Fishing Charters in Grand Haven, MI (Best Season & Times)

Booking fishing charters in Grand Haven, MI, along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan, is a very popular activity as it’s among the most popular fishing destinations you can find. Grand Haven, MI features several active charter ports on Lake Michigan that’ll satisfy any angler looking for an awesome excursion.

Whether you choose one of the highly-rated Grand Haven fishing charters or go fishing on your own, it’s important to keep in mind that your fishing success depends on knowing the season, the right time to fish, the right spots, and the right bait. The fish species you’ll be angling for, include some of the most fun to catch and release or save for dinner.

Fish SpeciesBest Time to Fish in Grand Haven, Michigan
King SalmonJuly to August
SteelheadMay to June
Yellow PerchApril to May
Coho SalmonJune to October
Smallmouth bassApril to May
Lake TroutMay to June

Aside from the beautiful views and the sandy beaches in Grand Haven, it is also packed with activities, like visiting the Chinook Pier, that you and your family can do. Fishing has to be one of the most prevalent activities on Lake Michigan, given that the lake is one of the most productive freshwater fisheries.

catching fish fishing charters grand haven mi

Grand Haven Michigan Fishing Season

The best thing about the world-class fishing in Grand Haven is that you can catch different fish species year-round. Some fish are available during Summer while others during the other seasons. If you want a specific type of fish, you need to know what date, time, and temperature you will find it.

The Grand Haven Area page from Visit Grand Haven suggests that Spring is the best time to catch a salmon or steelhead. That has to do with the warmer temperatures of the water, making the lake conducive for different fish species. Here is how different seasons affect fishing and the available species in Grand Haven.


Summer is the warmest season in Grand Haven, with temperatures ranging from 58°F to 82°F throughout the season. The water in Lake Michigan is also warm, reaching between 51°F to 74°F. 

The warm weather is good for fishing as the fish are active. However, you will find the fish deep inside the lake, where the water is much cooler. Fishing around June will get you fish like salmon and rainbow trout.

In Summer, the fish will actively feed when the water is cool in the morning hours. You can use power lines and small silver spoons to fish during the summer season. It is, therefore, best to start your fishing trips early in the morning during the warmer months of Summer.


The temperatures during Spring are moderate, meaning that they are neither too cold nor too warm like in Summer. Those temperatures improve fishing, and now anglers can catch a broader range of fish in Lake Michigan. 

The perfect time to fish during spring is between April and May. There is a possibility of coming across fish species like yellow perch, brown trout, walleye, coho salmon, and lake trout. 

Early mornings to midday make up the best time to go fishing in Grand heaven and during the Spring period. If you want the salmon, you will have to get one of the fishing charters, grand haven mi, to take you to the deeper waters. 


The good thing about winter fishing in Lake Michigan is that it does not freeze completely. That makes it possible to do some ice fishing in the ports and harbors. Go out to fish between sunrise and midday to get the best fishing experience during winter.

Also, ensure you are fishing in shallow waters because that is where you are likely to find the fish. The steelhead is the fish species you could catch in Lake Michigan during the extremely cold season. 

Temperatures can go as low as 18°F during winter in Grand Haven. You may want to consider using fishing charters to have an incredible and safe fishing experience in Grand Haven. Target the afternoon or midday trips during winter because the water is warm and the fish are active.


You are likely to catch brown trout, salmon, and smallmouth bass fish species during Fall. The water temperatures vary from 44°F to 69°F in Fall, and you can find the fish in shallow waters. 

The best time to make a catch during Fall is between the early mornings and the afternoons. There is a high chance of going home with a salmon or steelhead in the Fall. 

However, you need to position yourself in the right spots to get your trophy-class fish. Experienced fishing charters, grand haven mi will guide you to the right spots and make your fishing experience memorable. 

pier at grand haven mi

Grand Haven Michigan Fish Species

King Salmon

The most common types of salmon in Grand Haven are coho salmon and chinook salmon. The best times to catch a salmon are in late spring and summer. Salmon thrives in the cool water during the warmer seasons, where the temperatures are in the 50s. 

