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Tony Martin

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Hiland Lake and Half Moon Lake and Blind Lake


Hiland Lake

This lake is first of seven lakes in the Hiland chain of lakes.  It covers 123 acres, 12 feet maximum depth and is home to some big fish, according to the folks at Dicks sport Shop, 3600 Grand River, Howell, MI 48843, 517-546-8530.  There have been largemouth bass up to 7 pounds caught her.  Bluegills are abundant and are often big.  The lake also holds some perch, in the 7 to 8 inch range and crappies that average 9 to 11 inches.  If youre after large gamefish, some big northern pike can found here, also.  The pike will strike spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and of course, a large sucker or shiner minnow is an option.  Focus on weeds for pike.  Bass busters will do well with a variety of soft plastics fished along submerged weedbeds.  Though of modest size, Hiland has plenty of coves, points, narrows and even an island.


Half Moon Lake

This lake is the next in the chain and a DNR report on the public access for Half Moon Lake said its located one mile south of Hell, but dont let that discourage you from visiting this 236 acre lake and maximum depth of 87 feet.  Hell is a tiny community near the Pinckney State Recreations Area, and Half Moon is well worth a visit, despite its proximity to the nether region.  Craig Kivi of Log Cabin Hardware and Golden Drake Fly Shop, 9280 McGregor Rd, Pinckney, MI 48169, 734-426-2256, says Half Moon is known as a panfish and pike lake, which is not a bad thing to be, which is not a bad thing to be, since panfish are usually easy to catch and good to eat.  There are also some big northern pike that strike with vengeance and normally have lots of meat on their aggressive bones.  Bluegills are not only numerous in this lake, but they can run up to 10 inches.  Northern pike are not nearly as numerous, but are of decent size and worth the effort to find.  Half Moon also has some bi smallmouth bass, which average 14 to 17 inches, and a fair number of crappies.  The DNR has stocked walleyes in the lake, but the fish dont seem to have survived in large numbers.  Half Moon Lake is especially productive in early spring.  Half Moon has some sharp drop-offs along the southern shore and near the narrows toward the eastern end.  The far eastern end also features some sunken brush around the shoreline that is often a magnet for baitfish and predators that feed on them.  One sign that this is a good fishing lake is that the parking lot fills up fast on many days, so try to arrive early or be prepared to wait awhile to get your boat in the water.  Like most of the larger lakes in this populous area, there are a fair number of recreational boaters on Half Moon.


Blind Lake

This lake is 65 acres and a maximum depth of 80 feet and is reachable via a channel on the west end of Half Moon.  The DNR has stocked rainbow trout and splake there in the past, but with poor results.  The lake is currently not being stoked with any species.  Anglers can find some largemouth bass here: Look for largemouths along submerged weedbeds and near any visible cover.  There are also a fair number of bluegills and a few northern pike, both of modest size.  Like bass, pike and bluegills will also use available weeds as cover.  For a small lake, Blind is surprisingly deep, with depths to 80 feet in a pool near the middle.  This means there are some sharp drop-offs, especially along the western shore.

Hiland Chain Of Lakes, Hell, Michigan


Hiland Lake Chain of Lakes, Hell Michigan


The Hiland chain flows through the Pinckney Recreational area connecting Half Moon Lake, Bruin Lake, Blind Lake, Woodburn Lake, Hiland Lake, Patterson Lake, Watson Lake, Island Lake. There is a public beach and launch area located on Half Moon Lake. Half Moon is also home to the annual triathlon. Many people enjoy this chain while camping on Bruin Lake. There is a marina on Woodburn Lake where you can stop to get gas.  Homes and cottages line the shores of many of the lakes, and motorized boat traffic is permitted throughout the area.  While in the Half Moon Pinckney area visit Hell Michigan and "The Dam Site Inn", Hell Country Store, Hell Post Office, and Hell Creek Ranch for Horseback riding thru the scenic Pinckney Recreation Area.


