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Top Pennsylvania Destinations

Top Fishing Charters in Pennsylvania

Fishing in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania fishing experience will get you hooked! With 4,000 inland lakes and ponds and 85,000 miles of streams and rivers, the Keystone State has everything a freshwater angler dreams of. To top it all off, Pennsylvania features over 70 miles of coastline on Lake Erie, which means there’s plenty of opportunities to indulge in a Great Lakes fishing adventure.

Where to go

With endless streams, creeks, and lakes across the state, it’s hard to find a place where you can’t fish. To make your search for the perfect trip easier, we recommend river fishing at Harrisburg and lake fishing at Erie.

River Fishing

The Susquehanna River is the largest river on the East Coast, which connects many smaller rivers and creeks. The river is well-known for a great deal of Smallmouth Bass and is also filled with plenty of Walleye, Catfish, and smaller Panfish. Every serious fly fisherman knows that it can hardly get any better than targeting Trout in this area. Whether you’re out to get Brown, Lake, or Steelhead Trout, you only need to focus on streams and creeks that bring extra cold water. 
If you’re a beginner, you can start with spots full of stocked Trout, since they’re easy to fool and will bite more often than wild Trout. If you’re interested in targeting Carp, visit in spring during their spawning season. For all night-owl anglers out there, catfishing is the best in early spring.

Lake Erie

You’ll find that winter and spring are slow on Lake Erie – the real action begins when it gets warmer. When the temperature rises, the fish move to deeper waters, and this happens to be the perfect time for targeting trophy Walleye. Salmon and Steelhead are usually caught with downriggers, while Perch is best to target by bottom fishing, using live minnows as bait. Lake Erie also has an incredible population of Smallmouth Bass, which is slowly becoming a very popular target for fly fishing.


  • All anglers 16 and older need a valid Pennsylvania fishing license. You can purchase your license online or at License Issuing Agents, County Treasurer offices, or Fish & Boat Commission offices.
  • If you’re fishing in Lake Erie, you’ll also need a Lake Erie stamp. 
  • If you’re targeting Trout species, it’s necessary to get a Trout stamp. You may also use the combo Erie/Trout stamp.
Whether you prefer fishing in the lake or river, Pennsylvania will deliver. Choose your trip and get ready for an amazing freshwater adventure!
Based on 15414 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

Pennsylvania Fishing Seasons

Lake Erie is full of ice dunes, so you won’t be heading out on a boat anytime soon. Ice fishing is usually possible on Presque Isle Bay. You can target Steelhead at the mouths of tributaries.
Fishing is better in the rivers, especially in the areas protected from the main current. This can help you locate Walleye and Yellow Perch.
Fishing in the creeks close to Lake Erie will take you to some of the densest populations of wild Brown Trout in the state. Northern Pike is available in good numbers.
With spring comes the Carp spawning season, and they’re present in huge numbers. Early season Walleye is present in the lake, especially during the night.
Besides Carp, you’ll also have great chances when targeting Steelhead or Northern Pike. Catfish are preparing to spawn and they’re showing up in higher numbers.
June is the best time to target Catfish as their spawning season begins. They’re usually active during the night. If you want to catch them on a day trip, check shallow and muddy waters.
The peak season for Walleye kicks in as temperatures rise. The fish will move into deeper waters, searching for colder spots.
One of the best gems of Pennsylvania, Smallmouth Bass, reach their peak in August. It’s better to target them in the rivers and creeks, rather than the lakes.
Bass feed ferociously in fall, so you can still expect great fishing for them. As their bait moves, they tend to follow them to shallower water. 
This is a popular time to target Salmon and Steelhead just off the mouths of the tributaries. Yellow Perch and Bass fishing are still great.
As the weather gets colder, fishing at Lake Erie slows down and the main action moves back to the rivers. Trout and Bass fishing are still good.
In winter, Lake Erie freezes over and there’s not a lot of action underneath the ice. You’ll have the best chances of targeting Steelhead with a professional guide.

Pennsylvania Fishing Calendar

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What People Are Saying About Pennsylvania

"Full day trip"

Hunter M. fished with D.D. Rod Father Sportfishing on May 23, 2020

If you’re looking for smallmouth and have a boat, it couldn’t be better. If you’re targeting walleye, wait until June.

"Half day trip with Capt. Dan"

Robert C. fished with D.D. Rod Father Sportfishing on September 10, 2019

Capt Dan provided all that was needed for a very nice fishing trip.

"Limited out after a day trip on some rough water"

John R. fished with D.D. Rod Father Sportfishing on August 24, 2019

The Walleye fishing is spectacular and a knowledgeable captain like Captain Dan is needed.

"Fishing with Keith"

Delbert H. fished with Dutch Fork Fishing Charters on August 17, 2019

Just watch for pop up stroms never know when weather going to change

Top Fishing Techniques in Pennsylvania

  1. Fly Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Pennsylvania



Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Rainbow Trout (Steelhead)

Perch (Yellow)

Perch (Yellow)

Bass (Smallmouth)

Bass (Smallmouth)



Brown Trout

Brown Trout

Salmon (Coho)

Salmon (Coho)

Pike (Northern)

Pike (Northern)

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