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How We Keep Our Rods From Getting Tangled

When fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan out of Chicago we have a little different fishing style that is unlike anywhere in the world. On a typical salmon fishing charter we will run between 10 and 16 rods at the same time depending on conditions. This is all trolling and the boat never stops. We are often asked how do we not get all the lines tangled. Now sometimes we do get tangles but for the most part tangles are rare. The way we reduce our tangles when salmon fishing is we stick to one fundemtal rule. All the lines are run behind the boat in a V pattern both vertically and horizontally. We do this by having many different tactics using planer boards, Dipsey Divers, and Down Riggers. It will all make sense when you are out on your Lake Michigan Fishing Charter.


With planer boards we run out anywhere from 20 to 150 yards of line out then attach a plastic board. The board works in such a way as to pull the line out far out to the side to keep it away from the other lines and the boat.

The Dipsey Divers stay close to the boat and run Deep. These are disks hooked to the pole and they not only pull the lure down but also far out to the side.

Finally the downriggers. These are a 12lb lead ball hooked to a heavy cable with a winch. We attach the line to the ball and down it goes. When the fish strikes the line is then released from the ball and its Fish On.

These are the primary ways we run our baits. Our Lake Michigan Boats require a Lot of open water to keep our lines away from other boats so we do not tangle with another salmon fishing boat. Fishing on a Chicago Fishing Charter we have a lot of open space and being we have a faster boat then the rest of the fleet we are often alone out where the fish are.

Book your Lake Michigan Fishing Charter with us. We not only are out there to fish but we spend some time explaining how it is done and what to expect. Our Fishing Charters are about much more then just boating some fish. Its about the fun exciting environment we create for our customers.

Captain Brian



Hot Fishing Last Year

Last July was just incredible fishing. Hooking up 60 times a day. A lot of good weather. Couldn’t have asked for more from our Chicago Fishing Charters. 



It May have been a Dark Day but it was around 85 degrees. So Much better then Winters. Lake Michigan fishing charter captains have a real hard time with the winter. You get so used to being on the water its terrible to have the boat on land and no rods in the water. You can only sort your fishing gear so many times….


Lake Michigan is Frozen

Well Lake Michigan is starting to freeze up. The Harbors are locked in tight. The count down begins until the ice moves out and the boats go back in the water. I’m hoping to be fishing some time in February but with all the cold weather might be March. Crossing my fingers. Either way I think next year is going to be Epic Fishing again fishing on the Charter Boats out of Chicago.


Christmas Gift Certificates for a Lake Michigan Fishing Charter

Christmas Time is here. What Better gift then a Lake Michigan fishing charter.

We have 2 locations for you to book a trip. Right in downtown Chicago at Burnham Harbor and in Waukegan Illinois at Waukegan Harbor.


You can book or buy a gift certificate here https://stormwarningcharters.com/book-online/



Chicago Fishing My First Salmon Fishing Boat

The first boat was a 19′ Triumph that we would run out of the Chicago Harbors. This boat was a great starter boat for salmon fishing. The Triumph was easy to trailer and with the back wide open was easy to setup a full spread of rods ideal for salmon fishing. I had 2 cannon downriggers to get down to the salmon. A basic Garmin Fish Finder that later got upgraded to a Furuno. The boat was fast and used Very little fuel which was good because I didn’t have a lot of money to fish all day every weekend. I took the Triumph 15 miles offshore many times and if the seas kicked up on Lake Michigan the boat did extremely well holding up to what Lake Michigan had to throw at it. I had made several rod holders including DIY Rod trees with Square Tubing for running lots of rods trolling for salmon. I typically went out alone because very few people liked to fish for salmon as much as I did.

What I learned from fishing from a small boat was how to open up the back to minimize tangles and how to make the most out of size. Also on most days the fish never cared how big your boat was. Now that I have the big Charter Boat fishing Lake Michigan isn’t all the different. I still setup the boat similar to a smaller boat but now the back of the boat is WIDE OPEN.  I can also fish in much worse conditions in the new boat because of the size and width makes it a tank so the boat in waves fishes more consistently. Either way no matter what size boat its just great to fish out of Chicago for Salmon and Trout.


