Pennsylvania’s Best Fishing Locations

To some extent, everyone likes fishing. The rush of tying up and pulling in a largemouth fish is unrivaled. Bass fishing is a sort of fishing in which you go out to capture specific types of fish, such as largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. 

People enjoy bass fishing for several reasons, the most obvious being the simplicity with which they can be caught and the ease with which they can become acquainted with the sport. Bass fishing may be found in practically any body of water. They are drawn to artificial lures, worms, and other tiny natural baits.

Best Bass Fishing Spots in Pennsylvania

📍The Shenango Lake

Shenango Lake in Mercer County is a great bass fishing spot. Not only does the lake have good largemouth bass fishing, but its maximum horsepower status makes it suitable for bigger bass boats. In Shenango, largemouths exceed smallmouths by a factor of two. 

The capture rate for bass larger than 12 inches was the highest ever recorded for the lake. However, no bass larger than 18 inches were caught, the first time this has happened since the 1994 survey. Fisheries employees also saw an unusually high quantity of immature yellow perch, suggesting that fishermen utilize perch.

📍The Preque Isle Bay

Presque Isle Bay on Lake Erie has double-barreled bass action. It has healthy inhabitants of largemouth bass. The Commission last inspected Erie Bay, as it is known to many, in the spring of 2008. Above the previous year, the rate of bass over 12 inches climbed by 150 percent. 

Erie Bay has some of the most dependable largemouth bass fishing. The bass is well nourished, resulting in hefty, football-sized 15-inches, which abound in the bay.

📍The Middle Allegheny River

The Allegheny River’s middle section has excellent smallmouth bass fishing. The Allegheny River’s native smallmouth bass species is one of the most strong and healthy in the state. The number and diversity of these fish populations are influenced by habitat and water quality.

📍The Kahle Lake

It boasts one of the state’s densest largemouth bass populations in the 15-inch range, while fish in the 4- to the 5-pound range may also be found on a regular basis. The disadvantage of Kahle is that it is greatly pulled down due to difficulties with the dam’s spillway construction. 

As a result, access is more restricted than at many other lakes. At this time, the north ramp is the best option for trailered boats. The population of largemouth bass in the region is quite high.

📍North Brand of the Susquehanna River

While bass fishing is poor in much of the Susquehanna River’s middle and lower sections. The North Brach runs south across northeastern Pennsylvania after rising in New York. For some time, young-of-year electrofishing surveys on the North Branch reveal robust year classes.

📍The Hopewell Lake

It is home to fantastic largemouth bass fishing in the region. The largemouth bass was caught at a rate of 60.2 per hour, which is higher than the southeastern Pennsylvania average of 47.9 per hour. The lake also improved, most likely as a result of the implementation of Big Bass rules. 

Since the implementation of the more stringent rule, the number of bass exceeding 12 and 15 inches has increased. Electric motors and non-powered boats are permitted.

📍The Koon Lake

Cumberland’s water supply reservoirs are located in southern Bedford County. Koon Lake is 268 acres in size. Despite the fact that electric engines are permitted on Koon, the entrance is not ideal for trailered boats. Make plans to take a car-topper.

📍The Lake Jean

So to the low pH-induced by acid deposition and the local geology, bass fishing has historically been limited here. In 1995, bi-annual lime additions began to enhance water quality. The bass population has reacted positively.

📍The Curwensville Lake

Curwensville Lake is a bit of a sleeper, gaining popularity as a result of improved water quality and a more constant pool level. The Fish and Boat Commission inspected Curwensville in 2009 and discovered a significant increase in the bass population.

📍Raystown Lake

The lake is in Huntingdon County has a diversified fishery, including outstanding largemouth and smallmouth concentrations. Raystown has a healthy population of both largemouth and smallmouth bass, including some outstanding specimens of both. 

It’s frequently the Keystone Bass Buddies Circuit’s second stop of the season. Many basses weighing more than 5 pounds were caught.

📍Lake Nockamixon

It serves as the focal point of Bucks County’s Nockamixon State Park. Though the lake doesn’t experience a lot of fishing pressure, its position assures you won’t be alone. Although there is some smallmouth bass present, they are vastly overwhelmed by green bass. The lake is divided into two large arms. 

The lake has a lot of milfoil beds as well as pad fields of spatterdock, which are very appealing to largemouths at this time of year.