Hell, Michigan, like many areas in the state, was inhabited by Indians.  The Potowatamis were the major tribe in this region.  Modern use of Hell was as a pit stop along the trail from Lansing to Dexter. By the 1830s a New York Farmer named George Reeves had developed a mill, general store, and distillery. By the 1840s a school opened with a capacity of 70 students. Today, Hells population remains near the population in the 1940s, somewhere around 260.


There are two theories for the origin of Hell's name. The first is that a pair of German travelers stepped out of a stagecoach one sunny afternoon in the 1830s, and one said to the other, "So schn hell!" - translated as, "So beautifully bright!" Their comments were overheard by some locals and the name stuck.[3]Soon after Michigan gained statehood, George Reeves was asked what he thought the town he helped settle should be called, and replied, "I don't care, you can name it Hell for all I care." The name became official on October 13, 1841.[3] The second theory is tied to the "hell-like" conditions encountered by early explorers including mosquitos, thick forest cover and extensive wetlands.[3]

Subsequent blogs will highlight each of the seven lakes in the chain as well as Hiland Lake. There are a number of homes available on each of the lakes and you can obtain further information on these homes by checking my website, or
contacting me direct at 734-552-1804

What part of "NO WAKE" don't you understand?


When you see the NO WAKE signs, please SLOW DOWN!

This one is really a no brainer, folks. Most of the Huron is a no wake zone for good reason.

In narrow creeks and coves, boat wakes contribute to shoreline erosion. Although this loss of land is a problem for shorefront property owners, it also affects boaters. Eroded sediments create unwanted shoals, cause shallowing of navigational channels, cut off light to underwater life and can actually kill larval forms of many of our aquatic species. All this creates tremendous problems for the aquatic ecosystem.

In addition, your wake can cause damage to other boats, structures along the shore, and, in some cases injury to people. An excellent example of this today as a large bass boat came out of a channel and accelerated past a group of kayaks. A huge wake from a boat in transition can have a significant impact on a kayak only 10 yards away!

As a boat operator, it can be easy to control your wake.  Understanding the speeds under which your boat operates is the first step.

Displacement Speed- This is the slowest speed for most motor boats.  It also creates the least wake.  The boat operates with the bow down in the water.

Transition Speed-  As you increase the power while attempting to get on plane, the bow rises, causing the stern to plow through the water.  This speed creates the largest wake.

Planing Speed-  At planing speed, the bow drops back down and only a little of the hull contacts the water.  This speed creates less wake than transition speed, but more than displacement.  Many large craft are not designed to reach this speed.

Often a boat operator can cause a large wake unintentionally.  He or she may drop to transition speed instead of down to displacement speed, and actually increase wake size.  It's easy to avoid this pitfall, though.  Just make a habit of checking your wake (or have a passenger check it), especially as it hits the shore.  Slow down far enough in advance of sensitive areas to give yourself time to drop all the way to displacement speed.  This will minimize your wake's impact.

LIMITING YOUR WAKE Along with the rule, here are some other simple ways you can help to limit your wake:

Always be aware of your wake, especially when changing speeds or navigating in shallow waters. (Which can make wake larger).
A little extra speed can create a lot of extra wake, so slow down enough to eliminate your wake when required.
Trim tabs will help keep you boat level and will limit your time in transition speed.
Boat in deeper waters, and avoid getting too close to other boats or the shore.
Position passengers throughout the boat.  A heavy stern will increase wake size.
Your wake moves out at right angles from your boat, so slow down well before you are abeam of another boat or other structure to avoid a following wake.

Do your part, boaters.... keep the wake to a minimum whenever the wake will reach the shore, or disrupt another boat. And dont be afraid to let others know about the damage and potential harm they are doing.  You'll save the shoreline,a possible boating ticket, maybe even a life.


The Final leg of the Portage to Zuley Lake Chain

Heading up the Huron River from Tamarack Lake the next body of water is Whitewood Lake. Whitewood Lake is a 62 acre natural hard water-kettle lake which consist of a 40 acre downstream west basin and a 22 acre upstream east basin separated by a channel approximately 400 feet long.  The channel depth between the two basin varies, but has a maximum depth of about 15 feet. The east basin has a maximum depth of 27 feet, a volume of 328 acre feet and a mean depth of 14.9 feet. The west basin has a maximum depth of 50 feet, a water volume of 1041 acre feet and mean depth of 26 feet. Patty's lake is a 2 acre, 20 feet deep basin off the est basin. The Huron River flows through both basins.  Many boaters say that one of the best swimming holes on the chain is in a quiet bay on Whitewood Lake.

