Although when thinking of fishing in Pennsylvania, most known for its woods. The lakes, rivers, and streams are all waterways with natural appeal. With over 85,000 miles of rivers and streams, 4,000 inland lakes and ponds covering 160,000 acres, and not let’s forget Lake Erie’s 470,000 acres. So there is abundant freshwater to be explored, and much of it is in state parks. Did you know there are 20 state forests and 101 state parks open to the best fishing?
Pennsylvania fishing supports a wide variety of popular fish species. The creeks and streams are home to brown trout, brook trout, and rainbow trout. The rivers host catfish, pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, bluegills, and yellow perch in lakes and ponds. What does this mean? There’s plenty of PA fishing, so I don’t need to go elsewhere.
Where to go
With endless streams, creeks, and lakes across the state, it’s hard to find a place where you can’t fish. To find the best Pennsylvania fishing and perfect trip more straightforwardly, we recommend using the search bar above or reading the choices.
Top Rated PA Destinations
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5 Best Places to Fish in Pennsylvania
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Top Fish Species in Pennsylvania
Maybe you grew up in the area and had a speedboat, and jet skis but now older you would like to fish it, that’s where we can help!
Lake Wallenpaupack is a 5,700-acre lake located between Wayne and Pike County in the Northeastern part of fishing Pennsylvania. The lake is more elongated than more expansive, with a total length of 13 miles. The lake has many rural areas, only accessible by powerboat. Unlike many lakes in PA, Lake Wallenpaupack has no speed limit or horsepower rating restrictions.
Because this lake is many used for pleasure boating, the weekends and summer traffic can be excessive. Larger pontoons, jet skis, and speedboats are active, so stay on the right side of the buoys. There are several areas to lunch, some big, some small if you can avoid the big boats on weekends.
The lake is 60 feet deep in places and has many underwater points and islands to focus on for fishing. The more preventive areas do have seasonal vegetation, but the lake is clear of grass.
Your focus should be on smallmouth and largemouth bass, but they do stock the lake with striped bass, Wall-eye, and brown trout fishery.
It slowly becomes one of PA’s best smallmouth bass and trout streams; Oil Creek has anglers exploring the creek’s tributaries that are flooded with wild fish that make Oil Creek their home. Oil Creek gets its name from being the world’s first commercial oil well. Now named, the Oil Creek Valley is the site of Oil Creek State Park.
It is wedged between Titusville and Oil City, a valley of deep hollows, steep hillsides, and wetlands. The Oil Creek State Parks access provides the best beautiful fishing pools and is a big part of Pennsylvania fishing resources.
Some may argue the Susquehanna River is the top fishing spot in all of Pennsylvania. The largest river in PA on the East Coast connects to flowing water from upstate New York and the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. It’s said to be over 440 mi long and documented as the longest river on the east coast of the US and the 16th longest in the United States.
The river is non-commercially navigable, providing much less traffic use. It is also known as one of the top smallmouth rivers in the country and recognized for its shallow water, with flooded pools filled with great Catfish, Walleye, flathead catfish, and smaller panfish.
Mansfield university visitors are host to a secret smallmouth lake just down the road from campus. The lake consists of deep offshore structures in stumps, humps, and plenty of shallow covers, which allows fishermen to catch smallmouth in many ways!
Using moving baits, swimbaits, and Carolina rigs, there is plenty of smallmouths up to 4 pounds to target. This lake is ideal, as it provides offshore structure until the smallmouth bass go shallow to spawn. As with all smallmouth lakes when fishing in Pennsylvania, the most comfortable time to catch them is along the shallows during spawning.
Being the Keystone State’s largest lake, it has every imaginable structure and covers to fish and for baitfish to live. Hosting both smallmouth and largemouth bass, Raystown Lake stays a hidden gem and is at or near the top of our list of bass lakes in PA. Given its size, fishermen find Raystown sometimes hard to pattern fish.
It has lots of covers, shoreline timber, stumps, underwater point, and even bluffs. Because of this, the fish move a lot; they don’t leave. This is where the help of a professional comes to the rescue. Located in the South-Central part of PA, Raystown lake must visit, so please contact us!
The Allegheny National Forest host Kinzua Dam near Pittsburgh and extends through the Allegheny River. Targeting quality fish is better suited between October to May with mayflies and streamers. From May through June is the caddis hatch, one of the most productive times on the river. A 45-mile section from the dam to Tionesta provides an excellent trout fishery.
The Allegheny is a scenic river for Pennsylvania fishing; the natural scenery is almost as abundant as the rainbow-stocked trout and large brown trout. Downstream offers additional opportunities to target musky, smallmouth, and pike stocked by the Pennsylvania F & B Commission state parks.
Balanced on the northwestern border of Ohio and PA, the Pymatuning Reservoir is a large reservoir providing great largemouth bass opportunities. This lake’s versatility is like no other in the state, and for the angler looking to practice technique, whether that be deep or shallow, slow or fast, it’s a great reservoir to learn. Remember, the fish live and eat here all year long, providing a stable learning ground for seasonal fishing.
Get an understanding of why, how, and when the fish move, and learn how to catch and release them. Learn the seasons on this reservoir, and you can catch fish anywhere, anytime!
Is floating while angling your thing? This famous Youghiogheny River just outside Pittsburgh, PA, provides excellent smallmouth and trout fishing contingency. Fishermen can try their hand at the Youghiogheny River, which also offers excellent whitewater rafting and spectacular scenery. Easy access at Youghiogheny and Ohiopyle State Parks trophy stocked trout section approximately nine-mile long leaning to excellent fly anglers opportunities.
