Cast a line at Pennsylvania’s most scenic fishing spots

Children fishing on pier by lake, New Milford, Pennsylvania, US

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By The Keystone Staff

June 24, 2024

Grab your gear, pack your tackle box, and get ready to cast a line at Pennsylvania’s most scenic fishing spots.

Pennsylvania is home to some of the best fishing spots in the country, offering a wide range of options for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you prefer tranquil lakes, rushing rivers, or scenic streams, there’s something for everyone in the Keystone State. Let’s explore the top fishing spots in Pennsylvania, from the Central Lowlands to the Atlantic Coastal Plain. So grab your gear, pack your tackle box, and get ready to cast a line at Pennsylvania’s most scenic fishing spots!

Best Fishing Spots in the Central Lowlands

Vivid Autumn foliage is reflected in a still lake in the golden hour, with periwinkle sky. Image created at Nockamixon State Park in Quakertown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. "Nockamixon" may mean "in the place or soft soil" in the Lenni Lenape language. DSLR image at low ISO captures magnificent fall color warmth in a horizontal format late in the day. No people. This is one of the best fishing spots in Pennsylvania

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The Central Lowlands is a prime fishing locale that seamlessly blends peaceful ambiance with angling excitement. 

1. Lake Nockamixon

Here, Lake Nockamixon beckons with its sprawling 1,450-acre reservoir, offering an idyllic setting for catching bass, catfish, and a variety of panfish. Its waters provide a serene backdrop for a day spent in nature’s embrace.

2. Marsh Creek Lake

Not far behind in its allure is Marsh Creek Lake, a haven for trout enthusiasts. Nestled within a picturesque landscape, this lake promises an unrivaled trout fishing experience amidst the tranquil surroundings. Its calm waters are a perfect canvas for the early morning mist, making every cast a moment to cherish.

3. Schuylkill River

For those drawn to the rhythm of flowing waters, the Schuylkill River offers an unforgettable river fishing journey. Known for its robust populations of smallmouth bass and catfish, the river’s meandering path through the Central Lowlands creates diverse fishing environments. From gentle banks to more challenging spots, anglers can find their perfect match along its course.

Best Fishing Spots in the Appalachian Plateaus

A boat travels down the Clarion River in Pennsylvania surrounded by Autumn colored trees in the month of October. This is one of the best fishing spots in PA.

Embark on an angling adventure like no other in the Appalachian Plateaus, a region that beckons the daring at heart with its rugged landscapes and challenging waters. This is where the wild heart of Pennsylvania’s fishing realm beats the strongest, offering a treasure trove of fishing experiences for those who thrive on the thrill of the catch.

4. Youghiogheny River

The Youghiogheny River, with its fast-moving currents and deep pools, is a sanctuary for anglers in pursuit of trophy trout and bass. Its waters, rich with aquatic life, promise a rewarding challenge for those who cast their lines here. The river’s scenic beauty adds an exhilarating backdrop to every fishing expedition, making each moment on the water truly unforgettable.

5. Clarion River

Not to be outdone, the Clarion River flows with crystal clarity, calling to fly fishermen with its siren song of abundant trout. Here, the serene beauty of the Appalachians unfolds along the riverbanks, providing a peaceful contrast to the excitement of reeling in a catch. The river’s gentle flow and accessible spots make it a favorite for both seasoned anglers and newcomers alike.

6. Allegheny Reservoir

For those seeking the allure of larger waters, the Allegheny Reservoir stands ready to test your skills. Surrounded by thick forests and steep hills, the reservoir is home to walleye, pike, and muskie, offering a diverse fishing experience. Whether you’re navigating its vast expanse by boat or casting from its secluded shores, the Allegheny Reservoir holds the promise of epic catches and stories waiting to be told.

Best Fishing Spots in the Ridge and Valley

Little Pine Lake, at Little Pine State Park, in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, United States. This is one of the best fishing spots in PA.

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The Ridge and Valley region is a breathtaking landscape, and the fishing spots offer a serene escape and a chance to be enveloped by the stunning scenic vistas. 

7. Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake, sprawling across 8,300 acres, is a jewel in this region, inviting anglers to test their skills against bass, walleye, and trout in its deep waters. The experience of fishing here, with the early morning fog lifting off the lake’s surface, is truly magical.

