Pennsylvania Fishing Spots That Will Get You Hooked

With more than 86,000 miles of streams and rivers, 4,000 or so lakes, reservoirs, and ponds, and Pennsylvania’s 75-mile shoreline along Lake Erie, providing a wide range of habitats and fish species, it’s easy to find a prime freshwater fishing spot in PA. Get ready to kick back and reel in some big catches!

It’s important to note fishing licenses are required to fish in Pennsylvania waters, and many areas have special regulations and creel limits on fishing. Anglers are encouraged to study the current regulations for their favorite fishing holes that get updated on an annual basis.



A fishing trip to the Keystone State wouldn’t be complete without casting a line into Lake Erie’s Presque Isle Bay, the oldest harbor on the Great Lakes. With the bay’s northern shore bordered by Presque Isle State Park and the bay’s southern shore by the city of Erie, the area’s piers, Perry Monument, lagoons, and boat landings are all popular fishing locations for local and visiting anglers. Lake Erie’s shallow waters make it a premier destination for anglers hoping to reel in panfish, perch, bass, muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, crappies, smelt, and steelhead.


Lawrence County

Neshannock Creek begins in Mercer County at the confluence of Cool Spring Creek and Otter Creek, which, incidentally, is how it got its name with Neshannock meaning “a place of two streams.” The beautiful 20-mile freestone stream is stocked with trout in both spring and fall. Fly fishermen tend to prefer the waters near the upper part of the creek, but excellent angling can be enjoyed further downstream, as well.



Slippery Rock Creek McConnells Mill State Park FB
Slippery Rock Creek

Not too far from Pittsburgh’s city limits 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.


Cedar Run

creek running in the forest
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 often find plenty of fish.



old bridge on river
The Susquehanna River

The Susquehanna River is arguably one of the top fishing locations in the entire state of Pennsylvania, flowing from upstate New York state to the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and connecting to many well-known bodies of water. At approximately 444 miles long, it is the longest river on the U.S. east coast and the 16th longest in the United States. The river’s broad, shallow waters provide perfect habitat for smallmouth bass along with walleye, catfish, and smaller panfish.



sunset on lake arthur by dock
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.


Oil City

The site of the world’s first commercial oil well, Oil Creek, along with several of its tributaries, is one of Pennsylvania’s top trout and bass streams with the creek carving 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. While in the area, be sure to stop in the visitor’s center at Oil Creek State Park, which tells the story of the early petroleum industry by interpreting oil boomtowns, oil wells, and early transportation.


Spring Creek

two persons posing with a trout caught
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 lots 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 PA.


Cedar 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.



creek in the jungle
LeTort Spring Run

The legendary LeTort Spring Run is a limestone spring creek that has attracted anglers for decades and is sure to offer fly fishing at its best. The wide range of freshwater crustaceans providing nutrient-rich food together with the stable water temperature year-round has resulted in an active and healthy trout population that fishermen come from miles around to experience. A popular fly fishing destination, this is one of the finest limestone trout streams in the nation, known for large wild browns that are particularly wily.



a person standing in the river run fishing
Yellow Breeches Creek

Yellow Breeches is arguably one of the most popular streams in Pennsylvania and a premier fly fishing trout destination. One of the more heavily fished steams in the nation, the waterway emerges from various springs that flow through the Huntsdale Hatchery and the source of the creek. A large stocking program bolsters the creek’s fish population, attracting numerous anglers along its entire length.



creek running near houses
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.


Blue Bell

Wissahickon Creek proves that anglers don’t need to travel to remote locations to enjoy great trout fishing 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 trout season’s opening day on April 6, so anglers eager to get an early start, take note.



a person standing in the river fishing
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. ​



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.

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You might also like: Top Places to Fish in Pennsylvania

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