Fish from shore or stream, bring your boat or hire a charter. Northwest Pennsylvania is one of the country’s greatest angling destinations and Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the surrounding creeks, streams, tributaries and ponds are the places to land your big catch! Marinas, boat launches and bait and tackle concessions dot Erie’s Bayfront. Lake Erie was recently ranked #3 out of the Top 100 Best Bass Lakes of the Decade by Bassmaster Magazine. Cast your line for diverse game fish species including steelhead, trout, muskies, walleye, pan fish, pike, bluegill, smallmouth and largemouth bass, salmon, catfish, perch and crappies. The best part about fishing in Erie PA? It’s available year-round! Fishing enthusiasts are presented with a variety of options in the spring. Steelhead is plentiful from late September to early May in Lake Erie tributaries and creeks. In April, pan fish and bass are found in smaller ponds, while pike and muskies are seen in Presque Isle Bay depending on the ice melt. April also brings the arrival of trout season plus the appearance of bass and walleye in Lake Erie. All of the above mentioned fish species are available in May with the exception of Steelhead. Smallmouth bass travel to Presque Isle Bay in May to spawn and June is heavy with trout, bluegill and inland pike. Plenty of options anytime for you to plan your Erie Fishing Fall-cation! Make it an overnight trip and fish for days!
Don’t have your own boat? No worries! Travel down the foot of State Street in downtown Erie and you will find a variety of charters boats ready to take you out on a fun fishing adventure. Here are some of our favorite charter boats:
- Buckets Fishing Charters
- GypsyLyn Fishing Charters
- Tight Lines Sport Fishing LLC.
- XTR Fishing Charters
Erie is also a prime destination for fishing tournaments! Anglers have traveled to Erie from around the country to compete in tournaments hosted by B.A.S.S. Nation, Kayak Anglers, Fishers of Men, The Bass Federation, Kayak Bass Fishing, American Bass Anglers and more.
Helpful Fish Bits
Make the most out of your fishing trip and check out these great links, helpful tips, weather and water conditions, boat plug-in information and where to chow down on a plate of freshly-caught fish. Plan ahead and see what’s biting in Erie PA!
- Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report by Darl Black, an outdoor writer who has appeared regularly in national and regional print publications for over 40 years.
- PA Fish & Boat Commission- Fishing Lake Erie & tributaries: http://www.fishandboat.com/Resource/Lakes/Pages/LakeErie.aspx
- Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission mobile app, click here.
- Lake Erie Tributary Fishing map
- Erie Extreme – Hosted by Dave Lefebre, one of the most successful Anglers in the history of FLW (Fishing League Worldwide)
- Fun Fact fishing sheet from our friends at the Erie Sports Commission - ESC FishingInfo sheet
- Bass fishing tackle, tips, lures, advice, techniques for beginners, click here.
Erie Restaurants that Serve Fresh-Caught Lake Erie Perch*
Hands-down (or is that fins down?) the most popular locally-sourced fish in our area is Lake Erie perch. Fried, baked or grilled, several of our local restaurants are serving up perch in a variety of ways.
- Bayfront Grille (inside the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel)
- Colony Pub & Grille
- The Cork 1794
- JRs on The Bay/Sloppy Duck Saloon
- Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro
- Rum Runners
- RumRunners Cove
- Shoreline Bar & Grille (inside the Courtyard Bayfront Hotel)
- Smugglers Wharf
- Syd’s Place
- Woody’s Backwater BARge & Grill
*Some restaurants only offer perch seasonally and do not feature it on their regular menu. Please check with the restaurant of your choice for details.
Charge your boat battery at any of the following locations (visit our Stay page for individual hotel contact info): Bayfront Inn, Ramada by Wyndham Bel-Aire Hotel, The Presque Isle Hotel, Courtyard Bayfront Marriott, Glass House Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express (Peach St.), Quality Inn & Suites Presque Isle, Riviera Motel, Sheraton Erie Bayfront, SpringHill Suites, Steelhead Inn, Sunset Motel, TownePlace Suites, Wingate by Wyndham.
All of the above mentioned partner fishing charters, restaurants and marinas are taking all the necessary precautions to ensure you have a safe experience. Always remember to wear your mask and practice social distancing.