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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Charter fishing operations offer great options for novice and experienced anglers

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, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources suggests considering a charter fishing trip. Charter fishing businesses are located throughout the state and offer a great way to experience Michigan’s world-class fisheries.

Lake Erie walleye charter aboard the Stray Cat Monroe, MI 48145

Sam walleye fishing Lake Erie

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half-day of fishing easy and enjoyable, as they provide the boat and all the equipment, plus the knowledge needed 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 of all experience levels enjoy memorable experiences – whether it’s reeling in a fish for the first time or trying one’s hand at catching a new species.

In Michigan in 2016, more than 70,000 anglers participated in more than 17,000 charter fishing trips on Great Lakes and specific navigable waters. These anglers caught more than 244,000 fish of various species, with about half of the fish caught being trout and salmon.

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Michigan DNR Encourages Boater Safety

National Safe Boating Week set for May 20-26

With boating season around the corner, Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers encourage boaters to make their pastime more enjoyable by following important safety tips. Saturday, May 20, marks the start of National Safe Boating Week and the DNR wants all Michigan residents and visitors to have fun while exercising caution and obeying the law.

walleye fishing charter Lake Erie Michigan

Lake Erie walleye fishing

The DNR encourages boaters to:

Wear a life jacket. About 85 percent of drownings resulting from boating accidents in the U.S. are due to people not wearing life jackets. In Michigan, anyone under the age of 6 must wear a life jacket when on the open deck of any vessel, but wearing a personal flotation device is recommended for everyone.

Avoid drinking alcohol. Nationally, alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents where the primary cause was known.

Make sure the boat is properly equipped and equipment is in good working order. In addition to legally required equipment, such as life jackets and fire extinguishers, always carry a first-aid kit, nautical charts and an anchor. Make sure navigation lights work properly.

File a float plan. Always inform family or friends about the details of your trip. Let them know when to expect you back. Give them phone numbers for the local emergency dispatch center and U.S. Coast Guard in case you don’t return on time.

Stay alert. Watch for other boats, swimmers, skiers and objects in the water. This is especially true when operating in crowded waterways, at night and when visibility is restricted.

Carry a marine radio or cell phone. Be prepared to call for help if you are involved in or witness an accident, your boat or the boat of another becomes disabled or you need medical assistance. Program the numbers for the local emergency dispatch center and U.S. Coast Guard in your cell phone. Make sure your phone is fully charged but be aware that there often are coverage gaps on the water.

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Perch Fishing Report Lake Erie Michigan 07-29-2016

Strarted perch fishing this week, dispite the hot weather and light North East wind fishing was good.

Up off #1 buoy on the Raisin River produced 150 perch that weighted 36 lbs. (live weight) Yesterday just off the North East corner of the Michigan dump produced 120 perch that weighted 32 pounds

We used a mix of emerald and sand shiners with no difference on what the fish preferred 

Perch fishing charters Lake Erie aboard the Stray Cat

Perch fishing charter trip on Lake Erie Michigan Stray Cat Charters

Charter Fishing Operations offer options to Michigan anglers

Walleye fishing aboard the charter boat Stray Cat Lake Erie Michigan

Grandpa walleye fishing with his Grandson aboard the charter boat Stray Cat Lake Erie Michigan

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 adults, 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.

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. 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 michigancatchandcook.com.

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Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe Michigan 8/27/2015

Walleye fishing has been very slow this past week. A captain friend has been fishing the North end of the Michigan dump. Tuesday he took 18 walleye, Wednesday 4, and Thursday 16 all on wiggle warts 80 back (Superman, Green Spec, orange Spec and Gold w/black back and red bill) – low divers set at 1 1/2 with any gold colored Jr. Streaks.

Lake Erie Perch fishing charter trip

Ben’s first double Lake Erie perch

Perch fishing has been very good all week. I’ve been fishing between the Michigan and Ohio dump earlier in the week and had limit catches each day with 5 to 6 people on board. Wednesday I fished between “S” buoy and the Toledo lighthouse and took 180 perch in about 4 hours, we had to weed through lots of small 5 to 6 inch perch. I burned up a lot of bait, so make sure your purchase about a third more than you would normally purchase. Today (Thursday 8/27) I had 3 guests and took the largest catch of the week size wise  near Mineikes Marina and the lighthouse. I moved around a few times and ended up near the marina in 14 feet of water. The light North East wind didn’t seem to bother the perch bite. I did get checked by the Ohio DNR, make sure you have your Ohio fishing license with you- it’s 30 per person and 2 rods per person. One of the guests on a charter boat out of our marina forgot his license and was ticketed today. Another captain fished on the line between “E” buoy and the second set of cans North of the lighthouse they caught 150 perch between 7 and 10 inches, he also burned lots of bait up on small perch. North of Stoney Point in 24 to 26 feet of water has produced a mixed bag of perch yellow perch and white perch.

