Don’t forget the cooler. 
Occasionally a group will arrive at Captain Marc Bottone’s charter fishing boat without one.
“Some people show up with low expectation just looking for a great day on the water. They don’t expect to catch anything. But then we catch 20 huge walleye, and they don’t have a way to get the fish home,” says Bottone, owner of My Bonnie Charters, launching from Lorain and Olcott, New York. “Other people show up in the morning and ask how quickly we are going to meet our limit. I explain that is not always the case. There are somethings I can’t control, like the weather.”
Having realistic expectations is the key to having a successful outing, says Bottone, who began his business in 2005 and is also a full-time policeman. His watercraft, My Bonnie II, is a new 28-foot Carolina Classic fitted with the latest electronics and safety equipment, plus an enclosed restroom. The boat legally carries six anglers, but he prefers five, which he says makes it more comfortable for everyone.
Charter clients first should decide what kind of fishing they want to do (perch? walleye?) because often that will determine the charter service they choose. Some charters specialize in certain areas or fishing opportunities.   
Bottone also urges potential clients to know the rules of any charter before leaving the dock. Always ask if personal rods and reels can be used, if fish cleaning is available, whether food and drink can be brought aboard and if there is a surcharge for bait. Thoroughly understand the policy for refunds and cancellations before signing a contract.
“And if you think you may be seasick or don’t have much experience on the water, take a full motion sickness tablet the night before,” Bottone says. “Then take another half in the morning. That gives it time to get into your system, but you won’t be so sleepy you miss the fun.” » 485 California Ave., Lorain, 440-242-1904, 

Try It: Baked Perch 
(Courtesy of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives)

1 pound perch fillets
2 tablespoons Italian-style 
      bread crumbs
1 tsp parsley
1½ cups Parmesan cheese
½ stick melted butter
cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray baking pan with cooking spray. Create layers of fillets on the bottom of the pan, covering it entirely.
2. Mix bread crumbs, parsley and cheese for the topping.
3. With a basting brush, spread melted butter on top of fish. Then cover all the fillets with the topping.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, 
depending on size of fillets. Fish are done when white and flaky — test with a fork. Serves two.