Lake Erie Charter Fishing Trips

A trip on a charter fishing boat is a great way to spend a day on the water

Looking to spend a few hours or a whole day fishing this summer? Michigan’s waters offer plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of fish, and summer is an ideal time to try. Charter fishing businesses throughout the state offer a great way to explore Michigan’s world-class fisheries. 

Licensed charter captains provide the boats and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed for a fun half-day or day on the water. Charter businesses in Michigan help children and adults have memorable fishing experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying your hand at catching a new species.

“Last year 72,000 anglers in Michigan participated in more than 18,000 charter fishing trips on the Great Lakes and other navigable waters,” said Donna Wesander, a DNR fisheries technician who tracks charter fishing data. “These anglers caught nearly 300,000 fish that included a variety of salmon and trout, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass and muskie.” 

Lake Erie walleye charter trip in Michigan

Al with a Lake Erie walleye caught aboard Stray Cat Charter Fishing

When hiring a professional charter, customers need only to provide personal supplies and fishing licenses. Those licenses can be purchased online (mdnr-elicense.com) or through a DNR customer service center or license agent.  

Find a fishing charter for a specific location by searching online for charter operators and regional charter fishing organizations, contacting the local chamber of commerce or city tourism office, or visiting the Michigan Charter Boat Association website at michigancharterboats.com

Lake Erie Perch Catch Levels for 2018

Yellow Perch Anglers can expect excellent perch fishing in the Western Basin in 2018. Perch anglers in the west will primarily catch fish from 2014 and 2015, providing a good range of sizes. Fall fishing in 2017 produced both excellent sizes and catch rates. The largest perch in the Western Basin will come from 2013 and older year classes. 

Perch Fishing charter Stray Cat Fishing Charters, near Monroe Michigan

Lake Erie perch fishing near Monroe, MI 2017

 

Michigan Catch and Cook

 DNR Director Keith Creagh, NRC Chairman Tim Nichols, along with radio host Tom Lounsberry, Bill Parker of Michigan Outdoor News, and outdoor columnist Bob Gwizdz, joined “Stray Cat” charter boat captain John Giszczak to catch Yellow Perch on Lake Erie, as part of the state’s new Michigan Catch & Cook program. The fisherman later enjoyed their catch at Trapperz Tavern, in La Salle, Mi. For additional information on MI Catch & Cook, visit http://www.michigancatchandcook.com/

Catch and Cook

Michigan Catch and Cook Program

Catch & Cook allows charter fishing clients who catch fish from Michigan’s Great Lakes an opportunity to take their fresh catch to a participating Michigan restaurant to cook and serve those fish to those clients.

Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan Charter Boat Association, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Restaurant Association are pleased to partner on Catch & Cook – an effort to promote and encourage creative, yet safe, marketing of Michigan Great Lakes sports fish through a partnership with the charter fishing industry and local restaurants.

Piping plovers return to Lake Erie

Piping plover nests were found on the shores of all five Great Lakes last year for the first time since 1955.

The shore-dwelling bird disappeared from most of the Great Lakes in the 1980s and was listed as endangered in 1986, said Vince Cavalieri, the Great Lakes piping plover recovery coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

At one point, up to 600 pairs nested throughout the Great Lakes. In 1990, only 12 pairs remained. Once found on sandy beaches from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, most of the survivors were clustered around the Sleeping Bear Dunes on Lake Michigan’s northwest shore.

But with the discovery of a nesting pair in Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park last year–the first to take up residence on Lake Erie for 60 years–the winds have changed. Researchers found 76 nesting pairs throughout the Great Lakes region in 2017.Piping Plover

Two projects on the shores of Lake Michigan have already found success developing plover-friendly habitat: one at Wilderness State Park on the northern shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, the other on a series of eroded islands in Wisconsin’s Lower Green Bay.

Results came quickly. The park staff started clearing brush and trees from the shore in 2014, DeLoria said. In the summer of 2015, they observed a pair that had nested there. In 2016, that same pair returned to raise three chicks.

Efforts to restore beaches on the Cat Island Chain in the Lower Green Bay have brought similar success, said Reena Bowman, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Minnesota and Wisconsin Great Lakes piping plover lead.

