If you find yourself way up north near the shores of Lake Erie, consider jumping on a charter. Although the shallowest among the Great Lakes, Lake Erie presents some of the best smallmouth bass and yellow perch fishing. But it doesn’t stop there. Lake Erie is a beloved body of water, well-known for its trophy-sized walleye and steelheads.

Although, this lake only averages 62 feet throughout its entirety; it’s vast. Albeit, you can see the shoreline of Canada around Buffalo. It is the second smallest of the Great Lakes by volume. And although, you can see the shores of Canada in some places, if you squinted you could not see the other side of Lake Erie at Toledo. Furthermore, at 241 miles wide, the best fishing comes by boat. Rest assured, if you don’t have access to your own, here is a list of the best charters found on Lake Erie.

1. Jim Hanley’s Fishing Charters – Angola, New York

smallmouth bass

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A Greater Buffalo Hall of Fame Inductee and former host of Jim Hanley’s Northeast Outdoors on the Outdoor Channel, you can bet that you are getting the best bang for your buck with this charter. With a wealth of knowledge, garnered from 35 years of fishing, Jim Hanley’s Charters offer trophy fishing experience with each changing season. The trophy packages that span from June to September start at $575 for a party of three and increase with each additional patron. As for the regular season, prices start at $525. Captain Jim Hanley is revered for snatching up smallmouth bass, with an average of 30 to 50 being caught in one day. No, that’s not an exaggeration. Alternatively, he targets walleye and muskies in the fall.

2. Two Time Charters – Dunkirk, New York

Captain John utilizes an array of methods to ensure that guests walk away within their catch limits. Depending on the weather, the best fishing from Dunkirk starts about 15 minutes away. Once out on the open water, the boat will begin trolling with downriggers, planer boards, slide divers, and dipsy divers. It isn’t unusual to have anywhere between four and 11 lines in the water at a given time. More so, Two Time Charters specializes in targeting walleye. Normally, charter guests reel in monster walleye is just a way of life upon this vessel. And, can range from eight to 10 pounds. When it comes to packages; prices are based on parties ranging from one to four guests and will run $470.

3. Rough House Charters – Erie, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking to target yellow perch, steelhead, or lake trout, look no further than Rough House Charters. The charter leaves out of the East Canal Basin and runs on a 30-foot Baha Cruiser 299 Sports Fisherman with 330 HP. In the presence of Captain Andy Platko, anglers will have the chance to jump up at a dipping rod from a trolling pass. Packages vary on the target species, with perch packages running about $600 and smallmouth packages being $650 for parties up to five. As for game fishing packages, a six-hour charter targeting lake trout, walleye, and steelhead will cost $700 for a full day.

4. Lucky Duck Charters—Vermilion, Ohio

Cleveland skyline

Image credits: DJ Johnson via Unsplash

Found just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, is Lucky Duck Charters. Spanning from April to November, Captain Rick Comstock takes guests on a walleye expedition utilizing techniques such as drift fishing and trolling. There is only one package available for $720 which is a full-day or eight-hour trip. Just don’t forget to bring a cooler to take home your catch.

5. Sundance Lake Erie Fishing Charter – Marblehead, Ohio

With over 30 years of fishing experience, you can say Captain Bob Brown Jr. might know a thing or two about landing fishing on Lake Erie. Located just outside Sandusky, Ohio, this charter runs on a 32-foot Century “Sundance” that is powered by two 250 HP motors. Packages vary from the type of fishing, tournament, or target species. With prices available upon request. But, some examples of these packages are full-day walleye fishing, fly-fishing excursions, and combination bass and perch fishing. Moreover, the Sundance is equipped with a two-bedroom condo and bathroom and offers lodging with prior notice.

6. Talon Charters – Monroe, Michigan

skyline of Detroit

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Easily accessible by the I-75, Talon Charters is based an hour from Detroit, Michigan. Captain Rich offers a charter that is catered to anglers of all ages. With more than 30 years of experience on both Lake Erie and Lake Michigan, he specializes in targeting walleye and perch. As for packages, for a party of up to four, walleye fishing will cost about $520 for a five-hour trip. Whereas, for a party of up to six between September and October, can target perch for $600. On an additional note, Talon Charters participates in the Michigan Catch and Cook Program, where a portion of your catch can be cooked at a local restaurant.

The Last Word

These listed charters are only a small glimpse into the broad variety of charters available on Lake Erie. Once you’ve done your research and have one booked, don’t be fooled. There is some planning to do before you step foot on a vessel. It is important to note that fishing licenses need to be purchased in advance, and are your responsibility. Once, completed, you’re ready for your charters and a relaxing but productive day out on the water. Just don’t forget your cooler to take home your catch.