Waukegan

36 Fishing Charters

Waukegan Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Waukegan

Top Fishing Charters in Waukegan


Illinois’s fifth-largest city boasts sandy shorelines, dunes, plenty of natural wildlife...and some truly excellent angling opportunities. Pay a visit, and you’ll discover Waukegan fishing charters dotted all along Lake Michigan’s western shoreline. All you need to do is show up, hop aboard, and get ready to fish the Prairie State, Waukegan-style!
 
Fishing in Waukegan is all about discovering what Lake Michigan has to offer. You’ll have access to the western basin, which welcomes tough-fighting Coho in early spring. This is considered to be the beginning of the fishing season! You’ll also come across great Brown Trout and Lake Trout action in nearshore waters, while jumbo Perch can be found all throughout the lake. 
 
As summer arrives, local guides prepare their charters for runs to the lake’s deeper waters. Chinook “King” Salmon and Lake Trout are the top targets, with acrobatic Steelhead also joining in on the fun. Later in summer, Brown Trout can also be hooked in good numbers. Fall is generally thought of as the best time of year to be out on the water, as Lake Trout, non-spawning Chinook, Brown Trout, and Steelhead make up the bulk of the catches!
 
Waukegan Harbor is an especially popular departure point for Waukegan fishing charters. Guides run trips that last anywhere from half a day out on the water to a full day adventure. Shorter trips are perfect for beginners, whereas longer trips give you a better chance of hooking that trophy. 
 

Rules & Regulations

Before you cast a line in Waukegan, you’ll need to purchase an Illinois fishing license. If you’re targeting specific species, such as Trout and Salmon, you’ll need to get a Great Lakes Stamp too. 
 
Waukegan
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.65
Based on 23655 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

Welcome the beginning of a new year by checking out Waukegan's Brown Trout bite. An ice fishing trip is a great idea if the ice is thick enough to fish through. Just make sure you have a professional guide with you!

February

The last month of winter in Waukegan can still be good for ice fishing if the weather and the lake’s conditions allow. If it’s unsafe going out, just wait for next month, when the season begins!

March

This is when Waukegan's fishing season tends to kick off. Starting late March, Perch are usually biting pretty well. You can also cast your line for Whitefish!

April

Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass can be found in the Waukegan's harbor, along with Lake and Brown Trout. Brownies and Lakers are lurking in Lake Michigan's nearshore waters, as well as the first Coho Salmon. 

May

Time tom fully explore the beautiful waters of Lake Michigan! You can get your hands on Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and, of course, Coho Salmon and Chinook Salmon. 

June

The first month of summer sees anglers from all over the country out on the water. Join 'em and fish for acrobatic Steelhead, as well as Salmon varieties. 

July

July is the season that keeps everyone busy, from novice anglers catching the first Salmon in their lives to seasoned professionals! Coho and Chinook are on offer, as well as Steelhead and Lake Trout. 

August

The last month of summer switches your attention to Brown Trout, which can be found in good numbers. Lake Trout, Steelhead, and Chinook Salmon are all still available. 

September

Head out onto Lake Michigan for some Lake Trout action offshore, especially around the reefs and rocky structure. You can also cast your line for Salmon, Brown Trout, and Steelhead, as well as Lakers.

October

October in Waukegan sees anglers, captains, and fishing enthusiasts wrapping up the season. You can still get your hands on Coho Salmon, Lake Trout, Steelhead, and Brown Trout.

November

The fishing season is fully winding down now, and you might even start to see Lake Michigan icing over. You can check Waukegan's many creeks for the occasional bite.

December

You can find Perch if you know where to look and if you are fishing alongside a knowledgeable charter captain. Ice fishing can be productive but is not safe unless if you go alone, so get in touch with a local guide!

Waukegan Fishing Calendar

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Make sure you know your weather! We checked with Capt Don the Sunday before tornado quality T-Storms were blowing through the area on our scheduled trip. We postponed a day for a much smoother ride!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Make sure you know your weather! We checked with Capt Don the Sunday before tornado quality T-Storms were blowing through the area on our scheduled trip. We postponed a day for a much smoother ride!
Kurt  W.
Kurt W. Hoffman Estates, Illinois
Bring light weight pants to fend off the biting flys that are present during July & summer months.
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring light weight pants to fend off the biting flys that are present during July & summer months.
Bryan  B.
Bryan B. Arlington Heights, IL
This was definitely worth the trip for a first time charter fishing experience and loved that everyone caught something and the captain cleans the fish on the boat and sends home with you!
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
This was definitely worth the trip for a first time charter fishing experience and loved that everyone caught something and the captain cleans the fish on the boat and sends home with you!
Jennifer  J.
Jennifer J. Chicago, IL
Get a charter with Ray and Joe at Xtasea IV Charter for a great weekend fun day with your friends!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Get a charter with Ray and Joe at Xtasea IV Charter for a great weekend fun day with your friends!
Ryan  S.
Ryan S. Lake Forest, Illinois
Bring proper clothing ,sunblock and a great attitude ! remember it's the experience not the poundage of fillets. Although you may get both. There are no guarantees. Good luck.
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring proper clothing ,sunblock and a great attitude ! remember it's the experience not the poundage of fillets. Although you may get both. There are no guarantees. Good luck.
Robert  R.
Robert R. Mokena, Illinois

Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
We were worried about getting seasick. None of us had that problem. I found myself saying “This is a lot of fun.” In between catching and bringing in fish, the conversation never stopped.
Paul  N.
Paul N. Chicago, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
The captain was super nice and friendly and made the trip for my sons 13th birthday very enjoyable. Caught our limit on lake trout early and went looking for Salmon. Boat was great, equipment was top notch. Overall a great experience. Will be booking again.
Daniel  K.
Daniel K. Frankfort, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Captain was entertaining, knowledgeable and attentive! To the man all of us agreed this was the best boat, captain and trip we have had (10 trips between the three of us). Captain Jim knows where to fish and what to use. A solid 10 from us! Already planning the salmon run next year.
Michael  L.
Michael L. St. Louis, MO
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Capt James was fantastic. We had two newbies boat fishing with us and they said that they had the best time ever. We will be booking future trips with Capt James. Thanks for a great day
Jeffrey  S.
Jeffrey S. Chicago, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Captain Jim was awesome put us on some fish And was patient with my sons and I asking questions Getting ready to book another one in the spring and see how it goes . My boys are still talking about it and sending pictures to everyone 😂😂 Thank you Very much Captain Jim
Bob  K.
Bob K. Frankfort, IL
Xtasea IV Charters
Xtasea IV Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 30 reviews
I can only rave about the trip already did recommend to some friends !!! To much to say but in a nutshell WE LOVED IT and planed already another trip for coming year !!! We did feel like Family absolutely a great experience !!!
Robert  C.
Robert C. Lake Zurich, Illinois
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Captain Jim is one of the best! We had a spectacular time and hit our limit within a couple hours. Highly recommend!
Tom  C.
Tom C. Apex, NC
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Family of 4 (kids 9 and 16 yo) was fishing with Captain James at the end of July. Captian James is a pleasure to deal with and kids friendly. His boat is very neat and organized. The trip was very well organized as well. We caught 2 salmons and 4 trouts (4 of them were really huge). All four of us are very happy about our experience. Looking forward for other trips with Captain James.
Elena  S.
Elena S. La Grange Park, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Our fishing trip was awesome I highly recommend fishing with James. He made sure we caught some fish and kept us entertained as well. He is great to take the whole family with. Really good with kids, our youngest is 4. He made it fun for them and they got to be the captain. He has been fishing for years and knows his stuff. You won’t go home with no fish.
Brook  G.
Brook G. Stanley, WI
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
This trip out on lake Michigan was the kind of day most sportsman only dream about or read of in Field and Stream, our morning started out kinda slow we had ten lines out in the water by 5:20am and had our first bite maybe around 5:40 but we lost it after that it was pretty quiet for about a hour so captain Jimmy got on the phone with some of the other boats in the area he adjusted his boat direction and bait depth and after that you couldn't stop us it was one fish right after the other!
Matt  J.
Matt J. South Elgin, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
my second trip with cap. Jim so I guess you know how i feel about this boat and the guy running it went with my son this time and now have a great memory to share with him and those things are the most important you will ever have thanks
Keith  A.  R.
Keith A. R. Edwardsville, Illinois
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Captain Jim was great...awesome catch awesome time overall amazing experience
Manuel  C.
Manuel C. Lombard, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Got out early caught the early bite... Capt Jim was really cool he knew the waters and where to find big fish limited out on trout (some big boys) and snagged a couple coho couldn't ask for more...
Dominick  R.
Dominick R. Gillespie, Illinois
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Awesome time and awesome captain!! Highly recommend! We took home a ton of trout in cold October!
Nicholas  J.
Nicholas J. Chicago, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Had a great day on the water with captain Jim!! Nice guy with a good sense of humor. Will be using him again for sure!!
Jacob  K.
Jacob K. Arlington Heights, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
We all had a great time aboard the Long Gone 3.25. The captain contacted me the night prior to discuss arrival. Everything went smooth and we caught our limit. We could not have asked for a better experience. Thank you Jim.
Jason  W.
Jason W. Waterloo, IA
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
4.7 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
Had a great charter with captain James. 4 huge fish and a great experience.
Dana  M.
Dana M. East Peoria, Illinois
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 53 reviews
This guy knows the fishing in this area as well or better than any boat at that dock and his personality will make sure that you have a good experience (had to literally help myself off the deck thanks)
Keith  A.  R.
Keith A. R. Edwardsville, Illinois
Xtasea IV Charters
Xtasea IV Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 30 reviews
Awesome time great fun for all! Put us on fish all day and we limited out!
Kevin  Z.
Kevin Z. Wauconda, IL
Xtasea IV Charters
Xtasea IV Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 30 reviews
Captain Ray is outstanding. A gentleman. Patient, knowledgeable and professional. Highly recommended
Sean  M.
Sean M. Lake Forest, IL

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Waukegan

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Waukegan costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $510, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $660. These prices are based on trips booked on our site recently.

Prices will vary depending on trip length, fishing technique, as well as the type and size of the boat you booked. However, to give you an indication, the average boat size in Waukegan is 36 ft and the most common vessel type is a Cruiser.

According to customer reviews, Merganzer Fishing Charters, Kristy Lynn Charters, and Captain Don's Charter Service are some of the most popular fishing charters in Waukegan, Illinois. Full list of top fishing charters in Waukegan.

Merganzer Fishing Charters, Kristy Lynn Charters, and Captain Don's Charter Service all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Waukegan.

The best way to experience fishing in Waukegan is to book a private charter with a licensed fishing guide. See the full list of charters available for online booking here: List of fishing charters in Waukegan, Illinois.

The most popular fish species you can target are Lake Trout, Salmon (Chinook), and Salmon (Coho). Top fishing techniques include trolling, light tackle, and jigging. Lake fishing, nearshore fishing, and offshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

You can find Perch if you know where to look and if you are fishing alongside a knowledgeable charter captain. Ice fishing can be productive but is not safe unless if you go alone, so get in touch with a local guide! Check availability for local fishing charters in Waukegan.

Nearby Fishing Destinations