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

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 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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Tagged fish provide DNR with critical information

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources again this year is encouraging Great Lakes anglers who catch marked and tagged fish to report them. The DNR has used the coded-wire tag program to mass mark various fish species in Michigan since the 1980s. Mass marking provides critical data as fisheries biologists look to determine the value of naturally reproduced fish versus stocked fish, and lakewide movement of fish.

The coded-wire tag program involves implanting a small, coded-wire tag, which is invisible to the naked eye, into the snout of a fish. A fish containing a coded-wire tag can be identified because its adipose fin (the small, fleshy fin between the dorsal and tail fins) has been removed. An angler who catch a tagged fish then can record needed information about the fish, remove and freeze the fish’s snout, and drop it off at a designated location. A statewide list of dropoff locations can be found on the DNR website.

For years the DNR primarily tagged Chinook salmon and lake trout as part of its mass marking effort in Lake Huron. Tagging these fish has helped biologists understand more about lakewide natural reproduction and how many wild fish are available in the Great Lakes. It also has helped determine if the percentage of wild fish varies from year to year and how fish stocking locations contribute to lake and river fisheries. Additionally, it provides insight into fish movement and where fish are stocked compared to where they are caught.

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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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What do Walleye really See

14 TWINE LINE

2016 SUMMER EDITION

Watching Fish See

New Ohio Sea Grant research aims to improve Lake Erie’s walleye fishery

by Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant Communications

No matter how useful it will eventually be, sometimes science just looks silly. In Dr. Suzanne Gray’s lab at The Ohio State University, a fish in a cylindrical tank slowly swims in circles as it follows the black and white panel rotating around the outside of the glass. Gray and her Ohio State collaborators, Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter and Eugene Braig, are studying how well fish can see both prey and predators underwater, and how that ability is influenced by changes in water clarity. They hope that the research will help Lake Erie fisheries adapt to algal blooms that reduce underwater visibility, which is important to visual hunters such as Walleye. Those important sport fish, along with prey fish like Emerald Shiners, are the current focus of the project. “We wanted to integrate this really basic science – visual physiology – with the people who are out there catching the fish,” Gray said. “Walleye fishing in Ohio is close to a $1.8 billion industry, and Walleye are going to be influenced in some way by changes to the visual environment that happen with the algal blooms in the late summer and fall.” PhD student Chelsey Nieman already completed a pilot study for the project at Stone Lab, working out details like setting up tanks for various experiments and taking care of the fish used in the study. Her two months at the lab were funded by Ohio Sea Grant’s Small Grants Program, which provides up to $10,000 in research support to applicants. “Chelsey will be the first graduate student working on this project,” Gray said. “She actually has a Master’s degree that is interdisciplinary, so it included fisheries, but also incorporated a social science component. So she’s really excited about using her expertise for the citizen science work on this project as well.” That work will focus on Lake Erie charter boat captains who regularly take clients out to fish for the species of interest to the project.

Lake Erie WalleyeThe researchers will use surveys and interviews to draw on the captains’ expertise in selecting lures, based on years of fishing experience, and test those lures in the lab setting to provide science-based data for anecdotal knowledge of what lures work best for which fish under varying conditions. “Our goal is to create a citizen science project associated with fishing success, with different colors or types of lures, under different turbidity conditions,” Gray explained. “We’ve had a positive response from the fishermen, who want to do anything they can to understand the fishery better. Which makes sense; it’s their livelihood and these blooms are potentially harmful to their business.” The project also received letters of support from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit, which helps manage Fisheries in Lake Erie, and Ohio Sea Grant Extension, which educates the public about sustainable local fisheries.

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 05-13-2016

Walleye fishing is starting to pick up again around Stoney Point. The water temperature is in the mid 50’s. Trolling Thunder Stick Jr. in purple, or darker colors seemed best from 16 to 24 feet of water.

Lots of spikes over the dumping grounds with a few nice keeper walleye. The water was murky from recent storms and run off. Take it slow on the speed the fish are still a little lethargic but the water temp. is on the rise. My buddies caught a few trolling from “E” buoy towards Bolls Harbor yesterday, but again lots of spikes. Keep checking your lines because it’s hard to tell when your loaded up with the lil fellers!

Lots of boats fishing between Turtle Island and the Toledo Lighthouse, some jigging some trolling. Success rates vary due to water clarity and run off from the Maumee River. If you fish this area make sure you know where your at, you may want to have an Ohio fishing license on board, the Michigan Ohio boarder runs right through the middle of Turtle Island and heads North to the Detroit River

Michigan 2016 Spring fishing seasons opening soon

We’re just days away from the opening of numerous Michigan fishing seasons:

Lake Erie walleye fishing charter trip

Trevor with a Lake Erie walleye and Muskie

Bass Catch & Keep Season: Starts May 28 on all waters including Great Lakes
  Starts June 18 on Lake St. Clair and St. Clair & Detroit Rivers
Muskellunge, Northern Pike &   Walleye:              Starts April 30 on Lower Peninsula inland waters
  Starts May 15 on Upper Peninsula Great Lakes, inland waters & St. Mary’s River
Statewide Salmon & Trout Season:
 
Starts April 30 on (inland) type 1 & 2 streams and type A & D lakes