Thanks. Yea, Lake Michigan has some great sight fishing opportunities. I haven't been to Beaver Island proper but fished a ton of flats around Traverse City and those peninsulas. That can be amazing, seeing carp as flats fish in a clear, beautiful environment--really elevates them from their stereotypes. The window up there is narrow, with fish on the flats pre- and post spawn, which is from Mid-May to Mid July. Basically the flats are narrow and drop off to a hundred feet deep or more, so the fish appear and disappear quick, both seasonally and sometimes just while you're fishing them. You can get in and wade for miles, but it has become more difficult the past few years since Lake Michigan has risen about 30-36" (yes, nearly 3 feet) since its 2012 levels, so it has given the flats a steeper slope feeling and killed much of the marsh that held a lot of fish (lively grass edges are now brown underwater mass). The smallmouth fishing is great during this same period, but they are far more camouflage. Casting to any dark spot (usually a rock) usually results in a smallie attacking your fly.
In the city (Chicago) by contrast, we do our sight fishing along the seawalls that line the entire city (13 miles North to South, but lots of curvature and one of the largest marina systems anywhere. The harbors have their own populations of fish and different dynamics. Some have diverse habitat from deep weedbeds to shallower rocky shoals, and some are just deep featureless coves. The huge water level rise, while threatening the city's infrastructure, has in some ways helped and in other ways hurt our sight fishing. The pros are that (a) laid up or cruising fish are vertically closer to us; (b) allows for smoother presentation than being vertically above fish by 3'; and (c) netting fish or lifting fish is way easier. The big con is, it's already deep so a bottom presentation (like crayfish patterns) takes forever to get down. There are some beaches in and near the city where you can wade and cast to cruising pods of carp, but most is done from a seawall which is reinforced with giant rock. The fish often come up on these rocks to feed. Another favorite of mine to sight fish is the freshwater drum (looks like a black drum). They are more aggressive and also get large. Sight fishing for carp & drum usually gets better as water warms until late September. We also sight fish smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and pike, although you are much more likely to get the smallmouth on a blind cast around structure or under bait.