Pennsylvania's 2009 Fishing Calendar

Are you scheduling your 2009 fishing vacation? Here are 36 great Keystone State trips for anglers to consider. (Feb 2009)

In 2009, anglers in the Keystone State have a wealth of great destinations to consider. The commonwealth boasts a wide variety of species, from hungry trout and walleyes to lunker bass and plentiful panfish.


Rules vary by region, and some are water-specific, so before heading out, always check the current law book.

With so many lakes and rivers to choose from, you could hardly hope to fish them all in a lifetime. But here's a roundup of our best-bet fishing destinations for 2009.


JANUARY
Largemouth Bass
Lake Arthur

This 3,200-acre lake, within Moraine State Park in Butler County, is home to channel catfish, muskies, pike, walleyes, striped bass and panfish, plus lunker largemouths. Most of the largemouths bass taken here last year fell for lively minnows.


Check DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 57, for multiple access sites.

Northern Pike
Allegheny Reservoir

This reservoir offers anglers a shot at largemouth and smallmouth bass, muskies and walleyes, in addition to hard-hitting pike. Fish good-sized minnows or smelts, and give the pike plenty of time to run with the bait before you set the hook.

For multiple access sites, check DeLorme's PAG, Map 31.

Rainbow Trout
Bradys Run Lake

Stocked annually with trout, this Beaver County lake is also home to largemouths, pickerel and panfish.

Rainbows here like minnows and wax worms.

For area details and access, check DeLorme's PAG, Map 53.

FEBRUARY
Walleyes
Glendale Lake

A popular destination for walleyes, this 1,635-acre lake inside Prince Gallitzin State Park is also home to bass, pike, muskies and panfish. Try jigging, or use minnows for walleye success. There are nine public access areas around the lake.

See DeLorme's PAG, Map 60, for information.

Black Crappies
Hammond Lake

This 640-acre impoundment in Tioga County is known for its excellent crappie fishing. The species is abundant and tends to reach large sizes here, with fish over 10 inches fairly common. Anglers reported good action even during last summer's drawdown. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission planned to refill the lake by late fall.

Crappies will go for green and yellow jigs, small minnows or wax worms. Hammond Lake is also home to hybrid striped bass and largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Access is off state Route 287, about five miles south of Tioga in the Ives Run Complex.

Brown Trout
Lake Wallenpaupack

This 5,700-acre manmade lake in Wayne and Pike counties is a good destination for brown trout on ice.

The lake is also home to bass, muskies, walleyes and striped bass.

For multiple access sites, check DeLorme's PAG, Map 54.

MARCH
Yellow Perch
Presque Isle Bay

This bay is a small part of Lake Erie, but last year it managed to produce the majority of notable yellow perch taken through the ice.

Industrious hardwater anglers will make out well with jig-and-minnow combinations here. Access is via Presque Isle State Park in Erie off Peninsula Drive.

For more access information, see DeLorme's PAG, Map 27.

Chain Pickerel
Lake Nockamixon

This 1,450-acre lake is inside Nockamixon State Park in Bucks County. Tohickon Creek, Threemile Run and Haycock Run all feed into the lake. In addition to some great ice action for pickerel, this warmwater haven offers good fishing for walleyes, muskies, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish and a variety of panfish.

Access is off Route 563.

Brook Trout
Laurel Hill Lake

This 63-acre impoundment inside Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County is part of the Early Season Trout-Stocked Waters Program.

Laurel Hill Lake is stocked several times each year, including spring, fall and late winter. During March, when most waters are closed to fishing, this lake is stocked with a portion of the spring allotment of trout and is open for fishing from March 1 through 31. The lake then closes from April 1 to 8 a.m. on opening day.

The minimum length is 7 inches, and the daily limit is three trout in the aggregate.

There are two boat launches inside the park. Electric motors only are allowed. See DeLorme's PAG, Map 87, for area details.

APRIL
Channel Catfish
Green Lick Lake

In years past, this 101-acre lake in Fayette County east of Wooddale has been stocked with channel cats and walleyes to increase angler opportunities. Big channel cats will go for sunfish, larger shiners, chicken livers or night crawlers.

The lake is also home to crappies, bluegills and yellow perch. Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 72, for area details.

Brook Trout
Clear Creek

When open water trout season begins mid-month, be sure to wet a line in this Cameron County creek that flows through the town of Jefferson.

