Marine News from the Great Lakes

Charter Fishing Operations Offer Great Options for Novice and Experienced Anglers

Published: Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds the public that Michigan’s waters provide opportunities to catch a variety of fish, and summer is an ideal time to spend a few hours or a whole day on the water fishing.

For those who don’t have a fishing boat, may not have the correct fishing gear, don’t know how to fish, are new to an area, or are just looking for a day of fun, charter fishing businesses are located throughout the state and offer a great way to experience Michigan’s world-class fisheries.

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half day of fishing easy and enjoyable as they provide the boat, all the equipment, plus the knowledge necessary for a day on the water. Fishing charters are for anyone, children or adult, from the first-time angler to those who are experienced. Charter businesses in Michigan help anglers have memorable experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying one’s hand at catching a new species.

In 2015, more than 68,000 anglers participated in more than 17,000 charter fishing trips in Michigan. These anglers enjoyed catching more than 205,000 fish of various species with more than half the fish caught being trout and salmon.

Different waters and areas of the state will yield different fish species and fishing experiences. Whether the fishing charter is on one of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, a large river, or a small lake or stream, charter captains know the waters, where the fish are, and what to use to attract fish. Depending on waters fished and location, anglers can fish for salmon, trout, whitefish, walleye, perch, muskellunge, large or smallmouth bass, pike, various panfish, and even lake sturgeon.

When hiring a professional charter, customers need only provide personal supplies and a fishing license; many charters will assist the customer in purchasing the latter (whether that is a 24-hour, 72-hour or annual fishing license). Fishing licenses can also be purchased online ( or through a DNR customer service center or licensed agent.

Find a fishing charter for a specific location by searching the web, contacting the local area Chamber of Commerce or city tourism office, or visiting the Michigan Charter Boat Association web site at For an even more individual experience and enjoyable end of the fishing trip, customers can try a “Catch & Cook” charter. Upon returning from a trip, customers take their cleaned, fresh fish to a participating local restaurant, which will prepare and serve the catch for the customer. Participating “Catch & Cook” charters can be viewed at

Starting planning a trip by visiting

tags: Dept of Natural Resources, Fishing, Lake Michigan


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