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I will soon be in posession of my new boat. A Stratos 386 XF. 18'6" deep V with a 99" beam. 150 four stroke on back. A definite step up from the modified jon boat with the 8 hp motor I use now. Will be looking to get out on Lake Michigan this year for perch and smallmouth. I live in Northbrook so I can get to Waukegan harbor or downtown. I don't know anything about the available launches for lake Michigan so I'm looking for a "Launches 101" course from you guys. Info on the available launches, how crowded, any special regulations, fees, etc.
Thanks in advance,
Doc
 

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Launches Waukegan and North Point Winthrop Harbor

I can only speak for Waukegan but here ya go 15.00 per launch or 125.00 for a season pass. The Perch are snapping right now straight out 55 fow with perch rigs and fatheads. The launch is open 24 hours and the weekends, get there early its a zoo. There are 8 launches total. Must have for Lake Michigan are 3 flares (current date) fire extinguisher, throwable life cushion and horn and always good to have a nice VHF radio to chat or report problems. Hopefully others will chime in if I missed anything. Wintrop Harbor @Northpoint launching is free. Enjoy the new boat ride congratulations.
GLGF
Fin
 

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I usually launch from Winthrop. It's probably the best set of ramps on Lake Michigan and their free. Excellent fish cleaning station (Waukegan's is nice too).

If you launch from Winthrop or go north from Waukegan watch the IL-WI state line closely if you don't have a WI license. The WI DNR likes to sit about a mile north of the line in their FAST boat and watch boats (on radar) cross the line from the south. Then they swope in and do a license check (they take credit cards on the water). If you don't have GPS that shows the line give it some berth. The IL-WI line is just north (about 1 block) of the Northpoint harbor entrance.
 

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THE CHICAGO HARBORS WILL COST YOU $20.00 THEY ARE FREE RIGHT NOW UNTIL MEMORIAL DAY AT LEAST DIVERSEY IS ,THEN THE GATE GOES UP. 5 AM IS THE EARLIEST IN AND 8PM IS THE LATEST AND YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE OUT BUY MIDNIGHT BUT THEY USUALLY DON'T BOTHER YOU. I USE THEM UNTIL THE GATE GOES UP AND ONLY WHEN WE WANT TO WATCH THE FIREWORKS. FOR 20 IN GAS I WILL MAKE THE TRECK TO NORTHPOINT THE FISHING IS BETTER
 

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i like the smallmouth fishing best in the chicago harbors...i launched from burnham last week (it was free, yes). its also close to some of my fave spots for smallies. my only beef is the launch ramps are super narrow, something that i have major trouble with lol. there are more reasons to launch from two of the chicago harbors as well................................
 

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Another spot to launch is at Tower Rd. The ramp is not the biggest, but you can launch a 18' there. From there it's a straight shot out to R4, one of the most popular places to fish for perch in the whole area.
 

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Tower road launch

Stupid question but when do they start feeing ya at tower road? Is it open game until memorial day? Got out with Dave one time and it was fast and furious Perch bite.
GLGF
Fin
 
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