“No catch, no pay!” is the motto of Big Kahuna Charters. They’re so certain that you’ll land something delicious to take home that they promise to schedule another trip if you don’t catch anything. The largest and oldest fishing guide in Traverse Bay, they sure know a thing or two about filling the boat and providing an incredible day out to the whole family!

Run by long-time locals, Rachel and Scott Alpers, they employ only the highest-quality and experienced captains. Captain Jared has been fishing these waters since he was 2, while Captain Sunny has over 40 years of experience running charters here. Rest assured that you’ll be in safe hands, with all the support you need to fill the boat.

Speaking of the boat, the 37’ Trojan cruiser is a thing of beauty. Strong and powerful, she’ll take you from the bay onto the deep waters of Lake Michigan. Up to 6 guests are welcome aboard to make yourselves at home in the comfortable cabin that features a bunk, kitchen, and full head toilet. Bring your own drinks and snacks aboard and settle in for a fun-filled day.

Built with fishing in mind, the boat also features all the amenities needed for a productive day out. Troll the open waters using downriggers, and quietly cruise the shallows thanks to the wireless motor as you bottom fish. Catch your target species by surprise and get ready to reel in plenty of delicious creatures.

The Great Lakes offer more than just size. Lake Michigan boasts stocks of tough-fighting and tasty fish. Go after Brown, Lake, and Rainbow Trout, along with Coho Salmon, and test your skills and strength to land a treat for dinner! Your captain will clean and fillet your catch at the end of the trip, just make sure to bring a cooler to keep it fresh.

And that’s that! Everything you need for a productive day is waiting on board. Kahuna Fishing Charters offers fun for the whole family. Just grab your fishing licenses and come aboard to see why Lake Michigan is considered so ‘Great!’



Select date to see available trips and rates:

  • Private trip
    Half Day Trip (AM)
    FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    4 Hour Trip, starts at 7:00 AM
    Seasonal trip May 15 - Sep 30
    $500
    Get out on the water first thing and catch the early bite of some of Lake Michigan's most prized species. Spend 4 hours battling it out on these productive waters with 3 kinds of Trout and some strong Coho Salmon. These tough-fighting creatures will make you work hard to fill the boat, making your lunch all the more tasty when you cook it up after the trip. Departure time may vary depending on sunrise and the season, so get in touch with your captain beforehand.
  • Private trip
    Half Day Trip (Evening)
    FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    4 Hour Trip, starts at 5:00 PM
    Seasonal trip May 15 - Sep 30
    $500
    It's never too late to go fishing. In fact, what better way to relax after a day of work than by getting out on the water? Head out at 5 p.m. and enjoy the stunning sunset on Lake Michigan, catching the evening bite of some tough-fighting and delicious fish. Troll or get your hands full when bottom fishing as you try to fill the boat with tasty Trout and Salmon to take home for a well-earned dinner.
  • Private trip
    Half Day Trip (PM)
    FREE Cancellation 3 days notice
    4 Hour Trip, starts at 12:00 PM
    Seasonal trip May 15 - Sep 30
    $500
    If you love the sun, then this mid-day trip is ideal for you. While the fishing is a bit slower, you'll still get your hands on some exciting and delicious Trout and Salmon during your time aboard. In fact, this is the perfect time to catch something fresh for dinner, giving the captain plenty of time to clean and the catch after your trip, and allowing you the chance to cook it up whichever way you want it.

About the Captain

Sonny Aeschliman
Williamsburg, Michigan, United States
57 Customer Reviews
Response time within an hour
Member since May 2019
A native of the Traverse City area, Captain Sonny has been fishing since he was a young lad, and acquired his Captains License in 1986. A true outdoorsman, Captain Sonny has a profound respect for nature, wildlife and all that it has to offer. As a long time business owner in auto body restoration, Captain Sonny fully retired in 2006. He enjoys his retirement doing what he enjoys most; Fishing, Hunting, & spending time with family. Captain Sonny has welcomed anglers, both young and old, aboard Pisces and Big Kahuna for many years. He has established a long list of repeat fishing clients, many from as far away as California, the Eastern States & Midwest. A legend in his own right, a successful fisherman/outdoorsman comes with years of experience, knowledge, story telling and Humor. Captain Sonny certainly has filled the requirements and then some. It’s no wonder we have repeat customers year after year, requesting Captain Sonny and his Mate, Colton, as their crew.

About this listing

Targeted Species

Brown Trout Brown Trout
Lake Trout Lake Trout
Rainbow Trout (Steelhead) Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)
Salmon (Coho) Coho Salmon

Boat Specs

Trojan (Cruiser) originally built in 1984. Powered by 2 340HP Mercruiser engines.

