On the Waters of Lake Superior: Charter Fishing and Cruises With Vista Fleet
Charter Fishing and Cruises in Duluth from Vista Fleet
The presence of these fish in the area is due in part to the St. Louis river, which drains into Lake Superior near Duluth. Lucky anglers can catch trophy-size specimens of all the above species in these waters.
Vista Fleet’s cruises and sightseeing tours may be famous, but it also offers chartered fishing trips. The Great Lakes are home to more than 170 species of fish, including lake and rainbow trout, coho and chinook salmon, sturgeon, walleye, yellow perch, bowfin, and rock and white bass. The Duluth area of western Lake Superior is especially known for:
- Lake trout. Average 2 to 3 pounds; some specimens reach 40+. Prefer cold water, will move deep to avoid increasing temperature. One of the largest lake trout on record, weighing in at 61 pounds, 8 ounces, was caught in Lake Superior in 1997.
- Coho (aka silver) salmon. Averaging about 1 pound, can weigh as much as 1.5 – 3 lbs. These salmon are most active in early July and prefer cooler temperatures.
- Chinook (aka king) salmon. Average 3-4 pounds but can get over 10 pounds. The run of Chinooks peaks in early July as well.
- Walleyes. Average 1 to 2 pounds, but can weigh more than 10. Found in shallow waters, moving deeper as temperatures rise. Most active at dawn and dusk and on overcast days. A record 17-pound, 8-ounce Walleye was caught in Lake Superior.
- Smallmouth bass. Average only 1 pound, but will fight like more. Keep to very shallow waters, but will go deeper to keep cool.
- Muskellunge (muskies). Average 15 pounds, but specimens weighing more than 70 pounds have been caught. Prefer shallow water, hiding near shore.
Duluth, Minnesota, is situated on one of the largest and most beautiful lakes in North America: Lake Superior. In fact, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, containing 10% of Earth’s total freshwater supply. Of all the Great Lakes, Lake Superior is the clearest and cleanest, with an average underwater visibility range of 27 feet.
Vista Fleet has been operating cruises, sightseeing tours, and charter fishing boats on the waters of Lake Superior for several years and is one of the most popular attractions in Duluth.
Vessels and Cruises
Vista Fleet has long been hosting cruises in Lake Superior and along the Duluth waterfront in two chartered boats: the Vista Queen and Vista Star. Vista Queen is the smaller sister vessel with a capacity for 50 guests. She is 16’ wide by 66’ long with one open air observation deck and a fully heated and air conditioned deck with full bar.
Vista Star is a full 92’ and has a 220 guest capacity without food or a 125 guest capacity on catered cruises. She has three decks, two covered and one open for observation, and each deck has its own bar.
Come aboard the Vista Queen for the Lake Superior Express Tour and see some of the beautiful sights Lake Superior has to offer—or enjoy delicious pizza and the Duluth waterfront on the Pizza Queen Cruise. The Vista Star will take passengers on a longer, more in-depth tour on the Duluth’s Waterfront Tour and on the full, 105-minute Grand Sightseeing Tour around Duluth and the Superior Harbor.
Vista Fleet also offers its two boats for private events: corporate events, weddings, school parties, or any other milestone event guests wish to celebrate. Corporate parties or events can charter either the Vista Queen or Vista Star for a cruise customized to their needs.
Vista Fleet offers a few options for school cruises. Simple sightseeing cruises around the Harbor with narration on Duluth’s history, the ecology of Lake Superior, and more are offered daily starting in May. Vista Fleet has two educational cruises that partner with other Duluth attractions: the Fish & Ships cruise includes a sightseeing tour aboard a Vista Fleet boat and then a self-guided trip to the Great Lakes Aquarium-—or your class can have its own party or prom aboard the Vista Star!
Vista Fleet offers several packages for spectacular weddings. Silver, Gold, and Platinum packages occur during regular dinner cruises, and the Diamond package charters the Vista Queen for three hours of just you and your guests. Vista Fleet also offers personalized wedding packages upon request.
Popularity and Expansions
Vista Fleet has been so popular lately that it has expanded its retail store and added new brunch and dinner cruises. Have Brunch on the Bay with the Duluth Grill aboard the Vista Star, and enjoy fresh fruit kabobs, homemade muffins and scones, bison stroganoff, organic garden salad, and more.
Bellisio’s caters two dinner cruises aboard the Vista Star. The Sunset Dinner cruise offers fresh Caesar salad, rosemary roasted potatoes, and a choice of chicken stuffed with wild rice or a 10-ounce sirloin steak. The fall-themed dinner cruise, Harvest Dinner, offers polenta-crusted pork loin with cranberry mostarda, seasonal vegetables, mixed baby greens, and more. During both dinner cruises, guests can enjoy beautiful music and the sights of Superior Harbor.