Whitewood and Gallagher Lake

The next body of water, Gallagher Lake on the chain that many say is really just a wide spot on the Huron River and isn't a destination lake for local anglers. It is only 76 acres and the deepest point is only 30 feet. The fishery is similar to those of Zukey and Strawberry, but less impressive. Next is Strawberry Lake which is the second largest lake on the chain at 257 acres. The lake is located in south central Livingston County about 5 miles east of Pinckney. The maximum depth is 50 feet. Large colonial and ranch homes sit on the hillsides overlooking the lake. Access is on either Zukey Lake through a private marina that charges launching fees or via a public access site several miles downstream on the Huron River at Big Portage Lake. The bottom of deep, fairly clear Stawberry Lake is 90 percent sand and gravel and 10 percent silt. It features include an irregular shoreline, limited shoal area, and steep contour changes. Other than a band of milfoil weeds that circles the drop off and a few pockets of lily pads, there is little cover. Even so, magnum bluegills and huge crappies are twin calling cards. This lake also holds Pike, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass and Walley.  Crappies average 10 to 12 inches and the Pike are 26 to 27 inches. Some anglers claim that Strawberry Lake is the best crappy fiishing in Livingston County. On the north end of the lake the Huron River continues on to Ore Lake.  On the southwest side of the lake, Devil's basin connects Stawberry Lake and Zukey Lake.

Strawberry Lake

Ore Lake is 192 acres and has a maximum depth of 81 feet. Because much of this portion of the Huron River is difficult to navigate, many people don't consider Ore Lake as part of the chain of lakes. It is hard to take anything but a small boat up the river. Plus it can't sit deep in the water.

Ore Lake

Zukey Lake has many sandbars. Good directions and a lake map are important if you aren't going to run aground or run a prop. There is a sandbar that stretches from the east bank to the west bank and is particularly hazardous. Many boats have bottomed out here. Toward the end of the summer when the lake levels are the lowest the water here sometimes gets only ankle deep in the middle of the lake. Zukey Lake is 155 acres and has a mximum depth of 35 feet. It has nice crappies and bluegills and holds small northern pike and largemouth bass. The Devil's basin at the south end is good for blue gills.  But again be wary of the sandbars. Still it is worth the effort to cross the sandbar to the famous and historic Zukey Lake Tavern. Zukey Lake Tavern is the only full service restaurant on the chain of lakes and seats over 400 people. You can enjoy all their food which includes sandwiches, burgers, salads, great ribs, steaks, fish and seafood and even some Mexican dishes. You can order out or dock your boat and go inside or sit on the outside Tiki deck.

Zukey Lake

There are some very nice buys on waterfront homes on all these lakes.  For more information on these great buys call Tony at 734-552-1804 or e-Mail me at

Tranquil Tamarack Lake


Tranquil Tamarack Lake


Off the beaten path and the next lake in the chain of Lakes from Baseline Lake is a queit and tranquil Tamarack Lake.  The only way to get there is a cement culvert fondly called The Tube



It allows only low-profile boats to pass from its water through a canal into Base Line Lake which is one of the waterways on the Portage to Zukey lake chain through Livingston and northern Washtenaw counties.


Tamarack lake is a small (16 acre) no wake lake, which means speeding boats and personal watercraft are not allowed there.  Tamarack lake sits in the southwest corner of Hamburg township, south of Shehan road and east of McGregor Road.  Before houses began sprouting up in about 1969, the lakes shoreline was home to an apple orchard and grazing cattle.  About 60 homes were developed in phases over the years.  Only the far eastern side of the lake remains undeveloped, primarily because of the wetlands that exist there.


