Ice Fishing on Presque Isle Bay

Presque Isle Bay, Erie, Pennsylvania, United States

  • Activities:

    Fishing, Photography, Snowshoeing

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Winter

Adult Beverages
Beach
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Groups
Lake
Scenic

This isle provides a sheltered bay perfect for ice fishing. Take a short drive from Cleveland, Pittsburgh, or Buffalo and walk less than a half mile to your fishing hole.

If you love ice fishing, you know that waiting until late January can be agonizing. Thankfully, Lake Erie is the most shallow of the Great Lakes, and Presque Island creates the perfect sized bay, for late December ice.

From I-90, exit 18 is State Route 832. Head north as the road becomes Peninsula Dr. which runs all the way out into Presque Isle State Park. The road will split in the park and become a one-way road that traces the southern shoreline. Pick any one of the numerous parking spots, and you're only a few hundred feet from prime ice fishing.

The park usually posts bulletins about the depth of ice in the bay. Typically, the shallower lagoons are thicker. If you don't know the thickness, and there isn't anyone around to tell you, simply check using your auger and gauge. The average depth of the bay is 20 feet, so the ice can get to be a good thickness mid-winter.

Pick your spot on the ice, and setup your gear. If you arrive early in the morning, the winds won't be too bad unless a storm is coming in. This is the best time to see a Lake Erie winter sunrise. For a few minutes, the sun makes an appearance between the ice and the clouds that sets the entire horizon on fire. It's quite a sight to see while you wait for a bite on the line. If you have a shelter, enjoy a cold Yuengling, as it's legal to drink inside or close to an Ice Fishing Shanty.

It is common to catch Perch, Walleye, or Northern Pike. The eastern end of the bay with Misery Bay and Horseshoe Pond, offer the safest and best places to fish. The truly lucky can land a Steelhead from here!

When you're done you can drop by Erie, PA to visit UPick6. They're open everyday starting at noon, which makes it a perfect place to stop and exaggerate your fishing stories with a wide range of brews on tap!

Pack List

  • Winter clothing
  • PFD
  • Boots
  • Short ice fishing rod and reel
  • Live minnows
  • Frabill Outpost Ice Fishing Shelter
  • Auger
  • Wise Outdoors Hunting Seat
  • Utility Sled
  • Sunglasses
  • 6-Pack of Yuengling
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