Lake Michigan

196 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 22736 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

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Afternoon half day trip with Captain Travis and First Mate Dakota
Travis Z. fished with Danel Sportfishing on July 17, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
There's a dedicated pier for charter fishing at the Chinook pier, but I would recommend booking well in advance. Parking can be a pain(especially if it's a nice beach day), but even if you cannot find parking at the pier, the parking around the area makes for a short walk through beautiful downtown Grand Haven.
Morning tour with Jarrod
Ian M. fished with In The Box Fishing Charters on July 14, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Try to buy your fishing license online if coming from out of state.
Fishing with Anthony
Todd M. fished with Big River Outfitters on July 5, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
We are newbies and had a very knowledgeable Captain as our guide. The whole expirience couldn't have been better! Caught lots of fish. Improved as we went along and had loads of fun!
Half Day with Capt Ben
Eric M. fished with Daydreamer Fishing Charters on June 29, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
We were 1st time anglers in Traverse City! Fish are plentiful. Go with an experienced guide like Captain Ben. Daydreamer charters
Morning run
Thomas W. fished with Chromeseekers – Big Manistee River on June 22, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Yes the river is incredible. First time at the Big Man
Half day morning trip with Luke and Jacob
Heather S. fished with True Blue Charters on June 20, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Don’t wear your good shoes! Can get messy with blood and fish gunk!
Fantastic Family Adventure
Kathy R. fished with Leisure Time Charters on June 19, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
Half day trip with Captain Art.
Thomas S. fished with Whitecap Charters – Little Traverse Bay on June 18, 2021
Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
Book Whitecap Charters and ask for Captain Art, he is awesome!

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Lake Michigan

According to customer reviews, Chillin The Most Charters LLC, Skyward Salmon Charters, and Maykin Baykin Charters are some of the most popular fishing charters in Lake Michigan. Full list of top fishing charters in Lake Michigan.

Chillin The Most Charters LLC, Skyward Salmon Charters, and Maykin Baykin 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 top 8 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Lake Michigan are:

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! Check availability for local fishing charters in Lake Michigan.