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Fishing in Pennsylvania

Looking at the state fish will tell you a lot about the state and its waters. The PA state fish is the Brook Trout. Knowing where to go for Trophy Trout is another matter, so we have put together some of our top places to fish in PA.
  • Best Fishing in PA

    Spruce Creek Fishing

    These Brown and Rainbow Trout waters are a big reason why central Pennsylvania is home to some of the best fly fishing in Pennsylvania.

    • A tricky part about accessing its waters is that most of the land around the river is privately held property. However, there is a great public access area near the Little Juniata River.
    • The late evening is prime time for catch and release of wild Brown Trout. During this time and most of the year, especially during May to July, the waters can get pretty crowded in the public sections of the river. We recommend booking one of the many PA fishing charters in the area, so you can access the private parts of the river.

    Lake Wallenpaupack Fishing

    • Lake Wallenpaupack offers a variety of fish species on its 5,700-acres of water. Full-Day and half-day Charter fishing opportunities exist for Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Walleye, and Yellow Perch.
    • Handicap accessible points are found on the Ironwoods Point Boat Launch and the Mangan Cover area.

    Raystown Lake Fishing

    • If you want a lake to test your angling skills, then this lake is for you! There is everything from Lake Trout to Striped Bass on a lake that can get to over 200 feet deep and is the biggest inland lake in central Pennsylvania. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than the lake itself is the quality of Stripers it produces.
    • Raystown Lake is known to have Striped Bass over 50 pounds regularly. The best time to catch a big fish is during the spawning season of Spring. So try shore fishing between the mile markers of 19 and 28.

    Lehigh River Fishing

    • Even during the summer months, the Lehigh River can harness an enormous population of wild trout. This is because the river is a flowing spring-fed river that runs through the Lehigh Gorge.
    • Head to the wild and majestic scenery of this river from April to June or September to November, and you will be smack in the middle of some incredible hatches.
    • Travel tip: After you get your days-fill on fishing, we recommend heading to the local Riverwalck Saloon for a cold beer and a warm dinner.

    Other Fishing Spots

    • Youghiogheny River, Penns Creek, Neshannock Creek, Slippery Rock Creek, Cedar Run, Yellow Breeches Creek, Slate Run, and Lake Arthur
  • Fishing Licenses and Regulations

    Persons 16 years and older are required to have a fishing license to fish in Pennsylvania. A trout or salmon permit is required to fish for these species in the state. A Lake Erie permit is required for fishing its waters, and in some cases, you will also need the trout or salmon permit, as well.

    A fishing license can be purchased online or through one of the many issuing agent outdoor sporting good stores, such as one of the fly shops.

    • Residents have the option of purchasing an annual license for $22.90 or a 1-day resident license for $111.90.Non-residents can purchase a one-day tourist fishing license for $26.90 or a 3-day license for the same price.
    • If you find yourself in Pennsylvania, often non-residents can buy an annual fishing license for $52.90.Trout or Salmon Permit will be $9.90 for both types of anglers, and a Lake Erie permit is an additional $9.90. The state does offer a combination of Trout, Salmon, and Lake Erie permits for $15.90.

    In all cases, many areas of this state are specially regulated, so anglers wishing to fish in and near Pennsylvania should verify all information through the Pennslyvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Fishing Calendar for the Best Times to Fish in Pennsylvania

Januarywinter

Where: Yellow Perch

Species: Presque Isle Bay

Februarywinter

Where: Spring Creek

Species: Brown Trout

Marchspring

Where: Spring Creek

Species: Trout

Aprilspring

Where: Leigh River

Species: Trout

Mayspring

Where: Lake Wallenpaupack

Species: Smallmouth Bass

Junesummer

Where: Spruce Creek

Species: Trout

Julysummer

Where: Lake Erie

Species: Walleye

Augustsummer

Where: Raystown Lake

Species: Smallmouth Bass

Septemberfall

Where: Lake Wallenpaupack

Species: Smallmouth Bass

Octoberfall

Where: Cowanesque Lake

Species: Musky

Novemberfall

Where: Leigh River

Species: Trout

Decemberwinter

Where: Youghiogheny River

Species: Trout

FAQ’s ABOUT FISHING IN PENNSYLVANIA

Can you fish year-round in PA?

You can fish year-round in PA. To catch fish during any time of the year, you will need to adjust the species of fish you’re after and the locations you’re fishing. Check out our fishing calendar for the best times to catch fish in Pennsylvania.

Is Corn illegal to fish within PA?

Is it legal to fish at night in Pennsylvania?

Where can I fish in the Susquehanna River?

Can you fish without a license in PA?

Can I get a PA fishing license at Walmart?