Lake Michigan Charter Boat Adventure

Milwaukee behind us as we head out to find fish in Lake Michigan
When I was making a list of things I'd like to do in Milwaukee a couple of years ago, I had fishing on there, but never got around to it.  I've been writing a new book, "The Milwaukee Bucket List: 101 Real Milwaukee Adventures" so I decided it should be in the book and therefore, I needed to do it now.

Lucky for me, my son-in-law, Luke, enjoys fishing, so we booked a charter boat with Ray's the Limit for 4 people and he invited his dad, Pete, and a mutual friend who is one of the best/luckiest/awesomest fishermen we know- Rob.  Rob is the guy who always has a Facebook photo of him with some huge sexy fish posted about every other week.  We figured with him along, we had to have some great fishing tales to tell!  I didn't have a fishing license, but I found it was easy to get on line at  We also had to get a salmon/trout stamp since we were fishing on Lake Michigan.  Anyone over the age of 12 needs a license.

We showed up at 1 PM on a Saturday for a 5 hour tour.  The boat was docked at Milwaukee's McKinley Marina.  It was a short trip out to the place where we'd troll all afternoon.  The Captain, Andy, is a firefighter and does this in his spare time.  His wife, Becky, was along as first mate for this trip.  They both made it very easy to relax and were willing to answer all kinds of questions I had.  Since this was my first lake fishing experience, I knew very little about fishing.  He supplied all the heavy duty poles and set everything up.  All we had to do was wait for a nibble on the poles and he coached us as we needed it.  We brought along drinks and snacks.  In fact, we offered some trail mix to the fish as a way of bringing them in.  It was all in jest, but it actually worked...well, I guess it did!
First Mate Becky and me
It didn't take too long before one of the poles started "dancing" as Capt. Andy called it.  Luke grabbed the pole and brought in the first fish.  It was a lake trout!  A net was needed to bring it in for the final landing. We were all pretty excited to see the catch, but Luke's smile pretty much says it all. There was a cooler on board with an ice pack where we could put all the fish for the day. There's a lot of science involved in the fishing.  There was a fish/depth finder on the boat, so we could see how deep the lines needed to be as well as when we were near fish.  The lines were very sophisticated too.  I'm not sure I can even explain it, but there were lures on some of the poles and others had balls and shiny devices.  You definitely have a lot to learn if you're going to be a fishing charter captain.  Andy said he'd been fishing on Lake Michigan for 30 years, so he had quite a bit of experience.
Luke reeling it in and Capt. Andy helping with a net

Luke looking pretty happy with his catch

Gotta have a cooler for the fish
The afternoon went by quicker than I expected.  We had such a good time chatting and reeling in the fish.  I was a bit apprehensive after watching the guys have so much success.  Of course, Rob had the biggest catch of the day!  We were happy it was him though.  It's a lot of work reeling in these fighting lake trout.  He seemed to know when to reel and when to let the fish take line.  I had to have some coaching.  Lucky for me, Pete and Capt. Andy were there to help.  I had a special belt put on to help hold the pole.  That made it a bit easier, but it was harder than I expected.  By the end of the afternoon we had 7 fish- all lake trout.
Rob with Capt. Andy and Pete showing off a huge fish!

My catch of the day, which Capt. Andy held for me

Rob does it again!

Our catch of the day
We headed back in as the sun set over Milwaukee.  It was a pretty ride in looking at the city.  When we docked back at McKinley Marina, Capt. Andy filleted the fish for us and bagged them up so all we had to do was collect our belongings and our fish.  The total cost for the day was $425, which was one of the cheapest charters you can get in Milwaukee.  What a great way to spend a fall afternoon in Wisconsin.  I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys the water and wants to try some fishing.  None of us got seasick.  We caught fish.  We had a great time talking.  It was a picture perfect day! If your plans include a trip to Milwaukee, be sure to pick up a copy of my new book, downloadable as an e-book as well, at my author website.


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