A man hiring a charter is a lot like his wife going to the spa. He is anxious to go for weeks and rarely comes back in a bad mood. I enjoy every part of fishing, from finding my own spots to using my own tackle, but as my wife says “it’s just nice to be pampered once in a while”. Now, you won’t get quite the same pampering on a charter boat (I’ve yet to meet a captain that’s gonna give you a massage), but it’s better attention in my eyes. To not drive the boat while fishing, not search the sonar constantly, not check gps point after point. Just sit back and watch your rod and when that moment comes reel in the fish.
It’s not a sure fire way to catch fish, but nothing is. I’ve had friends that wanted to hire a charter, but don’t want to pay for something and then get skunked. That happens. The main thing you have to remember is when fishing nothing is definite. Your captain will try his or her best to catch you fish because they want you to be happy and they know, no matter how fun it was, you will always remember not catching a fish.
Here are some good starting points to finding a charter service.
First it depends on what type of fish you want to target. From salmon to walleye or smallmouth bass, every charter offers something different. If you aren’t sure, check out youtube or other sites to watch videos that will help you decide.
Next is area. Different lakes and sections of lakes are more popular than others. Lake Erie for walleye, Grand Traverse Bay for smallmouth or Manistee for salmon.
Now that it’s narrowed down, check listings on the web and in local phone books. FishMich.com has a listing area for guides and another good spot would be the Michigan Charter Boats Association. Check out any information you can get on them. Check local bait shops for who they recommend or ask about a certain captain. Some bait shops even offer charter services or work with specific ones. I like asking in a fishing forum for suggestions. Referrals are the best source, so be sure to refer your captain to friends after a successful trip.
This is a start on finding a captain. If you have any other suggestions feel free to leave a comment.