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CGN SA Avenue de Rhodanie 17 1007 Lausanne Phone  +41 (0)84 881 18 48 cgn.ch

Boat cruising on Central Europe’s largest inland lake every which way. Passengers can embark and disembark on the Swiss as well as the French side of the lake.

The Belle Époque boats have been navigating Central Europe’s largest inland lake for 140 years and offer fantastic cruises between France and Switzerland. The views from the boat extend from harbours and castles (Chillon, Morges, Rolle, Yvoire among others) over vineyards (Lavaux UNESCO and La Côte) to the snow-covered summits of the Swiss and Savoyan Alps. The boat landings are starting points for many exploration activities like city tours (Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux, Vevey).

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Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland

Explore the beauty of Lake Geneva with our curated selection of the best boat tours and cruises. Whether you’re seeking breathtaking views or cultural insights, embark on unforgettable boat tours in Lake Geneva experiences. From scenic journeys past iconic landmarks to immersive experiences with multilingual guides, find your perfect adventure on the pristine waters of Lake Geneva.

Welcome to the breathtaking shores of Lake Geneva Boat Trips, where the serene waters beckon adventurers to embark on unforgettable boat tours and cruises. Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Switzerland, which offers a mesmerizing setting for exploration and relaxation alike.

Lake Geneva, also called Lac Léman, offers a variety of unforgettable experiences on its pristine waters. For a leisurely exploration, consider a scenic boat tour or cruise. Many companies operate on the lake, including the Lake Geneva Cruise Line, CGN Tours, and boats departing from Geneva. These tours offer a chance to soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes, from the snow-capped peaks of the Alps to the lush vineyards adorning the shores.

As one of the largest lakes in Western Europe, Lake Geneva boasts a rich tapestry of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and scenic wonders. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, lush vineyards, and charming lakeside towns, this magnificent body of water captivates visitors with its ethereal charm and timeless allure.

the jet deau fountain of geneva

Our journey begins amidst the elegance of Geneva, the cosmopolitan heart of Switzerland , where travelers can set sail on a variety of boat tours and cruises to uncover the hidden gems of Lake Geneva. From leisurely sightseeing cruises to thrilling excursions to historic landmarks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy on these captivating voyages.

Join us as we reveal the top 5 boat tours and cruises that showcase the splendor of Lake Geneva in all its glory. From the iconic Jet d’Eau fountain to the majestic Mont Blanc towering in the distance, each tour promises unparalleled views and unforgettable experiences that will leave you enchanted by the beauty of this magnificent destination. So, pack your bags and prepare to embark on an adventure of a lifetime as we explore Lake Geneva’s top boat tours and cruises .

1. Boat Tour In Lake Geneva: 50-Minute Lake Geneva Cruise

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 2

Some cruises are short affairs, lasting around 50 minutes, perfect for a quick escape from the city and a chance to admire landmarks like the Jet d’Eau fountain and the United Nations Office from a unique perspective. Other cruises extend for hours, taking you on a journey to charming towns and historical sites along the lake.

Embark on a captivating journey through Geneva aboard a scenic cruise on Lake Geneva . Marvel at the majestic Mont-Blanc mountain and the breathtaking Swiss Alps while soaking in fascinating insights about the area through your audio guide.

Enhance your experience by downloading the CGN Tours app, providing you with all the essential information right at your fingertips. This company is the largest public transportation provider on Lake Geneva Boat Tours, Switzerland. They offer a variety of regular boat services, as well as special event cruises. Cruise from Pierres du Niton to Pointe à la Bise , passing iconic landmarks like the renowned Jet d’Eau fountain and notable buildings such as the UN headquarters.

As you glide along, revel in the beauty of meticulously maintained gardens lining the lake’s shores and the enchanting flora and fauna surrounding you. Conclude your voyage back at the dock, completing an unforgettable exploration of Lake Geneva’s scenic splendour.

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 4

About this Activity

  • Free Cancellation : Enjoy the flexibility of cancelling up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later : Secure your spot without immediate payment, keeping your travel plans flexible.
  • Duration : 50 minutes
  • Audio Guide Included : Delve into the tour’s narration available in French, German, English, and Chinese through the provided audio guide.
  • Escape the city hustle with a serene 50-minute cruise on Lake Geneva.
  • Marvel at panoramic vistas of the lake and the majestic Swiss Alps.
  • Access a free app featuring an informative audio guide for an immersive experience.

