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Charter Fishing Grand Haven MI

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Grand Haven is a name synonymous with some of Lake Michigan’s best fishing, and Grand Haven’s fishing charters are the ideal way to make the most of the area’s amazing opportunities to catch trophy Chinook and Coho.

Easy to reach from Grand Rapids’s regional airport, Grand Haven offers a once-in-a-lifetime combination of relaxation and excitement. And with plenty to do for the whole family, it makes a great getaway for everyone.

Top Fishing Charters in Grand Haven

Fishing in Grand Haven, Michigan

Grand Haven’s fishing charters are led by experienced captains who know the area inside and out. Whether you choose to spend a few hours on the water or want to fish from sunup to sundown, they’ve got you covered!

Keep in mind that charter fishing is a seasonal affair in Grand Haven, as the frigid winter weather shuts down angling from November till the spring thaw in April.

Grand River

Grand River feeds directly into the lake, offering ideal habitat for everything from salmon to walleye. Catfish and trout are also plentiful on the river, and it’s a hot destination on weekends when the weather is warm.

Easy to access via the Sixth Street Dam, there are numerous places to fish from rocks for lone anglers who want to go it alone. Boat access is plentiful as well, and summer weekends find scores of anglers running the river.

Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan’s ecosystem, fed by the Grand River, provides an ideal habitat for various species, but there’s no question that salmon get top billing.

This particular area is one of the richest on the Lake, and trophy salmon are a staple of the local fishing charters.

Common Species in Grand Haven

As you’d expect, Coho and Chinook salmon are the region’s main attraction, with both of these hard-fighting fish in great supply due to the excellent habitat offered by the confluence of Grand River and Lake Michigan.

Both of these world-class fish were introduced to the Great Lakes from the Pacific Northwest, and they now thrive in the cool, prey-rich water of Lake Michigan.

Coho are a bit smaller than their larger cousins but fight like heavyweight contenders. The real trophy, though, is a monster Chinook, which in Grand Haven may run as long as 58 inches and weigh more than 100 pounds!

But other trophy fighters call these waters home, and the area is rightly famous for massive lake trout, too. Lakers, a species of char, can get nearly as large as a Chinook and are an awesome trophy in and of themselves.

Steelhead and rainbow trout are also abundant in the waters of Grand Haven, with fish over 40 inches and 50 pounds not being unheard of.

For anglers more interested in ultralight options, the area’s perch make for a relaxing morning, and you’ll find brown trout in the Grand River and Lake Michigan, as well.

Common Fishing Techniques

Trolling enjoys a long and storied history on Lake Michigan, and it’s easily the most productive method for catching salmon, steelhead, and lake trout.

On Grand River, everything from flies to spinners will land you a brownie or perch, while spawn sacks and trolling are more common closer to the Lake.

Rules & regulations

Most fishing charters provide licenses, but if you want to venture out on your own, you’ll need to purchase a valid license. Regulations on bag and size limits apply, and your captain will keep you informed about those.

Grand Haven Fishing Seasons

  • January

    Freezing winters grind Grand River’s charter fishing to a halt.


    Winter continues unabated, and the fishing season needs to wait.


    March means steelhead, and you’ll find them making the annual run up Grand River to the Sixth Street Dam late in the month.
  • April

    Walleye fishing on the Grand River is pretty good this time of year, and out on the lake, the charters are getting started for salmon and lake trout.


    Chinook and perch are at their peak in May, and it’s a great time to find the right charter to make lasting memories.


    The Chinook are still running strong, and they’ve been joined by lake trout and steelhead.
  • July

    Warm water and lots of sun has the Chinook raring to go!


    August sees the warmest water of the year on Lake Michigan, and the fishing is excellent.


    September means one thing to locals: salmon season! The Chinook are staging at the Grand River, and the Grand Haven Salmon Festival celebrates their annual journey.
  • October

    Charter season is winding down, though you can still find captains willing to chase steelhead in the Lake.


    Charter season closes due to poor weather and freezing temperatures.


    Winter keeps all but the most experienced ice anglers off the water.

Top Targeted Species in Grand Haven

  • Coho salmon
  • Chinook salmon
  • Lake trout
  • Perch
  • Brown trout
  • Rainbow trout/steelhead
  • Walleye
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