Tamarack Lake offers its residents the best of both worlds.  Its quiet seclusion somewhat isolates residents from the summertime hustle and bustle of the Huron River chain of lakes.  But, anytime they want to venture out for fun time on the Portage to Zukey Lake chain, residents just need to pass through this culvert and head into the canal.



Because it is tucked away from the main part of the chain, the 16 acre spring-fed lake stays calm most of the time.  If the residents want to venture out in their boats onto the chain of lakes, the residents just need to look out at the top of the trees to see if there is any wind on Base Line Lake.


There is a good mix of folks on Tamarack Lake, including retirees and young families.  In the summer, there are always a lot of parties and impromptu BBQs.  In the winter there is plenty of sledding and skating on the lake.


Baseline lake

   Baseline Lake

  Aerial of Baseline Lake

Baseline Lake is the second lake in the Portage Chain of lakes.  The fish in this 254-acre lake are not especially big, but there are lots of bluegills, crappies, walleyes and yellow perch, plus smallmouth bass and rock bass.  Bluegills run 6 to 8 inches, and crappies average 8 to 10 inches.  Smallmouth bass are in the 12 to 14 inch range, and there are plenty to be had.  The DNR stocks walleyes in Base Line, though youll have to work to find them, says one of the owners of Log Cabin Hardware and Golden Drake Fly Shop, 9280 McGregor Road, Pinckney, MI 48169, (734) 426-2256.  He suggests fishing the 10 to 15 foot depths near the lakes sunken islands, using nightcrawlers, leeches, and big minnows, if you are after those elusive walleyes.  Anglers may also have luck in the same area drift-fishing or casting with spinners or big jigs tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers.  The inlet on the lakes eastern shore is also a good spot to search for rock bass, bluegills, and an occasional pike.  Work the area just outside the inlet and then within it.  The lakes panfish can often be found in areas with a muck bottom along the shores of the lake.  Base Line gets a quite a bit of recreational boat use, especially on weekends, so if you want undisturbed angling, avoid midday crowds.  There isnt a lot of natural structure, but you may have success by working steep drop-offs around much of the lakeshore.  Maximum depth of the lake is 64 feet.  To test the waters of Base Line Lake, put boats in on Portage Lake, use the channel on the southeast corner of that lake, and move briefly into the Huron River before heading north into Base Line. There is a hard-surfaced ramp on the south shore of Big Portage Lake. 

There are usually some excellent waterfront properties on Baseline Lake ranging from the mid $100,000s to mid $500,000s.  For information on waterfront properties and area lakes visit or call me at 734-552-1804.

Boating Safety and Laws of the Lakes and Tips

    Boating Safety and Laws of the Lakes

Spring is almost here and summer is just around the corner.  So it is not too early to think about boating safety and the opportunity to take the Michigan On-Line Boating Safety Course and exam.  If you are 12 years or older, this online safe boating course can be taken in place of the classroom course as preparation for the proctored final exam which is required to obtain your Michigan boating safety certificate.
It is user friendly and self directed.  You can study at your own pace!  Take the official Michigan boating safety Pre-certification exam.  Pay $29.50 one time only and only after you pass.  All the information is on or call 1-800-830-2268.  This course is developed by the Nichigan Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan watercraft laws are enforced by officers of the state Department of Natural Resources law enforcement division, the U.S Coast Guard and the Livingston County Sheriff's Marine Division.  Here is a refresher on some basic rules:

In General
  • All operators of boats and personal watercraft must carry with them a valid Michigan driver's license if they are 16 or a valid boating safety certificate if they are 12-15.
  • You must have a valid registration certificate and a decal to legally operate watercraft on public waters, unless the vessel is a privately-owned non-motorized canoe, kayak or rowboat that's 16 feet or less or it has valid registration from another state or country and is on state waters only temporarily.
  • Watercraft must be driven counter-clockwise direction except in areas marked well-defined channels or rivers.
  • It's illegal to chase, harass or disturb wildlife with a vessel.
  • All boats must be equipped with a personal flotation device for each person on board.
  • Children under 6 must wear an approved life jacket or life vest when riding on the open deck of any boat.
  • All watercraft in operation between sunset and sunrise must have navigation lights.
  • Fire extinguishers are required if a watercraft has closed living spaces, permanent fuel tanks or closed compartments in which portable fuel tanks or flammable or combustible material can be stored.
  • No one may operate watercraft under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  A person is under the influence if his /her blood alcohol concentration is 0.10 percent or greater as deterimed by a breath, blood or urine test.

