Milwaukee

43 Fishing Charters

Milwaukee Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Milwaukee

Top Fishing Charters in Milwaukee


Milwaukee charter fishing offers so many exciting angling opportunities that it’s hard to choose just one. The largest city in the Badger State is right along the shores of Lake Michigan. As soon as you hear the name you can’t help but think about monster Brown Trout, fiery Coho ‘Silver’ Salmon, the acrobatic Steelhead, line-ripping Chinook ‘King’ Salmon, and Lake Trout from deep waters...

Just stop for a moment and think of all the stories to be had from your catch in Milwaukee. Even though the city’s entertainment doesn’t end with dining, there are a lot of excellent breweries and local taverns that will gladly prepare your catch. Top off your day of fishing by going to a nice music venue.

Known For

They say you haven’t fished until you’ve fished Wisconsin. It’s true that there are many hot Lake Michigan fishing spots in the state, but how many of them can brag about holding the majority of the state records? Well, Milwaukee definitely can!

The Lake includes the Milwaukee Bay and the connecting rivers. There are lagoons, inland lakes, rivers, and streams, that all together make prime spots for fishing in Wisconsin all year-round. And it’s more than enough to keep your rods busy no matter the weather!

Lake Michigan fishing in Milwaukee

The western side of Lake Michigan is like a magnet for the crème de la crème of the Great Lakes species. It’s still not clear which fish species can be called the Milwaukee ‘Superstar.” Milwaukee’s side of Lake Michigan offers a world-class fishery for whatever patrols the local waters.

As soon as the temperature warms up and the fish migrate north from the southern end of the lake, the local anglers head out to their own Milwaukee fishing spots. They begin the warming up by Trout fishing early in April to gain strength for battling Coho Salmon and Rainbow Trout later in May. The brute strength and size of Chinook ‘King’ Salmon keep anglers awake during the summer months and early fall. In September and October, all the species gather in Milwaukee before they start their journey up the rivers. 

Is it worth going out for a half day?

Check the bite on a five-hour trip to get the taste of Salmon fishing Milwaukee-style. But don’t think that half-days are only designed to chase huge Salmon! There are plenty of Lake Trout, Brown Trout or Steelhead hanging around. 

Your typical 5-hour charter will make you feel that you are in the game even if you can’t come back with a nice mixed bag. The fishing grounds are pretty close from shore, so you can start trolling in less than half an hour without having to travel too far out. Bottom line - a half-day trip can be enough to make your angling dreams come true.

What if I stay out longer?

Once you are onboard, surrounded by the fishing lines and waiting for the non-stop action, you simply won’t want to come back. If you are wondering whether you should prolong your Lake Michigan charter fishing in Milwaukee, the short answer is 'absolutely yes.' Add a few more hours to your half-day trip or upgrade it to an overnight. Any type of fishing in Wisconsin is worth a full-day trip!

On an 8+ hour adventure, you will be able to truly connect with the beautiful waters of the Great Lake. One of the biggest advantages that can compensate a longer ride to the fishing grounds is the unique Steelhead playgrounds that are situated 15-20 miles offshore. Milwaukee’s proximity to those deep waters allows you to target these skyrocketing fish close to the lake’s mountain range.

How much will it cost?

Since the cost of running the boat out and back is the same regardless of how many passengers are on board, the price can differ only a little if you have a six-pack or just two anglers.

The average five-hour Milwaukee Lake Michigan charter will be somewhere around $570. Add $250 to get the price of a full-day trip.

Milwaukee River Fishing.

It’s no surprise that the productive waters of Milwaukee are A-1 fishing grounds. Some big, splashy fish can be found in the Milwaukee River. What may seem surprising (but pleasantly surprising) is that you don’t need a boat to hit up the river! Go along the shoreline, take some delicious Carp from the lower parts of the River. The warm effluence from other bodies of water attracts some pretty big Carp.

The Milwaukee River runs from the northern parts through the heart of the city and offers a seasonal pleasure for any Trout and Salmon lover. A trip to the river is a ‘must-have’ for anyone who wants to master their fly-fishing skills.

Apart from the healthy waters of the Milwaukee River, there are other places to drop a hook. Put on your wading boots and head to the beaches of the Doctor's Park for some Brown Trout. Drop a line in the Menomonee River for your acrobatic Steelie and Salmon.

Types of Fishing

Salmon

Whether you are a novice out on the ‘Big Pond’ or a seasoned angler, your chances of landing Salmon are usually 50%. You can try your hand at drift fishing or stick to the good old trolling technique.

If Coho are your main target, it’s good to use lighter fishing gear to see your hits better. Trolling crankbaits can do the job for both Silver and King Salmon, as well as trolling spoons.