Effective Bass Catching Strategies

Bass are fierce saltwater predators with spines and danger that are one of our most famous sports species. Summer through late fall is the best season to go bass fishing, so gather your gear and go on a bass fishing excursion this summer.


Check the tide When organizing a bass excursion, it is essential to be aware of the tide periods in order to maximize your fishing opportunities while also ensuring your personal safety. 

Easy Tide is a fantastic free tide prediction assistance. Remember to check the weather prediction and sea temperatures as well.


Keep it safe nonetheless of whether you fish from a boat or from the beach, keep it safe. Wear a lifejacket, plan an escape route from rocks and beaches, and ensure that you can securely land and return back from your selected fishing location. 

Fishing with a companion is usually beneficial, but if you go alone, let companions and relatives know where you are and when you plan to return.


Angling for bass, so maximize your chances by fishing when they are most likely to eat. On a summer vacation, others like a first light workout before converging the family for breakfast and a day at the beach, but do whatever operates for you and your way. Fishing using lures and poppers after dark may be a lot of fun.


Look for structure because the majority of the prey items devoured by bass may be located in or near the structure. Google Maps are excellent resources for locating potential markers.


Don’t overlook because the bass is infamous for hitting close in, very close, so look for water beneath your feet, even if it’s shallow. Work your fly or lure all the way back to the border, and also investigate just flooded areas on an incoming tide.


Be adaptive and avoid being too stereotypical when it comes to bass fishing. In clean water, targeting them with flies and lures is ideal. Don’t forget about float gear, which is excellent for ragworm fishing over broken ground.


Make sure you follow the most recent bass retention standards, and if you decide to keep a fish, make sure it’s larger than the current 42cm requirement. If you capture a particularly huge bass, we usually urge returning it since these fish represent the future breeding stock.

How to Catch Largemouth Bass

Bass is one of North America’s most prevalent game fish. The largemouth bass is the most generally sought-after bass, although other types are also available.

👍Choose the Proper Equipment

Make certain that you have the proper lure. The finest lures for capturing bass fall into three categories. Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and plastic worms are all available. They may all be utilized successfully regardless of location or time of year. 

The major part of the lure that you must consider is the color you select for them. Each lure should have two in your tackle box, one in a natural hue and one in a bright, colorful color.

Live bait can be used. You may also fish with live bait if you don’t want to utilize lures. Worms, minnows, and crawfish are the most common forms of live bait for bass. 

Worms are easy to maintain and transport, and you may store them in mud in the refrigerator if you don’t utilize all you got on your first fishing excursion. Minnows and crawfish are more difficult to manage since they must be kept in a bucket of water while you fish.

It is also necessary to select a reel. In bass fishing, there are two types of reels. A spinning reel, often learned as an open-faced reel can be used. A spin-cast reel, often known as a closed face reel, is another option. 

The biggest distinction between the two is the amount of competence required from the individual fishing. The closed face reel is ideal for novices since it does not need any sophisticated techniques. Manipulation of the spinning reel requires considerable skill.

👍Choose When and Where you want to go Fishing

The optimum time to fish is during the pre-spawn. Pre-spawn is the finest period of the year for bass. This is the moment of the year when the fish awaken from their winter hibernation to begin the mating process. The water temperature begins to climb to 55 or 60 degrees, and females and males begin to emerge from the water and communicate with one another. 

They are extremely aggressive and agitated this time of year since they have been primarily inactive during the winter months. This phase begins in early spring and lasts throughout the season.

One suggestion is to use a map. Locate a map of the body of water in which you intend to fish. The maps will guide you to the levels of the various sections of water as well as any drop-offs beneath the surface of the water. 


In non-peak seasons, bass tends to creep on the base of the water, so having a chart of the deepness of the body of water you’re fishing in can assist you to discover the bass. It can also assist you in locating submerged structures where the bass may be hiding.

It is critical to begin at the appropriate time of day. The optimum times of day to catch bass are early in the morning and late in the day. Attempt to arrive at your fishing area an hour prior to the sunrise or an hour before dusk because the bass bite more during these moments when the sun isn’t overly high overhead. 

If you chance to be fishing during the day, search for bass in shady places away from direct sunshine. They avoid regions with high levels of light and heat.