Clear Creek is an Approved Trout Water and features both stocked and wild trout. See DeLorme's PAG, Map 70, for area details.

Muskellunge
Tionesta Lake

This Forest County lake has been stocked with muskies for several years, and biologists report good numbers of catchable fish.

Tionesta is also home to bullheads, channel catfish and good-sized crappies. Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 44 for area details.

MAY
Brown Bullheads
Beaverdam Run Reservoir

This 360-acre impoundment has good numbers of quality-sized bullheads over 10 inches. Big Bass and Panfish Enhancement regulations are in effect here.

For knifeless, hassle-free bullhead cleaning, bend the head back until it snaps. Then hold the broken spine in one hand and pull the head and skin back toward the tail with the other.

The reservoir lies east of Beaverdale on State Route 869.

Brown Trout
Laurel Hill Creek

This Somerset County stream is an Approved Trout Water and remains open for an extended season from Jan. 1 through Feb. 29 and from Sept. 2 through Dec. 31.

The length limit is 7 inches, and the daily limit is three trout.

Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 86, for area details.

Striped Bass
Conowingo Reservoir

This York County reservoir is open year 'round for striped bass and hybrids. Length limit is 18 inches. The daily limit is two fish of the combined species, only one of which may exceed 30 inches.

Conowingo is also home to smallmouth bass, walleyes and crappies.

Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 93, for multiple access sites.

Regulations vary by region, and some are water-specific, so before heading out, always check the current law book.

JUNE
Largemouth Bass
Shenango River

The Shenango River flows through Pennsylvania and Ohio. In addition to some excellent bucketmouth bass, anglers here have access to walleyes, muskies and panfish.

Bass are catch-and-release only until the open season arrives in mid-month. Big bass are often found near the dam's outflow area.

On the Pennsylvania side in Hermitage, access may be had via the Shenango Recreation Area on West Lake Drive.

Rainbow Trout
East Branch Lake

This 1,160-acre lake within Elk State Park is stocked annually with warmwater and coldwater species.

Hardwater anglers can expect brown and brook trout, lake trout, muskies, walleyes and bass, in addition to big rainbow trout.

There's access off Instanter Drive and near the dam.

Carp
Shawnee Lake

These big bottom-dwellers are gaining in popularity and are even the featured fish in many local derbies.

The 451-acre lake is within Shawnee State Park about 10 miles west of Bedford off U.S. Route 30.

Shawnee is stocked with warmwater game fish and is home to pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, muskies, walleyes, pickerel, catfish, yellow perch and crappies. There are three boat launches around the lake.

Electric motors only are allowed.

JULY
Flathead Catfish
Susquehanna River

Anglers in Safe Harbor are reporting good catches of flathead cats from this popular Lancaster County river.

Target these big fish using live bluegills rigged on a short drop leader so that the bluegill's motion will elicit more interest.

Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 93, for multiple access sites.

Rainbow Trout
Lyman Run Lake

This 45-acre Potter County lake is known for its exceptional water quality and good numbers of rainbow trout. The lake, which lies inside Lyman Run State Park, is stocked throughout the season with rainbows and palomino trout.

There's a launch ramp and courtesy dock inside the park, and only electric motors are allowed.

Striped Bass
Lake Williams

During the hot summer months, fish deep with live minnows during the early hours of the morning for the best striped bass fishing at this York County lake.

Big Bass Program regulations are in effect on other bass species here, so before heading out, be sure to check the rulebook.

See DeLorme's PAG, Map 92, for area details.

AUGUST
Walleyes
Lake Erie

This great lake is an excellent walleye destination, with fish averaging 5 to 7 pounds. And 10-pounders are not unusual! Trolling plugs and spoons accounts for most walleyes taken from early June through October.

During the summer, walleyes suspend in 20 to 30 feet of water so getting lures deep enough is key. Planer boards, flatlining, downriggers and weighted lines are effective.

Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 26, for multiple access sites.

Smallmouth Bass
Woodcock Creek Lake

Anglers report good catches of smallmouth bass at this small lake north of Meadville, even during the dog days of summer.

Woodcock Creek Lake is home to walleyes, muskies and a variety of panfish and is stocked annually with trout. Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 29, for access and area details.

Muskellunge
Tamarack Lake

This 562-acre reservoir three miles southeast of Meadville has dams at each end with a shallow basin, making it excellent muskie territory.

