,e-mail or text. We would be happy to talk to you about guide trip options, rivers options, fishing experience, and what experience your looking for in a guided fishing trip. Let us make your next trip one to remember for a lifetime!

Jon Kestner - Guide / Owner
5421 E. Main St.
South Boardman, MI 49680


 (231) 590 -3483



What Is The Cost?

Full Day: Cost $395.00  Guide trip for 1 or 2 people
                        8 Hrs (Meal Included - Gear Included) 


Half Day: Cost $295.00  Guide trip for 1 or 2 people
                        5 Hrs (No Meal - Gear Included)

Extra Person Rate: Extra person charge $100.00 

Summer Special: Cost $275.00  Guide trip for 1 or 2 people
                                       5 Hrs (No Meal - Gear Included) 


Michigan Fishing & River Reports:

River information


Water flow


Fishing Reports   

(Current local reports on water conditions and fishing) 

  • Manistee River -  Large tailwater river system offering Northern Michigan's largest run of Lake Michigan Steelhead.
  • Pere Marquette River - Famous midwest steelhead stream, freestone river offering great wading for spring steelhead.
  • Betsie River - Less traffic than most rivers!
  • Boardman River - walk-in trips, Urban fishery, Traverse City, MI.
  • White River - Freestone river, great spring steelhead fishing!
  • Muskegon River  - Largest steelhead run in the state, and offers great fishing well into May!

 Steelhead / Trout / Salmon / Bass / Carp

Peak Times to fish Michigan 

- Upper Manistee River Early Trout Fishing

- May & June Drake hatches on the Upper Manistee, Pere Marquette, and Muskegon Rivers

- Grand Traverse Bay Smallmouth Fishing

- Carp on the Flats of Grand Traverse Bay

- June Hex & July Mouse Fishing

- September Salmon Fishing Manistee River

- Early Oct Fall Steelhead Manistee River

- Manistee, Pere Marquette & Muskegon Rivers fall & Winter Steelhead Fishing in Nov & Dec

Michigan Guided Smallmouth Bass Fishing

Do you know your knots?

Check out this icon for info on knots


Gobie Jig

Lip Less Crank


Destination Travel

All Inclusive 7 day Fishing package $1795

Non Fishing All Inclusive $995


All Inclusive Fishing 7 Days Starting at $2495



Contact us for preferred group pricing!

Jon Kestner

5421 E. Main St.

South Boardman, MI 49680

 (231) 590-3483



© Copyright  2017  Jon's Guide Service

Peak Smallmouth Seasons

Inland Lake 

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

May 20 - June 20

  • Duck Lake
  • Green Lake
  • Skegemog Lake
  • Tippy Dam Back waters

These waters warm faster and offer shallow water opportunities sometimes weeks before the big waters. These smaller lakes are also our go to lakes when weather is not suitable for the big water. These smaller lakes also offer great summer top water action for smallies!

Great Lakes / Big water

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

May 20 -  July 10

  • Grand Traverse Bay
  • Elk Lake
  • Tourch Lake

Grand Traverse Bay is a gem of a Smallmouth bass fishery! Smallmouth as large as 8lbs are caught on this large set of bays known as West and East bay. Water depth of 597 feet, and temps bouncing from the 70's down into the 40's can make fishing tricky! One of the best places in the United States for trophy smallie fishing for fish over the 5lbs mark. We offer both fly and light tackle trips for these trophy fish. Fly fisherman are looing for smallies in the shallows in June, and gear fisherman cast to vast groups of pre spawn smallies on the drops early season in late May, and drop shot the deep weed beeds during the hot summer months. The big water has a great food source for these trophy fish in the Goby!! Crayfish and Bait Fish patterns and lures are also used.

Summer River

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

July 10 - Sept 1

  • Manistee River
  • Muskegon river

River smallies can provide a great opportunity for late summer fun on the river! The Manistee and Muskegon rivers offer good to great fishing for smallies. Top water action is a norm late season, and these fish fight great on fly gear and ultra light gear.

Grand Traverse Bay Access Map

Traverse City, Michigan


Michigan Guided

Smallmouth Bass Fishing

We guide out of a roomy 20' custom welded Jet driven boat. We can run shallow, and quite for working structure, and running on our local rivers during low summer flows. This boat is designed open to make sight fishing easy, safe, and fun! this boat also works great getting us into shallow flats for Carp and Smallie fishing on the flats of Grand Traverse Bay.

Over 30 years guiding Michigan Smallies


Taking bookings for Summer 2015 Smallmouth Bass fishing!

Traverse City, Michigan

Field & Stream named Traverse City one of America’s top 20 fishing

Traverse City "Top Ten Places for a Four-Day Vacation in the U.S."

Traverse City is voted one of the 10 Best Small Towns in America by Fodor's, Traverse City is a welcoming four-season destination that combines breathtaking natural attractions with a rich blend of adventure and relaxation. According to Bon Appetit, Traverse City is one of America's 5 Top Foodie Towns, offering the region’s best restaurants.  Draft Magazine raves that Traverse City is one of the Top 3 Emerging Beer Towns in the USA with its microbreweries, distilleries and wineries. After indulging your culinary pleasures, climb to the top of Sleeping Bear Dunes, voted The Most Beautiful Place in America according to Good Morning America viewers.The glistening waters of Lake Michigan make a stunning backdrop as one of USA Today's 10 Best Great Coastal Drives. So relax and follow your compassTraverse City.

Fly Fishing or Light Tackle

Flies for  Smallies

Smallies are agressive!

Sometimes not only smallies bite!