When is the best time to fish Lake Michigan?
Lake Michigan fishing can be good from April through October. More limits of fish are taken earlier in the season, but as the summer progresses, the size of the fish improves. Many clients choose to fish early in the season and again later in the summer.
What species of fish can we catch?
There are three species of trout in Lake Michigan and we catch all three throughout the season: lake trout can be very heavy and tend to stay toward the bottom, brown trout are the least frequently caught, but are a welcomed treat, rainbow trout, or steelhead, are caught quite frequently and are known to make spectacular jumps which often results in their escape (this is why we call it fishing and not catching). There are two species of salmon that make up most of the catch: coho or silver salmon are more abundant in the early season and can be voracious with multiple simultaneous hook-ups not being uncommon, Chinook or King salmon can grow to be very large and we catch many in the 20 lb class each year. Kings are known for reel-screaming runs and often require multiple fisherman taking turns to bring to the boat.
Why should I use a professional charter?
Fishing with a pro is your guarantee of a safe, successful outing. They know the area, fish regularly and work with other captains. Being in the right places at the right time is a very important part of fishing. Pros have a large investment in the latest tackle and fish locating equipment coupled with years of experience. Even knowledgeable fisherman new to the area can learn a great deal by taking a charter.
How many persons can I bring along.
In compliance with the Coast Guard Regulations we may carry a MAXIMUM of six (6) passengers & we are Licensed & Insured properly for that amount only.
What if I have never fished before?
No problem! Although the fish we catch can be pretty big, the equipment we use on board Manipulator is sturdy and easy to use. You'll receive plenty of instructions on how to use the equipment and tips on fighting the fish, and feel free to ask questions.... we want you to get as much out of your trip as you do!!
Can I bring Beer or alcohol on the boat?
Yes Beer & Wine etc. is allowed: however we prefer cans to bottles because of the possibility of breakage on the boat. There is room for you to bring a cooler with your favorite beverages and refreshments. This is provided you are old enough to bring them along. Absolutely no illegal substances of any kind are allowed on the boat.
Do I need to bring along any fishing equipment?
No, all fishing equipment including Rods, Reels & Terminal Tackle are provided at no extra cost on board the boat. We carry only the finest equipment available & are well stocked.
Is there any age limit for bringing along my kids?
My best advice is that children under 5 years old may not enjoy the trip & might make it difficult for others also. Children under 10yrs should be accompanied by an adult one on one to get the most out of the trip. Life jackets are on board for adults & children.
What about the weather? Do you cancel trips for bad weather?
Your safety is our primary concern. Although Manipulator is among the most stable boats on the water, rough water is just not fun. We will cancel and reschedule your trip if wave heights are unreasonable. We will always contact you about a day before your trip to give final instructions and talk about the weather. We don't like to cancel trips too far in advance because our weather changes often and an advanced forecast is not always the most useful. If rebooking isn't possible, deposit is refunded in full.
What about tipping the captain and crew?
The first mate and captain work very hard to insure that you have the best trip possible. The first mate works for tips only and depends on them. Think of tipping a waiter at an upscale restaurant. We clean and bag fish for you at no additional cost-- most boats in our harbor charge an additional fee for this service.