A Great Trip to Fish Erie PA

Sunset Best Fishing Website in NY

A Perfect Destination to Fish Erie PA

Timing is everything.  A simple introduction through a mutual friend resulted in two worlds colliding – and an opportunity to experience an outdoor Mecca that previously had been unknown to me.  When my then-girlfriend Sandy suggested a day-trip to Presque Isle along Lake Erie in the western extreme of the Keystone State, the experience was better than I could ever have imagined.  In less than two hours from Buffalo, we encountered this 3,200 acre sandy peninsula that could better be compared to Assateague Island, the Outer Banks or St. Augustine, Florida (based upon my own personal experiences).

Beautiful Lake Erie

It started with first-rate accommodations at Lakeview On The Lake (www.LakeViewErie.com; 888-558-VIEW), a site rich in history that is tabbed as Erie’s only lakefront resort. Situated on the bluffs overlooking this Great Lake, we checked in just in time to experience one of the things this area is noted for – its spectacular sunsets. For the two of us, it was a magical time as we became better acquainted with our likes and interests. 

Creek Fishing in PA

Erie, PA and the surrounding water is also a first rate destination for sportfishing enthusiasts.  Captain Pete Alex of Erie runs a very professional “Vision Quest Sport Fishing” operation from spring to fall.  He will also guide in the streams when trout succumb to the natural urges from fall to spring. If you enjoy tributary fishing for trout, this is a great spot to whet a line.  To the west of Erie, Walnut Creek fishing tops the list. To the east, 20-Mile and 16-Mile creeks lead the way. Whatever the direction, there are ample opportunities to fish Erie PA. 

Lake Erie Fishing Charters

Alex has two specialties on the lake when customers come to him to fish Erie PA – walleye and steelhead trout.  I’ve had the pleasure of fishing with the master for targeting walleye and we limited out in short order by trolling spoons and worm harnesses in the trench and around the “mountain.” We also enjoyed reeling in a few acrobatic steelhead to get our hearts pumping.  The bass fishing can also be good around these parts so your list of available game fish is a long one and year-round to boot.

Fish Erie PA Through the Fall Months

“In August and September, we can combine walleye with steelhead for an exciting trip,” says Alex, who owns and operates a 37-foot Tiara and a 27-foot Tiara Pursuit. “Walleye action should remain great until the end of September and steelhead fishing should be very good offshore as well until we receive rain and winds.  I usually pull my big boat out at the end of October and the smaller boat on Thanksgiving weekend,” he added.

Things to do in Presque Isle PA

The next jaunt on our journey to fish Erie PA took us to Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” of sorts.  As we toured this pristine area, I was amazed that this outdoor jewel was so close to us – and relatively undiscovered by the masses.

We visited the day after Labor Day and we virtually had the place to ourselves. This national natural landmark offers up everything from hiking and biking to boating and fishing.  If you want to just relax and have a picnic on the beach and go swimming, go for it.  Its many unique habitats make it a birders paradise.  In fact, there is no other area this size in the state that possesses as many of the Keystone State’s endangered, threatened or rare species. There are more than enough things to do in Presque Isle PA to keep everyone busy. 

Tome Ridge Environmental Center

The gateway into the park is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (www.trecpi.org), a must see upon your arrival. This environmental state-of-the-art facility will help to educate and promote this natural wonder – complete with a 75-foot high observation tower.  

More Presque Isle Information

To learn more about the things to do in Presque Isle PA, check out www.pcntv.com/stateparks.html.  For more information on the park itself, check out http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/presqueisle.aspx. This link will help to provide any information you would need from boat launches to picnic areas. 

Great Lakes Seaway Trail

This is also the extreme western end of the 518-mile scenic driving route known as the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. While many know of this recreational byway in New York, not everyone realizes that this continues into Pennsylvania.  For more information on the Lake Erie Region of Pennsylvania, contact the VisitErie Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-524-ERIE or visit their website at www.visiterie.com. Wineries, walleye and water wonders abound – just a short cast from New York State and Lake Ontario.  It’s worth the trip!

Fish Erie PA for A Great Getaway!

And the story didn’t end there.  Sandy and I were married in August 2010, in part because of the magic of the area.  It will always be a special place. We’ll never know if it was the sunsets, the sand or the steelies … or a combination of all of the above! 

Original Article By Bill Hilts, Jr.

About The Author

Bill Hilts, Jr. is Niagara County Sportfishing Promotion person and Outdoor Sports Specialist for Niagara Tourism & Convention Corp.  He is currently president of Lake Ontario Sportfishing Council and past president of New York State Outdoor Writers’ Association (NYSOWA).  He is an active member of Outdoor Writers’ Association of America, Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, Professional Media Association, NYSOWA, and NRA.  E-mail:  BHiltsjr69@cs.com.

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