Trout 

Lake Trout prefer smaller lures more than bigger ones. Some Lakers can be over 30 pounds so you will need a heavier rod. You can catch them by casting live and artificial bait or still fishing. However, just like with Salmon, it’s always a good idea to go for trolling. If you are fishing in the river, fly fishing can be a great way to enjoy some time with the Trout.

When targeting Brown Trout, you can use a light action spinning rod. Brownies have good eyesight so it’s better to use a lighter line. They can also be a bit tricky to find - seek local knowledge if you want to truly enjoy Trout fishing in Wisconsin!

Steelhead fishing in Milwaukee is another thing to keep you entertained. As long as you have a professional captain by your side, he will get Steelhead to bite! Once hooked, the legendary Steelie will show off their acrobatic jumps. Concentrate in the right depth of the water, use planer boards, and keep the optimal speed.

Rules and Regulations

If you are coming from out-of-state, you should purchase the 2-Day Great Lakes Fishing license with a Great Lake Salmon and Trout Stamp to cover your charter fishing needs. 


January

Right now, it’s all about Brown Trout on the Great Lake. Milwaukee’s big harbor is open for anyone who wants to get some Brownies while the lake is frozen. 

February

Even though Brown Trout in Milwaukee Harbor are the prime target now, Lake Trout and Steelhead are also there to be found. Winter fishing can be prolific!

March

Tributaries are full of both Brown Trout and Steelhead. You can be at the mercy of the weather, but with a right guide, you may open the Milwaukee season earlier than anyone else!

April

The Milwaukee Harbor area holds the best Brown Trout around. Limits of Lake Trout are also common. The air might still be a bit chilly, but the fishing is hot!

May

The action for Coho Salmon is almost non-stop. Rainbow Trout are as active as Kings - if you are up to a mixed bag, search for Trout and Salmon nearshore.

June

Enjoy some fast-paced fishing for Coho and grill your catch later. Don’t forget about Lakers and Brownies! This part of the season is all about catching the limits.

July

Port of Milwaukee is full of all three species of Trout, along with Coho and Chinook Salmon. Baitfish is also around. Enjoy acrobatic Steelhead and grilled Salmon after the trip.

August

Mature Salmon and Brown Trout come back to the ports to chill before they move upstream to spawn. Fish in and around Milwaukee Harbor to catch your own dose of Milwaukee's best species!

September

The spawning runs have begun, so head to the harbor for Chinook and Coho. The fish are just perfect for smoking! Brownies and Lakers are also here.

October

The King run is settled down so it’s time to be back out in the lake for a mixed bag. An early autumn trip for Salmon and Trout is a good way to wrap up the season.

November

Right after Halloween, you can head to the tributaries for the spawning Salmon. The occasional Lake Trout and Steelhead are also found in the Milwaukee River. 

December

The Brown Trout bite in Milwaukee Harbor is improving. As the water drops below 40 degrees, the fishing is improving. Get your Christmas catch!

Milwaukee Fishing Calendar

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dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
Kathy  R.
Kathy R. Lake Mills, WI
I would recommend trying to go earlier if you can due to the inconsistent weather and wind.
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
I would recommend trying to go earlier if you can due to the inconsistent weather and wind.
Kevin  M.
Kevin M. Cottage Grove, WI
To understand the fishery and the sport go out with Captain Jim. Very knowledgeable!!
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
To understand the fishery and the sport go out with Captain Jim. Very knowledgeable!!
Tom  K.
Tom K. Milwaukee, WI

Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Great time with Capt. Jim , he put us on some big Fish! Big THANK YOU to CAPT. JIM @BLUEMAX CHARTERS!!
Paul  J.
Paul J. Cedar Rapids, IA
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
All my coworkers had a fantastic time with Captain Jim & his crew. I would most definitely recommend Captain Jim & his first mate for any charters in the future. Thank you again everyone had a great time .
Robert  R.
Robert R. Milwaukee, WI
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
Another great run with captain rob! He found a sweet spot and we had 11 on all bang bang bang. Best captain around.
Cordel  W.
Cordel W. Naperville, IL
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
We had a great time! Captain and crew were very knowledgeable. We caught 5 rainbow trout, 1 lake trout and 1 coho salmon. We will definitely be going again!
Kelly  T.
Kelly T. Warren Park, IN
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Great day on Lake Michigan! Thank you Capt Jim and Anita You run a quality operation.
Rob  W.
Rob W. Hughson, CA
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
We've had an amazing time, beautiful sunset and lots of fresh air out on the lake! Highly recommend, very knowledgeable captain will answer any of your questions!
Liliya  Y.
Liliya Y. United States
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Overall it was a great trip the captain and pilot were very professional knowledgeable and worked very hard to find a fish however it was a slow day... But we did catch a trophy trout
Dan  B.
Dan B. Cary, Illinois
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 7 reviews
Didn’t know if we would fish today with the weather, captain was in constant contact and very flexible, got out on the lake around 3;30. & had a blast. Another storm was coming in right when we caught another Salmon, over half hour fight to get him in. The 23 pounder was awesome to catch!!!!!Great time, captain & 1st mate we’re awesome. Thanks
Kyle  R.
Kyle R. Sioux Falls, SD
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Excellent experience. My boys had a blast. We caught some nice salmon. Captain Jim and his wife worked their butts off to put us on fish. Definitely recommend.
Brian  H.
Brian H. Wauconda, Illinois
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
We had an excellent time that exceeded our expectations! Everyone in our group had a great time. We made memories that will last a lifetime. The Captain and First Mate were very knowledgeable and helpful and went out of their way for us.
Ben  D.
Ben D. Waukesha, WI
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
We took our 2 teenagers on a trip with Captain Rob. Fishing had been really slow. Rob gave us the option of canceling. We wanted to go anyway. We caught 3 fish on our 3 hour charter and we’re happy with that. We had a great time. Captain Rob was great. The time spent on the boat was awesome. It was a beautiful day!
Erin  C.
Erin C. Chicago, IL
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 7 reviews
We had an awesome trip and caught 7 fish, everyone else we talked to either struck out or maybe caught 1! Awesome experience!
Wegner  P.
Wegner P. Milwaukee, WI
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 7 reviews
The crew was very knowledgeable. The equipment was up to date and they took time to explain how it worked. I would recommend them to anyone. GREAT TRIP!
Brett  C.
Brett C. Milwaukee, WI
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Reel Obsession Sport Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 7 reviews
We could not have been happier with our half day trip with Captain Kurt on the Reel Obsession! We learned a lot of local knowledge about the environment and fishing techniques. The equipment was excellent, the boat well maintained, and we caught a TON of fish!!
Janet  M.
Janet M. Venice, FL
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
We had a great day out with Jim and Anita. Communication was easy and they were helpful and patient on the boat. We hope to go out with them again in the future.
Katie  L.
Katie L. Detroit Harbor, Wisconsin
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
Capt Rob Manhardt is a very knowledgeable mariner and fishing guide, highly recommend him, and thats coming from someone who has fished Salmon, Halibut etc in Alaska and British Columbia for over 14 years.. Rob knows his area and knows where the fish are, if you don’t get any fish it’s not because of capt Rob or his boat. You should look no further when looking for a great fishing experience on Lake Michigan
Alan  L.
Alan L. Naperville, IL
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Boat was clean, Capt Jim & Anita - knowledgeable and helpful! Unfortunately, fish didn't cooperate - we only got a couple of nibbles on the fishing rods, and got 2 trouts and a salmon. The weather was good for boating, but not fishing. However, Capt. Jim, made every effort to try and find a good place to fish for us, and that's all one can really hope for :)
Nick  G.
Nick G. Anderson, Indiana
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
Mike and Greg, great team. Nice boat and gear. They know the lake. Caught fish. Great experience.
Ed  M.
Ed M. SELFRIDGE, MI
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 57 reviews
Awesome day on Lake Michigan! Captain Jim and Anita were friendly and put us on some big fish! We caught our limit and had a blast! If you ever go to Milwaukee you HAVE to hook up with Blue Max!
Mark  C.
Mark C. Knoxville, TN
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan
Fishing charter in Milwaukee
5.0 Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 22 reviews
Captain Rob and 1st mate Mitch were amazing. Great trip, beautiful conditions and we caught a few nice fish. Actually caught 4 species, brown, rainbow, lake and chinook. Will be looking these guys up next time we are back in town.
Mathieu  W.
Mathieu W. United States

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Milwaukee

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Milwaukee costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $517, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $557. 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 Milwaukee is 30 ft and the most common vessel type is a Offshore sport fishing.

According to customer reviews, Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan, Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing, and Reel Obsession Sport Fishing are some of the most popular fishing charters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Full list of top fishing charters in Milwaukee.

Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan, Blue Max Charters Salmon Fishing, and Reel Obsession Sport Fishing all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Milwaukee.

The best way to experience fishing in Milwaukee 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 Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The most popular fish species you can target are Lake Trout, Rainbow Trout (Steelhead), and Brown Trout. Top fishing techniques include trolling, light tackle, and heavy tackle. Lake fishing, nearshore fishing, and offshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

The Brown Trout bite in Milwaukee Harbor is improving. As the water drops below 40 degrees, the fishing is improving. Get your Christmas catch! Check availability for local fishing charters in Milwaukee.

Nearby Fishing Destinations