The average fisherman whether they own a boat or not, may not know the where, how, or what to do to catch deep water lake perch. The answer for many anglers the first time might be to take a perch charter. What is a Lake Michigan Perch Charter? This article provided by an active Lake Michigan Charter Captain that actively fishes for perch, trout and salmon will hopefully answer all of your questions.
How many people can come on a perch fishing charter? Fishing Charters by United States Coast Guard regulations can take up to a maximum of six people. If you have a larger group of 10 to 12 people multiple boats can be arranged. Charters of two to six people are common. Charter captains generally do not mix different groups on the same boat.
What clothing should I wear on the perch fishing charter? The water temperature of the lake can dictate how much clothing is required to be comfortable. In spring, the water temperature can be near 40 degrees, you will need to dress in multiple layers. If you are too warm, with multiple layers of clothing you can easily remove a few layers to become comfortable. Raingear should be brought and can be used as an additional layer of clothing if required. Gloves that you can grip a fishing rod should be brought to keep your hands warm in early spring. The weather can change rapidly on Lake Michigan be prepared. Soft soled shoes will make your footing on deck more sure and stable. Sun screen, a hat, and sunglasses should also be brought along.
Do I need a fishing license? If you are 16 or older, you will need a valid fishing license. Lake Michigan borders several states: Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. You will need a license for the state that you are fishing. Most charter boats carry one day fishing licenses on board, you must check prior to your trip for availability.
Can we bring food and drinks on the boat? You can bring a small cooler with food and drinks aboard. If you are 21 or older, most captains don't mind if you bring alcoholic refreshments along. Make sure that whatever drinks you bring, are not in glass containers. Checking with the charter captain ahead of time is always a good idea.
How do we fish for perch on Lake Michigan, and do I need to bring my own fishing rod? Most of the time, perch fishing is done by drifting live bait over schools of perch, which are usually located towards the bottom. If you have a favorite light rod, you can bring it along, but the captain will generally provide all the rods, and they will be set up with the best rigs for perch fishing. If fishing deep water (more than 30 feet), a non stretch super braid fishing line should be used.
How far will we be offshore? Perch fishing charters are usually within a mile or two of the shore.
How old should a child be to bring along on a perch charter? You would know the maturity of your child better than the captain, but the rule of thumb is about 8 years old.
How big do perch in Lake Michigan get, and how do they taste? Lake Michigan perch can get up to 16" long, and are some of the best tasting freshwater fish in the world.
What is the limit for perch in Illinois, and is there a size limit? The limit for perch in Illinois is 15 per angler, with no size limit.
Who cleans the fish? Most captains, but not all, will clean and bag your catch for a fee.
Hopefully, this article will help answer most of your questions about perch charters on Lake Michigan. If you have any other questions that were not addressed in this article, please contact me, and I would be happy to answer them.
Captain Bob Rossa operates Migrator Charters located in Waukegan, Illinois.