Length
37 ft
Capacity
6 persons

Types of Fishing

Lake Fishing

Fishing Techniques

Light Tackle
Heavy Tackle
Bottom Fishing
Trolling

Amenities

Toilet
GPS
Fishfinder
Bed
Kitchen
Refrigerator
Wireless Trolling Motor
Ice Box
Toilet
GPS
Fishfinder
Bed
Kitchen
Refrigerator

Trip Includes

Rods, reels & tackle
Lures
Catch cleaning & filleting
First Mate

Cancellation Policy

Free cancellation up to 3 days prior to trip

Customers can cancel or modify their booking up to 3 days before the trip date free of charge. If the trip is canceled or modified later, or in the event of a no-show, 100% of the deposit will be charged.

Listing Policies

Pickup not included
Transfer to/from departure site is not included in trip rates.
Child Friendly
You Keep Catch

Payment

Book with 15% deposit
When the captain confirms your trip, FishingBooker charges your credit card a 15% deposit to guarantee your reservation.
Pay remaining balance to captain
The remaining balance is to be paid directly to the charter operator on or prior to your trip date in one of the following payment methods:
Cash
Visa
Mastercard
American Express

Customer Reviews

Rating Summary
Photos & videos by reviewers (82)
4.7
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
out of 5 stars from 57 reviews
Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Experience
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Awesome Time
Awesome Time
September fishing trip
+79
Angler Rating
46
8
1
1
0
Anglers Claimed
Good experience
95%
Friendly captain
100%
Recommend this charter
95%
Appropriate for children
98%
Satisfied with the boat
95%
Catch intended fish
80%
Sort By:
Featured  
Showing:
5 of 57 reviews
Kevin H.
Houghton Lake, Michigan
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.0
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Awesome Time

VERIFIED   NEW  Half Day Trip (PM) on September 26, 2021
I put together a group of 4 guys for this trip. None of us had ever done a charter fishing trip before so we all thought it...
Kevin H. recommends Big Kahuna Charters
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Sarah C.
Saint Paul, MN
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.0
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Half Day Trip with Captain Sonny and Griffin

VERIFIED   Half Day Trip (AM) on August 11, 2021
Having never been on a charter previously, our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 kids under 12) was excited and nervous.  Rachel...
Sarah C. recommends Big Kahuna Charters
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Sarah C. recommends Big Kahuna Charters
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Jill M.
Iowa City, IA
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  4.7
Experience:
Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Very Good Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

MI fishing Charter

VERIFIED   Half Day Trip (AM) on August 13, 2021
This was our 1st trip to MI and we really wanted to have a good fishing experience.  We checked online and read other reviews...
Jill M. recommends Big Kahuna Charters
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Karen C.
Bingham Farms, MI
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.0
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Fishing with Sonny

VERIFIED   Half Day Trip (Evening) on August 17, 2021
We had a good time on the charter last night. It was the first time for my two sons (15 & 12) and they really enjoyed the trip...
Karen C. recommends Big Kahuna Charters
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You found this helpful
  Sonny Aeschliman Captain replied

James B.
Traverse City, MI
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent  5.0
Experience:
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Boat
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Crew
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Overall

Evening Trip With Captain Sonny

VERIFIED   Half Day Trip (Evening) on July 25, 2021
We had a great time.  There were five (5) of us, three (3) adults and two (2) children.  We caught nine (9) fish, most of...
James B. recommends Big Kahuna Charters
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FAQs about Big Kahuna Charters

Big Kahuna Charters offers the following trips to customers:
  • $500 per group, additional $30 per person after 4 guests - Half Day Trip (AM) (4 hours)
  • $500 per group, additional $30 per person after 4 guests - Half Day Trip (Evening) (4 hours)
  • $500 per group, additional $30 per person after 4 guests - Half Day Trip (PM) (4 hours)

When you book a trip with Big Kahuna Charters, you can expect the following amenities onboard:
  • Toilet
  • GPS
  • Fishfinder
  • Bed
  • Kitchen
  • Refrigerator
  • Wireless Trolling Motor
  • Ice Box

Trips booked with Big Kahuna Charters include:
  • Rods, reels & tackle
  • Lures
  • Catch cleaning & filleting
  • First Mate (All Charters are equipped with a crew of two)

Big Kahuna Charters offers the following type of fishing:
  • Lake Fishing

Big Kahuna Charters offers the following fishing techniques:
  • Light Tackle
  • Heavy Tackle
  • Bottom Fishing
  • Trolling

Top targeted fish species with Big Kahuna Charters include:
  • Brown Trout
  • Lake Trout
  • Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)
  • Salmon (Coho)