Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie

Here you can learn a little bit about Lake Erie, as well as what you should know before your bass fishing charter trip!

About Lake Erie

lake erie as seen from the shores of Presque Isle
Lake Erie from Presque Isle

Lake Erie is the fourth largest of the Great Lakes and is the shallowest with the maximum depth of 210 feet with the others reaching depths of more than 1500 feet. It is divided into the western, central and eastern basins. The Port of Erie is in a natural bay formed and protected by Presque Isle and is the hub of cargo shipping on the Great Lakes/Seaway system. Due to the international shipping industry the invasive zebra mussel has been introduced to the lakes from the ballast of ocean going vessels. Originally thought to be an ecological disaster the zebra mussel has served to clean the waters of Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes with their voracious filter feeding creating water visibility to 25 feet at times. This beautiful water of lake Erie is home to many species of game fish including smallmouth bass, walleye , yellow perch, musky, trout and salmon. The fish in the lake grow large and being plentiful, are responsible for a billion dollar recreational fishing industry.

About Smallmouth Bass Fishing Trips with Captain George

This girl can fish!

My fishing trips are geared toward catching the world class smallmouth bass that swim the waters of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay which is naturally created by the Presque Isle Peninsula . Often referred to as bronzebacks for their beautiful olive brown color, the smallmouth are built thick and strong with a broad tail and strong jaws. They thrive in the cool clear waters of the lake where they relate to underwater boulders, rock piles, gravel flats and other bottom structures. They feed mostly on the round goby–another invasive–along with emerald shiners, smelt and shad. Beginning at ice out, usually early April, millions of smallies begin to migrate into the shallows of the lake and Presque Isle Bay to spawn. From this time of year thru early July they are easily accessible, very aggressive and willing to bite artificial lures. They put up an amazing battle when hooked on rod and reel often times leaping several feet out of the water. Pound for pound they are arguably the strongest fresh water game fish. The Summer months bring deeper fishing sometimes up to 50+ feet, then again in the Fall the fish move shallower and put on a feeding binge in preparation for the coming winter.

What to Expect

Folks can expect to have a great day with a patient, friendly and knowledgeable Guide and to learn some new fishing techniques. Most people catch the biggest smallmouths of their lives often breaking their personal best a few times throughout the day. The fish average 3 3/4lbs. with many over 4 and 5 lbs. Some up to 7lbs. are caught and the lake record is over 8 lbs. Quite often we catch 30 or more fish in the prime time of May and June. After mid-July the numbers usually decrease but some very large fish are caught in deeper water. Then in Fall, usually after Labor Day, the numbers pick up and the fishing can be incredible into late October and early November. Occasionally we catch a few other bonus fish such as walleye, yellow perch or drum since they inhabit the same locales. We will cast blade baits, jerkbaits, crankbaits, tubes, ned rigs and a variety of plastic baits on a drop shot rig. Sometimes we will drift fish and other times we will lock on a spot and cast to it. Most of the techniques are easy to learn regardless of your skill or experience level and are taught to the clients by me. I try to keep it user friendly so no one struggles.

Learn more about your Captain.


We will be fishing out of a 2016 21ft. Ranger bass boat powered by a Mercury 250 H.P. Optimax Pro XS and Lowrance electronics with side and structure scan. The boat is equipped with all the required safety gear and has been Coast Guard inspected. An on-board built-in cooler is for your use to store snacks and drinks. You will be provided top of the line fishing gear. I use all Enigma fishing rods paired with Shimano and Penn reels in both left and right hand spinning or baitcasters. Top brand name line, hooks, lures and baits like Berkley, Gambler, Yammamoto, Luckycraft, Rapala and Eagle Claw Trokar are the standard.

Booking a Trip

A $75 deposit will be required to hold your date. The balance is due at the ramp after the trip, gratuity is appreciated but optional, payments can be made by credit card or cash. Cancellation should be made 72 hours in advance. I will contact you 12 to 24 hours in advance of the trip to touch base and discuss any of your concerns and meeting time.

Meeting Place

Lake Erie Bait & Tackle 2041, 317 Peninsula Dr. Erie, Pa. 16505

Meeting time will be adjusted to time of year based on sunrise but generally not later than 7am unless it is an afternoon trip. Pick up at hotel can be arranged if you‘re staying close by.

Fishing License Requirement

(It is suggested that you purchase in advance.) EVERYONE 16 and over must have a Resident or Non-resident Penna. Fishing license with a Lake Erie stamp. One day, 3 day and yearly licenses are available online at the PA. FISH & BOAT COMMISION website thru their “ Outdoor Store”. If you purchase the 1 day license the Erie stamp is included for residents and non-residents alike. ALL OTHER LICENSES REQUIRE THE ADDITIONAL PURCHASE OF AN ERIE STAMP.

What to Bring

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Rain gear
  • Warm clothing
  • Snacks and drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages are permitted in limited amounts
  • No glass containers please

Hotel Accommodations

  • Clarion Inn Hotel 2800 W. 8TH St. Erie , PA.16505 814-833-1116
  • Cobblestone Inn 701 W.Bayfront Pkwy Erie, PA. 16507 814-455-1010
  • Sheraton Erie Bayfront 55 W. Bay Dr. Erie ,PA. 16507 814-454-2005
  • QualityInn & Suites 8040-A Perry Hwy. Erie , PA. 16509 814-864-4911
  • Comfort Inn 3041 W. 12TH St. Erie , PA.16505 814-835-4200


  • Joe Roots Grill 2826 W. 8TH St. Erie PA. 16505
  • Serafini’s Italian Rest. 2642 W. 12TH St. Erie , PA. 16505
  • Syd’s Place 2992 W. Lake Rd. Erie , PA. 16505
  • Torero’s Mexican Rest. 1940 Douglas Dr. Erie Pa. 16509

About Erie Pa. / Attractions

For after the fishing, for the non-fishing family members or to make a vacation out of your visit to Erie, Pa, there are many things to experience besides the fishing in Erie and the surrounding area.

Presque Isle State Park is visited by 4.5 million people per year. It has 13 miles of guarded sand beaches on the lake side and has boat tours and sightseeing on the bay side. There are also hiking trails, bike rental, boat and canoe rentals. You can experience the many miles of tranquil lagoons by kayak or canoe, and it’s also a great place for bird watching.

The Bayfront has water front restaurants and bars it also has a maritime museum with Tall Ship rides on the restored ships from the War of 1812 or climb Bicentennial Tower to see the lake and peninsula from above. The city is home to a minor league baseball team the Erie Seawolves and minor league hockey, the Erie Otters. A few miles to the East is wine country with many vineyards and wineries to experience in the historic town of Northeast, PA.

  • Presque State Park 301 Peninsula Dr. Erie PA. 16505
  • Erie Maritime Museum 150 E. Front St. #100 Erie Pa. 16507
  • Erie Zoo 2710, 423 W. 38TH St. Erie , Pa. 16508
  • Bicentennial Tower 1 State St. Erie, Pa. 16507
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino 8199 Perry Hwy, Erie PA. 16509
  • Mazza Vineyards & Winery 11815 E. Lake Rd. Northeast PA. 16428