Licenses are required to fish in Pennsylvania, and many areas have special regulations and creel limits on fishing. Anglers are encouraged to study the regulations for favorite fishing holes at fishandboat.com. Get ready to kick back and reel in some big catches.
1. PRESQUE ISLE BAY
Presque Isle Bay is the oldest harbor on the Great Lakes. It is formed as Presque Isle peninsula arches north and east into Lake Erie, forming the Bay. Presque Isle State Park forms the northern shore of the Bay. Most of the southern shore of the Bay is bordered by the City of Erie. A fishing trip to the Keystone State wouldn’t be complete without a stop along Pennsylvania’s only seashore. Presque Isle Bay is a premier destination for anglers looking for a variety of fish, including panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt, and steelhead. Popular fishing locations are the piers, the Perry Monument, lagoons, and boat landings.
2. NESHANNOCK CREEK
Neshannock Creek begins in Mercer County at the confluence of Cool Spring Creek and Otter Creek, which, incidentally, is how it got its name, Neshannock which means “a place of two streams.” The beautiful 20-mile freestone stream is known for being one of the best streams for receiving both spring and fall stockings of trout. Fly fishermen tend to prefer the waters near the upper part of the creek, but excellent angling can be enjoyed further downstream, as well.
3. SLIPPERY ROCK CREEK
Not too far from the city limits of Pittsburgh flows a stream known for its incredible trout and small mouth bass fishing. Heading south into Beaver River, Slippery Rock Creek has remote, gorgeous stretches that can be accessed by trails in McConnells Mill State Park. The creek is also the only Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission catch and release fly-fishing location that is open year-round.
4. CEDAR RUN
Packed with deep pools and dense trout populations, Cedar Run starts in Tioga County and flows for more than eight miles into Pine Creek in Lycoming County. There’s easy access from the road to a number of small fishing spots along Cedar Run, where anglers are sure to find plenty of fish.
5. SUSQUEHANNA RIVER
The Susquehanna River is arguably one of the top fishing locations in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Known as the largest river on the East Coast, it connects to many well-known bodies of water, flowing from upstate New York state to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. At approximately 444 miles long, it is the longest river on the American east coast and the 16th longest in the United States. The broad, shallow waters also make the Susquehanna the longest, non-commercially navigable river in the country. The Susquehanna River is known for its large mass of smallmouth bass and is also filled with a great deal of walleye, catfish, and smaller panfish.
6. LAKE ARTHUR
The 3,225-acre Lake Arthur is a warm-water fishery located in Moraine State Park. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stock muskellunge, walleye, channel catfish, and hybrid striped bass and common wild species include northern pike, largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, and bluegill.
7. OIL CREEK
Oil Creek has become one of Pennsylvania’s top trout and bass streams. Anglers may explore some of the creek’s tributaries where wild fish make their home. The Oil Creek Valley is the site of the world’s first commercial oil well. Oil Creek State Park tells the story of the early petroleum industry by interpreting oil boomtowns, oil wells, and early transportation. Scenic Oil Creek carves a valley of deep hollows, steep hillsides, and wetlands. The best access to the water for fishing is in Oil Creek State Park, between Titusville and Oil City. The water here offers beautiful pools, riffles, and runs.
8. SPRING CREEK
Spring Creek, just outside State College, is known as an angler’s dream location. The wild trout fishery is full of pristine fishing hotspots stocked with 16 to 20-inch trout. A favorite destination along the creek is Fisherman’s Paradise, which offers solitude and tons of wild and aggressive fish. Surveys conducted by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission have consistently shown Spring Creek to be one of the most densely populated wild brown trout streams in the Keystone State.
9. SLATE RUN
Slate Run has become one of the most well-known freestone trout streams in the eastern United States. Wild brook trout and a few brown trout reside in the upper part of the stream, and wild brown trout reside in the lower part.
10. LETORT SPRING RUN
This legendary limestone spring creek is sure to offer fly fishing at its best and has been the focus of anglers for many decades. A combination of a wide range of freshwater crustaceans to provide nutrient-rich food, as well as the stable water temperature year-round, results in an active and healthy trout population that fishermen come from miles away to experience. A popular fly fishing destination, LeTort Spring Run is one of the finest limestone trout streams in the nation, known for large wild browns that are particularly wily.
11. YELLOW BREECHES CREEK
Yellow Breeches is arguably one of the most popular streams in the state and a premier fly fishing trout destinations. One of the more heavily fished steams in the nation, the waterway emerges from various springs that flow through the Huntsdale Hatchery and then become the source of the stream. Every day, visitors can expect to find many anglers fishing throughout the stream, where there is never a shortage of fish. A huge stocking program supports this river, with fish stocked along almost its entire length. In the spring, trout can be easily found feeding on top.
12. MONOCACY CREEK
Most trout in Monocacy Creek are at least 12 inches in length, with some exceeding 15 inches. For the seasoned anglers looking for a challenge, the wild browns that roam the creek are no easy task to pull in. With great fishing offered year round, the Monocacy is a perfect place to come with a spinner rod or fly gear.
13. WISSAHICKON CREEK
Wissahickon Creek proves that anglers don’t even need to travel to remote locations to enjoy trout season in Pennsylvania. More than 50 miles of rugged trails offer hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians the opportunity to explore the park’s dense forests, open meadows, and shaded creeks. Wissahickon Creek is stocked with trout every spring, luring fisherman to its banks, while birdwatchers migrate to the restored Andorra and Houston meadows to witness the arrival of dozens of bird species. The creek is in one of the areas that mark opening day on April 1, so anglers eager to get an early start, take note.
14. YOUGHIOGHENY RIVER
Anglers can try their hand at float fishing on the famous Youghiogheny River outside Pittsburgh, where excellent trout and smallmouth bass fishing opportunities exist along the massive waterway. The Youghiogheny River provides some of the best whitewater boating in the eastern United States, as well as spectacular scenery. The Youghiogheny features a nine-mile, all-tackle trophy trout section, several fly fishing areas and easy access at Ohiopyle State Park.
15. PENNS CREEK
Penns Creek is Pennsylvania’s longest and largest limestone stream. Bubbling from a cave located about 15 miles east of State College, the stream stays modest in size until it reaches Spring Mills where it is joined by Sinking Creek. At this point, Penns Creek becomes larger in size, and an excellent trout stream for wild and stocked brown trout, as well as stocked rainbows. This magnificent scenic stream boasts great March Brown and Sulphur hatches, and the Green Drake, which brings anglers from all over the country.