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 4.61
Based on 22896 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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Great Afternoon with Capt. Terry
Jay M. fished with Kristy Lynn Charters on June 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
It is still chilly, so dress appropriately.
Half Day Trip - Captain Jim
Bryan C. fished with Long Gone 3 Charters on May 14, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Hook up with Long Gone and Captain Jim for a great day on Lake Michigan!
6hr trip with Capt Ray
Craig M. fished with Xtasea IV Charters on July 15, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Get ready to have some tired forearms the fishing is amazing!
6 hour a.m. trip
Bryan B. fished with Long Gone 3 Charters on July 10, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Bring light weight pants to fend off the biting flys that are present during July & summer months.
5am to 10am Salmon trip!
Jennifer J. fished with Kristy Lynn Charters on July 10, 2019
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!
Half Day With Captain Ron
Brad V. fished with Xtasea IV Charters on July 5, 2019
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Try to book a little earlier when the water is cooler
6-hr trip
Luis S. fished with Captain Don's Charter Service on August 18, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Fish with captain Don, guaranteed you'll have a great time.
Half Day Morning Trip
Michael W. fished with Long Gone 3 Charters on August 16, 2018
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Beautiful day for me, but do note best fishing is in May.

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Waukegan

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 top 5 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Waukegan are:

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.  Check availability for local fishing charters in Waukegan.

Nearby Fishing Destinations