Catch a trophy in Pennsylvania. Here’s where to take a fishing trip in The Keystone State.
Pennsylvania is an epic fishing state. If you weren’t already aware of that, then here are the fishing trips to take this spring.
World-class smallmouth: that’s all that needs to be said. From Presque Isle Bay to the deeper waters, Erie is a perennial producer of smallie monsters. Book a trip with a guide, pack some Dramamine and get ready to hold on tight! Erie is also known for its walleye population.
Float Penns Creek in April/May. It’s one of Pennsylvania’s premier limestone streams. It’s also been labeled a “bug factory” for its massive hatches of green drakes. You’ll find wild and stocked trout here, along with the occasional smallie.
Lake Erie Tributaries
Definitely dress warm for this one, but it’s such a unique experience. Steelhead start to run in the fall and through the winter. Whether fishing Elk, Walnut or the mouth of Erie, you’re bound to not be alone. There’s something unique about the camaraderie of the chrome-chasers.
Unfortunately, this body of water has been on a decline, but it still gets regular pressure and produces. It’s not to be overlooked for bass and some huge cats.
The Youghiogheny River is becoming one of the premier smallmouth waters in Pennsylvania. It stretches 134 miles, but there are many spots to hit that will be productive, specifically around the towns of Confluence and Ohiopyle. Stay at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort on this fishing trip and treat yourself.
I was buying my out-of-state license in New York to fish Chautauqua Lake for muskies and the guy at the counter said, “You should just go to Kinzua.”
Monsters have been pulled out of these waters. There are also stories of mythological proportions from divers that work on the dam. It’s definitely worth a day on the water.
Stripers, trout, bass, musky…this river has everything. It’s a matter of what you want to go after; it’ll be there. There are tons of guides and websites to help you catch a trophy of your liking.
Lower Allegheny River
Big musky live here. 40-plus pound water wolves are caught each year. This stretch of water offers many deep pools packed with bait, which are outstanding spots to secure a trophy.
126 miles of free-flowing water is offered here. Some of which, can only be navigated by kayak or canoe. This stretch is notorious for smallmouth, but also offers some big brown trout the further north you get.
Fish where the presidents have fished! This Centre County stream is a haven for fly fisherman and has a wonderful legacy. It’s definitely a place to catch and release that once-in-a-lifetime trophy trout.
Raystown Lake holds the Pennsylvania record for striped bass at 53 pounds and 12 ounces. This lake has the reputation of being “tough to fish,” but when it’s on or you’ve figured it out, it can be a blast.
During the summer, grab your waders, some rapala plugs and take a kid fishing on this one. It’s not unheard of to catch over 100 fish on some days, including smallmouth, rock bass, walleye and the occasional musky. It’s a great one to get a young angler excited about the sport.
You’ll feel like you’re out west and not in Pennsylvania. After the east and west branches combine, there is a trophy trout section that is not to be missed. Big brown trout are lurking all along the banks. It’s best around late May and early June; however, don’t be afraid to hit the water in the fall when the male browns have their spawning colors.
Are you planning your trip yet?