Customer Reviews

  • Overall Rating : 4.3/5 based on 1910 reviews

Price : $21.06 USD per person

Ready to explore Lake Geneva’s Boat Ride wonders? Book your tour now!

2. Boat Tour In Lake Geneva: Scenic Lake Cruise with Snacks and Wine

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 6

Experience Geneva from a fresh angle aboard a scenic cruise. Glide across Lake Geneva Boat Rides and immerse yourself in Swiss beauty, with stunning views of the Alps and Mont Blanc . Meet your friendly crew outside the Fairmont Grand Hotel Geneva and hop aboard your boat.

Settle in as you depart from the shore and onto the lake. Sip on a glass of wine and unwind as you soak in the picturesque scenery. Pass by the United Nations Office and the Bain des Paquis before gazing up at the majestic Mont Blanc and the Alps.

  • Free Cancellation : Cancel up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later : Book your spot without immediate payment , keeping your travel plans flexible.
  • Duration : 1 hour
  • Driver : Available in French and English

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 8

  • Experience the serene tranquility of Lake Geneva Boat Tours as it gently laps against the shores.
  • Marvel at breathtaking vistas of Mont Blanc and the Alps mountain range.
  • Enjoy a smooth glass of wine and indulge in some snacks onboard the boat.
  • Catch sight of the United Nations Office and the Bain des Paquis from the water.
  • Overall Rating : 4.2/5 based on 523 reviews

Price : $32.15 USD per person

Reserve now & pay later to book your spot and pay nothing today.

3. Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 10

Embark on a journey through Geneva’s Old Town and international district with this guided tour. Witness iconic landmarks like Jet d’Eau, St. Pierre’s Cathedral, and the Flower Clock before indulging in a delightful boat cruise.

This tour combines a walking tour of Geneva’s Old Town with a relaxing cruise on Lake Geneva. The walking tour takes visitors past some of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as St. Pierre Cathedral and the Flower Clock. The cruise offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

This 3-hour city tour of Geneva begins with a bus ride to explore the city’s international quarters, where you’ll encounter notable institutions such as the UN, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO, and ILO. You’ll also visit main tourist attractions like the majestic Jet d’Eau fountain in Lake Geneva and the charming Flower Clock.

Experience Geneva’s rich history through a walking or mini train tour (depending on season, weather, and availability), delving deeper into the Old Town’s fascinating heritage.

Conclude your adventure with a relaxing 1-hour cruise on Lake Geneva.

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 12

  • Duration : 3 hours
  • Host or Greeter : Available in English and French
  • Explore Geneva’s Old Town on foot or by mini train (depending on availability).
  • Discover the international section of the city, including the United Nations Office.
  • Admire Lake Geneva’s iconic Jet d’Eau fountain on both land and water.
  • See the exquisite Flower Clock and explore St. Pierre’s Cathedral.
  • Overall Rating : 4.2/5 based on 280 reviews

Price : $94.23 USD per person

Don’t miss out! Reserve your place on our unforgettable cruise.

4. From Geneva: Swiss Riviera Tour

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 14

Experience the enchanting beauty of Leman Lake and the Swiss Riviera as you journey through the picturesque canton of Vaud. Pass by the charming towns of Vevey and Montreux, soaking in the breathtaking scenery along the way.

This tour offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself in the splendour of Lake Geneva (also known as Leman) while customizing the trip to suit your preferences. Hop on the coach in Geneva and travel through the scenic Vaud countryside, passing by Lausanne and making a stop at Lavaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its exceptional wine production. During the spring and summer seasons, you’ll even have the chance to visit a local vineyard and indulge in some delicious wine tasting.

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 16

Continuing your journey, you’ll arrive in Vevey where you’ll enjoy a comprehensive tour of the city, including notable landmarks like the Nestlé headquarters and the covered market. Take some free time to savor a leisurely lunch and explore Chaplin’s World, a captivating homage to the legendary Charlie Chaplin, where you can delve into the magic of cinema through sets inspired by his iconic films.

A popular option is the Swiss Riviera Tour, which combines a scenic coach ride with a boat cruise on Lake Geneva. This tour whisks you away to captivating towns like Vevey and Montreux, with the option to include a stop at the medieval Castle of Chillon. While there are no true river cruises on Lake Geneva Boat Trips, as it’s a landlocked lake, you can experience the tranquility of the lake and all its glory through various boat tours and cruises offered throughout the year.

