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Fishing Pinchot Lake

AKA: Pinchot Reservoir

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Pinchot Lake, PA

Popular Fish Species Pinchot Lake, PA

Pinchot Lake Popular Fish - Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass Fishing

Pinchot Lake has a nice population of quality bass which can give anglers an opportunity to catch good numbers and occasionally a lunker. Recently the fishing for bass has been as good as advertised. This fertile lake also offers sufficient cover for both baitfish and bass. Thorough fisheries management by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has maintained a quality bass fishery for some time now. When the bite is good, bass typically move shallow and are quite aggressive. If you find them shallow and they are not tempted to bite, slow down and use smaller, lighter baits. Fishing for largemouth bass is good virtually any time they are shallow - in spring, mornings in summer, and during warm Fall afternoons. Use shallow crankbaits around rip rap. Around grass use worms, jigs, topwater and spinnerbaits. In deeper water, big worms, jigs and spoons are three good weapons. In winter, spend your time fishing Pinchot Lake on deeper structure where the bass spend much of their time.

Pinchot Lake Popular Fish - Black Crappie

Black Crappie Fishing

Crappie fishing at Pinchot Lake has been quite good. Black crappie reside in good numbers here, and they are averaging a very good size this year. The best time to catch crappie tends to be at dawn and dusk. Live bait and small jigs are the most common method for crappie here. Crappie always like cover and structure, so locate brush and vegetation. Using a fish finder can help locate schools of crappie, which tend to stack vertically around cover. In spring and fall focus on the 8 to 12 foot range. As the crappie move deep in summer and winter, follow points out deep, as well as find ledges near channels in deeper water.

Pinchot Lake Popular Fish - Hybrid Striped Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass Fishing

Hybrid striped bass, also known as wipers, are stocked by Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, and are a favorite of many locals and fishing guides at Pinchot Lake. As a hybrid of striped bass and white bass, they have great potential for spawning massive numbers and growing to large sizes. Fishing for hybrid stripers is a matter of locating schools of bait, and schools of hybrid striped bass are likely to be in the area. Mornings, during Fall, hybrids can be caught on topwater or shallow running lures, as they are feeding on baitfish at the surface. When they move deeper, fish finders improve your odds of locating both bait and schools of wipers. Live bait, spoons and jigs are very very effective here, and these hungry fish can be caught year round.

Fish species to fish for...

Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, walleye, bluegill, yellow perch, hybrid striped bass and muskie at Pinchot Lake in Pennsylvania.

Pinchot Lake Fishing Video

Situated half way between York and Harrisburg, Pinchot Lake is a 340-acre fishing lake with a mixed bag of fish species. Anglers who frequent the lake tend to favor targeting bass and stripers. However, crappie, muskie, perch, sunfish, walleye and catfish also roam these waters. The lake is open to sail boats and pleasure boats, as well as all types of fishing boats - including bass boats, canoes, kayaks, pontoons and others.

Pinchot Lake, situated within Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania, is a paradise for fishing enthusiasts seeking an enjoyable angling experience. Spanning over 340 acres, this scenic lake offers excellent fishing opportunities for a variety of species. Anglers are drawn to Pinchot Lake to target popular fish such as largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, muskie, catfish, and panfish like crappie and bluegill. The lake's diverse underwater structure, including submerged vegetation, rock piles, and drop-offs, provides a thriving habitat for these species, ensuring an exciting and rewarding fishing adventure.

Pinchot Lake, with its diverse fish species, boating opportunities, and camping amenities, offers a wonderful destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Pennsylvania. Whether one seeks a rewarding fishing experience, a leisurely boating adventure, or a peaceful camping getaway, Pinchot Lake and Gifford Pinchot State Park provide an ideal setting to connect with nature and enjoy the serenity of this picturesque destination.

Fishing Boats For Rent In Pennsylvania

Primary fish species residing in Pinchot Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie Walleye Bluegill Yellow Perch Striped bass Hybrid Striped Bass Muskie

Pinchot Lake Amenities

Marina: NO
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: THREE
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NEARBY
Convenience Store: NO
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: NEARBY

Today's Weather & Forecast

Boating is a popular activity on Pinchot Lake, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore its serene waters and access prime fishing spots. The lake allows for electric-powered boats, creating a peaceful and environmentally-friendly boating experience. Boaters can bring their own canoes, kayaks, or sailboats to enjoy a leisurely paddle across the lake. Additionally, there are boat rentals available at the marina for those looking to explore the lake further. Whether fishing, paddling, or simply enjoying a scenic boat ride, Pinchot Lake offers a tranquil setting to unwind and connect with nature.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Boat Mooring No. 1
Located just west of the Rosstown Road bridge, in the southwest corner of the lake, this is a single-lane, gravel ramp with docks and limited parking.

Boat Ramp
Located in the Gifford Pinchot State Park Campground, in the southeast corner of the lake, this is a single-lane, gravel ramp with a dock and limited, gravel parking.

Gifford Pinchot Boat Mooring No. 3
Located on the northeast sector of the lake, this is a single-lane, gravel ramp with docks and limited parking.

Public Boat Launch
Located in the northwest corner of the lake, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Fishing Guides On Pinchot Lake

If you offer fishing guide services on this lake, please contact us for a free listing, to be posted here.

Fishing License

Click here for a Pennsylvania Fishing License.

Camping options are available within Gifford Pinchot State Park, allowing visitors to extend their stay and fully immerse themselves in the beauty of the area. The park offers both tent and RV camping sites, as well as cabins for those seeking more comfortable accommodations. Camping at Pinchot Lake enables visitors to wake up to the sounds of nature, enjoy lakeside activities, and relish the peaceful ambiance of the park.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Gifford Pinchot State Park Campground - 717 292-4112

Quaker Race Campground - 717 432-1181

Pinchot Lake PA Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Pinchot Lake
Gifford Pinchot State Park
800 E Camping Area Rd
Wellsville, PA 17365
717 292-4112


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Pinchot Lake in Pennsylvania.

Striped bass, walleye, muskie and catfish fishing in south-central PA.

Fishing at Pinchot Lake, in Pennsylvania.