Here's a sampling of 36 great fishing trips to consider as you make your 2008 angling vacation plans. (February 2008).
It's a good thing a new year is here, because the Keystone State has so many great fishing waters that anglers will need every one of those 365 days to fish them!
From Lake Erie's excellent walleye, salmon, trout and yellow perch fishing; to the state's many inland lakes loaded with trout, walleyes, saugers and bass; to endless rippling streams full of trout or the state's big rivers teeming with bass, pike and muskies, Pennsylvania's got it all!
Here's a roundup of great month-by-month action for Keystone State anglers to consider in 2008:
Canoe Creek Lake
This 155-acre lake lies in Canoe Creek State Park, 12 miles east of Altoona. Canoe Creek is stocked annually, and ice-anglers flock here to take advantage of the extended trout season.
To locate fish, cut holes in a straight line from the shallows out to where the water goes deep.
Canoe Creek Lake is also home to walleyes, muskies, pickerel, catfish, bass and panfish.
Access is off the Mattern Road, or take the William Penn Highway to state Route 1011.
Lower Woods Pond
This 90-acre pond, owned by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, offers excellent ice-angling for largemouths, pickerel, panfish and bass. To get a rise out of hungry largemouths, fish large ice flies tipped with maggots.
Access to this Wayne County water may be had off Route 371 between Cold Spring and Rileyville.
F. J. Sayers Dam
This Centre County water contains pike, muskellunge and pickerel. Ice- anglers may catch bass, walleyes and other popular species.
Panfish enhancement regulations are in place, so check current fishing rules before heading out.
Access is through Bald Eagle State Park off state Route 150, midway between Milesburg and Lock Haven.
The Keystone State's greatest lake offers up some of the Commonwealth's best fishing for yellow perch, the species most sought by ice-anglers.
Tempt hungry perch with maggots or minnows. Erie anglers can also expect excellent fishing for walleyes, trout and salmon.
Stick to the bays and coves, since the center of the big lake is likely to be open water.
Access may be had in several locations. Check DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 26, for details.
Marsh Creek Lake
This Chester County lake freezes only during the deepest winter cold. As a result, the pressure on its healthy tiger muskellunge population is light during much of the season.
Marsh Creek is also home to largemouth bass and plenty of panfish.
Access is off Lyndell Road or through Marsh Creek State Park.
Rose Valley Lake
Rose Valley Lake in Lycoming County is home to big walleyes as well as muskies, pickerel, largemouth bass and plentiful panfish.
Big Bass Program regulations are in effect here, so be sure to check current fishing regulations before drilling your holes!
Access is off Route 15 north of Williamsport.
This 315-acre Pike County pond is an ice-angling hotspot for pickerel. An occasional lunker largemouth bass is taken through the ice, too!
For bigger fish, bait your tip-ups with larger minnows.
Peck's Pond is 14 miles south of Route 6 off Route 402. Access is off Hemlock Farm Road, just past the picnic area.
Lake Holman, which is in Little Buffalo State Park in northern Perry County, is known for giving up big largemouth bass.
The lake is also home to trout, catfish, tiger muskies, walleyes and panfish.
Access is off Route 34.
High Point Lake
This Somerset County lake holds safe ice later into the season than do many Keystone State hardwater destinations. In addition to bronzebacks, High Point is home to muskies, walleyes, pike and plentiful panfish.
High Point got its name from its lofty location in Savage, near Mount Davis, the highest point in the state.
To get there, take Route 2004 off Route 219 at the north end of Meyersdale and drive about 10 miles southwest toward Summit Mills.
Or take Route 55008 out of Linstonburg northwest for seven miles.
Blue Marsh Lake
Crappies and largemouth bass are plentiful in this Berks County lake. To target crappies near the surface, fish crickets or grasshoppers on a light wire. Access is off Route 183.
The Clarion River is stocked annually with trout at Tom's Run. Fish the West Branch Clarion for best-bet brookies.
Access can be had in several locations off U.S. Route 219.
This Chester County creek can be accessed through Valley Forge National Historic Park.
Sections of Valley Creek are under special regulations, so be sure to check the rulebook before heading out to catch those big brown trout!
Access is off Route 23.
This Carbon County stream is swimming with
wild brookies and brown trout! The Run ranges from 15 to 20 feet wide, with plenty of nice riffles and pools.
Hickory begins east of the turnpike, flows through Hickory Run State Park and eventually empties into the Lehigh River.
The greatest concentration of native brook trout can be found upstream. Access can be had from State Route 534.
Anglers land big walleyes and muskellunge while night-fishing this Bucks County lake located in Nockamixon State Park. The season on walleyes opens May 5.
This lake is also considered a hotspot for largemouth bass. Access is off Route 563.
Plum Creek Reservoir
This Armstrong County water, also known as Keystone Lake, offers up some big channel cats! Plum Creek is also home to brookies and lake trout, walleyes, bass, muskies, crappies and bluegills.
Access can be had off T690 or Route 210.
This Westmoreland County lake offers up good fishing for most warmwater species. In addition to bullheads, the lake is home to bass, muskies, walleyes and crappies.
Night-fish with chicken livers on bottom using a single or treble hook slip-rig. Access is off U.S. Route 22.
When the seasonal no-harvest ban on bronzebacks is lifted on June 16, anglers will want to head to Tunkhannock Creek in Wyoming County.
The creek flows along Route 6. Lazy Brook Park offers easy access.
