Lake Michigan Ice Fishing Charters

Lake Michigan Ice Fishing Charters

Best Ice Fishing Charters in Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan: 20 fishing charters available

FishBilly Charters

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(18 reviews)
Cedar
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $450

Small Craft Advisory - Little Suamico

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(1 review)
Little Suamico
 Instant Confirmation

Small Craft Advisory - Sugar Creek

Brussels
 Instant Confirmation

Mega Bite Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(35 reviews)
Traverse City
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $600

Ice Fishing in Lake Michigan

Ice fishing on Lake Michigan is your ticket to an unforgettable winter adventure. If you’re “itchin’ to go fishin’” or simply looking for a new way to leave your comfort zone, put on your warmest clothes and head out to the frozen kingdom. As ice fishing requires a different approach, make sure to take this trip with a professional guide.
 

When to Go

Most fishing guides run their ice fishing trips from mid-December till mid-March. Each year’s season depends on weather conditions, so it sometimes starts as late as  January. You may be eager to start your trip as soon as possible but it’s better to be patient and wait for the ice to get thicker – safety first!
 
If you’re not sure what time of day to head out, many fishing guides recommend early morning. This is because fish react to temperature and light change, so you can expect the most activity and hardest bites as the sun rises.
 

What to Expect

If you picture an ice fishing experience as standing above a hole in the ice with a rod and freezing, you’ll be happy to know it’s nothing like that. Most captains in the area use heated ice shacks, so you’ll be safe from the cold wind. Just be sure to dress warm enough and feel free to ask your guide what to expect ahead of time.
 
Your fishing guide will drill several holes in the ice, provide you with fishing equipment, and then it’s mostly a waiting game. Once you get used to the surroundings, you’ll find that it’s actually quite relaxing.
 
The usual winter catches are Walleye and Lake Whitefish, but significant numbers of Northern Pike, Yellow Perch, and Trout are there too. Yellow Perch is a great fish to start with if you’re a novice or bringing your kid, as they require less skill than Walleye. 
 

Need to Know

  • Anglers age 17 or older need to have a valid fishing license. 

  • During the Free Fishing Weekend in February, everyone can fish without a fishing license. This applies to both residents and out-of-state visitors.

  • Ice shacks can be very comfortable and warm, but the “floor” is still lake ice – make sure to wear thick socks and warm boots.

 
A Lake Michigan ice fishing trip is something you ought to try at least once. Some anglers even prefer winter fishing, and the only way to find out why is to give it a go yourself! 
 
Lake Michigan
Excellent
4.5 / 5
Based on 24,785 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

What anglers said about Ice Fishing in Lake Michigan

Book with Captain Fluffy! We had a wide range of fishing a abilities and he made each of us feel welcome and gave great instructions to reel in these big fish!!!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Book with Captain Fluffy! We had a wide range of fishing a abilities and he made each of us feel welcome and gave great instructions to reel in these big fish!!!
Trudi  F.
Trudi F. Le Grand, IA
Call Captain Tim at Powderhorn -- very professional and engaging. He knows his stuff!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Call Captain Tim at Powderhorn -- very professional and engaging. He knows his stuff!
Holly  V.
Holly V. Fennville, MI
My Captain says fishing in May (and April) are the best time if you want to be catching and not just fishing. It seems that Salmon is a bit harder to time, but Lake Trout seem abundant in May. We like Lake Trout, so it is not a disappointment.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
My Captain says fishing in May (and April) are the best time if you want to be catching and not just fishing. It seems that Salmon is a bit harder to time, but Lake Trout seem abundant in May. We like Lake Trout, so it is not a disappointment.
John  W.
John W. Le Roy, MI
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!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
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!
Kevin  H.
Kevin H. Houghton Lake, Michigan
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.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
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.
Vickie  J.
Vickie J. Flint, Michigan
While we had great weather, I'd recommend that you watch the forecast and come prepared.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
While we had great weather, I'd recommend that you watch the forecast and come prepared.
Jim  C.
Jim C. Tipp City, OH
Try to go on a cool day. Cooler water is better for fishing. Love them King Salmon.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Try to go on a cool day. Cooler water is better for fishing. Love them King Salmon.
Mike  H.
Mike H. Muskegon, MI
Waters were rough going out. But then it settled down and was a great day to fish. Weather has been very unpredictable this season!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Waters were rough going out. But then it settled down and was a great day to fish. Weather has been very unpredictable this season!
Jody  L.
Jody L. Mount Pleasant, MI
Do the research on your charter boat reviews, that says it all. I highly recommend The Trophy Hunter of the Fish Fly Charters.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Do the research on your charter boat reviews, that says it all. I highly recommend The Trophy Hunter of the Fish Fly Charters.
Bonnie  H.
Bonnie H. Clare, MI
You will catch more fish in the morning. Jarrod told us to come back and do a morning trip and we would catch more fish!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
You will catch more fish in the morning. Jarrod told us to come back and do a morning trip and we would catch more fish!
Kris  W.
Kris W. McCordsville, IN
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.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
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.
Travis  Z.
Travis Z. Comstock Park, MI
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!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
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!
Todd  M.
Todd M. Waterville, OH
We were 1st time anglers in Traverse City! Fish are plentiful. Go with an experienced guide like Captain Ben. Daydreamer charters
Excellent
5.0 / 5
We were 1st time anglers in Traverse City! Fish are plentiful. Go with an experienced guide like Captain Ben. Daydreamer charters
Eric  M.
Eric M. Paris, KY
dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
dress warm - it can get cool on the lake - windy - won't be any sunbathing this trip!
Kathy  R.
Kathy R. Lake Mills, WI
Bring a sweatshirt because it really cools off when the sun goes down. Use the restroom before you go and plan to relax and have fun.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Bring a sweatshirt because it really cools off when the sun goes down. Use the restroom before you go and plan to relax and have fun.
Beth  S.
Beth S. Rosemead, California
Manistee is a good place to base a fishing charter. The town offers everything you need but still has a "small town" atmosphere. The Manistee Hotel is a good place to overnight before a morning charter.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Manistee is a good place to base a fishing charter. The town offers everything you need but still has a "small town" atmosphere. The Manistee Hotel is a good place to overnight before a morning charter.
Bill  N.
Bill N. Richland, MI
Just taking the experience if the fish are biting great and if not remember you're not working
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Just taking the experience if the fish are biting great and if not remember you're not working
Charles  G.
Charles G. United States
Don't park in the marina parking lot even if it is empty like it was for us so early in the morning. You may get a parking ticket like we did.
Excellent
4.3 / 5
Don't park in the marina parking lot even if it is empty like it was for us so early in the morning. You may get a parking ticket like we did.
Stuart  A.
Stuart A. Waterford, MI
Just make sure if it’s ruff waters you take the appropriate motion sickness meds for you
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Just make sure if it’s ruff waters you take the appropriate motion sickness meds for you
Michelle  T.
Michelle T. Sunfield, MI
Contact Dog Bone Charter. They are true professionals and want you to catch fish!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Contact Dog Bone Charter. They are true professionals and want you to catch fish!
Tiffany  H.
Tiffany H. St. Louis, MI

Top Targeted Ice Fishing Species in Lake Michigan