Lake Erie gives up big fish

Posted on: September 21, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

Vernon Phillips of Plum Borough has long made it a mission to get new people interested in fishing.
This is what success looks like.
Recently, he took a small group to Lake Erie. The plan was to fish for steelhead and brown trout on a charter boat. The weather didn’t cooperate, though.
“We had a charter set up, but with the weather being unsafe for a boat we decided to fish from the shoreline,” Phillips said.
That paid off with some big fish.
Tiara Watson of Penn Hills landed her first-ever northern pike, and it was a dandy. It stretched 38 inches and weighed about 10 pounds, Phillips said.
Not to be outdone, Danielle Jackson of Pittsburgh’s North Side landed a 35-inch northern that weighed about 9 pounds, he added.
That they caught fish is a tribute to the time and effort put forward by Phillips and friends. Together, they operate the group 1 Cast Crew: Fishing is Our Thing, which can be found on Facebook here.
“My group has many people from all over the state and other parts of the country. My members have different skills in fishing. With the skills they have they are able to teach the youth and new adults to fishing,” Phillips said.
“I have taking people out fishing for 25 years. Many people in the group were invited by word of mouth.”
Kudos to the group. We hear all the time about how fishing – and hunting – are struggling to recruit and retain new people. This group is doing something about it.

Blog--9-21 Erie fish Tiara Watson
Tiara Watson of Penn Hills with her 38-inch northern pike.

Blog--9-21 Erie fish Danielle Jackson
Danielle Jackson of the North Side with a 35-inch northern.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.