st. joseph fishing, fishing charter boats, salmon, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, coho salmon, lake michigan charters
st. joseph fishing, fishing charter boats, salmon, lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, coho salmon, lake michigan charters


Big Bird Charters  offers a diverse range of exclusive trip options at affordable prices.  Whether it's a Lake Michigan Fishing Charter or a pleasure cruise, we will make sure it's a memorable experience.  We pride ourselves on providing high quality excursions.


Here is a breakdown of the general fishing season to help with planning a future Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing Charter.

April thru May are great months for multi-species of fish, but especially produce greater numbers of Coho Salmon,King Salmon and Brown Trout.  Many people revere Coho Salmon as the best eating fish of the big Lake Michigan because of its flavor and tenderness.  Spring King Salmon and deep water Steelhead are very popular in the month of May/June.  With that said, our days in May and June tend to book quickly as it gets closer.   

                                                                                                                                            * Making reservations well in advance is suggested to ensure      availability *


From June thru July, Steelhead (rainbow trout) and Skamania are known to make a series of runs.   When they are in, it truly is an unforgettable experience.  Steelhead are well known for their unpredictable fight and sky-rocketing missile jumps that are sure to boost the adrenaline!  We also start catching bigger Lake Trout and Chinook Salmon. 

From July, August and leading into September it’s open game for King Salmon, Lake Trout, Steelhead and Coho Salmon.  These months typically bring larger quality fish, but lower quantity compared to the Spring Coho slam.  We definitely beef up our rigs for the BIG FISH that strike during this part of the season.  Hearing the line scream out and handling the chaos of fish trying to tangle all of our lines is absolutely thrilling!



Small or large, your request will be met with individualized attention, expert advice and innovative solutions.  Contact us and discover all we have to offer.  We are looking forward to speaking with you.



Realizing that it is impossible to put a price on fun, we do have some expenses to cover...
Below are our base fees for
 fishing charters and additional information to help you prepare for your adventure.  Other trips are available including river/lake cruises and more!  Please call for availability.


To ensure your desired date, make your reservations well in advance.
$200 deposit required upon booking to confirm and hold your reservations.  Cancellations or rescheduling must be received 1 week in advance.

7 Hour Trip or Fish Limit*           6:00 AM - 1:00 PM (EST)

1-4 people -- $800 minimum

   5 people -- $900 ($180 per person)

   6 people -- $990 ($165 per person)

*Gratuities Not Included*

5 Hour Trip or Fish Limit*          2:00 PM - 7:00 PM (EST)

1-4 people -- $700.00 minimum

   5 people -- $800 ($160 per person)

   6 people -- $900 ($150 per person)

*Gratuities Not Included*

Lake Michigan and River Cruises 

 1-6 people -- $120 hr (2 hr. minimum)

Though gratuities are not expected and very much appreciated, here is an article we have found to be very informational for those that aren't sure when and how much to tip to show their appreciation.


Paula's big catch with son Eric "Mama Bird and Little Bird" aboard BIG BIRD!

For The Best Experience, We Recommend You Bring The Following:

If you think you may be prone to motion sickness, take precautions. For example, taking an (over the counter) motion sickness preventative, or prescribed motion sickness medication by your doctor can be recommended as this is the Great Lake Michigan and we may have some motion out there.

  • Cooler to Transport Fish
  • Food and Beverages
  • Soft Soled Shoes (Please no work boots)
  • Warm Clothing (Layers as the mornings start out cool)
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain Gear
  • Sun Block
  • Camera

*Additional Information:

Rates are subject to change.

Fishing licenses are NOT included in fishing rates.  The Department of Natural Resources requires that every person fishing from age 17 and older obtain a Michigan issued fishing license for fishing in the state of MI. We offer 1 day licenses for purchase on the boat for your convenience.  Cost of 1 day licenses are a total of $10.  If you are a non-resident an extra $1 for a Michigan DNR Sportscard will be required if you haven't purchased one in the past or have lost it.  If you would like to arrange your license ahead of time visit DNR's web page  There is no price difference by purchasing through us.  Please bring cash for license purchase.

For your safety, Captain Eric makes final weather decisions.  In the event of inclement weather that poses threat to safety, the trip will be cancelled with the option of rescheduling or refund of deposit.

All rates figured from dock departure to dock arrival. 

Michigan is on Eastern Time

To Make a Check Deposit Send To:

Eric Conder
441 Parker Ave.
Benton Harbor, MI. 49022

Last, but not least....with the growing popularity of MI being a legal state for medical and recreational use of cannabis, please do not bring drugs on the boat.  

We are governed by the United States Coast Guard and follow federal laws and regulations.   

Click here for info:

Where to Find Us:

Big Bird Charters
143 Anchors Way Slip 94
Saint Joseph, MI 49085

Phone:  Capt. Eric 269-243-0633

                   Capt. Jim 269-470-4149

Make your charter request today!

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