SHOWTIME CHARTERS

Enjoy successful sport fishing in beautiful Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City.

  • Cam & Johnny were both knowledgeable, very friendly & fun! we all had a great afternoon on the lake!

    Kristi A. Avatar
    Kristi A.
    8/11/2019

    Had a great time fishing this morning with Cam and Jonny! We all got a catch. Thanks for a wonderful morning.

    Nichole K. Avatar
    Nichole K.
    7/02/2018

    Lots of fun and great fishing! Captain Cam and his first mate have us coming back every year.

    Christi P. Avatar
    Christi P.
    8/29/2019
  • Awesome fishing ! Fishing with 3 teens and they're now hooked. Captain Cam and mate Dan made the experience truly memorable. I'll definitely be back.

    Eric A. Avatar
    Eric A.
    8/27/2016

    Our time on the water was a exceptional experience.

    Michael D. Avatar
    Michael D.
    7/20/2017

    Cam and Johnny rock it. Always a blast!!!

    Scott B. Avatar
    Scott B.
    9/23/2019
  • Thanks Captain Cam and John for 2 great trips. The boys and I had a great time. It will definitely be Showtime next time we're in TC.

    Ryan F. Avatar
    Ryan F.
    9/07/2015

    5 star ratingFishing with Captain Cam and mate John was perfect. I have fished with Cam over many years and I always look forward to seeing him and having him put us on fish. Gorgeous morning and three salmon in the box, 22, 18 and 18 pounds. Can't go wrong if you want to fish West Grand Traverse Bay with an experienced and intelligent captain. Boat is roomy and always very clean. Equipment is always first rate. No boat ramps to deal with as the Showtime is ready to go from its dock location. Dr. Tom …

    Dr. T.
    9/01/2019

    5 star ratingWe met Captain Cam and First Mate John at 6:00 am for our family's fishing trip. It was a wonderful, clean boat. Cam and John did a wonderful job with the kids in our family. My nephew is now hooked on fishing.

    Daisy
    8/01/2019
  • Absolutely wonderful trip. Cam and Johnny know there business and we’re great in every aspect. They were on the fish and we got a nice cooler full. Will definitely book again. Thanks for wonderful Father’s Day!!

    Jim N. Avatar
    Jim N.
    6/17/2018

    Wow! What a great morning we had with Captain Cam and First mate, Johnny! All 4 of us caught our limit of lake trout within 3 hours. Thanks for making day 3 of our vacation so memorable.

    Rose M. Avatar
    Rose M.
    8/29/2017

    This is the 2nd time fishing with Cam and Johnny and it was spectacular. Can always count on them for great fishing and stories to entertain you. The very best!!!!!

    Deb B. Avatar
    Deb B.
    9/08/2018
  • It was a great time made sure we had fun looking forward to go back next year.

    Timothy S. Avatar
    Timothy S.
    8/10/2015

    Unforgettable experience! My entire family loved it from 6yrs to 40! Cam's extensive knowledge of the bay area, coupled with his obvious passion for people made it a one of a kind experience you wont find anywhere else. Cam and Johnny make a great father and son team that will be sure to make your day enjoyable!

    Brian W. Avatar
    Brian W.
    7/19/2017

    Expert and great captain

    Rick N. Avatar
    Rick N.
    6/12/2019
  • Spent the morning fishing with the family Captain Cam and Johnny knew exactly where to go and what to use to put fish in the boat. this is the 2nd yr in a row we spent the day fishing with these guys and I see more to come. Take the time off book a trip you will not regret it. Thank again guys we will see you next year.

    Head O. Avatar
    Head O.
    8/18/2018

    5 star ratingWe met Captain Cam and his first mate John at 5 pm we promptly went out to our fishing spots and got right to fishing. Captain Cam made us feel like family, and John was so helpful when reeling in the trout we caught. We were out for 4 hours and got some great action on the rods. We are looking forward to going back when the Salmon run in September. The trip only holds 6 people so we had a great group and our hosts were just wonderful. I would highly recommend Cam and John as your go-to Charter while in Traverse City. Can't wait to go back!

