The 12 Best Walleye Fishing Spots in Pennsylvania: Rivers and Lakes + Map

From the shores of the impressive Lake Erie to the meandering beauty of the Susquehanna River, the waters of Pennsylvania are full of trophy-size walleye, with the natural surroundings being …

From the shores of the impressive Lake Erie to the meandering beauty of the Susquehanna River, the waters of Pennsylvania are full of trophy-size walleye, with the natural surroundings being renowned for their beauty.

Whether you prefer the thrill of fishing on walleye lakes from a boat or love the tranquility of shore fishing, this article will take a closer look at the prime locations for you to catch walleye around the state. We’ll also touch on the best techniques for that area and the most successful baits that will entice these sometimes timid fish to strike.

List of the Best Rivers and Lakes to Catch Walleye in Pennsylvania

walleye fishing spots in pennsylvania
  1. Lake Erie
  2. Raystown Lake
  3. Shenango River Lake
  4. Cowanesque Lake
  5. Lake Nockamixon
  6. Lake Arthur
  7. Allegheny River
  8. Susquehanna River
  9. Youghiogheny River
  10. Delaware River
  11. Juniata River
  12. Clarion River

Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing Guide: Lakes

1. Lake Erie

Lake Eria Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

Lake Erie is a massive lake that shares its borders with Ohio and New York and offers an excellent amount of opportunities to catch walleyes. Being so large, this lake is prime water when fishing from a boat, but it also has more than 850 miles of shoreline for casting your line from dry land.

Shad-style crankbaits, worm harnesses, jigs tipped with minnows, or nightcrawlers are excellent baits and lures to use in this lake. If you’ll be fishing from a boat, troll along the drop-offs and structure using diving crankbaits or worm harnesses. If you’re staying on the shore, try going with your favorite stickbaits, jigs, or nightcrawlers, and cast them out at your preferred distance.

Spring and fall offer excellent walleye action at the lake, especially during dawn and dusk and during the walleye spawn season. But walleye and several other fish species can be found year-round and throughout the day or night. Whenever you prefer to head out to the lake on your fishing adventure, you’re sure to haul something in.

2. Raystown Lake

Raystown Lake Smallmouth Bass Fishing Pennsylvania

Surrounded by the natural beauty near Huntingdon, the scenic Raystown Lake, located in south-central Pennsylvania, is a great destination for a walleye fishing adventure

Although shore fishing options are a bit limited, if you have a boat, you can take advantage of the excellent accessibility and troll the lake with diving crankbaits, worm harnesses, or jigging spoons near submerged structures.

If you prefer shore fishing and don’t mind having to search a bit to find a good spot, focus on sitting near rocky points and cast your line near coves using jigs or live bait to get the best results.

Spring and fall are the best times to visit the lake for walleye fishing, and early mornings and evenings are the most productive times for walleye as well as other species, including stripers, muskies, lake trout, large and small-mouth bass, channel cats, brown trout, perch, and more.

3. Shenango River Lake

Shenango River Lake Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

The beautiful Shenango River Lake, located in western Pennsylvania near Sharon, is an excellent spot for some serious springtime walleye fishing. This 3,485-acre reservoir and river combination provides excellent accessibility for both shore fishing and boating.

For boaters heading out towards the middle of the water, spend some time trolling with worm harnesses, use some deep-diving crankbaits, or start with jigging spoons near submerged structures. Shore anglers can cast their lines near deep holes and current breaks using jigs, minnows, or nightcrawlers and get some very quick and aggressive strikes.

Spring is absolutely the best time of year to head out to this area, but early mornings in the summer and both morning and evening in the fall can be very productive too. 

4. Cowanesque Lake

Cowanesque Lake Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

Located in north-central Pennsylvania near Lawrenceville, Cowanesque Lake is a beautiful spot for a serene walleye fishing adventure. Covering more than 1,000 acres, this lake provides good accessibility for both shore fishing and boating.

Grab your tackle box and make sure you pack it with worm harnesses, deep-diving crankbaits, jigs tipped with minnows, or live nightcrawlers, and get ready to haul in fish after fish at this busy spot.

If you have a boat, head out to the open waters and troll with deep-diving crankbaits to get the best results or jigging spoons near drop-offs and submerged structures if you want to try for a few different species. 

Shore anglers can get some good results when focusing on weed edges by casting jigs, minnows, or nightcrawlers into the area to entice walleye to strike.

Spring and fall are the peak seasons for walleye fishing at this lake, but you’ll see anglers out there on the water through all four seasons. 

5. Lake Nockamixon

Lake Nockamixon Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

Nestled in southeastern Pennsylvania near Quakertown, Lake Nockamixon is a 1,400-acre lake that is known for its largemouth and smallmouth bass and channel catfish, but the solid walleye population, muskie, and various other species are very common too.

Although the lake has more than 98 miles of shoreline, shore fishing options are limited due to the thick forests that grow right to the water’s edge. For boaters, the lake offers two well-maintained boat ramps for you to launch your craft easily. 

Boaters should focus on troll with worm harnesses to cover a good amount of water, but you can also pick a spot and drop a deep-water diving crankbait over the side of the boat near submerged structures and drop-offs to get the most bites.

