The Top 10 Fishing Locations in Pennsylvania

G DAnalyst IIIApril 7, 2009

So the famous statement holds true: "A bad day of fishin' is better than a good day of work" (author unknown).

When I think of fishing, a few things come to mind. It's not a hobby; it's a lifestyle. Like anything else in life, you have to love it. If you go out the first day of the season and then call it a year—don't call yourself a fisherman.

One last thing comes to mind when I think of fishing. The Chinese proverb that states "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

Throughout this article, I will fill you in on the "hot spots" in Pennsylvania. The list consists of the top 10 fishing locations through the entire state, ranging from creeks to lakes to rivers.


10. Wiconisco Creek

The Wiconisco Creek is located in Central Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles north of Harrisburg, flowing over 42 miles long. The creeks watershed covers nearly 116 miles throughout Dauphin and Schuykill counties. The creek covers 11 different townships and seven different towns throughout its entire flow.

The Wiconisco Creek ends in Millersburg, PA where it enters into the Susquehanna River. In 2003, the Wic Creek was the most stocked creek throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. The Wiconisco Creek is stocked with numerous amounts of beautiful trout. These trout consist of rainbow, brown, brook, and palomino.


9. Slate Run

Slate Run ranks among one of the best trout fishing streams in all of Pennsylvania. The creek is located in the North Central part of the state. Slate Run is known for it's significant mixture of pools, pockets, riffles, and runs that are stocked with a large mass of trout. The creek is known mainly for it's clear water and great fly fishing. The Slate is stocked with rainbow, brown, brook, palomino, and tiger trout.


8. Youghiogheny River

The Youghiogheny River is referred by many as the "Yuck waters."  The river is located in the Southern western part of the state and ranks among the top trout fishing waters. 

Although the Yuck is known for its trout, there are many other fish that roam the waters consisting of walleye, saugers, small and largemouth bass, along with spotted bass. The Youghiogheny River held the Bass Master Classic in 2005. The Yuck is best fished starting in late spring.


7. Penns Creek

The Penn is located in State College, Pennsylvania. Penns Creek was voted in the "America's Top 100 Trout Steams" this past year and continues to be publicized due to it's great fishing. The major why this creek is so popular is it's large Green Drake hatch May through June.

The Penn is known for its inconsistent waters ranging from still to some of the most rapid moving waters in the entire state. Penns Creek ranks among the very top in fly fishing within the state of Pennsylvania. Penns Creek is swarmed with numerous amounts of trophy sized trout.


6. Ohio River

The Ohio River is considered the best catfishing waters through the state of Pennsylvania. The river's rapid moving water is accompanied by stretches are still areas. The most frequent catfish caught in the Ohio are the flathead and channel catfish.

A number of fisherman have ranked the Ohio the rest fishing in PA, not only because of the quality fish, but the quantity. Besides the catfish, the Ohio provides other great fishing opportunities with other fish consisting of trophy sized striper, crappy, smallmouth bass, and much more.


5. Monongahela River

The Monongahela River is considered one of the "Big Three" Rivers in Pennsylvania. The river is located in the south western part of the state and flows nearly 128 miles. Until this most recent decade, the "Mon" was no where near the tops of fishing in PA. In fact, many believed that the great fishing had faded away completely.

Over the next few years, the "Mon" improved greatly because of treatment facility upgrades. Now, the Monongahela ranks as one of the best Sauger fishing areas in the entire state. With the improvements of the "Mon" over the years, it is now known for it's smallmouth bass, pike, walleye, and much more.


4. Kinzua Dam

The Kinzua Dam is located in Warren County, Pennsylvania and ranks among one of the largest Dams in the entire United States. The dam was opened in 1965, and has been heavily fished ever since.

For many who don't know, the word Kinzua actually means fish. When many say the Kinzua is loaded with fish, that is not an understatement. The Dam is filled with mass amounts of trout consisting of rainbow, brown, brook, tiger, palomino, and hybrid. Not only is the Kinzua known for it's trout fishing, but its exceptional musky, northern pike, and walleye.


3. Lake Raystown

Raystown was voted the second-ranked Lake for fishing throughout the entire state of Pennsylvania. The Lake is located in Entriken, right outside the central part of the state. Raystown Lake is accompanied by a numerous amount of guide services, tackle recommendations, and tournaments. It's also filled a massive amount of trophy fish.

The Lake is filled enormous catfish andcarp, along with several different types of bass such as striped, rock, small and largemouth. Raystown is also known for its great trout fishing with a number of rainbow, brown and lake trout. Atlantic salmon, crappy, bluegill, panfish, yellow and white perch, andsmelt can also be found in Raystown Lake.


2. Susquehanna River

Arguably the top fishing location in the entire state of Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna flows approximately 444 miles long running through the states of PA, Maryland, and New York. The Susquehanna is the largest river on the East Coast, and ranks as the 16th largest in the entire United States. The Susquehanna is connected to many well-known bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Lake Bay, Otsego Lake, and the Wiconisco Creek (No. 10).

The Susquehanna River can be fished at it's best through private tour guides. Two of the best tour guides in the state consist of Tony and Anthony Sissero. The Susquehanna is well-known for it's large mass of smallmouthbass. The 'Hanna is also filled with a great deal of walleye, catfish, and smaller panfish. Other fish consisting of musky, northern pike, pickerel, American shad, and much more are found within the bases of the river. Due to the smooth flowing water of the Susquehanna and it's large population of fish, the Susquehanna ranks among the top of rivers in PA.


1. Lake Erie

As you may have assumed, Lake Erie ranks at the top of the charts for the best fishing location in Pennsylvania. Being one of the five Great Lakes, it is obvious why Erie has earned this honor.

Lake Erie is connected to Detroit and Niagara Rivers. The Lake itself is over 220 miles long, one of the largest lakes in the United States. As for fishing, Erie is one of the largest freshwater fisheries in the United States as well. The Lake is swamped with walleye and yellow perch.

Lake Erie is highly targeted for it's great steelhead fishing as well. Lake Erie is also known for its well-rounded amount of salmon that surround the waters of Erie and it's consistent fishing of smallmouth bass. The number of fish species in the waters of Lake Erie are countless and that's why Erie is considered the fishing capitol of Pennsylvania.