Fish in and around cover. Bass prefer to be around things, foliage, or barriers in the water, such as a fallen trunk or tree. It might be beside a boat dock or a bridge post. Cast around low-hanging tree branches and extensive areas of weeds because bass prefers the continual cover afforded by these locations in the water.

👍Explore Unique Bass Catching Techniques

Crankbait can be used to catch fish. Crankbait attracts bass because it resembles damaged, weakfish in the water, causing the bass to strike. Put your bait on your line to utilize the crankbait. Cast your pole into a lake or river close to a structure and let the bait settle to the bottom. 

Pull back on your rod and begin reeling in your line once you feel the line settle. As you drawback on your rod, the lure will sink into the water, causing resistance on your pole. Re-level your pole and cease reeling in your line. This will allow your lure to rise above the surface of the water. Rep till your lure hits the water’s surface.


Spinnerbait is effective for catching bass. Spinnerbait is used in the same way as crankbait is. The distinction is that you don’t have to reel in your streak when you drag back your pole. Pull your pole back to make it dive into the water, then gently lower it back down. 

This causes the lure to rise back up in the water, the blades to generate noise, and the water around the lure to be disturbed. And because the movement bothers the bass, the bright, spinning blades on these lures draw their attention and drag fish to your bait.

Plastic worms work well for catching bass. This lure is considerably easier to fish with than the other lures. Cast out your line with the plastic worm attached, and let the worm drop to the bottom. 

Instead of pushing your rod around, simply reel your line in at different rates. Since genuine worms aren’t jumpy, you don’t need to shake your reel as much as you did with the other baits.

Bass may be caught with live bait. When fishing with live bait, the ideal method is to continually move around your line. Although the bait you use on your hook is dead or nearly dead, the bass is drawn to living prey. 

You should continually move around your line to simulate a live fish, worm, or frog. This may be accomplished by reeling it in or by just swaying your pole back and forth to make it appear as though the bait is pushing naturally.

Benefits of Catching your Own Fish

You may consider fishing as a hobby, a means to relax, or just a method to put food on the table. But did you know it’s also extremely beneficial to your health? There are several benefits to catching your fish.

✔️You get to Spend time with your Family

Fishing is a talent that is passed down through generations, with grandfathers bringing their grandchildren out to a familiar pond and teaching them how to hook a worm. Fishing is a wonderful pastime to master since spending time with your family boosts emotions of security and well-being.

✔️It can Improve your Immune System

Vitamin D aids in the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, two minerals that promote immune system function and aid in disease defense. A day in the sun is the finest source of vitamin D.

✔️It can help you Unwind

A lovely day spent in a mountain stream, followed by grilled fish for dinner. Spending lengthy periods of time in nature with concentrated work is similar to meditation, which has been associated with lower blood pressure and anxiety.

✔️It Teaches you Self-Sufficiency

We depend on others to fulfill a variety of duties in our everyday lives in our service-oriented economy. Fishing takes you into the outdoors and requires you to master a range of abilities. The more you participate in the sport, the more you will learn.

✔️You get to Spend Time Outside

Fishing fosters a stronger relationship with nature and all of its inhabitants. Fishermen are tuned in to the symbiotic ecosystems that exist in coastal regions. They are well-versed with the many fish that reside in the water, as well as the insects they eat and their predators. There are various health benefits to being outside in the fresh air, in the sun, and on the water.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the record for the largest bass captured in Pennsylvania?

A: On June 30, Ridgway’s Adam Dauber caught the largest largemouth bass, which measured 24 1/2 inches.

Q: Is it safe to consume bass?

A: You can, in fact, eat bass! Freshwater bass is an interesting species to capture, and it is completely safe to eat.

Q: Is bass better for you than salmon?

A: Salmon is healthier than sea bass because it contains more omega-3 fatty acids.

Q: What is the greatest bass bait?

A: Fish and crawfish work nicely as live bait since these are what bass typically consume.

Q: Are worms effective bass bait?

A: Worms are excellent for catching bass. Worms and nightcrawlers are excellent fishing baits that perform well for a wide variety of small & medium gamefish.

Final Thoughts

Much of Pennsylvania’s greatest bass fishing may be found in the plentiful rivers and bigger streams that run through nearly every area of the state, but the country’s top bass-fishing publication has included one Pennsylvania water towards the top of its list of best bassin’ lakes. It is one of the top places in the country for bass fishing. The state is brimming with fantastic lakes and sceneries, making your bass fishing journey one remember.