With the right fishing charters, you can catch coho or chinook salmon anytime during the two seasons. Some charter services will help you clean your catch and let you keep it. Salmon is so delicious, and eating fish that you caught makes it even more delicious. If you’re fishing on your own, consider one of the best trolling rods for salmon fishing.

Brown Trout

It is easy to come across trout in Grand Haven, especially during the late spring season and early summer. Trout grow bigger than other common fish types, are characterized by different colors and textures, tend to live longer, and make for an exhilarating catch. They make an exciting fishing experience and you will find the fish almost 300 feet deep into the water.

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch is prevalent during winter because it goes to warmer waters once the season kicks in. Therefore, you can fish in harbours and ports and get access to this beautiful fish species. The fish travel in large schools, making it easy to catch many of them in a single spot. 

Even though winter makes for a good time to catch yellow perch, this type of fish is available all around the year. July to September is the best time for pier anglers to catch yellow perch.

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass is another fish species you can catch all around the year. However, the best time to make a killing is between May and July. The fish dwell in rocky areas near bridges or piers.


Steelhead fish species are exciting to fish because of their size, speed, and jumps. You will find the fish in the same places as chinook salmon. The best time to catch a steelhead is during Spring or Fall. Anglers using shrimp can do near shore fishing for steelhead in the summer. However, those using spawn bags should fish in the fall or spring months.

catching steelhead on charter in grand haven mi

Recommended Fishing Charters in Grand Haven, Michigan

The Port of Grand Haven in Michigan has many fishing charters all around the lakefront that are among the best in the region and around the Great Lakes. The charter you pick depends on the type of fishing you want to do and what each charter offers. In west Michigan, you can fish for a variety of species on some of the largest charter boats. A trout charter or a salmon fishing charter is among the most popular in the area. You can also choose to take a sunset cruise or a simple boat cruise with a local guide.

A great fishing experience is highly dependent on choosing the right Grand Haven fishing charter with an experienced captain. A captain who knows their way around the lake will know the best spots and times for different fish species. Below are some of the recommended fishing charters in Grand Haven, Michigan. Keep in mind that your fishing license will be included with your charter fishing trip. If you fish on your own, however, you’ll need to go through the Michigan DNR for a license.

Recommended Fishing ChartersLocation
On The Fly ChartersSpring Lake, MI
Sea Flea Charters LLCGrand Haven, MI
Angler One Charters – Grand HavenGrand Haven, MI
Last Call Sportfishing ChartersGrand Haven, MI
Hooked Up ChartersSpring Lake, MI
Hot Spot ChartersGrand Haven, MI 
Big Weenie ChartersGrand Haven, MI
Catch-A-Bunch Charters LLCGrand Haven, MI
On The Line ChartersGrand Haven, MI

Best Time of Day to Fish in Grand Haven, Michigan

Mornings are the best times of day to fish because of the cool waters. That is also when the fish are looking for food, which pushes them closer to the shore, making them easy to catch. However, fishing in the morning is only ideal in the warm seasons like Summer. The fish are not so active in the morning during extremely cold seasons.

Also, you should be able to fish when the temperature is conducive for you, which means extreme heat or cold will not make your experience as exciting as it should be. You can go fishing in the evening or afternoons, depending on the season and the type of fish you are targeting.

Best Fishing Spots in Grand Haven, Michigan

Grand Haven Pier

The launch site on Harbor Island gives you access to both Lake Michigan and Grand River, which are excellent spots for fishing. You can enjoy shore fishing on the pier in the Grand Haven State Park. The river is on the north side of the park while the lake is west.

Muskegon State Park

Muskegon State Park has two fishing piers, one at Snug Harbor and the other one along the channel walkway. The park is located on the shorelines of Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake, making it an ideal place for fishing. 

Lake Michigan fishing charters have identified this park as a top spot for fishing whether you are in Grand Haven or the neighboring places. The beautiful sceneries and the sandy beaches make the whole experience memorable.

Myers Lake Park

Myers Lake Park has access to a free public beach and other facilities like playgrounds and places to go on a picnic. Additionally, it makes an excellent spot for fishing with different fish species throughout the year. 

You can go fishing with your family or alone and enjoy using the available fishing charters in Grand Haven MI to help you make the experience worthwhile. The captain will guide you and your team on the best ways to get the most out of your fishing experience at this park.

