Lake Michigan

192 Fishing Charters

Lake Michigan Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Lake Michigan

Top Lake Michigan Destinations


Top Fishing Charters in Lake Michigan


This Great Lake is a must-visit for any angling enthusiast. It’s the largest lake located in one country in the whole world and its name, Lake Michigan, comes from michi-gami, the Ojibwe word for “great water.” Surrounded by Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, its fish-filled waters are accessible from a huge variety of locations. This means you’ll find plenty of Lake Michigan fishing charters just waiting to help you explore this fantastic fishery!
 
An angling adventure in Lake Michigan is all about famous freshwater fish. These vast, deep waters are home to a huge host of world-famous species. Brown Trout, Coho Salmon, Chinook Salmon, and Steelhead were all introduced here in the 20th century to ward off an invasive species of Herring – and they’ve remained strong to this day! On top of that, you’ll also be able to target Walleye, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass varieties, Musky, Perch, and tasty Whitefish.
 
No matter where you go, Lake Michigan’s captains offer a wide variety of trips. They tend to start at five hours, which is a perfect introduction to this fishery for newbies, families, and experienced anglers alike. If you’re looking to explore deeper waters, you’ll find longer trips starting at seven hours. The action doesn’t stop during winter, either – specialist guides offer Lake Michigan ice fishing trips, with Walleye being a favorite catch!
 
When it comes to choosing the perfect starting point for your adventure, you really are spoilt for choice. All of the lake’s bordering states are filled with excellent fishing locations. If you’re looking for a city adventure, head to Chicago or Traverse City. The ports of Milwaukee and Port Washington hold a huge number of charters, and provide access to Milwaukee Bay. For an ice fishing experience, wrap up warm and head to Green Bay. 
 

Rules & Regulations

All anglers age 16 or older need to bring along a valid fishing license with the necessary stamps. You can purchase yours online, at Walmart, or a variety of bait and tackle shops. 
 
Lake Michigan
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent 4.47
Based on 23484 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

While the lake itself isn't too active at the moment, if you have an urge to fish, there's still plenty to explore. Head to Lake Michigan's tributaries, where Steelhead can be found, along with Brown Trout. 

February

February is much the same: Lake Michigan is quiet, but the rivers are full of Trout. These fish spend their time there awaiting spring spawning time. The season is about to begin, with only a few weeks left! 

March

The Steelhead spawning run has begun, with big silver bullets ready to be caught. Lake Trout are also lurking beneath the lake. 

April

The southern basin between Chicago and Waukegan is where Coho Salmon and Rainbow Trout can be hooked during this month. Lake Trout are bustling around Milwaukee's harbor.

May

Late spring is great for Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, and Steelhead. This time of year offers some of the most exciting fishing around. Big fan of Perch? You could also be busy in May...

June

Coho varieties weighing over 10 pounds are common in June. King Salmon are a frequent catch nearshore, while Steelhead are mostly found in the deepest parks of the lake. June's Lake Trout can weigh up to 30 pounds.

July

Tackle-busting King Salmon can be found lurking the lake, so bring your best rods and reels! Steelhead, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, and big Lake Trout are abundant. On top of that, the weather is wonderful!

August

Large, mature Chinooks are plentiful in August. Coho Salmon are still active as well, and are joined by a plethora of Lake Trout and Brown Trout. If you're also after big hauls of Steelhead, now is the best time to visit. 

September

As fall arrives, September might just be the most beautiful time to be on Lake Michigan. Lake Trout are lurking around rock-reef structure offshore, while Chinooks, Brown Trout, and Steelhead can also be hooked.

October

Are you a hardcore trophy hunter? Then head to Lake Michigan in October to catch your limits! Brown Trout and Lake Trout are ready for your hooks, and King Salmon are also around.

November

The action out on the lake starts to wind down, but we can hardly think of a better time to target Steelhead in the rivers and tributaries. The fall Rainbow Trout are here, and are all about explosive runs and jumps.

December

Although the lake is quieter in winter, you can still end your year on a high note! Lake Trout fishing is great in northern Indiana, near the artificial reefs and rock walls, and Steelhead are still active in the rivers.

Lake Michigan Fishing Calendar

Loading Fish Calendar!
Please Wait...

Awesome Time
Kevin H. fished with Big Kahuna Charters on September 26, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
As explained to us, late in the season do the morning or evening trip, not the midday. We went evening and the sunset was amazing!
6 hour charter
Karen S. fished with Captain Don's Charter Service on September 4, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Dramamine. We had a couple who had issues with motion sickness
Best Fishing Trip Every
Vickie J. fished with Hooked Sportfishing Charters on September 1, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Be prepared for the water to be a bit rough this time of year. Be sure to check out the light house and the nice town of Frankfort. Bring good layers of clothing.
PM trip with Capt. Mark
Guy P. fished with Realfishin on August 30, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Get on board the Realfishin boat with Capt. Mark.
August fishing trip
Tom C. fished with Midnight Run Charters on August 28, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Hire midnight run charter you’ll be glad you did!
Half day PM perch trip
Alicia B. fished with Silver Beach Fishing Co on August 28, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Go with a good captain who knows where to find fish!
Got it done
Frank C. fished with Reel To Real Fishing Charters – Manistee on August 17, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
just have fun, fishing isn't always catching
Half day with Captain Aaron
Jim C. fished with Mainstream Guides - Wellston on August 16, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
While we had great weather, I'd recommend that you watch the forecast and come prepared.

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Lake Michigan

To give you an idea of how much a fishing trip in Lake Michigan costs, the average price for a 4 hour private trip is $520, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $626. 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 Lake Michigan is 28 ft and the most common vessel type is a Offshore sport fishing.

According to customer reviews, Fish’n Tales Charters, Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan, and Skyward Salmon Charters are some of the most popular fishing charters in Lake Michigan. Full list of top fishing charters in Lake Michigan.

Fish’n Tales Charters, Manhardt Charters Lake Michigan, and Skyward Salmon Charters all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Lake Michigan.

The best way to experience fishing in Lake Michigan 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 Lake Michigan.

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

Are you a hardcore trophy hunter? Then head to Lake Michigan in October to catch your limits! Brown Trout and Lake Trout are ready for your hooks, and King Salmon are also around. Check availability for local fishing charters in Lake Michigan.