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Fishing in Erie

Erie County is one of the country’s best destinations for fishing! Lake Erie was recently ranked #3 out of the Top 100 Best Bass Lakes of the Decade by Bassmaster Magazine. The wide variety of waterways offer diverse game fish species including steelhead, trout, walleye, pike, bluegill, small and largemouth bass, and perch. 

Fishing Charters

Walk to the foot of State Street in Erie’s Bayfront District, and you’ll find a line of fishing charters docked and waiting to take you to the best spots on Lake Erie to hook your next big catch! Charters are suitable for anglers of any level, and sail out onto Lake Erie for group or private excursions. For the best walleye, perch, steelhead, and lake trout fishing charters, GypsyLyn Fishing Charters or Tight Lines Sport Fishing LLC are highly recommended. Most charters operate through October. 

In order to participate in a charter fishing excursion, you must have a Pennsylvania fishing license with a Lake Erie stamp. To learn more, click here

Steelhead fishing

The long-term stocking of steelhead into the Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie tributaries by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) has created an attraction for anglers not available elsewhere in the state. Visiting anglers target acrobatic steelhead in the streams during the annual spawning run between October and April, catching these hard-fighting game fish with flies, lures or live bait. For a detailed map of PFBC steelhead fishing stream access, click here.

Lake Erie Fishing Map (provided by

Erie County Fishing Reports:

FishingCharter7 9 2019 Gibbens v2
Bayfront Hotels Evening 009 May 17 2021 X3 Gibbens

Popular Fishing Locations

  • Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie  (3840 acres) supports a wide variety of fish species. Shoreline access to the water may be obtained from anywhere on Presque Isle State Park. City-side angling access is available at specific public fishing piers and docks. There are three boat ramps at Presque Isle State Park. Check out Misery Bay and Horseshoe pond on Presque Isle State Park for early ice fishing locations.
  • Eaton Reservoir (246 acres) affords ample shoreline fishing opportunities for panfish and pike. Gas powered boats are not permitted.
  • Lake Pleasant (60 acres) is a fragile natural lake that supports stocked trout, plus panfish and bass in the shallows. Shoreline access is limited and only paddle craft are permitted. There is also a boardwalk and floating dock that features the region’s only handicapped accessible kayak launch. The launch is equipped with handrails, a sliding bench and rollers, and is located on the western shore of the lake.
  • Lake LeBoeuf (70 acres) is a natural lake ringed with wetlands resulting in minimal shoreline access for fishing. No horsepower limit; however, the entire lake is “No Wake.” PFBC ramp available for boat anglers seeking bass, musky and crappies.
  • Edinboro Lake (240 acres) hosts boats with unlimited horsepower motors. Species of interest are bass, musky and panfish.
  • French Creek is perfect for canoeing or kayaking, with opportunities to catch smallmouth bass, walleye and muskellunge. The south branch of French Creek is stocked with trout each spring.
  • Stream Fishing becomes increasingly popular in Erie County with both the fall and spring steelhead runs. Cast a line in places like Elk Creek, Walnut Creek or Crooked Creek in west county, or Sixteen Mile and Twenty Mile Creeks in east county to catch a prize steelhead.

Pennsylvania Fishing License Information

A valid Pennsylvania fishing license is required of persons age 16 and over to fish or angle for any species of fish. The license must be upon your person and provided upon the request of an officer. A license is also needed to take fish bait or baitfish. Casting and/or retrieving whether by rod, reel and line, or by handline, for oneself or another person, requires a current license unless specifically exempted by law.

Learn more about getting a Pennsylvania fishing license here

Fishing for more? 

Hear from Erie's fishing experts below!

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649EE52C FFEA 4AAD 93B1 E723014BAE5F

GypsyLyn Fishing Charters

35 State Street
Erie , PA 16507

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Kite Beach June 2022 Gibbens WEB

Presque Isle State Park

Foot of Peninsula Drive
Erie, PA 16505

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Tightlines sportfishing custom baits

Tight Lines Sport Fishing LLC

Captain John E. Lampe Marina, Foot of Port Access Road
Erie, PA 16507

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