How to Choose Fishing Boat Charters in Chicago | USA Today

25 Янв 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Windy 34 Khamsin boat

How to Choose Fishing Boat Charters in Chicago

Pick your fishing charter in the Windy City. (Photo: chicago river, chicago image by rese3282 from Fotolia.com )

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The Great Lakes Fishing Council lists 34 fishing charters that operate out of Chicago-area harbors. Each charter has its own rates, different types of boats and equipment. The captains and crew also specialize in catching certain types of fish. Some of the fishing charters are teaching boats, while others will fish for you. With so many options available, it takes a little consideration before you set out to choose a fishing boat charter in Chicago.


Step 1

Figure out what you want to fish for. Lake Michigan is teaming trout, several varieties of salmon, bass and perch. Some charter captains have equipment and experience for catching a particular type of fish. A few even have tournament fishing experience. Determine what you want to catch so that you can whittle the list of 34 charters down. The Great Lakes Fishing Council list does identify the type of fish that the charter catches.

Step 2

Determine your launch point. There are nine public and numerous private marinas in Chicago. They span the city’s entire Lake Michigan coastline. Choose an area that is closest to your hotel or that is nearest to public transportation access. You may prefer a particular area of the city over the other. Determine where you want to launch and narrow down your list a little more.

Step 3

Consider captain experience. Those with tournament fishing experience are more attuned to Lake Michigan and the fish in it. To practice for the tournaments, these captains fish often to track fish movement and bait preferences. Their research is your gain. Captains who have extensive experience in the business can also give you a more successful fishing trip. Such captains also entertain with their numerous stories of past fishing seasons.

Step 4

Review your budget. Make sure that the captains left on your list are within your budget for the trip. Also factor transportation to and from the marina, meals for the day and your fishing license.

Talk to the captains. Ask questions about how they treat first timers on the lake and how long the trip lasts. Ask the captain what is provided and what you need to bring along. You will need a fishing license. Figure these items into your budget as well. Also, inquire about boating safety measures like storm procedure, life jackets, procedures for someone going overboard and insurance.

Take a tour. Some captains will offer you a tour of the boat. If it isn’t offered, ask. Look over the interior for signs of ill-repair or damage. These boats may have safety issues and should be avoided.

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