Since a total drawdown in 1999, the lake has been stocked with large numbers of fish. Muskies and black crappies are leading the pack in fisheries recovery here.

Tamarack Lake is a Big Bass water and is part of the Brood Stock Lakes Program, so be familiar with the regulations when fishing here.

There are seven access points to accommodate a variety of craft, and electric motors only are allowed.

SEPTEMBER
Smallmouth Bass
Clarion River

This month, the East Branch Clarion River is a great destination for smallmouth bass and stocked brook trout. For bronzeback action, try fishing shad imitations and tube baits through deep pools.

The river runs through Bendigo State Park in Jones Township. Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 44, for area details and access information.

Rainbow Trout
Kooser Lake

There's no boating or night-fishing allowed on this tiny lake in Kooser State Park, but it's well known as a nice little trout hole.

Kooser Lake is an Approved Trout Water, so it is stocked with trout and open during the extended season.

Fishing here is also good for bass and bluegills. Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 73, for area details and access information.

Muskellunge
Lake Jean

This 245-acre lake is within Ricketts Glen State Park. Lake Jean offers anglers a decent trout fishery, as well as warmwater options for largemouth and smallmouth bass and walleyes.

There are two boat launches, for electric motors only. See DeLorme's PAG, Map 51, for details.

OCTOBER
Keystone Lake
Largemouth Bass

This 78-acre lake is a designated Big Bass Lake. Try fishing green and black rubber worms here. Keystone is a two-story fishery, stocked with trout year 'round. The lake is also home to muskies, pike, yellow perch and a variety of panfish.

There's a public boat launch area on the north shore by the dam. Only electric motors are allowed.

Brown Trout
Pohopoco Creek

The section of this creek, which runs through Carbon County from the outlet of Beltzville Lake downstream to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Bridge, is stocked annually. Rainbow trout and brookies may also be taken here.

Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 67, for access details.

Chain Pickerel
Minsi Lake

This 117-acre lake lies within the Minsi Lake Wilderness Area in Northampton County. Minsi falls under Big Bass Program regulations and is also stocked with walleyes.

There are two access areas, both with surfaced launch ramps. Only electric motors are allowed.

Check DeLorme's PAG, Map 68, for details.

NOVEMBER
Smallmouth Bass
Crooked Creek

Bronzebacks are found throughout the entire stretch of the creek, from Keeneyville clear down to Hammond Lake. But their numbers and sizes improve from the confluence with Hills Creek down to Hammond. Try fishing twistertails and live minnows here. Crooked Creek is also home to largemouth bass, carp and bluegills.

This is U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land and open to public access.

Largemouth Bass
Upper Woods Pond

This 80-acre pond within State Game Lands No. 159 in Lebanon Township is a bass angler's bonus water. Bass have never been stocked here. But following angler reports of bass catches, biologists surveyed the pond and found both largemouths and a lesser number of smallmouths thriving here. Panfish are also plentiful.

Northern Pike
Lily Lake

This 160-acre impoundment in Luzerne County falls under Big Bass Program regulations and is also closed for fishing from April 1 to the opening day of trout season.

Lily Lake is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel and panfish, in addition to hungry pike and stocked trout. There's a surfaced launch ramp off Lake Shore Drive.

Boats with more than 60 horsepower engines or exceeding 18 feet in length are prohibited.

DECEMBER
Muskellunge
Lake Wilhelm

This popular 1,860-acre fishing destination sits inside the Maurice K. Goddard State Park. Hungry muskies here will eat anything -- suckers, shiners or chubs. Wilhelm is also home to pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, perch, catfish, walleyes, crappies, bluegills and sunfish.

For multiple access sites, check DeLorme's PAG, Map 43.

Largemouth Bass
Long Pond

This 81-acre Wayne County water, also known as Lake Alden, is relatively shallow, with an average depth of 10.4 feet. Long Pond is also home to smallmouth bass, walleyes, pickerel and a variety of panfish.

Access is eight miles northwest of Honesdale off state Route 670.

White Perch
Lake Marburg

Nestled within Codorus State Park in southern York County, this 1,275-acre lake is an ideal destination for warmwater species. Anglers can take muskies, pike, yellow perch, tiger muskies, catfish, crappies and bluegills in addition to white perch.

This is a Big Bass Program lake, so special regulations apply.

For multiple access sites, check DeLorme's PAG, Map 92.

For more details, contact the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

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