Personal Watercraft:

  • It's illegal to operate personal watercraft between one hour before sunset and 8 A.M.
  • No one under 12 may legally operate a personal watercraft.
  • Anyone on board a personal watercraft must wear a life jacket.


  • All watercraft towing someone behind must have a spotter, in addition to the driver, observing the persons being towed.
  • Everyone being towed behind a watercraft must wear a life jacket.
  • Those being towed must stay at leat 100 feet away from any moored or anchored vessel, a dock or raft, any marked swimming area or swimmers.

Tips for getting your craft seaworthy:

  • Visually inspect your boat for winter damage.  Check out the interior, exterior, canvas. equipment and trailer.
  • Clean battery terminals and do a charge and load test.
  • Re-check gear oil levels, engine oil levels, power steering fluid levels, trim oil levels, and antifreeze levels.
  • Inspect propeller.
  • Engine drive test: cooling, shifting, steering, water leakage, loose nuts and bolts, inspect bilge, oil and fuel filter leakage.
  • Inspect safety equipment: Fire extinguisher, bilge pump and auto float, blower motor, kill lanyard, running anchor light, drain plug on board, and fuel hoses.
  • Check instruments and equipment: Oil pressure, tachometer, speed test with air pressure, trim gauge, temp gauge, volt gauge, stereo.
  • Inspect trailer: Springs, winch, strap, tire pressure condition, overall condition, trailer lights.



Big Portage Lake History and Info


Portage:  A quality life on a big lake

Aerial of Portage Lake

Portage Lake is also sometimes known as Big Portage in order to differentiate it from Little Portage, which is nearby and connected by a channel.  Whatever you call it, this is a quality lake.  This 644 acre lake straddles the Livingston/Washtenaw county line and has lots of structure, including islands, coves, gravel beds, emergent weeds, drop-offs and sunken brush.  The maximum depth of the lake is 84 feet.

Settlers who came to Michigan from the eastern United States in the 1800s faced a treacherous trip that ended in vast wilderness. Still, they could appreciate a great body of water when they saw one.

Early Washtenaw County historians called Big Portage one of the finest lakes in this country of beautiful lakes.  In Livingston County, which shares the lakes shores, the historians said Big Portage was a fine sheet of water.

Those who call the lake their home-or away from home-today feel pretty much the same way.

I grew up here and I never get tired of it, says Char Klave Schiller, one five generations of Klaves who have owned and worked at Klaves Marina (800) 582-2416, near the corner of McGregor and Dexter Pinckney roads located on the south shore.  It is the only full service marina on the Portage to Zukey chain of lakes with a gas dock.

The friendly atmosphere and the feeling of being away from it all when Ann Arbor is really just a little more than 20 miles away. 

The History of Washtenaw County tells of Saratoga of Michigan, a grand and magnificent city platted and lithographed by G.R. Lillibridge in 1836 on the south end of the lake in Washtenaw Countys Dexter Township.  It boasted of romantic and delightful scenery and was to have a fine steamboat for pleasure parties and streets named after great poets and musicians, such as Byron, Shakespeare, Haydn and Mozart.  All efforts to attract residents and investors failed though, and Saratoga of Michigan never became more than a paper village.

Attitudes about the development on Big Portage soon changed.  In 1902, a group of Ypsilanti businessman formed the Portage Lake Land Co. and bought property on the east shore in Dexter Township for the Portage Lake Resort.  It was extremely successful and expanded north to what is now Fox Pointe in the 1920s.  Besides summer homes, this development included a business district thats still evident today in Riverside Pizza (734-426-0800). The Trading Post (734-426-4114) and Log Cabin hardware (734-426-2256). 