Shore anglers, if they can find a good spot to set up their gear, can get a lot of quick and aggressive bites from the biggest walleye if they target shallow water rocky points or the support pillars of docks using casting jigs, live bait, or stickbaits.

6. Lake Arthur

Lake Arthur Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

Lake Arthur, in western Pennsylvania near Butler, offers good accessibility for both shore fishing and boating. This scenic lake spans more than 3,200 acres and is a great destination for walleye anglers of all experience levels. 

If you have a boat, find your own empty spot somewhere on the expansive waters and troll with worm harnesses to get the fastest strikes. Jigging spoons can also be incredibly useful and are my preferred method for large walleye in deeper water at this lake. Drop them near submerged structures or in deeper water areas of the lake, which max out at around 35 feet. 

Shore anglers can target deep holes and weed edges with pretty much any of their favorite lures and baits, including jigs, minnows, or nightcrawlers. Dawn and dusk in the spring is an excellent time to head out to the lake, but largemouth bass, walleye, bluegill, black crappie, and channel catfish can be caught all year round with the right bait and amount of patience.

Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing Guide: Rivers

7. Allegheny River

Allegheny River Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

The beautiful Allegheny River in western Pennsylvania, surrounded by the city of Pittsburgh, offers not only stunning views but also incredible walleye fishing. You can easily access this 325-mile-long river from the shore or take your boat out onto the water to chase down the schools of target fish.

Jigging spoons, jigs tipped with minnows, plastic grubs, or nightcrawlers are extremely effective on the river, with spring and fall being the best seasons to visit. As a shore angler, you’ll want to target deep holes with jigs or use live bait under a float, while boaters should try drifting or trolling with jigging spoons, jigs tipped with minnows, or worm harnesses.

8. Susquehanna River

Susquehanna River Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

The iconic Susquehanna River flows through the heart of central Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, and spans more than 440 miles providing good accessibility for both shore fishing and boating.

This iconic river and its feeder streams offer not only scenic beauty but also fantastic walleye fishing opportunities with jigging spoons, jigs tipped with minnows, plastic grubs, or nightcrawlers.

Boat anglers can drift using worm harnesses to entice those walleye bites, while anglers on the shore or along the shallow bars should be using jigs or live or cut bait under a float near breaks and other slow-moving areas.

9. Youghiogheny River

Youghiogheny River Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

Flowing 132 miles through Connellsville and beyond, this river offers good spots for both shore fishing and boating. Make sure to pack your tackle box with jigging spoons, jigs tipped with minnows, plastic grubs, or nightcrawlers since these will get you the best results from the various fish species in the river.

All four seasons can get some good results from walleye, but dawn and dusk in the spring are one of the best times to visit. Shore anglers should turn their attention to deep holes where walleye are hiding and use live bait under a float to get quick strikes. Boaters can get results with almost anything but jigging spoons, plastic grubs, or nightcrawlers are my preferred choices.

10. Delaware River

Delaware River Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

Cast your line into the 300-mile-long Delaware River, which runs along the border between eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This scenic river not only has some beautiful forested views but also offers exciting walleye fishing opportunities for beginners and experts alike.

During the spring, summer, and fall months, boat anglers can get some great results when they drift or troll with jigging spoons, jigs tipped with minnows, or worm harnesses. Shore anglers can get walleye strikes when they target deeper pools and slower-moving eddies with jigs or live or cut bait under a float.

11. Juniata River

Juniata River Pennsylvania Walleye Fishing

The Juniata River is a tributary of the Susquehanna River and is renowned for its walleye fishing. This river winds through central Pennsylvania and offers excellent angling opportunities for walleye enthusiasts.

Anglers can target walleye by boat or from the shore and can get excellent results from both. Shore anglers should look for areas with deeper pools, undercut banks, shallow bars, or rocky or gravel bottom sections where walleye may be hiding. Casting jigs, live or cut bait, or stickbaits near these areas can entice walleye strikes.

When boating, drifting, or trolling with jigging spoons, jigs tipped with minnows or worm harnesses are common techniques used to attract walleye. You should focus on areas with structure, such as submerged rocks, log jams, or deep holes, as walleye often seek cover and ambush their prey.

12. Clarion River

clarion River Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Caption By Zach Rudisin Own work, CC BY SA 3.0

Flowing through the northwestern part of the state starting from Johnsonburg and joining the Allegheny River near the town of Clarion, the 110-mile-long Clarion River and its smaller feeder streams is known for its scenic beauty, tranquil setting, and ample opportunities for walleye anglers to test their skills on these active little fish.

The river is characterized by its rocky bottom, deep pools, and varied structure, providing an ideal habitat for walleye. Trolling with deep-diving crankbaits, worm harnesses, or jigging spoons is a common technique used to entice walleye bites when you’re on a boat while casting jigs, live or cut bait, or stickbaits are more effective when shore fishing.

Focus on areas with current breaks, submerged logs, or deep pools to increase your chances of success since these are prime spots where fish may gather to feed, walleye spawn, or rest.

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AUTHOR
Jeff Knapp is an expert fisherman, guide and outdoor writer whose work is widely published across a range of sites including Tackle Village. Jeff is based in Pennsylvania and loves exploring the waterways of that state in pursuit of smallmouth bass, largemouth, panfish and trout.