If you’ve opted for the lake cruise, embark on an unforgettable voyage aboard an old steamer boat to the Castle of Chillon. Perched on the shores of Lake Geneva, this historic castle dates back to the 11th century and is one of Switzerland’s most visited attractions . Guided tours of the castle are available for those who choose this option, while others will be transported directly to the castle by bus.

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 18

Your final destination is Montreux, a glamorous resort town steeped in artistic history. Explore the streets that once welcomed legendary figures like Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald, BB King, and Ray Charles, and browse through upscale shops and landmarks synonymous with the renowned jazz festival.

  • Reserve Now & Pay Later : Book your spot without immediate payment , ensuring flexibility in your travel plans.
  • Duration : 8 – 10 hours
  • Live Tour Guide : Available in English
  • Savor a glass of wine in Lavaux, a UNESCO World Heritage Site .
  • Wander through the charming streets of Vevey.
  • Explore the famed town of Montreux and follow in the footsteps of music legends.
  • Enjoy a scenic lake cruise aboard an old steamboat (if option is selected).
  • Marvel at the historic Castle of Chillon.
  • Overall Rating : 4.4/5 based on 94 reviews

Price : $176.26 USD per person

Experience Lake Geneva like never before – book now!

5. Sirène Cruise on Lake Geneva

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 20

Embark on the Sirène cruise to explore a part of Lake Geneva , with a duration of 1 hour and an audio guide available in 5 languages on the boat.

This company offers a variety of cruises on Lake Geneva, including dinner cruises, lunch cruises, and sunset cruises. Their cruises offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains, and they are a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The departure point for the Sirène cruise is located opposite the Beau-Rivage hotel, with departures scheduled three times a day from Wednesday to Sunday. To ensure environmental sustainability, the company requires a minimum of 10 people for each departure.

During the cruise, you’ll sail past the famous Water Jet and along the shores where you can admire the beautiful properties of COLOGNY and PREGNY-Chambésy. On clear days, you’ll have the opportunity to catch sight of the majestic Mont-Blanc and the French Alps. The cruise also includes a journey into the Rade de Genève to view its iconic Protestant cathedral. Don’t miss out on the chance to enhance your experience with a Zakynthos island boat tour , adding an extra layer of excitement to your adventure.

Top 5 Boat Tours & Cruises in Lake Geneva, Switzerland 22

  • Live Tour Guide : Available in French, English, German, Spanish, and Italian
  • Audio Guide Included : Available in French, English, German, Spanish, and Italian
  • Relax for 1 hour on the stunning Lake Geneva , often regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.
  • Witness the enchanting mermaid of Lake Geneva.
  • Admire the splendid residences along the shores.
  • Enjoy the convenience of an audio guide available in 5 different languages.

These are just a few of the many boat tours and cruises that are available on Lake Geneva. With so many options to choose from, there is sure to be a tour that is perfect for everyone. When choosing a tour, be sure to consider your interests and budget. Most tours can be booked online or by phone.

No matter what your interests are, there is sure to be a Lake Geneva cruise or boat tour that is perfect for you. So come and experience the beauty of Lake Geneva for yourself!

Here are some additional tips for planning your Lake Geneva cruise or boat tour:

  • Book your tickets in advance, especially if you are traveling during peak season.
  • Be sure to dress for the weather. It can be cool on the lake, even in summer.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking on the dock and on the boat.
  • Bring sunscreen and a hat. The sun can be strong on the lake.
  • Bring your camera. You will want to capture all of the amazing views.

I hope this helps!

  • Overall Rating : 4.3/5 based on 11 reviews

Price : $16.62 USD per person

Frequently Asked Questions about Lake Geneva

What are the best tours in lake geneva.

  • Geneva: 50-Minute Lake Geneva Cruise
  • Geneva: Scenic Lake Cruise with Snacks and Wine
  • Geneva: Open-Top Sightseeing Bus Tour
  • From Montreux: 2-Hour Riviera Cruise
  • Geneva: 2-Hour Tour of International Quarters and Old Town

See all tours in Lake Geneva on GetYourGuide.

What are the best boat tours to do in Lake Geneva with kids?

  • Lausanne: 3-Hour Riviera and Lavaux Region Cruise
  • From Lausanne: Glacier 3000 Experience Tour
  • Switzerland: Private Skiing Day Tour for any level
  • Geneva: City Exploration Game and Tour on your Phone

See all family-friendly activities in Lake Geneva on GetYourGuide.