As the automobile came into fashion, Portage Lake drew people from Bloomfield, Plymouth and Ann Arbor.  A hot spot for teenagers in the 50s, was the Newport Beach club, a public bathing beach with a pinball and beer.  The former bathing beach is home today to the Portage Yacht Club along the west shoreline.  Use of the Yacht club is for members only, but it does encourage new memberships.  Call (734) 426-4155.  The prevailing westerly winds and deep open water make the spot ideal for sailing.  The club enters its 57th season of sailboat races this year.

Big Portage.

Big Portage boasts a lot of year-round homes today and its main draw is its connection to the eight mile long Huron River chain of lakes.  The pontoon is the boat of choice of those cruising the chain.  This lake has some good fishing and has lots of bluegills, largemouth and small bass, and northern pike.  It also has a fair number of walleyes, perch, rock bass and redear sunfish.

Currently there are ten homes for sale on the lake with prices ranging from $299,000 to $879,000.  Call me at 734-552-1804 for more information or visit my websites at or

Portage to Zukey chain of inland lakes


Portage Chain of Lakes
Rare Jewels

Southeast Michigans Portage to Zukey chain of inland lakes is rich in both beauty and natural history.

Living far from the coast doesnt have to mean that your boating options are limited.  The Portage to Zukey chain of lakes is an overlooked jewel located within driving distance for thousands of Michigan Boaters.  The chain is situated about 15 miles northwest of Ann Arbor, MI, and is comprised of 9 picturesque lakes connected by the Huron River and navigable canals.  Crystal-clear, deep-water lakes and an undeveloped, natural river are the main features that make this waterway a unique destination for boaters.
The Huron River is rich in both splendor and natural history.  During the fur-trading days of the 18th century, French voyagers traveled from Lake Erie up the Huron River to Big Portage Lake.  The French word portage means the act of carrying and thats exactly what those early travelers did; they portaged overland to a tributary of the Grand River effectively linking Lake Michigan to Lake Erie.  Boaters today have it much easier using boat trailers on paved roads.
The Portage to Zukey chain is located in the sprawling Pinckney and Brighton Recreation areas.  These massive holdings of state land feature camping, hiking and horse trails, and lots of room to get out and enjoy nature.
Big Portage is the largest lake in the chain, totaling 644 acres.  Just past the Portage Yacht Club on the west shoreline is a canal that leads to Little Portage Lake.  Little Portage is fed by the Portage River, which can only be navigated by shallow draft boats that have no more than five feet of profile due to a low bridge.  Canoeing is popular on Little Portage and on the connecting river.  Paddlers can literally canoe to Hell and back as the town of Hell, MI, lies about two miles up the Portage River.  If you want to say youve been to Hell, its only a short drive from Big Portage by car.
The navigable Huron River is the centerpiece of the Portage to Zukey chain.  The river is mostly wild and undeveloped. The University of Michigan owns a large portion of the stream bank, and it manages its lands as true stewards would, preserving the natural beauty for generations to come.
Most of the river is posted no wake, so boaters may as well kick back and enjoy the leisurely cruise along the waterway.  White-tailed deer are commonplace, and numerous other critters call the river bottom home. Prehistoric sounding sand hill cranes chime in with honking geese and quacking ducks to compose a symphony of nature thats second to none. Bald eagles and ospreys frequent the area and are occasionally viewed by sharp eyed boaters.
The Huron River is locked by a dam downriver from Big Portage Lake, so heading upstream is the only option. The dam serves to regulate the water depth at about five feet, making boating relatively safe on the lower portion of the chain.
There are several establishments situated along the river just upstream of the Big Portage canal.  Boaters can dock up for pizza, hot subs and other goodies, and theres also an ice-cream shop. Right next to the Portage Inn, a privately owned boat launch is available on a first-come, first served basis.
Base Line Lake is just a few miles upstream. Here boaters can hit the throttle and toss back some spray.  Just past Base Line, a small side canal leads to Tamarack Lake.  As a matter of fact, there are several small lakes connected to the river that are worth exploring. Each one is unique, but they all have one thing in common: clean unspoiled waters that beckon the swimmer to jump in and enjoy the water.
The Whitewood Lakes emerge from the Huron River a couple of miles above Base Line. These narrow, deep lakes are actually a series of wide spots in the river. Gallagher Lake lies at the base of the Whitewoods, and this stretch of water is noted for its walleye and bass fishing.
The river current picks up steam from Gallagher to Strawberry Lake.  Just before the river enters Strawberry, a sweeping left turn of the river creates a shallow gravel bar. Boaters are advised to stay close to the outside (east) bank to avoid contacting the bottom. After rounding the turn, Strawberry Lake stretches to the north and east.  Strawberry encompasses 257 acres, with a maximum depth of 50 feet.
Zukey Lake is connected to Strawberry through the Devils Basin. Its characterized by a big, mid-lake  shoal. This sandy shallow area averages about three feet deep and is a popular site for boaters to anchor and play.
The boating season in southern Michigan starts after ice-out in April; however, most boaters wait until the water is warm enough for swimming during early June. One of the best times to boat on the Portage to Zukey chain is during the fall color season. The hardwood-studded shorelines are literally bursting with vivid colors during October. The best news is that the waterway is  not crowded during the fall.
Perfect for a southeastern Michigan day trip, boating on the Portage to Zukey chain is a charming combination of exploration and relaxation. Anglers should bring their fishing gear along, because bass, pike, musky, walleye and pan fish are all found in good numbers along the chain.  In fact, these waters may serve up some of the best bass and bluegill fishing in all of MI.