This 5,700-acre manmade lake is split pretty much down the middle lengthwise between Wayne and Pike counties. Striped bass fishing is good here, and the lake is also home to trout, bass and muskellunge.
Wallenpaupack offers anglers a shot at some very big walleyes, too. Boat access can be had at several locations around the lake.
Check DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 54 for locations.
There's a reason why Lake Erie is listed year after year for excellent walleye fishing -- it's the best!
Walleyes here average five pounds, and fish ranging from seven to ten pounds are not unusual!
Medium-sized dipseys fished 75 feet back with chartreuse, watermelon, copper or purple harnesses work well on summer walleyes here.
For access, check DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 26.
This Mercer County water is stocked with browns and rainbow trout. Limits are from Shenango Lake dam base to the bridge on Route 518 (about 1.5 miles).
This river also offers good fishing for bass, pike, walleye and panfish.
For access sites along the river, and at Shenango Lake, see DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 42.
This Wyoming County water is a great place to wet a line for rainbows, as well as brookies, browns and palomino trout.
A fine two-story fishery, Winola is also home to largemouth bass, perch, walleyes and bluegills.
Access is off Route 307.
Saugers can be had in the Kiskiminetas from the confluence of the Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek downstream to the mouth of the river. Both casting and drifting attract sauger strikes. Fish live minnows or night crawlers used alone, or in combination with a jig or spinner.
Access is off Route 286.
Anglers can expect a wide variety of fishing opportunities in the stretches of the Conodoguinet that flow from Carlisle to Harrisburg.
Smallmouth bass running up to 18 inches can be found in deeper holes here. The creek is also home to rock bass and sunfish.
Muskellunge are not abundant here, but anglers may have luck hooking a big one at the cooler tributary mouths during hot summer months.
For access sites, check DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 77.
This York County lake is located within the Gifford Pinchot State Park near Lewisbury. In addition to excellent muskellunge fishing, Pinchot offers bass, pickerel and panfish.
Access is off Route 83.
The Delaware is one of those fine waters so good that it could be mentioned for one species or another nearly every month of the year.
The northern reaches of this river in Wayne County are known for beautiful fall scenery and beautiful brown trout! Wild trout fishing is good up to 30 miles below Hancock. Fish worms or prepared baits on a light wire hook drifted on the bottom.
This is a Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only water, so be sure to check those regulations.
Elk begins south of McKean and enters Lake Erie half a mile west of State Route 18 in Girard Township. The creek is stocked with steelhead and brown trout. As with most creeks, the best fishing for trout here is in spring and fall.
Early on, fall steelheads may not make it much beyond the Route 5 bridge. By winter, steelies can usually be found as far upstream as the McKean exit of I-79.
This Montour County lake is under Big Bass Program and Panfish Enhancement regulations, so be sure to check the rulebook before heading out. In addition to those big bass, the lake is home to muskies, pike, pickerel and walleyes.
Access is off Town Road 423.
Yellow Creek Lake
This 720-acre lake in Indiana County is a favorite family fishing destination due to its excellent fishing for smallmouths and panfish.
Fish crayfish or minnows on a jig-head or a light wire hook drifted along bottom or beneath a bobber.
There's a horsepower restriction here, so check the regulations before heading out. Access is off Route 259.
Presque Isle Bay
The Bay is just one small portion of the great lake, but it's a great base of operations for anglers seeking Erie's famous coho salmon. In the fall, these big fish are closer to shore as they make their way toward tributaries of the big lake. Access is through Presque Isle State Park in Erie, off Peninsula Drive. Or try Dobbin's or Perry's landings off Bayfront Highway.
This Delayed Harvest Fly-Fishing Only water gets a fall infusion of stocked rainbow trout. That and the beautiful fall scenery make this an ideal destination.
The lower half of the creek can be accessed off State Route 309. Take State Route 29 to access the creek above the Town of Noxin.
During spring and late fall, anglers can expect to take good numbers of walleyes, bass and muskies from the run of the river from Emlenton to Hillville. Fish minnows, leeches or night crawlers on a gig head or a slip-rig near the bottom. Access is at several points off U.S. Route 6. Check the DeLorme's Pennsylvania Atlas and Gazetteer, Map 33.
Beltzville, in Carbon County, is home to mighty tiger muskellunge. Anglers here may also land bass, pickerel, walleyes and channel cats.
The lake is located in Beltzville State Park. Take the Northeast Extension to Mahoning City, Exit 34, then turn left off the ramp. Follow signs to Beltzville's north side. Access the south shore off Route 209.
This lake in Crawford County is known for excellent pike action.
Conneaut is also home to muskies, bass and panfish. Access is off State Route 6/322 west of I-79 in the Town of Conneaut Lake.
This Erie County lake is stocked annually. Cheese, corn, marshmallows and salmon eggs all make excellent winter trout baits.
Lake Pleasant is off Arbuckle Road, just north of the Town of Arbuckle. But be sure to check the extended trout season regulations before heading out.
Glades Wildlife Area
This Butler County water is located in a waterfowl propagation area and is closed to anglers much of the year.
That makes the fishing all the sweeter for ice-anglers, who have reported catches of big largemouth bass and catfish here. There is also an impressive population of crappies swimming here.
Access can be had off State Route 308 north of West Sunbury, just south of Monateau High School.
This Tioga County water offers up excellent action for muskellunge, and is also home to decent populations of walleyes, largemouth bass, channel catfish and black crappies.
For access, take Route 15 north to Route 49 west, near the New York State border.
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