What are the best outdoor activities to do in Lake Geneva?

  • Lausanne: 2-Hour Lake Geneva Cruise Along Lavaux Vineyards
  • Geneva City Tour and Boat Cruise

See all outdoor activities in Lake Geneva on GetYourGuide.

What are the best indoor activities in Lake Geneva for rainy days?

  • Geneva: City Pass with 60 Activities
  • From Geneva: Swiss Riviera Tour

See all indoor activities in Lake Geneva on GetYourGuide.

What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Lake Geneva?

  • Geneva: Self-Guided Audio Tour
  • Geneva’s Time Capsule: A Historic Journey Through the City
  • Geneva to: Lausanne Olympic Museum, Boat trip & Evian Tour
  • Geneva: Private Walking Tour with a Local Guide

See all museums and exhibitions in Lake Geneva on GetYourGuide.

What are the must-see attractions in Lake Geneva?

  • Rochers de Naye
  • World Health Organization

See all must-see sights in Lake Geneva.

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Boat trips on Lake Geneva.

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Whether for an hour or for a whole day, cruises on Lake Geneva offer you a unique experience with plenty of relaxation and culinary delights.

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The boat trips, which are tailored to your needs, will take you around the beautiful landscapes which surround Lake Geneva.

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1. From cooling waters to the parks

2. from fondue to michelin, 3. from day trips to nights out.

Welcome to Geneva! As the official guide to Geneva, we warmly welcome you to our city that captures the heart with its one-of-a-kind blend of vibrant urbanity and peaceful natural beauty. Geneva invites you to fall in love with its rich history, cultural gems, vibrant dining scene and warm hospitality. Start your Geneva adventure now!

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Geneva welcomes summer and takes on the air of a unique urban resort. Find out how to enjoy summer in Geneva, for the sporty, the farniente specialists, the paddle boat aficionados and the aperitif lovers among you!

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Geneva in summer

Terraces, flip-flops and swimsuits, Geneva dons a summer dress…

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Starting point of this relaxing, marvellous walk: the Palais des Nations.

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Montreux & Lavaux cruise

The downhill vineyards of Lavaux dive from above into the beautiful water mirror of Lake Geneva, overlooking the Swiss and French lakesides, between Lausanne and Montreux. One of the great beauties of the planet, classified by Unesco. As for Montreux, the town is universally celebrated for her famous summer music festival

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Lake Geneva & Montreux

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CGN’s popular Lake Geneva boat cruises from Genève to Lausanne via Nyon and Yvoire on Lac Léman take just less than four hours.

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A pleasure boat trip from Genève to Lausanne is one of the most popular day-trip cruises on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The one-way cruise is just shorter than four hours and call en route at various stops including Yvoire and Nyon . Historic Belle Époque paddle steamers are the most pleasant way to cruise on Lac Léman with gourmet lunch and dinner (optional) served on mealtime cruises. Mt Blanc can be seen from various parts of the lake near Genève.

Cruising from Geneva to Lausanne

MS Lausanne in Lausanne

Genève is at the southwestern corner of the croissant-shaped Lake Geneva. Boats frequently depart from the city on circular sightseeing and lunch cruises or to nearby towns but the grandest cruise is the almost four-hour trip to Lausanne on the northernmost curve of Lac Léman. The boats turn around fairly fast on the return trip making it near impossible to do sightseeing in Lausanne or Geneva and return by boat on the same day. Return by train if planning to do sightseeing at the final destination.

The grand cruise from Geneva to Lausanne is possible twice daily in each direction during the summer season (late June to early September). During the spring (mid-April to late June) and autumn (early September to late October), the cruise is possible once daily on weekends in each direction with cruises turning at Nyon or Yvoire more frequently.

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Sailing Times from Geneva to Lausanne

Average sailing times on the Geneva to Lausanne route are approximately:

Chateau de Nyon

Boats do not stop at all ports on every cruise and sometimes boats may call at Nyon and Yvoire in reverse order.

Many further cruises follow the same route but terminate in Yvoire or Nyon – both towns very popular with day-trippers from the larger Lake Geneva cities. (A frequent ferry service links Nyon and Yvoire in 20 minutes.) In high summer, a direct service from Lausanne reaches Yvoire in just more than an hour.

