Pennsylvania ice fishing is in full swing. Extreme temperatures during the holiday season has added plenty of ice to most lakes across the state. The continued cold weather means ice fishing in Pennsylvania will continue to remain strong well into February.
Many of Pennsylvania's lakes received a fresh filling of stocked trout in December in preparation for ice fishing season. Here are the top Pennsylvania ice fishing lake hotspots if you are looking for some cold weather angling.
PA Ice Fishing Hotspots
By region, here are the top PA ice fishing lakes where you can catch rainbows, browns and brookies with ease.
West Basin Pond was stocked on December 13, 2017. This lake is located within Presque Isle State Park, the most visited park in PA. The unique location of this pond in Pennsylvania means ice thickness is greater for longer periods of time, which provides more opportunities to ice fish.
Fishing pressure can be heavy when weather is good but do not let that stop you from going. There are plenty of spots on the ice. In addition, most ice anglers tend to head to the bays of Lake Erie in search of perch, crappies and walleyes, leaving this trout stocked pond less crowded.
Fish live bait like wax worms and minnows on small jigs to catch trout under the ice at West Basin Pond. Recently stocked trout are aggressive here and react well to jigging throughout winter. If you are in Erie, make West Basin Pond one of you ice fishing trips.
If you are near the Pittsburgh area, Bradys Run Lake offers some great ice fishing in Pennsylvania. This lake was also stocked on December 13, 2017. Rainbow trout were loaded in this lake just in time for the PA ice fishing season.
The lake is approximately 28 acres located within Bradys Run County Park, which is two miles north of Beaver, PA on State Route 51. The lake does get some pressure for ice fishing season. However, the extra trout just recently stocked provides all anglers the opportunity to limit out. Tip-ups fished with live bait work the best on this lake as well as other ice fishing techniques.
Beechwood Lake in Tioga County is between Gaines and Westfield. Typically ice fishing pressure is light on this lake. However, don't let that fool you into thinking the fishing is bad. Just the opposite. Ice fishing for trout is good because it received a fresh batch of fish on December 13, 2017.
The lake has a surface area of 67 acres. Not a huge lake but plenty of space to fish especially around the old creek channel. Good winter trout fishing action can often be found near the deeper, northern end. Not just trout are hot on this lake in the winter. Try the other side of the lake for panfish, chain pickerel or walleyes. Popular baits include live bait, small jigs and spoons.
Laurel Lake in Cumberland County is by far one of our favorite PA ice fishing hotspots. This small 25 acre lake has good access points and was stocked on Novemeber 8, 2017. It sits within Pine Grove Furnace State Park, which is about eight miles south of I-81 on State Route 233.
Trout in this lake can be hard to catch at times. Jigging is often the best tactic. When fishing gets tough, try these ice fishing tips to improve your chances of catching a few trout. Sometimes adding something different to your bag of fishing tricks is just what it takes to pull a few out of the hole.
Upper Woods Pond received a fresh stocking of rainbow trout on December 12, 2017. This lake is unique in that it is a natural lake. Because of this, it has abundant quality habitat that supports natural trout reproduction. Even though it gets regular stockings, many times you can catch nice, large holdovers.
The lake is about 80 acres and varies in depth from an average of 29 feet to a maximum of 73 feet. The depth allows for trout to survive year-round, which gives anglers the potential to catch some nice fish under the ice. Live bait again is your best bet. Focus your ice fishing on finding the right depth where trout are suspended. With its abundance of natural habitat, you may need to move your ice fishing gear and ice shanty around multiple times until you find the fish.
Our final top PA ice fishing hotspot is Deep Creek Dam in Montgomery County. Close to Philadelphia, the lake provides winter fishing opportunities within a short distance to city residents. This Montgomery County Parks Department owned lake, part of Green Lane Park, was stocked on November 15, 2017.
Fishing pressure can be heavy due to its proximity to so many people. Try going during the week or early mornings to get a great spot to ice fish. Tip-ups on multiple holes is the key to successfully pulling out trout from Deep Creek Dam when ice fishing.
Why Pennsylvania Ice Fishing can be Great
To conclude, these are only a sample of lakes that make up the best ice fishing in Pennsylvania. PA ice fishing can be great because many lakes receive another stocking of trout specifically for ice fishing season. As long as the temperature cooperates, there are numerous opportunities across Pennsylvania to catch not only trout but many other species through the ice.