Carlson's Fisheries: Fishtown's Finest

One of the great businesses in Fishtown is Carlson's Fisheries. This place has been around almost as long as the town. They do some of their own fishing and it is where some of the best restaurants in Traverse City get their fish.  Also, their entrance is on the side of the building facing away from the dock. 

They have a small selection for the general public. They catch the trout themselves right out of Lake Michigan. I believe the salmon is caught by other commercial fisherman, Native American tribes, etc. and is therefore a little more pricey. The trout and salmon are both available fresh or smoked. The smoked trout is $1 more per pound and it is reasonably priced. Carlson's has mastered the art of smoking foods. The trout is smoked yet has richness and moisture from the fat. It was almost a sushi quality—somewhat dense yet buttery. Their turkey and beef jerky are also great ways to take away hunger. They are thick pieces yet are not dried out. The science behind their products is time-tested and perfected. They even had a fish sausage that I would have liked to grill.

Give their place some business. I would rate them as one of the best fisheries I have ever tried. Their products are outstanding. There is nothing like having your product come from the dock outside the building, butchered, and available to the consumer. It's a simple operation with fantastic products. You can check out their website here. They will even smoke your turkey for Thanksgiving or the fish that you caught. I definitely would trust them to do it right. If anything, Carlson's smokes the competition.


  1. Jonny Bravo, I'm a Development & Alumni Relations Intern for the School of Natural Resources & Environment (SNRE) at U-M (go blue!), and we're actually doing a profile on Nels Carlson, who is an SNRE alumnus. I'd love to be able to use the top picture in this post for Nels's profile! Did you take the image? If so, I wanted to ask if I can have your permission to use the photo in Nels's profile. We would credit you in the text of Nels's profile.

    1. My apologies, Alexa. missed your comment and would have replied sooner. I am more than happy to grant you permission to use my pictures.

    2. Thank you so much, Jonny! I appreciate it. I've looked around your blog both times I've been here to post - what a cool idea for a blog! As someone who moved to Michigan five or so years ago now, I love that you illustrate just how much adventure there is still to be had. I'll definitely use your blog as a resource into the future :)


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