Want to spend a day fishing the lake, but don't have a boat? Befriend a captain.
Chartering a fishing boat is like paying a pal, who happens to be a first-class angler, to use his or her gear, know-how, gas and vessel. They'll guide you to the best catch. That is, after all, how they stay afloat.
Capt. David Conant, for one, says you might trade sunlight for starlight. "If you're trophy hunting, you want to go at night," he says. "The moon lights up the bait, and that's an attractant for the big fish."
Conant's boat has reeled in walleye weighing in at more than 12 pounds on such expeditions.
But even if you're not concerned about catching the big one, chartering is a relaxing way to spend a day or even a special occasion.
"I have a father and daughter who will make this the fourth Father's Day in a row that they've gone fishing together on my boat," says Eastlake-based Capt. Robert Swiney.
Whatever your objective, consider the fish you'd like to lure: Expertise and prices vary by catch. Prepare, for example, to cast out extra if you're after steelhead or small-mouth bass.
Once you've found your navigator, know that most charters provide all equipment including poles, lures and nets. So all you need is a valid Ohio fishing license and a cooler for your catch.