2023 – 2024 Charter Fishing Information

Family Fishing aboard Chicagoland's Premier Fishing Charter.
Summer Fun For the Family

Chicagoland's Premier Fishing Charter

Welcome aboard Spendthrift Charters - Chicagoland's Premier Fishing Charter. Hello and Happy Holidays. With the holidays upon us, we'd like to thank all of our previous guests. From our family to yours, we hope that your holidays are great.  May the New Year bring you all health and prosperity. Did you know that a fishing charter makes a great family gift for the holidays or a birthday? Gift certificates are currently available. We will begin booking the 2024 season in January.

A Look Back at 2023

As Chicagoland's Premier Charter service... We took out over 760 guests.  As a result, we caught literally 1000's of fish among our captains and crew (guests). In 2023 we witnessed an increase in families fishing with us. At Spendthrift, we believe wholeheartedly in take a kid fishing programs. Also, the increase of woman in the sport-fishing arena is amazing. Our thoughts of the 2023 season as a whole... It was remarkable!!!

Spring coho fishing was exceptional from Waukegan Harbor. The coho were plentiful beginning day 1, which didn't offer many days to target brown trout. Along with the coho, we had nice lake trout, and king salmon mixed into many catches from early on. As the season moved along, we observed more catches of multiple king salmon, coho salmon, and steelhead than in recent years. The king salmon remained in the waters around our harbor from spring through mid-fall. This is a very positive sign for the Lake Michigan Fishery.

Another key point, come fall many of the silver fish (kings, coho, and steelhead) scattered for spawning.  Additionally, environmental changes moved the bait well offshore and the fish follow the feed. As a result, we often make a switch to more lake trout fishing late season.  Lake trout fishing was as good as spring coho fishing. Often the fish would come fast and we'd have multiple fish on at a time. This always makes for a memorable moment.

New Equipment

We are very happy to have partnered with and/or purchased from the following equipment manufactures.  Walking the Plank, Rapture Trolling Flies, Lake Michigan Angler, Shimano, VMC, Rapala, and Pure Fishing products.

What to Expect in 2024

To answer the big question... Yes, our rates will remain the same as 2023. Capt. Nick and Capt. Jerry will be back along with our mates that you've grown to know over the years. The boats are currently in storage, but come spring they receive a thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of wax. Our equipment will be ready for whatever conditions we need to adapt to. Fishing aboard Chicagoland's premier fishing charters will be awesome!

Fishing and Catching

As far as fishing, we'd like to believe that 2023 offered a prediction of what to expect in 2024. By May 5, the coho salmon will be in abundance if not sooner. We always catch some "Spring Kings", but we believe we will see greater numbers. The kings should stay around the harbor for most of the season. As we fish, we strategically set-up a multi-species spread. Because of this, we often catch multiple species and greater numbers of fish per trip.

The numbers of brown trout around our harbor have been down for the past several years. But the steelhead and kings have been more plentiful. We feel that's a fair trade. Lake Trout are the only indigenous species that we fish for. As a matter of fact, they are the only species we can consistently catch when we try. This is a result of the structures and habitat around our harbor. So, come late season when the non-indigenous species become elusive we must target the trout if we want to see rods bend.

We are realist and understand that although we are on the water daily as weather permits, it's still fishing! With that said, we'll be ready and waiting for you at the dock next season... Ready to take you fishing and most often catching. Please don't forget to renew your Illinois fishing licenses at the end of March. If you plan to come aboard, you may add a Lake Michigan Salmon Stamp at the time of renewal.

Until next season, take care - Capt. Nick

Welcome to Spendthrift Charters!

Frequently called the "Best Chicago Fishing Charters" in Chicagoland and proudly serving the Chicago and Waukegan, Illinois areas for over 40 years, Captain Jerry Nied has been chartering the finest of fishing trips. Spendthrift Charters is one of the largest fishing charter fishing vessels available on Lake Michigan today. We currently have three 39-ft Tiara ships to satisfy every fishing need, no matter the size of the group. Captain Jerry is a full time U.S. Coast Guard and licensed captain. Fishing charters are available 7 days a week. Call now for the next available Chicago fishing charter departure time!

Mail: 1091 West Dearborn Ln. Vernon Hills, IL. 60061

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