Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing Charters Out Of Saint Joseph, MI

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A breakdown of the general fishing season

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.

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!

Lake Michigan Fishing Charter

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.

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.

Fishing Charter Rates

To ensure your desired date, make your reservations well in advance.
$200 deposit required upon booking to confirm and hold your reservations. Cancellations must be received 3 weeks in advance for full refund.  

7 Hour Trip or Fish Limit*

Time: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM (EST)

1-4 people – $800 Minimum

5 people – $900

6 people – $1,000

5 Hour Trip or Fish Limit*

Time: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM (EST)

1-4 people — $750 Minimum

5 people — $825

6 people — $900

Lake Michigan and River Cruises

Time: 2 Hour Minimum

Online Scheduling NOT available. Please Call Captain Eric to schedule a Lake/River Cruise. 

1-6 people — $150/hr

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

Book Your Trip:

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 (Please spray sunscreen before getting on the boat)
  • 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 no longer offer licenses on the boat due to DNR policy changes. 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

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.