Rowleys Bay Public Marina
** See below for important parking and use notices
The Rowleys Bay Public DNR Marina and Boat Launch is just steps away from our front door! Fishermen have the only direct access to legendary Four Foot Shoal, one of the best places to catch trophy king salmon in Lake Michigan—steelhead, brown and rainbow trout, northern pike, perch, walleye and small-mouth bass are also in abundance.
If you have a passion for water sports, you have to come to Rowleys Bay Resort. From canoeing and kayaking to sailing and windsurfing, you won’t find a better place in Door County for aqua adventures on Lake Michigan. We also offer the most direct access to the Mink River, one of the few unspoiled estuaries in the Great Lakes. The river flows through coniferous swamps, a large marsh and empties into Lake Michigan at Rowleys Bay.
Whether you’re pleasure boating or fishing, there’s nothing quite like seeing Door County from the water. It’s like having your own private playground on the water.
The free-to-launch public marina at Rowleys Bay features one paved lane and generous free parking. Select boat slips are available to rent and have water and power hookups. For information on non-guest overnight parking please see the front desk to purchase a permit.
* Please note policies and permissions are set by the Wisconsin DNR. See the marina map for more details. Contact the front desk for permit details and to check-in. Please observe all docking, loading, and parking rules and courtesies.
** Avoid a parking fine. **
Ask about our marsh/waterfront rentals, including cottages C, D, and E and House 31.
<– Click on the image for a full-size map.
Wondering what the marina looks like? Most frequently updated for those early spring fishers, this static photo is updated every few days to show current water level and ice and snow conditions. For current weather conditions, visit Rowleys Bay on Weather.com.
Monday, June 1st, 2020; 0720
Please also note that if you’re renting a house or cottage in the Rowleys Bay area, you may park only on gravel and paved driveways, NOT on grassy areas. Guests of Rowleys Bay Resort have full access to overnight parking in our lot, in yellow marked parking spaces, including boats and trailers. Please see the front desk for a parking pass.
Fish cleaning station available. Please dispose of your waste appropriately. No on-site dumping. Don’t forget your license!
In summer, some good pencil reed beds develop along the shores of Rowleys Bay, especially nearer to the river inlet. Work these reed beds and some of the nearby rock and boulder structure with soft-shell crayfish or nightcrawlers for Small-mouth Bass and Perch. A 7 lb. Small-mouth came from this area several years ago. Small-mouth bass move into the river in June, and mid-June to mid-July provide good fishing for this species. Work the edge cover in the main river channel with nightcrawlers, soft-shell crayfish or small crankbaits. The deeper holes near the mouth of the Mink River can produce some good catches of Perch during this time of the year.
As we head into August, Bass fishermen can still enjoy good fishing along the reed beds in Rowleys Bay. Deep water trolling is still producing a number of Lake Trout and Salmon trolling with J-Plugs and Mister Twisters.
September sees the return of Northern action to Rowleys Bay trolling or casting along the reed beds. Shoreline fishing for Brown and Rainbow Trout also improve during this time of the year.
Ice fishing on Rowleys Bay and Lake Michigan is NOT RECOMMENDED. Ice and current conditions change hourly. Check out opportunities for this winter activity on the west/bay side of the peninsula.
Rowleys Bay is a good spot to troll for Brown Trout in the spring after the ice leaves. This could be as early as the first week or two of March or as late as early April. Look for Browns in 6′-20′ of water along the rocky shorelines of the south of the Bay or all across the outer mouth of Rowleys Bay itself. Use long lines, preferably no larger than 6 lb., at this time of year, since the water is super clear. There is also a major movement of northern pike toward the Mink River in spring and trolling or casting around the back end of Rowleys Bay (near the mouth of the Mink River) shortly after ice-out can produce some exceptional northern pike catches.
* Note: due to the Safer at Home order, the Baileys Harbor Brown Trout Tournament has been cancelled for 2020. See more here.
Shallow-water Brown Trout fishing continues to be good thru early May, but changing water temperatures sometime force fishermen to deeper water. The Mink River is a primary spawning area for Northern Pike and Small-mouth Bass, and that is what draws the fishermen. Northern begin running up the river shortly after the ice leaves, but they usually don’t spawn until mid-May. At this time, try working the big marsh at the upper end of the river, casting floating rapalas in as little as two feet of water. The edge, where the marsh drops off into about 6 feet of the main river, is also a prime holding area for Northerns. This is a good bet for 30 – inch- plus pike and l5 to 20 lb. trophies which are present each spring. The deeper holes near the river mouth can also be good for Perch in May and June. May fly nymphs are a popular bait.