Start planning your fishing trips for the year now! Here are 36 great picks for year-around action in the Keystone State.
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Keystone State anglers have so many great fishing options that the biggest problem will figuring out how to steal away for that many hours! Here's a roundup of some of the best-bet fishing destinations to help narrow that search.
Largemouth Bass - Shenango River Lake
Trap netting on this 3,560-acre impoundment last March yielded more quality-sized bucketmouths than ever before. Shanango River Lake falls under Big Bass Program regulations. From April 17 to June 11 no harvest is allowed. For the remainder of the year, the minimum length is 15 inches with an aggregate daily limit of four black bass. There are six access areas dotting the shores of the lake that anglers can make use of.
Rainbow Trout - Lyman Run Lake
This 45-acre Potter County lake is known for exceptional water quality and plentiful rainbow trout. The lake, situated inside Lyman Run State Park, is stocked throughout the season with rainbows and palomino trout. Lyman Run from Lyman Lake to West Branch Road is an Approved Trout Water stocked each spring. From the inflow to Lyman Lake upstream, about five miles of the Run and all of its tributaries offer excellent fishing for wild brook trout.
Northern Pike - Black Moshannon Lake
This shallow 250-acre lake in Centre County provides prime habit for pike. Hardwater anglers must steer clear of the ice-skating area, but otherwise are free to sink auger holes at will. Access is off State Highway 504.
Northern Pike - Lake Marburg
With the exception of the ice skating area, hardwater anglers have access to pike on ice everywhere on this 1,275-acre lake situated within Codorus State Park. Marburg is also home to muskies, tiger muskies, largemouth bass, yellow perch, bluegills and crappies. The lake is part of the Big Bass Program, so special regulations apply on that species.
Yellow Perch - Lake Jean
This 245-acre Luzerne County lake is in Ricketts Glen State Park. There are some good-sized yellow perch here, as well as bluegills, black crappies and an occasional holdover stocked trout. Park access is off State Route 487 south from Dushore.
Walleyes - High Point Lake
This 342-acre lake in Somerset County gets its name from its proximity to Mount Davis, the highest point in the state. In addition to walleyes, High Point is home to pike, smallmouth bass and plenty of panfish. Access is off State Route 2004.
Brook Trout - Chapman Lake
This 68-acre Warren County water falls under Trout-Stocked Lake Program regulations, which is good news for anglers. While most Keystone State waters are closed to the taking of trout in March, this lake is stocked with an early allotment of trout and remains open until March 31.
Rainbow Trout - Laurel Hill Lake
This 63-acre impound inside the Laurel Hill State Park in Somerset County is part of the Early Season Trout-Stocked Waters Program. During March when most waters are closed to fishing, these waters are stocked with a portion of the spring allotment of trout and opened for fishing from March 1 to March 31, with a minimum length of 7 inches and an aggregate daily limit of three trout.
Muskellunge - Promised Land Lake
This 422-acre Pike County lake is located within Promised Land State Park. In addition to hard-hitting muskies, anglers can expect to catch black bass, pickerel and yellow perch. Access is off State Route 390 about 10 miles north of Canadensis.
Brook Trout - Trout Run
This Lebanon County stream is the only stocked coldwater fishery within Swatara State Park, and usually gets an infusion of brook trout just prior to season opener. There are a few small streams within the park offering anglers a shot at native brookies, as well. Access is located off of State Route 443.
Lake Trout - East Branch Clarion River Lake
This 1,371-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake in northeast Elk County is one of the few Keystone State impoundments deep and cold enough to support lake trout. That species, along with walleye, tiger muskellunge and fingerling brook trout, are stocked here annually. Access is off State Route 1001.
Carp - Wissahickon Creek
This Montgomery County creek flows though Fort Washington State Park and offers anglers opportunities to haul in big carp. The creek is also home to catfish and panfish, and in the spring, stocked trout. Access to the park is off the Bethlehem Pike.
Black Crappies - Beechwood Lake
This 67-acre Tioga County lake is a panfishing paradise. Black crappies are abundant, as are bluegills and yellow perch. The lake is also home to walleye, pickerel and stocked trout. Beechwood is located a few miles north of Tioga State Forest.
Brook Trout - Cowley Run
Both the east and west branches of Cowley flow though Sizerville State Park. Anglers can target browns or brook trout in this mountain stream, and native brookies are not uncommon. Access is off State Route 155.
Striped Bass - Conowingo Reservoir
This York County reservoir is open year-round for striped bass, and striped bass/white bass hybrids. The lake is also home to smallmouth bass, walleyes and crappies.
Muskellunge - Woodcock Creek Lake
This 325-acre U.S. Army Corps of Engineers impoundment in Crawford County boasts a dense population of muskellunge. Individuals up to 46 inches have been reported. Woodcock Creek Lake falls under special Brood Stock Lakes Program regulations. Access is off State Highway 198.
Brown Trout - White Clay Creek
This Chester County stream is stocked with trout several times throughout the season, and is considered one of the region's best trout waters. Special delayed harvest and artificial lures only regulations apply to the Middle Branch White Clay Creek from Good Hope Road south to its confluence with the East Branch. Access is off State Highway 896.