    James M.
    8/30/2018

    5 star ratingThis sailing excursion made our trip to the Leelanau Peninsula. Captain Dave was entertaining and essentially gave us a personalized cruise. He is a fun guy and we learned a lot about the bay and about the boat. He is a very experienced captain and I would go out with him again in a heartbeat. Our daughter is in the military and really needed the break from her demanding position and this was the highlight of our week with her. Well done! We will be back! …

    LaBechtel
    11/01/2020
  • 5 star ratingThis sailing excursion made our trip to the Leelanau Peninsula. Captain Dave was entertaining and essentially gave us a personalized cruise. He is a fun guy and we learned a lot about the bay and about the boat. He is a very experienced captain and I would go out with him again in a heartbeat. Our daughter is in the military and really needed the break from her demanding position and this was the highlight of our week with her. Well done! We will be back!

    LaBechtel
    11/22/2020

    This was my first charter experience and it was awesome! You couldn't ask for more with all of their knowledge and equipment. The boat was super clean. The captain and first mate are top notch! If you get a chance or want to set up a charter.....give Captain Cam a call! You won't be disappointed. COHO!!!!!!

    Craig M. Avatar
    Craig M.
    9/17/2019

    This was our 12th year fishing with Cam. What a beautiful night out on the water, catching 4 lake trout wasn't bad either! Even caught a 20 pounder!
    I would highly recommend them - Showtime is the best!

    Jennifer M. Avatar
    Jennifer M.
    8/14/2017
  • Sam was a very good guide and VERY intelligent. Would fish with him again 10/10. Nice boat too!

    Chloe J. Avatar
    Chloe J.
    9/10/2019

    Did a six hour fishing trip today it was awesome the crew is knowledgeable helpful and very friendly We all had a great time and caught a lot of big fish today looking forward to my next trip down

    Mike M. Avatar
    Mike M.
    6/18/2020

    We booked last minute and they were able to accommodate! We had such a great time! We learned to fish and my son got to steer the boat! He said it was the best day of his life! The boat was so nice and clean. We would do it again! Captain Cam and Johnny were so helpful! A great experience and worth the money!

    Van P. Avatar
    Van P.
    7/01/2019
  • 5 star ratingFishing with Captain Cam and mate John was perfect. I have fished with Cam over many years and I always look forward to seeing him and having him put us on fish.
    Gorgeous morning and three salmon in the box, 22, 18 and 18 pounds. Can't go wrong if you want to fish West Grand Traverse Bay with an experienced and intelligent captain. Boat is roomy and always very clean. Equipment is always first rate. No boat ramps to deal with as the Showtime is ready to go from its dock location.
    Dr. Tom

    ploughshares
    9/09/2019

    Super awesome trip! Captain Cam knew right where the fish were! First mate Johnny was fantastic as well. Book these guys and you won't be disappointed.

    Brent H. Avatar
    Brent H.
    8/09/2016

    Captain Cam and First Mate John are exceptional! Had an awesome time. Maxed out on our fish. They did a wonderful job finding the fish, and very good at helping land them!

    I would highly recommend you take a trip with these guys!

    Rhonda P. Avatar
    Rhonda P.
    9/05/2019

Charter Fishing Cost

Up to 6 Fishermen $600

40 Years of Lake Michigan Experience
Morning or Afternoon Trips
Large Boat with Cabin
Twin 454 Inboard Engines
Room to Move About
On Board Restroom Facility
Computer Fish Finding
All Tackle Provided
Experienced First Mate
Catch Cleaned & Bagged

Meet the Captain & Owner

For 40 years Cam Garst has captained Great Lakes fishing charters. He has not only developed a unique sense of how to find the trophy fish, he has also honed the ability to make the charter fishing experience memorable no matter what the fishing conditions are like. His experience with the sometimes tricky Lake Michigan waters creates a safe and exciting fishing adventure.

Captain Garst started Showtime Charters in 1982 with a 27′ Chris Craft boat. A year later he quit his job in newspaper management to turn his fishing passion into his full-time occupation. Since then Cam has directed the growth of his company to become Traverse City’s most successful charter boat operation.

You’ll see him at the helm of his 31′ Tiara fishing craft. His long list of repeat clients is a testament to the adventures experienced at the hands of Captain Garst.

“Every trip is fun and exciting,” says Garst. “The clients are different, the weather changes and the catch varies. I get to watch an eight-year old land his first ever fish, then get excited as older couples just enjoy the pleasure of fishing this magnificent Great Lake. It’s a thrill I’ll never take for granted,” Garst adds.

