Lake Erie Fishing Charters

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Fishing on Lake Erie

Lake Erie is a special fishery. Bordering 4 states and Canada, it has plenty of fish to chase. Booking a Lake Erie fishing charter is a great way to tour and learn how to fish in the lake. Lake Erie, the fourth largest Great Lake, is great for people wanting to catch fish. With its size, fish have room to migrate and feed, allowing anglers a chance to catch a trophy. One of the best ways to explore this Great Lake is by booking a Lake Erie fishing charter.

When the locals on this lake talk about walleye fishing being great, they mean it. With a nickname such as “the walleye capital of the world,” it has no shortage of fish. The spring, summer, and fall are when the lake shines. In the spring you can expect spawning fish that weigh the most they have all year. In the summer, predatory fish school up and feed in the deep, cool waters of the central and eastern basins. This makes fishing for walleye and perch fast and easy in the summer. Fall is when the fish come back closer to shore and feed before winter. Both walleye and perch can be caught close to shore in the fall as they migrate closer to the spawning grounds and feed.

Lake Erie Charter Captain Requirements

Charter captains on Lake Erie must be Coast Guard licensed. This includes an array of certifications including CPR, drug tests, and physicals. The captain also has a minimum on-water hour requirement before being issued a license. The captain must stay licensed with the Coast Guard and with the state to operate. When you book one of the Lake Erie fishing charters, ask to see these credentials. Otherwise, that person may not be qualified. Most Lake Erie charter captains have been on the lake their whole lives and most have worked as deckhands. Lake Erie can be a scary lake to fish as the weather can turn quickly. Lake Erie charter captains, with their experience and training, know how to handle the lake.

Learn How to Fish on Lake Erie

Choosing to fish on a Lake Erie charter is not only about catching, but teaching as well. When you pay a charter to go fishing it should be a learning experience too. Charter captains on Lake Erie make it a point to teach the latest techniques to be successful. There are multiple ways to fish for walleye so make sure you talk to the captain and see what method they use. If you want to learn a different technique, make sure to tell them. Trolling and casting are popular ways to fish for walleye on Lake Erie. Vertical dropping is a method used to catch perch. Bass fishing uses a cast and reel technique. Steelhead fishing on the Lake is done by trolling fast with divers and spoons.


What to Bring on a Lake Erie Fishing Charter

If the captain does not tell you what to bring, this will help you. All fishing equipment and bait are typically provided on a fishing charter. If it is not, the captain should tell you this before the trip. An exception would be if you want to go bass fishing. Many bass fishermen prefer their tackle.

The customer is usually only responsible for food, beverages, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing. Some trips are in the winter months, so dress appropriately. The charter captain will have life jackets on board. If you prefer to wear one at all times then getting an auto-inflating life jacket may be best. They are comfortable to wear all day.

Fishing Charter Tipping

Lake Erie Walleye

Tipping a charter captain on Lake Erie is not required, but is customary to do so. A standard tip on a charter boat usually runs about 20% of the total cost. This tip normally goes to the first mate on the boat. Some first mates work for free on the charter and collect tips only. If it is not stated on the charter, or the captain does not mention it, assume 20% is good. They appreciate the extra cash to pay for maintenance and fuel at the dock.

Lake Erie Walleye Charters

Charter Fishing for Lake Erie Walleye

Lake Erie is known for its walleye population. In the recent past, the walleye population has increased dramatically, making fishing for walleye great. Booking a walleye charter is a great way to learn how to catch these toothy fish. If you are looking for a trophy-sized fish, book a charter in the Spring or Fall. Experienced guides take enthusiasts to the hottest spots, ensuring a successful day on the water. Even experienced anglers will book a walleye charter just to learn more about when, where, and how to fish for walleye. Talk to your guide before you go, they will tell you what to expect on the trip. Some guides will limit out and head back right away. If you want a full 6-hour charter, make sure you state this beforehand.

Be sure to ask your captain how you will be fishing for walleye the day of the trip. There are a few different techniques for catching walleye on Lake Erie. The most common and most productive is trolling. This entails dragging plugs or crankbaits while the boat is moving to trigger strikes. Casting is a preferred method in the spring and early summer when the walleye are grouped up either spawning or feeding. Casting hair jigs or crawler harnesses are the most popular choices.

Lake Erie Perch Charters

Perch Paradise on Lake Erie

For those who prefer a more laid-back fishing experience, Lake Erie perch charters are the perfect choice. These trips cater to anglers wanting to catch these tasty fish. By hiring a Lake Erie perch charter you can relax and let the captain worry about driving, bait, and tackle. Perch charters are popular for family outings because fishing for them is relaxing. You don’t have to put in a lot of effort to catch them. Perch fishing usually entails sitting still while anchored and dropping the bait straight down. Baits used are usually golden shiners or Lake Erie emerald shiners, which are included in the price of the charter.

Lake Erie Smallmouth Charters

The elusive Lake Erie Smallmouth

Lake Erie has world-class smallmouth fishing. Smallmouth charters are a great way to find out where these sometimes elusive fish, like to hide. By hiring a captain for bass fishing, they usually provide the equipment and bait for the trip. Some bass fishermen like to use their equipment. Lake Erie Smallmouth are hard-fighting fish, they will often jump multiple times while reeling in. Seasoned tournament anglers from the area typically operate most Lake Erie Smallmouth charters. They know where these fish live and can show you a great time bass fishing. Talk to your captain before the trip if you would like to bring your gear, most won’t have a problem with it.

Lake Erie Catfish Charters

Catfish in Sandusky Bay

Lake Erie offers a unique opportunity to catch world-class-sized channel catfish. Catfish charters on Lake Erie opperate out of Sandusky Bay, close to Cedar Point. Sandusky Bay is home to the best catfishing experience in Ohio. Many catfish charters will anchor in high current spots frequented by big catfish. If a current spot is not producing, drift fishing on a flat may produce bites. During the early morning and evening trips, the captain will most likely be fishing the sand flats where these fish like to roam and feed. Shrimp, chicken liver, and night crawlers fished on a bottom rig is the best technique for catfish on the bay. Typically all bait and equipment is provided by the boat and captain.

Lake Erie Head Boats

An affordable fishing charter with friends

Lake Erie is home to a few headboat companies that offer party fishing for walleye and perch. Headboat trips are perfect for groups, offering a shared adventure where participants can swap stories and tips while catching fish. On Lake Erie headboats, anglers usually bring their rod and reel, but bait is provided by the boat personnel. Lake Erie head boat trips are usually affordable in the $60 – $80 price range. Ask the captain what you will be fishing for and if they are catching fish. Most headboats have social media and post often, check that before you go.