Boat Landings in Geneva and Lausanne

Google Map CGN Boat landings in Geneva

In smaller towns, finding the landing jetty of CGN lake boats is simple but in Geneva, four different landing quays are used. The most important departure point for CGN boats from Geneva is Genève-Mont-Blanc – most cruises end or start from here.

However, a few cruises – notably lunch and dinner cruises – often depart from Genève-Jardin Anglais, which is on the opposite end of the lake across the Rhone River nearer to the old town. It is a flat but at least ten to fifteen minutes’ walk between the two stops.

La Suisse and Simplon Departing from Lausanne

Further CGN landings in Geneva are Genève-Pâquis near the Mt Blanc stop and Genève-Eaux-Vives outside the port area near the Baby Plage beach. Many, but not all, boats call here en route to and from the Jardin Anglais or Mt Blanc.

Boats stop in Lausanne-Ouchy – a lovely neighborhood and home to the Olympic Museum but quite a distance from downtown Lausanne and the train station. To reach central Lausanne, take the metro from Ouchy – the entrance is across the road from the boat landing. The metro is CHF3.70 well spent (steep but not as steep as the hills when walking) – or free if the train ticket has Mobilis Zone 11 included.

Tickets and Fares on Lake Geneva Pleasure Boat Cruises

Tickets for CGN boats can be bought online, at ticket windows or on the boat (but not on the ferry boats with a dark blue hull) – the fare is the same. (Note Swiss railway tickets must be bought before boarding trains!)

SS La Suisse

Sample one-way fares (First Class) on CGN boats are for example:

  • CHF45 (CHF62) – Geneva to Lausanne
  • CHF23 (CHF32) – Geneva to Nyon
  • CHF29 (CHF41) – Geneva to Yvoire
  • CHF37 (CHF52) – Lausanne to Yvoire

The specific routing can influence the price but not the type of boat making it worth scouring the timetables for when the historic Belle Époque paddle steamboats are cruising.

Same-day return on the boat is around 15% cheaper than two single tickets. On a Geneva-Lausanne return, it is better value to buy a day ticket – CHF64 (CHF90 in first class). The same goes for the sensible option of taking a further cruise from Lausanne towards the Lavaux, Vevey, Montreux, and Chateau de Chillon.

All standard Swiss transportation and Swiss Railways passes and discounts can be used on CGN boats. See Savings Deals on Lake Geneva Cruise Boats for more details.

A good savings option, which is essential if planning to do sightseeing at the end of the cruise, is to return by train. Trains connect Geneva and Lausanne around five times per hour in 33 to 48 minutes. The standard one-way fare is around CHF23 (CHF42 first-class) irrespective of the train used. Nyon is halfway between Geneva and Lausanne and also a very good town from where to take the train.

Train and boat tickets can be bought at the same time but the tickets are not interchangeable, i.e. the train ticket is not valid on the boat and v.v.

See also Ferry Boats and Pleasure Cruises from Lausanne on Lake Geneva for more cruising options on Lac Léman from Lausanne-Ouchy.

More on Lake Geneva Pleasure Boats and Cruises:

SS Montreux on Lac Leman

  • Pleasure Boats and Ferries on Lake Geneva
  • Lake Geneva Boat Cruises in Spring
  • Passenger Ferries on Lake Geneva
  • Book Cruises at GYG or at CGN
  • Passenger Ferries and Cruises from Lausanne to Evian and Thonon
  • Savings Tickets for CGN Lake Geneva Boat Cruises
  • Summer Lake Geneva Boat Excursions and Day Cruises
  • Spring & Autumn Cruises on Lake Geneva
  • Winter and Christmas Cruises on Lake Geneva
  • Pleasure Boat Excursions to Yvoire
  • See the Historic Paddle Steamers at the Parade Navale
  • New Year’s Eve Dinner Cruises on Lake Geneva

Home » Genève / Geneva » Passenger Boat Cruises Between Geneva and Lausanne

High school coach teaching the game of fishing at another level

Kelly macdonald utilizes a broad spectrum approach to teaching and coaching the bass fishing team at prairie ridge high school..

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Tyler Heavey holds his personal-best northern pike, caught on a crappie rod he made in Kelly MacDonald’s rod-building class.

Kelly MacDonald mentioned Tyler Heavey recently catching his personal best northern pike.

That’s not unusual for those vacationing in northern Wisconsin after school is out.

But the 38-inch pike came on a crappie rod Heavey built in MacDonald’s rod-building class, an offshoot of her role as the coach of the bass fishing team at Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake.

