Tips for Charter Boat Fishing Trip Fun

Fall is a great time to plan a fishing trip. Fish are opportunistically taking advantage of the remaining warm water to feed heavily and “pack on a few pounds.” Fishermen are opportunists as well, looking to get in some quality fishing time, perhaps with some friends, and the charter boat is one fun way to do this.

I continue to learn of anglers who have returned from charters on the Great Lakes. In Lake Erie, walleye are usually the target species but yellow perch and steelhead may also be the goal. Bonus fish like freshwater drum and white bass should be appreciated too.  

Though many anglers would love to cast for walleye, trolling is a great way to cover a lot of water efficiently, and the Great Lakes is a lot of water. Once a speed and depth is determined, a charter boat captain will make sure to repeat the presentation to maximize hook ups and smiles. It sounds simple but there is a great deal of trial and error, especially when setting multiple rods. 

Yellow perch, though smaller, are just as tasty. They are often in massive schools and once located with electronics, can be caught by jigging vertically with minnows, rather than trolling.

A Couple of Things to Remember for a Charter Boat Fishing Trip:

1. Do Your Homework. Read the website or call the captain and make sure you know what is included in the fishing trip, and what you can and can’t bring.

2. Check the Weather. A stiff wind, blowing full fetch across a lake results in some big waves. Consider some sea sickness preventative measures.

3. Learn from the Fishing Experts. A fishing charter boat captain and crew can be a wealth of information.  Watch what lures and baits are used and how they are deployed. Pay attention to where you are on your fishing trip, but maybe more importantly, try to learn why you are there.

A charter boat fishing trip can be a grand way to replace the business meeting golf outing and still close the deal. Coworkers and employers can have some quality time bonding. Every now and then, let someone else worry about finding the fish; all you have to do is have your fishing license, and reel them in.  


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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to since 2011.