Top Local Pennsylvania Fishing Captains
Best Fly Fishing Destination in Pennsylvania
Fly fishing in Pennsylvania presents an abundance of opportunities for anglers seeking a new challenge and quality time outdoors. The fishing potential in the Keystone State parks is unsurpassed. There is more flowing water in PA than any other state besides Alaska, and 15,000 miles are designated as wild trout fisheries. Due to unique regulated waters producing abundant hatches and the conservation and public agency efforts over the last 25 years, PA fly anglers have seen a resurgence.
“The PA F & B Commission stocks 3.2 million a year, and there are 440 miles of special regulated waters across the state park. Today in PA, there are more angling opportunities than ever before,” says Lenny Lichvar, Commissioner, PA F & B Commission and co-author of the book Keystone Fly Fishing.
Slippery Rock Creek
Not too far from Pittsburgh’s city limits, a stream known for its incredible smallmouth and trout fishery. It heads south into Beaver River, where Slippery Rock Creek has remote, gorgeous stretches with trails that access McConnells Mill, State Park entrance. Known as the only catch-and-release fly-fishing location that is open year-round by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Known as one of the best winter trout streams in the area when fishing in Pennsylvania, Neshannock Creek is a beautiful 20-mile stream in NW, Pennsylvania. Fly fishermen favorite, they tend to like the waters on the upper half of the creek, but anglers have excellent results further downstream.
Cedar Run is known for its deep pools and dense stocked trout populations. The creek starts in Tioga County and flows for more than eight miles into Pine Creek in Lycoming County. There’s easy access from the road to several small fishing spots along Cedar Run, where fishermen can find plenty. A hot spot for local fly enthusiasts!
Yellow Breeches Creek
Unmistakable one of the top streams in PA, Yellow Breeches, is a premier fly trout fishing destination and more heavily fished than most any nation stream. Huntsdale Hatchery, where the stream’s source flows through various other springs. Anglers use this resource daily; visitors can expect to find fishing throughout the stream. The stream never has a fish shortage; it has a massive stocking program that supports this river’s high pressure. The stockfish, along almost all of the river’s entire length, can easily find them feeding on top during springtime.
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission activity stockfish in Lake Arthur. Which consist of Walleye, Channel catfish, hybrid striped bass, and musky. The addition of largemouth bass, northern pike, black crappie, and bluegill make for great fishing in Pennsylvania. While not the biggest lake, Lake Arthur is at 3,225 acres; it’s a valuable and productive warm-water lake in the Moraine State Parks region.
She is known as a fly angler’s dream outside of the State College in Spring Creek. A pristine fishery and local hotspot stocked with 16 to 20-inch wild trout. Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission state parks survey of Spring Creek consistently shows it to be the most successfully populated brown stream in Pennsylvania. Fisherman’s Paradise is a favorite destination along the creek for most visitors, which offers solitude and tons of wild and aggressive species.
Slate Run is a well-known freestone trout stream in the eastern United States; it’s becoming very trendy. The stream is split, with wild brown trout residing in the lower part and wild brook trout in the upper part of the stream for the most part.
Lefort Spring Run
This limestone spring creek offers fly fishing anglers the best and is legendary for decades to local fishermen. A top-rated fly fishing stop for angling enthusiasts. Known as one of the elite limestone streams, LeTort Spring Run has nationwide popularity. Particularly for the large wild brown trout fishing that is wildly available. The stable water temperature year-round and the nutrient-rich waters provide an active and healthy population that fishermen come from miles away to experience.
Looking for a 15″ trout? Monocacy creek can provide that for you. Common 12″ to 15″ in length. Are you looking for a challenge? Access with a fly rod or conventional spinning gear with success. Monocacy Creek is the perfect place to come to Pennsylvania fishing, with great family and learning opportunities year-round.
Wissahickon Creek has more than 50 miles of trails for equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers looking to explore the park’s dense forests and creeks. It provides an excellent opportunity for local fishermen who cannot travel or want a quick day out on the water to enjoy PA’s trout season. A spring stocking of trout is consistent on Wissahickon Creek, which draws anglers to its shorelines.
The opening day on Wissahickon Creek is April 1, so fishermen eager to get an early start, mark your calendars. Simultaneously, birdwatchers migrate to the restored Andorra and Houston meadows to witness dozens of bird species arriving.
From a bubbling cave about 15 miles east of State College, fishing Pennsylvania longest and largest limestone stream is Penns Creek. This excellent scenic boasts March Brown and Sulphur hatches and the Green Drake, which brings anglers from all over the United States. The Sinking Creek joins spring Mills, creating Penns Creek, an excellent stocked brown trout and wild trout water stocked with rainbows.
Other Great Ways to Experience Pennsylvania
Fishing in State Forests
Some of the best fishing in Pennsylvania is found in state forest parks.
Pennsylvania fishing opportunities lie in almost all twenty state parks, providing native brook trout that thrive in the lakes and ponds of the Pocono Mountains to the cold headwater streams and famous fly hatch creeks.
Pennsylvania State forest parks provide the most pristine waters in the commonwealth, supporting abundant outdoor life. An abundance of streams, ponds, and lakes found in state forests creates endless fishing opportunities.
Fish and Boat Commission Regulations
Information on PA regulations about state fishing licenses.
If you’re searching the internet, looking for a place to launch your boat on the Delaware River, and you landed here? Why not forget all that? Hire a professional Pennsylvania fishing guide that provides everything, an easy way to find just this kind of fishing and boating-related information you need.
Can you fish without a license in PA?
Fishing Licenses are required in every state, including Pennsylvania. They have many creel limits and additional special regulations. Anglers are encouraged to ask questions and study the rules.
Find more places to get outdoors in PA; follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Stay up-to-date on what areas are hot and not, and get great ideas and places around the state to visit.
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Where is the best fishing in PA?
Harbor Creek, PA
Lake City, PA
North East, PA
North Springfield, PA
Oil City, PA
Union City, PA