Capt. Brian


2017 Spring and Summer Chicago Charter Fishing Report

The 2017 spring and summer fishing charters on lake Michigan was fantastic to say the least. Here is a fishing report looking back at the salmon and trout fishing this year.


This year the fishing charters in Chicago started pretty good right out of the gate. Started fishing in Indiana we had good number of coho salmon and the size of the coho salmon was very good as well. Not the best numbers of coho salmon as the 30 fish in 2 hours days never happened but still good numbers of coho salmon. The water on the south end of lake Michigan off Indiana and Chicago seemed to stay very clear so the warming was slow and then the coho salmon rather then the typical move up the coast from Indiana to Chicago and onto the north along shore instead moved out to deep water. We still did get the coho salmon in close but not like years past fishing in chicago. The lake trout fishing off Chicago however was really really good in the 50 to 80fow area. Mixed bag of some coho salmon and lake trout went on for a while. The Coho Salmon were biting on the typical coho rigs of red 00 luhr Jensen dodgers and peanut flys. Peanut fly color didn’t make a lot of difference this year for me fishing off Chicago. I did get a bit of a late start this year due to rigging all new electronics on Storm Warning. The new Raymarine electronics were awesome. Its always helpful when fishing Lake Michigan to have top of the line electronics.


Then Summer fishing hits off Chicago in May and Massive amounts of bait showed up. Waters were pretty warm. Almost too warm for the coho salmon but the coho salmon started to show up strait east of Chicago in 50 foot of water. Every day the salmon fishing off Chicago got better and better. Game on for the summer season. By June numbers and action was fantastic. Constant action fishing Lake Michigan most days. The Chicago charters produced huge coho and Lots of them. I lost a ton of gear due to the violent strikes from the coho salmon but man was it worth it. We were typically fishing at higher speeds around 3 miles per hour. We lost a TON of fish all summer. Catch ratio was under 50% many days which is very typical when you start to get into bigger stronger fish. The large coho salmon were just ripping the hooks right out of their mouths. Not much we can do about that but at least they were biting. Our Biggest coho Salmon for the year was 14 pounds which is huge for a coho salmon on lake Michigan and even more so caught fishing in Illinois and Chicago waters. Going into July the bait started to move a little further offshore in Chicago and the coho followed right along. I wasn’t alone in these catches. All the Chicago fishing charter boats were killing it. When they got out to 100fow east of Chicago not only where the coho still biting but now the steelhead showed up and were crushing the lures. Now steelhead is my favorite fish in the lake because they are a very strong fighting fish but also require the most skill to get into the boat due to their aerial jumps and high speed runs. Most of them were around 9lbs. We had so much fun fishing for the steelhead. By august the steelhead were still biting but the coho had slowed a bit. We were now fishing around 120 to 140fow. Low light the Kings were also hitting but no king action during the day. This went out throughout August but in August. The fish started to move a little north east of Evanston. Made a little further runs to get to the fish but our charter boat is fast so not a problem. That about sums up our summer.


This year was unbelievable. Lots of other ports in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana struggled to get fish and we had one of the best years in recent memory. No idea what makes fishing off Chicago so consistent but I’m not complaining. We have incredible Chicago skyline to view and year after year the most consistent fishing. I Can’t wait until next year. I really feel its going to be even better.


Tight Lines

Captain Brian.


The season is coming to a end. Still a few dates open.

We still have some dates open before the season ends. We stop fishing in October but we start right back up in November once the water has cooled enough for the great lake trout bite to turn on and that lasts all winter long.


Chicago Fishing Charters are still producing

The coho fishing has slowed but the Lake Trout fishing is picking back up. Also getting some bonus Browns.


Slick calm seas and Steelhead. Cant pick a better combo

The Steelhead were biting Far offshore Sunday. Waters were flat calm. Water looks almost fake. Great group and great fishing. Doesn’t get any better then this!!