“The species came back like immediately,” she said. “It was kind of a ‘build it and they will come’ kind of thing. And it wasn’t just plovers.”

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Michigan Free Fishing weekend February 17, 18, 2018

Everyone in Michigan is invited to fish for free Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 17 and 18, for the 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend. A license is not required to fish those two days, but all other fishing regulations still apply.

Free FIshing Weekend

Free Fishing Weekend Feb> 17, 18, 2018

These two days make up #MiFreeFishingWeekend – an annual effort to promote Michigan’s world-class fishing opportunities. While many individuals and families will bundle up and head out to fish for free on their own, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources points out that there are many events organized throughout the state to get you started, too. Here are a few: read more

Michigan Arctic Grayling habitat research

$117,175 grant from the

Recently completed work supported by this grant addressed two immediate needs for a successful Arctic grayling reintroduction. The first was to collect stream habitat and fish community data in the upper Manistee River. This data collection allowed for both the evaluation of current stream habitat conditions and the development of criteria to determine which other streams may provide suitable habitat for Arctic grayling.Arctic Grayling Fishing

Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative is a statewide partnership effort focused on restoring self-sustaining populations of this native fish and was founded by the DNR and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in June 2016. Interest in this initiative has grown rapidly since 2016, and the partnership now includes more than 40 organizations.

For more information on Michigan’s Arctic Grayling Initiative, visit migrayling.org.

Michigan Free Fishing Weekend this February 2018

Experience #MiFreeFishingWeekend Feb. 17-18 and enjoy the outdoors

Grab a fishing rod and enjoy some of the finest fishing Michigan has to offer during the 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18. On those two days, everyone – residents and non-residents alike – can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.

In addition, during #MiFreeFishingWeekend, the Department of Natural Resources will waive the regular Recreation Passport entry fee that grants vehicle access to Michigan’s 103 state parks and recreation areas. Several locations also may be hosting official 2018 Winter Free Fishing Weekend events that are perfect for the whole family.

Michigan has been celebrating winter’s #MiFreeFishingWeekend every year since 1994 as a way to promote awareness of the state’s vast aquatic resources. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a perfect match.

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Apply to be a Keeper at Tawas Point Lighthouse

Apply to be a lighthouse keeper at Tawas Point Lighthouse. Get together with one, two or three friends for a service and recreation vacation like no other. 

Tawas Point Lighthouse

Tawas Point Lighthouse

In operation since 1876, Tawas Point Lighthouse is a fascinating attraction for maritime buffs. Tawas Point is a destination for birdwatchers; it also offers spectacular views of sunrises over Lake Huron and sunsets over Tawas Bay.

Lighthouse keeper program read more

136-year-old shipwreck found in Georgian Bay

OWEN SOUND – The wreck of a steamship that went down in Georgian Bay during a storm 136 years ago has been found, with what could be human remains onboard.

American shipwreck hunters Jared Daniels, Jerry Eliason and Ken Merryman revealed their summer discovery to coincide with the anniversary of the Jane Miller’s sinking Nov. 25, 1881.

The 24-metre package and passenger steamer went down with 25 people aboard, including the crew.

The wreck was found in Colpoys Bay, an inlet of Georgian Bay leading to Wiarton on the east side of the Bruce Peninsula north of Owen Sound in Georgian Bay.

The ship mostly is structurally intact with its mast still standing, rising within 23 metres of the surface. The shipwreck hunters also reported spotting what could be remains of bodies.

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Seasonal lake sturgeon releases put nearly 6,000 fish into Michigan waters

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and several partners released nearly 6,000 juvenile lake sturgeon into various public waters across the state this summer and fall in an effort to rehabilitate this culturally significant fish species.

Juvenile lake sturgeon were collected from the wild during April and May and reared in streamside facilities until they were large enough to tag. Most fish were tagged prior to being released into their respective rivers to allow future evaluations of stocked fish.Lake Sturgeon

“Many of these stocking efforts were public events that shined a spotlight on how important lake sturgeon are to Michigan,” said DNR Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Our state has a long history with the lake sturgeon, and working with our partners helps us protect them for future generations.” read more