If you’re planning your first charter fishing experience on Lake Michigan there are several important things you must “know before you go.”

As a Lake Michigan charter captain, I’m often asked by first time charters “What should I bring?” Let’s take a moment and I’ll walk you through the short list of Must Have items to bring with you.

Valid Wisconsin Fishing License With a Great lake Salmon stamp

The first thing you’ll need is a Valid Wisconsin Fishing License With a Great lake Salmon stamp to fish Lake Michigan. You don’t have to be a resident of Wisconsin, Illinois or even Michigan to get a valid Wisconsin fishing license with a Great lake Salmon stamp but to fish with a Wisconsin Lake Michigan Charter Captain — You  may purchase aboard the boat.

Wisconsin residents and out of state fishermen can order their Valid Wisconsin Fishing License With a Great lake Salmon stamp online at:


There’s also some excellent information for all Wisconsin fishing matters at:


You can also contact your captain or CLICK HERE to contact me for more info on getting your license.

The Proper Clothing For The Ultimate Adventure

Soft soled shoes are critical for two reasons:

1) Your safety: You don’t want to be the “Fool” who slides overboard because you chose to wear dress shoes to a Big Fish event. Soft soled shoes such as sneakers are sufficient. You may want to look into a true soft soled boat shoe.

2) Protect The Boat: Hard soled shoes tent to gouge and leave ugly scuff marks which ruins the fishing for others.

Next up is your Jacket and Rain Gear.

Your jacket should be suitable for several climates. Don’t think just because it’s summer that it will be nice and warm on Lake Michigan. Remember, you’re on the water AND Mother Nature has an odd sense of humor. Bring a jacket that will keep you warm but won’t leave you sweating.

An all purpose set up for cold and rain will include both the jacket and pants.

Your sunglasses should be polorized. I can emphasize this enough. Normal, black sunglasses won’t let you see down into the water and may not protect you from the suns rays the way polarized sunglasses will.

Your hat must also protect you from the sun. A baseball cap is fine.

Now, why people forget this next item on their first charter fishing trip is beyond me. But they do. Since you’re smart enough to read this you won’t! You’re the type of person I want on my charters so CLICK HERE to contact me 🙂

Anyway, people always seem to forget to bring the cooler to help bring the fish home. Please… PLEASE… Please… Don’t forget your cooler!!!

Make it a LARGE Cooler. These are some very big fish you’ll be catching.

You’ll also want to bring your own snacks and beverages. Since everyone seems to be allergic to something there’s no way the Charter Captain could be able to supply these items.

Lastly, BRING YOUR CAMERA! A cell phone with picture and movie taking capabilities is nice. But they don’t seem to have the space available for massive amounts of anything. Bring a camera. Better yet, bring two.

Well, that’s it. I hope that your first Charter Fishing Trip on Lake Michigan is a pleasant experience. If you need assistance or have questions you can contact me here and I’ll be happy to assist you.