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe Michigan 08/21/2015

There is still some walleye to be caught over the Michigan and Ohio dumping grounds. Wiggle Warts 70 to 90 feet back and low divers set at 1 1/2 – 22 feet out seemed to be the ticket earlier in the week. A captain buddy docked near me has walleye fished eariler in the week and managed to take 15 to 20 fish on each trip.

Lake Erie perch fishing charter trip aboard the charter boat Stray Cat near Monroe, Michigan

Lake Erie perch fishing charter trip aboard the charter boat Stray Cat near Monroe, Michigan

Perch fishing has been good all week. I have fished in the Turtle Island area and caught lots of Yellow Perch but really had to pick through them for keepers. There are a ton of fish in the area from Turtle Island to the 3 stacks in any where from 12 to 14 feet of water (Luna Pier). Take a little extra bait. Stoney Point has been on again and off again. West of Sputnik was good in 24 feet of water on Sunday and Monday with an average of 7 to 9 inchers. It started of with small ones but the size increased the longer we fished. I’ve been having to purchase extra bait to weed through smaller perch and small White Perch. I have caught some jumbo White Perch, kept them and ate em. Mixed in with the Yellow Perch no one could tell the difference.

Fishing Report Lake Erie, Monroe MI 07/30/2015

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip near Monroe MichiganDespite the hotter temperatures a fair amount of walleye are sticking around North of “E” buoy to the Raisin River and along the Michigan / Ohio boarder. I’ve been fishing with wiggle warts 70 and 80 feet back. Seems like everyone I’ve talked to has a favorite wart color. Green and orange speck seem to produce on my boat. Some of the guy’s are still running spoons and divers with great success but they are catching more white perch and small walleye. I’ve run small salmon spoons on my high and low divers and that helped keep off some of the smaller fish and it’s also taken my larger walleye. Silver Streak mini spoons in Malibu Barbie, Mixed Veggies. You’ll have to keep checking the divers frequently for small fish your your wasting your time running them.

Perch fishing has also been good around “W” buoy and “C” buoy inside the Michigan dump. Off the #1 buoy of the Raisin River and out in front of Bolles Harbor in 20 plus feet of water. Remember if you don’t start getting bites within a 10 minutes or so move a little. Sometimes you only have to move 100 yards. If you see someone catching perch resist the urge to anchor up by them. Experience has shown you will never pull the fish from the other boat, Better off to find your own school of perch.

Charter fishing trips create great opportunities for anglers

Captain John Stray Cat charter fishing Lake Erie MichiganSummer is in full swing in Michigan, and with it comes great opportunity for outdoor activities – including fishing. The state’s waters provide ample opportunity to catch a variety of fish, and Great Lakes and inland fishing charter businesses are a perfect way to experience those angling adventures first-hand.

Licensed fishing charters make a full or half day of fishing easy and enjoyable as they provide the boat plus all other equipment and knowledge necessary for a day on the water. Fishing charters are perfect for anyone, children or adults, from the first-time angler to those more experienced.

Different waters and areas of the state will yield different fish species and fishing experiences. Whether on one of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair, a larger river, or a smaller lake or stream, charter captains know the waters, where the fish are and what to use to attract them. Anglers can fish for Chinook or coho salmon, lake trout, steelhead (rainbow trout), lake whitefish, walleye, perch, muskellunge, large or smallmouth bass, and panfish. 

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Check out the “Catch and Cook” page

Fishing Report Lake Erie, walleye – perch, Monroe Michigan 07-23-2015

Walleye fishing has really picked up this past week, thanks to a steady weather pattern. Many limit catches have been taken  all week from “E” buoy to the Raisin River in 22 feet of water. Wiggle warts have been good off the planner boards keeping small walleye (spikes) from biting 70 to 80 feet back in 22 feet of water. Spoons and divers seem to be taking the bigger walleye and more walleye spikes. I like running wiggle warts they are a lot more forgiving on speed and like to be run from 2.2 to 2.7 mph. If your not catching speed up a little at a time till you hit that sweet spot. I was catching some nice eye’s hear and there earlier in the week and starting tapping the throttle a little bit at a time next thing I knew all heck broke lose with a triple then a double. Also cock the angle of your troll a few degrees and that can trigger a bite on both sides of your boat. Caught a few very large walleye near the Michigan, Ohio boarder. Some of the guy’s I talked to this week were casting and dragging crawler harness’s did good on the day’s we enough breeze for a good drift.

Be careful about crossing over into Ohio, the Ohio DNR CO”s have been patrolling the boarder often. Make sure you have a valid Ohio fishing license, and your only allowed 2 rods per person.

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip

Trevor with a Lake Erie walleye and Muskie

Perch fishing has been crazy good off the edges of the Raisin River channel, Bolles Harbor and out in front of Brest Bay in 20 to 24 feet of water. With many limit catches one can afford to do a little sorting while fishing. The only problem the guy’s were having was finding a good steady supply of the right size minnows. All in all it really didn’t matter because the perch have been so aggressive. If you have an Ohio license McDonald’s area has been a sure bet for a limit catch but remember the limit is 30 per person.