Asked Questions

Contact Captain Paul @ (517) 749-8944 or submit your reservation request via email


*Please note dates are not guaranteed until you receive a confirmation from us.

We accept cash, Venmo and personal checks, please see our Payments page for details.   


Regarding tips, our captain and crew work hard to provide the best experience possible. A 15%-20% gratuity on the full value of the charter is a customary practice on private charter boats, and is entirely optional, at your discretion, and very appreciated .

In compliance with the U.S. Coast Guard Regulations, we are licensed & insured to carry a MAXIMUM of 7 passengers (including crew). Your group can consist of anywhere from 1-6 people, however there are times when the captain will encourage smaller groups. 

If you would like us to help you organize multiple boats for a larger group, please let us know in advance. 

Safety is our #1 priority, and all weather-related decisions are at the sole discretion of the captain. If the captain cancels a charter, we will issue a full refund, or offer the option to reschedule.

  • A season or one-day Michigan fishing license for each person over 17 years old.
  • Food/beverages for the day – adult beverages are permitted, please no glass. 
  • Clothing to match potential weather changes, layering is best.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, raingear.
  • Seasickness remedy: Dramamine, pressure bracelets, or ear patches (RX only-work best) and gingersnap cookies. 
  • Extra cooler to transport your catch home (not necessary to bring the cooler for your fish onboard). 

Yes, we fillet and package the catch, all you need is a cooler and ice to transport.

Children are welcome. We can accommodate up to two children under the age of 8, adult supervision is required at all times. Since you know your child best and what they have patience for, we leave it up to you to decide if they are ready for a charter. 


Per U.S. Coast Guard regulations, all children under the age of 8 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket while on board (sorry, no exceptions). We provide life jackets, but they are bulky and can be uncomfortable, so we suggest bringing your own if you have one. Under the age of 17, do not require a fishing license with a licensed adult. 


Some suggestions we can offer, bring food and drinks, a travel pillow and blanket for a nap and things to occupy them when fishing is slow.


Seasickness is more common than you might think. If you have gotten seasick before or are not sure if you are susceptible, please come prepared with a plan. 


Seasickness remedy ideas: Dramamine, pressure bracelets, ear patches (available by RX-work best), or gingersnap cookies. 


If someone gets seasick, it is generally up to the group whether or not the charter will continue. However, if someone vomits continuously or can’t hold down liquids for a prolonged period of time, the captain retains the right to make the call. In all cases of trips shortened because of seasickness, customers are still responsible to pay for the entire charter.

Your trip includes fishing gear, tackle, live bait, fish filleting and packaging.

Yes, even knowledgeable fishermen can learn from taking a charter. The bonus of using a fishing guide is that you are ensuring a safe outing. We are familiar with the bodies of water we fish in and we work with other captains to locate fish and share information. Being in the right place at the right time is an important part of fishing.  We have also invested in the latest trolling gear, tackle and GPS and fish locating equipment. When you add that to our captain’s years of experience, knowledge about fish locations, tackle to use, and techniques to employ, the probability of catching fish increase greatly. 

Before Dawn Charter’s will only cancel a trip due to unavoidable circumstances, such as weather or boat/mechanical problems. Safety is our #1 priority, and all weather-related decisions are at the sole discretion of the captain. 


If the captain determines it is necessary to cancel a trip, a full refund will be issued, or you have the option to reschedule within the calendar year, and any payments made will be applied. 


Deposits are required for all trips and non-refundable for customer cancelled trips.

We do not continue to fish after catching our limit because we believe in protecting the fishery of the lakes and rivers for years to come. We understand some people throw fish back to try for bigger, however research shows that many fish thrown back will not survive. 

We are mindful of the way we treat the fish and believe in protecting them so they will be around to enjoy for years to come. We hope you can appreciate and support this practice with us.  

All persons age 17 and older are required to secure a season or one-day Michigan fishing license. If additional licenses are necessary for your trip, the captain will discuss it with you.

Alcohol is permitted, but no drugs. Even though marijuana is legal in Michigan it is not allowed on the boat, per U.S. Coast Guard’s Zero Tolerance Policy.


We expect all members of the group will drink responsibly. No glass containers please. 


Smoking is permitted, but we ask that you keep it to a minimum and exercise extreme caution due to the close quarters, wind, waves, and constant activity. Please be mindful of wind direction to avoid burns. 

Our promise is that we provide our customers with the best possible chance at a successful fishing trip by preparing well before and working hard during the trip, unfortunately we cannot make guarantees.

Their are bathrooms at the launch, but we do not have one on our boat. We have a 5 gallon bucket on hand in the event of an emergency.  

Per the U.S. Coast Guard Zero-Tolerance Policy, the Captain is required to contact authorities if illegal substances, which includes marijuana (medical and recreational), are found onboard the vessel. 

Discovery of the presence and/or use of illicit substances, explosives, fireworks, and/or firearms will immediately terminate the charter with forfeiture of all trip fees.  


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