8. Juniata River

Not far from the tranquility of Raystown, the Juniata River carves its way through the landscape, offering a dynamic fishing environment renowned for its smallmouth bass and catfish populations. The river’s banks, dotted with vibrant foliage, provide a picturesque setting for a day spent in pursuit of the perfect catch. It’s an angler’s delight, where the rush of the current adds excitement to every tug on the line.

9. Little Pine State Park 

For those seeking a quieter, more intimate fishing experience, Little Pine State Park beckons. Nestled in the embrace of the surrounding mountains, its serene waters are a haven for those looking to disconnect and immerse themselves in the peaceful rhythms of nature. Here, the whisper of the wind and the gentle splash of your line hitting the water are the only sounds that accompany you as you cast into the park’s pristine waters.

Best Fishing Spots in Pennsylvania’s New England Region

Presque Isle Bay, one of the best fishing spots in PA.

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Dive into the charm of Pennsylvania’s lesser-known New England region, where fishing spots are as abundant as they are delightful. Lake Erie stands proud as a premier destination, drawing anglers from near and far with its exceptional steelhead and walleye fishing. Its vast waters are a playground for those in pursuit of a memorable catch, blending the thrill of the chase with the serene beauty of the lake’s expansive horizon.

10. Presque Isle Bay 

Not to be overshadowed, Presque Isle Bay offers a diverse aquatic landscape, teeming with perch, bass, and trout. The bay’s calm waters serve as a perfect contrast to Lake Erie’s vast expanse, providing a more intimate setting for anglers to connect with nature and the joy of fishing. It’s a spot where every cast feels like a discovery and every catch a treasure.

11. Pymatuning Lake

For an adventure slightly off the beaten path, Pymatuning Lake beckons with open arms. This 17,000-acre reservoir is a haven for walleye and crappie enthusiasts. The tranquility of Pymatuning’s waters, coupled with the excitement of its abundant fish population, makes it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle and immerse themselves in the peaceful pursuit of fishing.

Best Fishing Spots in the Piedmont

Motorboats on Blue Marsh Lake as seen from the entrance to the State Hill Boat Launch. This is one of the best fishing spots in PA.

Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Embark on a picturesque fishing journey in the Piedmont region, where the undulating landscape melds beautifully with rich fishing grounds. 

12. Susquehanna River

Here, the majestic Susquehanna River carves through the hills, offering a haven for anglers in pursuit of smallmouth bass and catfish amidst its expansive reaches. Its waters, teeming with life, provide both a challenge and a reward for those who venture here.

13. Blue Marsh Lake

Not far from the river’s mighty flow, Blue Marsh Lake emerges as a favored destination, its 1,150 acres brimming with bass, muskie, and walleye. The lake’s scenic vistas serve as the perfect backdrop for both tranquil solo trips and exciting group outings, ensuring every visit is a memorable one.

14. French Creek State Park

For those who prefer their fishing excursions wrapped in nature’s serenity, French Creek State Park is a must-visit. Its waters, nestled within lush forested landscapes, are a quiet refuge for anglers and a bustling habitat for fish, offering a peaceful yet exhilarating fishing experience.

Best Fishing Spots in the Atlantic Coastal Plain

The Atlantic Coastal Plain is where the horizon kisses the water and the fishing adventures are as vast as the open sky. This region of Pennsylvania offers a unique blend of coastal charm and fishing excitement, ideal for those who love their lines salted by sea air and their catches varied. 

15. Delaware River

The Delaware River, with its robust striped bass and lively shad, presents a challenge to anglers looking for a memorable battle on the water. Further exploration reveals the Schuylkill River, a sweet spot for enthusiasts eager to hook smallmouth bass and catfish in an engaging setting. 

16. Marsh Creek Lake

For a serene angling session, Marsh Creek Lake emerges as a pristine choice, its waters rich with bass, panfish, and trout, promising a tranquil yet fruitful fishing outing. Embrace the opportunity to cast your line where the water meets the sky, in a region celebrated not only for its picturesque landscapes but also for its bountiful waters that welcome fishermen with open arms and full nets. 

Read more: The Philly Bucket List

This story was generated in part by AI and edited by The Keystone staff.


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