When You Go

There are four boat launches spread across the chain, making access convenient. All the launches are privately operated except for a state-owned boat access site located in the channel off the southeast corner of Big Portage Lake. Parking is limited to only 30 vehicles with trailers, though, and the access site fills up fast on the weekends. The site opens at 8 A.M. daily.
Klaves Marina (800) 582-2416 is located on the south shore of Big Portage, and its the only full service marina on the chain with a gas dock, so plan accordingly.
Along the west shoreline, the Portage Yacht Club (734) 426-4155 is hard to miss. Use of the Yacht Club is for members only, but it does encourage new memberships.
On the western shore of Zukey lake is Ted Cobbs Marina (810) 231-3800. Cobbs offers a boat launch, hoists, dockage and basic bait and tackle. Just pass Cobbs on Zukeys north shore youll find the newly renovated Zukey Lake Tavern (810) 232-1441.  This local favorite serves a full menu of entrees including burgers, pizza and its specialty, barbecued ribs.  Nearby Ann Arbor hosts the largest art fair in the world, which is scheduled in July. Theres also a blues and jazz festival.  There are a few cottage rentals near the chain of lakes, but for lodging Ann Arbor may be the best bet.  Contact the Ann Arbor Visitors Bureau for a complete list of accommodations, eateries and area attractions (800) 888-9487,
And of course, whether its that summer cottage, fishing cabin, dream home or vacant land, Tony will find it for you! An outstanding Realtor that can make it easy to enjoy your new outstanding lifestyle on the water! Contact Tony at (734) 552-1804 or visit the website or

Did You Know?!



There are 111 waterfront homes for sale in Livingston County! ranging from $111,00 to 1,499,000

There are 336 waterfront homes for sale in Oakland County! ranging from $77,000 to 5,700,000

There are 83 waterfront properties for sale in Genesee County! ranging from $109,900 to 10,000,000

There are 14 waterfront homes for sale in Washtenaw County! ranging from $89,900 to 879,000

I have extensive knowledge and specialize in waterfront and/or lakefront properties in Livingston, Genesee, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. Now is the time to buy!  With interest rates at an all time low and tax credits for first time buyers, ask me about homes on the water. Each week I will be discussing various lakes and homes that are available on each lake.  For example, The Portage lake chain of 9 lakes (Portage , Baseline, Tamarack, Whitewood, Bass, Gallagher, Strawberry and Zukey) currently has a total 52 homes ranging from $40,000 to 1,500,000.  Each week I will cover each lake with the description, size, depth, fish species, etc. and give you information on the available homes on that lake.  So do check back each week for this valuable information.

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