Imagine holding a king salmon so heavy you can barely lift it for a picture, only to hear the captain yell a new fish just took another trolling rod down. The guides of Captain Hook's Charter Fishing venture into Lake Michigan for such trophies, taking anglers out for perch fishing, sport fishing, and salmon mooching. Operating one of the state's largest charter fleets, the captains can take up to 40 perch fishers on a climate-controlled party boat, or accommodate smaller groups of 4–5 anglers on a 31-foot Chris-Craft boat, starting at $400. A FAQ page preps guests before going out, covering topics such as how to get a fishing license and what pattern suit is customary fishing attire.
Located just inland of Lake Michigan, St. Joseph River Canoe & Kayak Livery provides a portal for navigating the gentle lapping waters of the St. Joseph River. Staffers oversee a brand new fleet of kayaks and canoes for half- or full-day charter trips, guided tours, and to purchase. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend, the livery shares space with Fisherman's Wharf and Fisherman's Way Marina. The marina also offers 31 slips (nine of which are covered) for boaters to dock their vessel, as well as stainless-steel fish-cleaning stations and private showers for especially shy fish.
As conveyed through its name, Nomad Anglers stocks gear, equipment, and apparel for outdoors adventures both near and far. With a history that stretches back to 1989, the business has prepared anglers for all types of trips, and today, features such major brands as Orvis, Patagonia, and Simms. In addition to its wealth of products, Nomad also helps customers reel in education with fly-fishing classes, free seminars, and local fishing reports.
The Hex Shop's outdoor specialists equip customers with necessities and knowledge for reeling in river-dwelling trophies. During each four-hour fly-fishing class, instructors guide students along aquatic avenues while revealing techniques for reading water and analyzing environmental surroundings. Students also discover methods for rigging rods, tying leaders, and selecting flies to accommodate the finicky feeding habits of prized line tuggers. During fly-tying classes, students learn how to craft lures capable of outsmarting hungry hunters. A large collection of U.S. and European fly-fishing equipment includes Montana fly boxes ($25), Abel aluminum nippers ($50), and Patagonia Rio Gallegos Waders ($449), which double as dress pants for formal pool parties. With today's final option, professionals will stock fly-fishing fanatics' tackle boxes with all the rods, reels, supplies, and flies necessary for alluring fish or benevolently helping a fly learn to water-ski.
Since 1979, the namesake of Gary's Indiana Muskie Experience has navigated local lakes and waterways while helping anglers reel in trophy fish. By reading weather patterns and reflecting on wisdom gained through years as a water wizard, the fishing specialist sets out in search of the muskellunge, a deep-dwelling predator known to weigh up to 70 pounds. Gary carefully selects lures that represent the fishes' seasonal diet, finicky appetite, and general distaste for swashbuckling pirate hooks. He also equips each of his guests with rods and reels capable of withstanding the fish's well-known strength. Most expeditions take place on Webster Lake, Backwater Lake, The Barbee Chain, Lake Tippecanoe, James Lake, Oswego Lake, Loon Lake, and Upper Long Lake.
At Mill Creek Sport Center's six-lane indoor handgun range, guests practice their shooting skills by firing rental pistols. The center's other services, however, encourage patrons to revel in the outdoors. During winter, personnel sell parts and services for numerous makes and models of snowmobiles, as well as snow plows from Western and Meyer, which are kept in stock year-round just in case snowmen become immune to temperature change. When the snow thaws, Mill Creek's staff pair customers with jet skis and pontoon boats to take out on aquatic adventures along with an extensive stock of fishing tackle and live bait.