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Tyler Heavey of the rod-building class works intently on his crappie rod during the rod-building class at Prairie Ridge High School.

Then there’s Carter Haese and his dad, who built at least two other rods since the class.

“Dad was so awesome,” MacDonald said. “Carter was showing him some imperfections on the rod and his dad said, `That’s how you know it is homemade. You will hand that down to your kids.’ That was the best part.”

MacDonald’s an influencer of the right sort.

“I had an awesome in with kids in my classes who didn’t really love school but loved bass fishing,” MacDonald said.

The long-time cross-country and track coach took over coaching the bass team from John Pellikan, who coached Prairie Ridge to its only state appearance in 2017.

“I do love fishing and catching just about anything, but more importantly I love teaching kids how to fish,” emailed MacDonald, a physical education teacher who used to teach science. “That smile and excitement they have when they catch their first fish is just priceless!”

MacDonald is an anomaly. Bass fishing is an activity open to any student, but anglers, coaches and boat drivers are overwhelming male.

But fishing becomes MacDonald, who “grew up on Griswold Lake and loved fishing [her] whole life.”

During the solar eclipse, she played hooky with their daughter Kylie (who hates fishing) and went to Downstate Marshall in southeastern Illinois. In a little pond by where they watched the eclipse, MacDonald caught a memorable fish.

“On the seventh cast, a 7- pound [largemouth] bass, 22 inches, by far the biggest bass I’ve caught,” she said.

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Kelly MacDonald holds the 6-pound largemouth bass she caught at Downstate Marshall while there to view the solar eclipse.

Then she said, “I caught a 31-inch walleye while muskie fishing, I was sorta of excited because I thought I caught a little muskie.”

The guide on Eagle Lake in Canada was even more excited because for most a 31-inch walleye is the fish of a lifetime.

To give a glimpse of how MacDonald thinks, she said, “Most exciting is the 53-inch muskie my son [Cade] caught [on Eagle Lake], just a jumbo. We were hiding in a thunderstorm and the third cast he caught it.”

I learned of the rod-building class from her proud husband John MacDonald.

KellyMacDonaldrodbuildinggroup.jpg

The rod-building class at Prairie Ridge High School, which included the bass fishing team and others, organized by coach Kelly MacDonald.

“So I like to make things, I built a [cedar-strip] canoe and [tortured ply] kayak at home,” she said. “I heard of Mud Hole and called the guy.”

Mud Hole Rod Building & Tackle Crafting offered 50-percent off kits. She sent a note to the school paper for anyone to help. Darrell Cook, a lieutenant with the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department, offered to help.

“Oh my God, the rods looked awesome,” MacDonald said. “I am hoping to do this with maybe some other schools, it was so much fun. Some girls picked out the colors. It was really a great experience, the best thing I did.”

“Best thing in her career,” her husband chimed in from the background.

“It was a lot of work, took about three times longer than expected,” she said.

KellyMacDonaldfourworkingonrods.jpg

Matt Moritz, Jacob Lutton, Jonah Wolfgram and Carter Haese of the rod-building class at Prairie Ridge High School.

For $40, the rod-builders received a kit and helped pay for equipment to build the rods. Cook bought the dryer for the rods.

The kids built the equivalent of a mid-level St. Croix rod of about $150.

“If they took their time, it looked almost as good as rod as you go out and buy,” she said.

KellyMacDonaldtwomeasuring.jpg

Barrett Roberts and Trevor Sebastian working with a tape measure during the rod-building class at Prairie Ridge High School.

MacDonald also gave a glimpse into building a team for the love of fishing.

“The biggest problem is a lot of kids are in other sports, they are required to be there,” she said.

Not to mention, as the kids get older they also get jobs.

“Lots of freshman, they know nothing, catch their first fish and get really excited, then they get a job or in a sport and can’t come,” she said.

She has tried to have classes before or after school in such things as knot tying, different types of rigging and simply what is a bass and how to fish for them.

“This year I had 12 kids who showed up regularly: one senior, one junior, a couple of sophomores and the rest freshmen,” she said. “That is almost how it breaks down every year.”

She summed up, “So my goal is that I want to them to learn how to fish and have the confidence to go out on their own.”

KellyMacDonaldAnnaBorgsmallmouth.jpg

Anna Borg, who recently graduated Prairie Ridge, caught a 3.6-pound smallmouth bass on the senior XC/Track fishing trip to Geneva Lake with coach Kelly MacDonald.

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