Grose Park

Grose Park has a fishing dock where you can come with your family and catch several fish species. The park has other convenient amenities, making it a great place to go fishing. Charters in the area will be happy to take you around and give you a great time fishing with your family.

Silver Lake State Park

The fish you are likely to catch here include walleye, bass, and panfish. Boaters and anglers can enjoy different types of fishing, including ice fishing during winter. Silver Lake State Park is located along the shores of Lake Michigan with a ton of activities that your family or friends can do alongside fishing. 

Once you book the suitable fishing charters, grand haven mi, everything else will fall into place. Booking the afternoon trips with the charter captains lets you enjoy the sunset as you wind up your family fishing trip in the park.

Newaygo State Park

Newaygo overlooks the Hardy Dam Pond and has some of Michigan’s best spots for fishing. You can catch a lot of panfish in this area and other fish species like bass and walleye. 

Your luck mainly depends on the season you visit the fishing grounds and the charter you pick to guide you through the activity. Do your due diligence to know which time is favorable for certain fish species and go fishing knowing what you want to achieve.

Holland State Park

The Holland State Park gives access to both shore and boat fishing. You can get charter services for that or decide to go shore fishing on the pier near the entrance. The boating access gives way to both Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. You have so many options to achieve a great fishing experience with excellent charter services at your disposal.

catching trout on charter in grand haven mi

Booking Guides and Charters in Grand Haven Michigan

Charters make fishing much more manageable and enjoyable because the captains have enough experience around the fishing areas. However, many factors to consider when booking fishing charters in Grand Haven, MI. 

One of the factors is the type of fish you want to catch. You need to know the time that the fish you want are available. You also need to consider the availability of charters. In the favorable months for fishing, like the Spring months, the charters will be extremely busy. 

You have to book in advance to avoid missing the chance to fish with the best fishing charters, in Grand Haven, MI. The busiest seasons in the Grand Haven area are between April and June. If you plan to go for a fishing trip these months, you need to plan ahead.

Available Booking Times

Morning Bookings

Fishing in the morning is very easy and enjoyable in Grand Haven because of the cool waters in Lake Michigan. The sun is also not as hot as later in the day, meaning that anglers can comfortably fish without the discomfort of excess heat. 

When booking fishing charters in Grand Haven in the summer, mornings tend to be the best times to fish. The fish are also actively looking for food in the morning, making it easy to make a significant catch.

Midday Bookings

Midday fishing charters and bookings in Grand Haven, MI are the best during colder months. That is because fish activity increases as the water heats up. The mornings are pretty cold, and therefore there is very little fish activity. Midday bookings may not be ideal during Summer because of the excess heat of the midday sun. You should know the time of the year it is before making a booking to avoid booking at the wrong time.

Afternoon Bookings

The only downside to afternoon bookings is that you will have less time to fish than if you booked an earlier charter. Otherwise, afternoon fishing is ideal throughout the seasons. During cold seasons, the afternoon has warmer temperatures, increasing the fish activity and giving you a chance to catch the fish. 

On the other hand, warm seasons have cooler afternoons, increasing fish activity and creating a conducive environment for the anglers. Too much heat might be uncomfortable to be out fishing.

Full-Day Bookings

You can decide to have an entire day of fishing in Grand Haven with your family or even alone. Booking full-day charter services are definitely more expensive than other bookings, but it is worth it. Once you catch your trophy, you will not feel like the cost was that much. You also experience other perks that charter services provide, like meals while fishing.

Final Thoughts on Fishing in Grand Haven, Michigan

Grand Haven, Michigan, has some of the best fishing charters and services in Michigan. The charter captains know the best spots to catch different types of fish. Other than that, the charter services provide you with the world-class equipment you need for fishing, give you live bait, and help you clean and fillet your catch. Some of them even allow you to go home with your catch.

Another advantage of using fishing charters grand haven mi is that they have child-friendly tools and equipment that you can use to fish with your child. These fishing trips by charters provide a bonding moment for you and your child. 

The trips give you a tour around the beautiful water bodies in Grand Haven as you do something as fulfilling as fishing. The above list of recommended charters in Grand Haven should help you pick the exemplary charter service for your next fishing trip.

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