Off the Hook
For those who love to fish—and those who would love to try—Saugatuck/Douglas is a great place to cast a line. The blue waters of the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan are dense with King and Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Lake, and Brown Trout. Whether you’re towing your boat or needing expert help, check out all the ways you can enjoy a great day of fishing along the Art Coast.
The boat captains in Saugatuck/Douglas are some of the most experienced fishermen you’ll meet. Throw a few of the winningest salmon and trout tournament champs in the mix, and you have a recipe for a successful fishing excursion.
Best Chance Charter Fishing
There’s a reason this charter company is called “Best Chance.” With guidance from Dave Engel, Hunter Engel, and Zack Engel, who have over 40 years of experience, you’re sure to fill up the boat’s fish box. The star of the fleet is Best Chance Too, which has won more salmon fishing tournaments than any other boat on Lake Michigan. This boat is also Coast Guard licensed, DNR inspected, and outfitted with all the latest fishing equipment.
From families and friends to business colleagues, this charter company prides itself on creating exceptional and memorable experiences for all its guests. With the largest boat in the Saugatuck area, MIRYHA Charters provides a spacious fishing platform for large groups of up to six people. And with Captain Mike’s 22 years of experience leading excursions, you’re sure to land salmon and even trophy-sized lake trout. As with all the charters we recommend, the MIRYAHA is DNR inspected and meets all US Coast Guard Regulations.
Inshore Fishing Charters
Not ready for the big lake (or traveling with kiddos who are a little fearful?) Inshore Fishing Charters will take you on the waters leading directly into Lake Michigan on their modern, 20-foot Skeeter bass boat. Equipped with advanced electronics, including fishfinders, GPS, and a trolling motor, the boat includes spacious casting decks and comfortable seating. Captains Tommy and Todd are Coast Guard approved!
If you’re towing your own fishing boat down to the Saugatuck Douglas area, there are several spots where we recommend putting in. Hauling a larger vessel? Get in touch with one of the marinas on this list.
Schultz Park Boat Launch
At the tip of beautiful Schultz Park in Douglas, you’ll find a boat launch with updated docks, cement ramps, bathrooms, and ample parking. When you’re done fishing the Kalamazoo River, take advantage of the nearby picnic pavilion, playground, and dog park. Recommended for small-to-medium-sized boats.
Spear Street Boat Launch
At the end of Spear Street in downtown Saugatuck (near the intersection of Water Street), there is a simple yet functional hard surface ramp for small to medium-sized watercraft. Ida Red’s Cottage is nearby, so stop by for breakfast or lunch after your early morning fishing excursion!
Hackland DNR Boat Launch
This DNR-maintained, hard-surface boat launch on the Kalamazoo River is in Fennville, just a few miles from Schultz Park. With nearby parking and bathrooms, this is an easy place to launch a small-to-medium-sized boat. Once you’re done for the day, check out nearby New Richmond Bridge Park, with a historic swing bridge that spans the Kalamazoo River.
If you have what it takes to fish like a pro, sign up for the 2023 Big Lake Classic, Friday, August 10, 2023 – Sunday, August 12, 2023. This non-profit tournament offers $10,000 for the First Prize Pro Division and $4,000 for the First Prize Amateur Division. If you’re just a spectator, be sure to bring your cooler. After weigh-in, the tournament gives away the catch. Proceeds from the event go to the many environmental education programs the organization runs, including Salmon in the Classroom. As part of this great program, local school children raise salmon and release them in the spring, keeping the local fish population robust.