Fishing

Chicago Sportfishing Association
varies Chicago IL 708- 532-7506

This is the organization of Charter Boat Captains fishing from Chicago Illinois Harbors. Catch fish on Lake Michigan with the beautiful Chicago skyline in the background!

The Chicago Sportfishing Association is an affiliation of Coast Guard licensed Charter Boat operators whose primary goal is to promote the highest standards of Lake Michigan sport fishing for the Chicago area angler.

Fishing from early April through late October. Boats are conveniently located in three harbors bordering the Downtown Chicago Area.


Free Spirit Charters
5219 N. Virginia
Chicago, IL 60625
773-616-7799

Don’t let the big one get away! Head out on the Big Lake and get into some super salmon! Or is trout your game? Either way, you can’t lose. Spend a morning or afternoon doing something new and fun for a change!


Northpoint Charterboat Association
Winthrop Harbor IL 50096
1 800 247-6727

Lake Michigan Sportfishing At Its Finest! No Fish – No Pay.

Operating a fleet of boats from beautiful Northpoint Marina in Winthrop Harbor, IL. The Marina is located at the Wisconsin-Illinois border at Lake Michigan. We provide maps upon request. They fish Illinois and Wisconsin waters.

Whether you seek hot coho action in May or Steelhead, Coho & Lakers in June or Big Coho, Lakers, Steelhead,, Brown & Kings from July through October, Winthrop Harbor is the place to be. Come join the fun and excitement of this great fishery with the Captains of the Northpoint Charter Boat Association. We make it our business to provide you with the fishing trip of a lifetime.

Call early to insure you get the dates you want.


Smelt Fishing
Lake Shore Drive Chicago IL

Smelt fishing is a traditional event that many Chicagoans greet with enthusiasm every year. In the spring, tiny, finger-sized smelt (relatives of salmon and trout) head to the lakeshore to spawn – and they show up by the millions.

There isn’t much skill needed to catch the critters in nets. All you do is get yourself to an outdoor or bait shop and buy a “”dipping”” net. Dip it in the Lake, pull it back out, dump the smelt in a bucket, repeat as necessary. Most also bring a lantern for a little light and warmth on the chillier mornings.

The atmosphere is more party-like than a serious fishing expedition; smelt fishing is akin to many deer hunting trips, or tailgating at a Bears game. The party begins in the pre-dawn hours of 2-3 a.m., and the smelt spawning season lasts from March into May (the actual spawn usually takes only about two weeks, but its tough to predict when exactly it’ll happen). Sometime in these springtime months, the smelt will “”run”” (come into shore and begin to spawn) and the call will immediately go up among smelt fishermen everywhere. No one wants to miss his chance during this short window.

One of the best spots to try it or observe it is the stretch of Lake Shore Drive just south of Navy Pier, although fisherman’s lanterns can be spotted along most of the shoreline. You’re all but guaranteed to find smelt anywhere you can dip your net (along the beach won’t work though; you need to be on a wall, jetty or pier).

Get some friends together this spring and organize your own smelt fishing adventure! If you’ve never done it, like being up all night with friends, and enjoy trying new things, smelt fishing is for you!


Waukegan Charter Boat Association
Waukegan, IL
(847) BIG-FISH

The Waukegan Charterboat Association is the oldest, largest and finest charter boat fleet on Lake Michigan. We offer World Class Sportfishing for salmon and trout out of the port of Waukegan, IL from April through September.

All boats are equipped with the finest fishing tackle and electronic equipment for your fishing pleasure, comfort and safety.

Lake Michigan is the finest man made trout and salmon fishery in the world. It is maintained annually through an aggressive stocking program supported by many surrounding state organizations.