First Mate Johnny & Junior Captain Greyson

Johnny Barlow comes to us from the South.  You’ll hear it in his twang! He spent his youth fishing the lakes in Northern GA, and the Gulf Coast in Panama City Florida.  As a young man, Johnny started working for a large printing company, International Paper.  With tenacity and grit, Johnny put in 23+ years at International Paper, leaving as a successful Project Manager. Northern Michigan was calling Johnny’s wife Megan, home.  It just so happens that Megan, is Captain Cam’s daughter!   They made the move, in tow with their son Greyson, the Junior Captain. Johnny quickly became the missing link on the Showtime, and joined the team as the First Mate.  Family is always first.  One day, Johnny will pilot the Showtime, keeping her in the family.  Who knows, maybe even Greyson will be promoted to THE Captain!

From Captain Cam:  It’s exciting for me to have my son-in-law,  Johnny, aboard the Showtime, as her First Mate.  Having a knowledgeable angler as the First Mate always make the charter fishing experience better for all. It’s special to me, when my guest anglers can see and feel the great duo Johnny and I have become.  And even sweeter knowing he will one day navigate these waters as the Captain. I know these waters like the back of my hand.  It gives me great pride to pass this on to Johnny.  My best trout spots, the different banks, and deep drop offs.  Johnny is thirsty to learn, and very teachable.

Johnny is also a great teacher.  He is wonderful with my young anglers.  Putting a young boy on his first trout or salmon is his specialty!  I know everyone who boards the Showtime will enjoy having Johnny as part of this team, as much as I do.  Maybe even Greyson one day!

Frequently Asked Questions

Alcohol?
Beer is fine, however liquor is discouraged.
Why should we fish with Showtime?
I get asked this question sometimes, so let me answer it here. I have been fishing West Bay since 1978, professionally since 1982. We have over 80% repeat clients, some for over 20 years. Fishing professionally is all we do, we know where the active schools of fish are because we are out there nearly every day. When you fish with Showtime you will find our boats are clean and meticulously maintained, our equipment is top shelf, and you will always fish with Cam. We do not hire part time captains. You will always fish with the owner.

When we have completed our fishing for the day and returned to the marina, we will take your catch to our private cleaning station. After some pictures, your catch is cleaned, rinsed with fresh water and put in freezer bags. Your filets are never rinsed with nasty marina water. We all know what the ducks and geese do in the marina water!

West Grand Traverse Bay is not only beautiful, but very protected. It is extremely rare for these waters to be rough. Big waves can ruin a fishing trip!

Do I need a fishing license?

Yes, but they are very inexpensive.  You will need to purchase one for everyone over the age of 17.  You must have at least a 24-hour license prior to fishing with Showtime.  Licenses are available through the Michigan DNR website and cost $10 for one day or $26 for the year.  Click here to purchase a license.

What should we bring?
I always tell my anglers to bring whatever they want to eat, drink, or wear! You will want to dress for the weather, dress in layers. Wear soft soled, clean shoes and don’t forget sun screen and sun glasses. You will need a cooler to transport your fillets. Your captain and mate will clean your catch free of charge.
Leaving the dock.
You need to be on time, especially for morning trips during Salmon season. The very best times for our Salmon are dawn and dusk.
Do I need to leave a deposit to hold a charter?
I routinely take a credit card number to hold a date for a charter. This guarantees your group the boat for that date. The card is NOT charged except for a no show. Charters can be cancelled within 1 week with no charge.
How do I pay for the trip?
Payment for a charter is expected after the fish are cleaned. Although we are able to accept most credit cards, Venmo, checks or cash is the preferred method of payment.

Contact us Online to Book a Charter!

Find Showtime

Showtime Charters is easy to find as we are located on the West side of West Grand Traverse Bay, only 2 miles from downtown Traverse city.

GPS : N 44°47.419′ W 85°38.119′

12935 S. West Bay Shore Dr. 49684

From the intersection of M72 West & M22 North, drive North on M22 for 1 mile. On the right you will see the Centerpointe office building. This is a 4 story brown building right at the marina. You can park in the main parking lot on the upper level of the office building. Stairway to the marina level is in the SE corner of the parking lot.

Please do not park in the lower level.

As you look toward the water you will notice a large flag pole (taller than the building), the Showtime is 100 yards straight east in slip 17.

Centerpoint Building