Dos, Don’ts, and Confusion for Your Next Charter Fishing Trip

A few weeks ago I mentioned that it was my son’s thirtieth birthday, and that we were all taking a chartered boat to go fishing on Lake Michigan.  In addition I said that I would try to take a few photos of our trip and share them in Instagram.  Well, you may have noticed that I didn’t get very far with that!   Upon realizing that there may be a few more challenges to taking a charter fishing trip, I put together a list of several dos and don’ts that may help the lay fisherman or woman to get by successfully and with good humor.  I’ve also included some photos for visual effect.   So get ready to take some notes!!

Before I go any further, I want to express that if you are against the sport of fishing or the mention of alcohol consumption (although only by people over the age of twenty-one), then I sincerely do not, in anyway, wish to offend you; and this post may not be to your liking.

Dos and Don'ts Charter Fishing - StowandtellU

To set the scene, we were a group of nine.  My son and his three buddies were on one boat and my brother, my two nephews, Ken and I were on a second.

Dos and Don'ts Charter Fishing - Motel - StowandtellU

If you have a 4:30am shove-off time, then DO stay at the nearest hotel, motel, or better yet, sleep in your car while parked in the harbor parking lot.  We stayed just two minutes down the road at the cheapest motel we could find.  While it had plenty of greenery and this lovely “child with umbrella” statue in the courtyard ( aka: parking lot)…

Dos and Don'ts Charter Fishing - motel - StowandtellU

…There was an ongoing debate about the possibility of bed bugs.

DO make sure that you have access to coffee at wake-up time.  The cheapest motels are the cheapest because the usually don’t offer frills like a coffee maker in the room.  Luckily we were able to make a pit stop for coffee on the two minute ride to the harbor.

pulling out from shore- charter fishing

DON’T expect to see much of any scenery at 4:30 in the morning.  It is 4:30 am…it’s still dark out!!  Fortunately the slew of boats from the Confusion line, are fashioned with cool, blue under carriage lighting to escape the total darkness out on the lake.

sunrise-charter fishing-StowandTellU

DO watch the sunrise for as long as you can and from every possible angle,



and then DO try to imprint it into your memory.


do bring enough beer in your cooler-stowandtellu

DON’T brush off your fellow fisherman (or woman) when they make a helpful suggestion like, “Are you sure you guys are going to have enough beer in your cooler… you can grab some of ours…” by replying back saying something like, “We’re fine! Don’t worry about it (mom!!)”  Because then your charter captain will have to radio our charter captain to arrange a boat to boat beer exchange.  This can be done by filling up a plastic bag full of beer and hot air (like blowing up a balloon,) and then tossing said bag into the water so that the other boat can fish it out with a net. (Actual footage)


do bring celery sticks

DO make sure to bring celery sticks or some type of stirring device, if you plan on starting out the fishing excursion with a bloody mary.


cell phone2

DON’T try to check your cell phone for texts, emails, Facebook updates, or who just re-pinned your latest pin!  However, if you simply can’t resist, then DON’T go below deck to try and see the screen better.  Seasickness can set in awfully quick even if you have taken your dose of Dramamine.


do dress the part

DO make sure to look the part by wearing fishing-type attire.  Ken pulled out his Kenlake Marina T-Shirt from our trip down to Kentucky, last spring.  The mossy oak cap was on loan to me for the day.  Is that Field and Stream I hear calling… looking for cover photo subjects?


do show off your catch small

DO show off your catch, and look handsome while doing so.  This is one of my nephews… sorry girls, he’s married.

DO confuse everyone by insisting that it is YOUR turn to reel in the catch every time one of the fishing poles has a bite.  My brother convinced my husband in this way, and then my brother ended up pulling in a pretty nice sized salmon, though not the biggest of the day.


reeling in biggest catch-charter-fishing-lake michigan

DO poke fun at all off the other fisherman, by making comments like, “You’re taking way to long to reel in that fish…you’re not going to be able to pull it in… give it up now… I’ll take over from here.”  My brother did this, too.  Most memorably on the very next catch which was by then Ken’s actual turn.  It did take Ken about twenty minutes to pull in that next catch….


Charter fishing-Lake Michigan-King Salmnom

…And DO insist that it should have actually been YOUR turn, and that should have been YOUR catch, when your fellow fisherman pulls in the LARGEST CATCH OF THE TRIP!  My brother is quite the jokester, and Ken is just so easy to pick on sometimes, but he did get the prize catch of the day, a 22 pound king salmon.


Charter fishing group shot - catch of the day2

DO make sure you take a group shot when nearing the end of the trip…


charter fishing lake Michigan

…lot’s of group shots!!

DON’T just take awesome photos of your trip and never look at them again!!

Faux canvas wrapped photo framing - StowandTellU

But DO consider turning those photos into memorable keepsakes by doing something like a faux wrapped canvas photo framing project.

And whatever you do, DON’T try to Instagram while taking a charter boat fishing trip!!!

 charter fishing - Lake Michigan - Stownadtellu

Just sit back, relax, enjoy the company, enjoy the scenery…



Ken and me- charter fishing Lake Michigan

… and DO make sure to try and catch a glimpse or two of the sun catching the water before you return to shore.


The sport of charter boat and deep sea fishing is enjoyed world wide.  Check out TripAdvisor, here, for tons more reviews and information.

Thank you so much for reading along.  Hope you have a great weekend.


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5 Responses to Dos, Don’ts, and Confusion for Your Next Charter Fishing Trip

  1. Bliss July 26, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Sounds like a great day on the lake. Do you loan out the shirtless guys, because I am positive they would make my fishing trip better.


  2. Danni@SiloHillFarm July 26, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Some awesome tips there girl! I’ll probably never go deep water fishing, but I sure enjoyed your pics and I’m glad you had a great time!

  3. mary July 26, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

    Awesome. Looks like fun.

  4. Mel July 27, 2013 at 4:54 am #

    Wow nice catch! Don’t worry Jules would never run our of beer 😉

  5. heather f July 28, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    What a fun adventure…besides maybe the bed bugs and wake up call.

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