Sauger - Monongahela River
The highest concentration of sauger along the Monongahela is found in the Braddock area, but numbers are good throughout much of the river. There are multiple access sites: Braddock Public Ramp, Elizabeth Access; Point Marion and East Fredericktown in Fayette County; Spears Landing, Monongahela Access in Mancini and New Eagle Access on Howard Street, in Washington County.
Smallmouth Bass - Neshaminy Creek
Plentiful shoreline access is available for this Bucks County creek, which flows through Tyler State Park. Access to the park from I-95 at the Newton/Yardley Exit 49 is found by driving west on the four-lane bypass around Newton, then turning left at the intersection of Swamp Road and the bypass.
Walleyes - Lake Nockamixon
For walleye action this summer, head to Nockamixon State Park in Buck County. The 1,450-acre lake also has good numbers of muskellunge, pickerel, black bass, hybrid stripers, channel catfish and carp. There's a fishing pier along the center shore of the lake. Access to the park is off State Route 563.
Carp - Shawnee Lake
This 451-acre lake in Bedford County is a great destination to fish for big bottom dwelling carp. Shawnee is also home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, pike, muskies, walleyes, pickerel, catfish, yellow perch and crappies. The lake is in Shawnee State Park 10 miles west of Bedford.
Walleyes - Lake Arthur
This 3,200-acre lake within Moraine State Park provides good fishing for walleyes right though the dog days of summer. Other species in the lake include bluegills, bullheads, channel catfish, carp, muskellunge, pike and yellow perch.
Brown Bullheads - Keystone Lake
This 78-acre lake in Derry Township is home to bullheads, largemouth bass, tiger muskies, pike, crappies and perch. Keystone is also stocked throughout the year with trout. This is a Big Bass Lake, so special regulations apply to that species.
Largemouth Bass - Stevens Pond
This 62-acre lake in Wyoming County is managed under Big Bass Regulations with a minimum length of 15 inches and a daily limit of four fish. Anglers may target bass anytime except the no harvest season from April 17 to June 11. Access is off State Route 29 north of Tunkhannock.
Flathead Catfish - Susquehanna River
The lower reaches of this river flow through Lancaster and York counties. The Susquehanna is a popular destination for anglers targeting flathead catfish, a species considered to have high table value.
Largemouth Bass - Quemahoning Reservoir
This Somerset County reservoir opened to public fishing in 2000 and was predicted to become one of the best bucketmouth waters in the state. Access is off U.S. Route 219.
Chain Pickerel - Canoe Creek Lake
This 155-acre lake in Blair County is stocked with pickerel, walleye, muskies, bass and trout. The creek is located in Canoe Creek State Park which may be accessed on Turkey Valley Road in the Village of Canoe Creek.
Channel Catfish - Ontelaunee Lake
This 1,082-acre lake in Berks County lake has an excellent catfish population and a high catch rate. Access is off State Route 73 about eight miles north of Reading.
Smallmouth Bass - Crooked Creek
Fish this Tioga County creek from Losey Creek to Hammond Lake to see feisty bronzebacks leap at the end of the line. Use a light wire hook drifted under a bobber in the deeper pools. Access is off State Route 287.
Coho Salmon - Presque Isle Bay
Each fall, Lake Erie's Coho salmon move closer to shore as they prepare for runs up the great lake's tributaries. Erie is a great base of operations with multiple access sites out into the bay. Angler access can also be had within Presque Isle State Park.
Northern Pike - Conneaut Lake
This 930-acre Crawford County lake offers good fall fishing for pike. Conneaut is also home to bass, muskies and plentiful panfish. Access is off State Route 618 in the Town of Conneaut Lake.
Striped Bass - Lake Wallenpaupack
This 5,700-acre lake in Pike and Wayne counties has been stocked with striped bass. Wallenpaupack also offers anglers a good shot at largemouth bass, muskellunge and pickerel. Later in the season when safe ice has formed, this is an excellent destination for trout, bass and big perch.
Brook Trout - Greenwood Lake
Don't let the size of this six-acre lake in Huntingdon County fool you. Greenwood is stocked with brookies and rainbow trout several times each year, and falls under Approved Trout Water regulations, which include an extended season on the species. Access is via Greenwood Furnace State Park, about 10 minutes west of Belleville on State Highway 305.
Tiger Muskellunge - Cowanesque Lake
This 1,090-acre Tioga County water produces big tiger muskies. The lake also has a decent population of channel catfish, walleyes, largemouths and black crappies. Access is located off of State Route 49.
Chain Pickerel - Poe Lake
This 25-acre lake within the Poe Valley State Park in Centre County is a popular winter destination for pickerel, perch and stocked trout. Anglers will need to follow about 10 miles of state forest roads, not always paved, from the Seven Mountains Scenic Area on U.S. Route 322, to reach Poe.
Largemouth Bass - Stephen Foster Lake
This 75-acre lake in Mount Pisgah State Park is open for ice fishing as soon as safe ice is available. In addition to big bucketmouths, this lake is home to perch, crappies and bluegills. There's an access area on the west shore of the lake. The park is located on State Route 3019.