With a significant number of fishing spots, species, natural views, and opportunities, Susquehanna River fishing will change your fishing experience. With over 400 miles of fishable water, the Susquehanna River is the longest river on the East Coast, open for fishing throughout the year. It offers the ultimate opportunity to both fish and enjoys the spectacular scenery. Since the option is massive, doing a little research on the river will help make a short note to enjoy the trip.
After hours, we prepared this guide with some essential information, including the river’s popular fishing spots, fishing techniques, and a shortlist of species. Moreover, we cover some crucial laws and regulations that should be followed throughout the trip to prevent penalties.
How to Fish the Susquehanna River
The beauty and the level of experience of fishing greatly depend on the way you execute. While heading into the unknown on your boat can bring personal satisfaction, a trip with a professional captain increases the chance of casting the line into the right spot.
Nothing can offer better than being alone on the water and the sound of the screaming reel. Fortunately, the Susquehanna winds through lots of national parks with elegant nature. Thus, you can enjoy both the scenery and the bite while fishing alone on the Susquehanna River. The West Branch’s angling action is suitable for the solo angler who is looking for trout. A fishing spot like Milton State Park and Shikellamy State Park is full of wildlife and scenic views, where you’ll find plenty of piers for enjoying solo fishing.
The Adam T. Bower Memorial Dam near Lake Augusta is also a fantastic spot for anglers who love to fish alone. However, you will need to bring the best cheap casting rod to experience quality fishing.
On a Charter:
If you are new to Susquehanna and confused about where to start, a professional fishing guide is preferable. Duncannon and Harrisburg are among the most famous launching places. You will be offered both half-day and full-day trips from where you can choose based on your time and curiosity about visiting different fishing stops, just like the Lake Chatuge Fishing trip.
Some guides offer a memorable fishing trip for about 4–8 hours, targeting specific species. Besides, they offer all the essential equipment and bait. Even so, you will need the cooler with rod holders. You will have to bring only some food and drinks.
Susquehanna River fishing rules and regulations
The fishing laws and guidelines for Susquehanna River fishing vary from state to state. The suggestion of local fishers can be beneficial and keep you from accidentally breaking the law. Generally, people who are 16 years of age and older have to bring a valid license, which can be brought online or from a tackle shop, similar to the Connecticut River Fishing regulations.
Remember, you will have to display a valid license at all times if you are fishing in Pennsylvania. Plus, you will need a Trout Stamp to fish for trout legally. For fishing trips, some captains will offer the license for free, and some will charge.
Where to Fishing on the Susquehanna River
The Susquehanna River has hundreds of miles, so picking the place for a casting line can be daunting. You can consider the targeted species to choose the sweet spot as it will limit the choice.
You can carry your good baitcasting rods to catch the best tasting freshwater fish from the West Branch, as it is a superb place for targeting trout. More specifically, the western section of Penn’s Creek is an excellent resource for trout, making it an ideal spot for passionate fly anglers. Conversely, visiting the east region, the angler will discover a heaven of Smallmouth Bass.
A trout angler can get a decent result by fishing Rapid Run and Halfway Lake in the R.B. Winter State Park and the Roaring Creek Tract in the Weiser State Forest. Once passing the Great Bend in Pennsylvania, the angler will enter the area of Musky, Catfish, and Perch. Harrisburg and Duncannon are the most popular spots here, and plenty of knowledgeable guides are available here. Once you come to the lower area of the river, the catfish will welcome you.
Lastly, Lake Augusta is one of the most productive locations on the river situated south of Sunbury. It is home to various species, including catfish, walleye, musky, carp, and smallmouth bass. Overall, the Susquehanna River offers vast fishing opportunities, and it depends on how much you will receive from the river.
Top Catches in the Susquehanna River
The Susquehanna River is the 20th longest river in the US and one of the oldest rivers in the world, which has capricious waters and dynamic fisheries. It is also known as the Oyster River, and some of the most common species here are Musky, Catfish, Sunfish, Carp, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye, and even Trout. Let’s have a look at some of the favorite catches here.
Smallmouth Bass are the superstars of the Susquehanna River, which can be caught easily throughout the year. However, different seasons require different systems and methods. During the spring, in colder water, jigs can award you giant fish. It requires a lot of skill during the summer, so a guide with local angling experience is recommended.
Though the bass is the most targeted species in the Susquehanna, it is also superb for trout fishing. The upper reaches of the Endless Mountains and the winding West Branch are among the top places for fishing impressive-sized trout. Curwensville Dam, Boiling Springs Run, and Shryock Run are also the best locations for target trout. You can catch some of these using your best inexpensive spinning reel.
If you are willing to hunt the ultimate predators of the Susquehanna River, catfish will give you the desired experience. Whatever your intention is, whether it is personal satisfaction or a dinner meal, you will find different sizes and shapes of these whiskery devils in the Susquehanna River. You can catch 15–35 inches of Channel Catfish anywhere from Sunbury to Harrisburg if you are lucky enough.
The musky fishing will help you enjoy the sportfishing experience on the Susquehanna River. Muskies are inhabitants of Pennsylvania, and their combination of size and fighting ability attracts many sports’ anger throughout the year. However, the best time to catch musky is from November to February. Muskies love to live in deep water, so fishing from a boat is preferable for enjoying an excellent, adrenaline-pumping fight.
- What kind of fish are in the Susquehanna River?
The Susquehanna River is home to a wide variety of species. The most popular species found here are smallmouth bass, muskellunge, pumpkinseed sunfish, walleye, rock bass, yellow perch, fallfish, channel catfish, common carp, black crappie, northern pike, bluegill, brown bullhead, and white sucker.
- Is it safe to eat fish from the Susquehanna River?
The species found in the river maintain their food chain. It’s a huge source of protein for the locals as well as the US. Thus, many people across the country come every year to enjoy the taste. And they are fond of the fish caught from the river.
- Are there eels in the Susquehanna River?
Eels aren’t commonly found in the Susquehanna River. These are rarely seen in the Potomac River watershed. However, the authorities are trying to return the eels and shad and other ocean-migrating fish to the Susquehanna River.
Whether you are a starter or seasoned angler, Susquehanna River fishing will surprise you throughout the trip. It’s a complete pack of diverse scenery, species, and opportunities to get the most memorable experience. So, the Susquehanna River is waiting to offer you the most exciting moment, whether you start the trip alone or with an experienced captain. Finally, don’t only listen to us; go out and enjoy the fantastic journey of Susquehanna River fishing.
Tony is a professional fishing instructor and his hobby is fishing! He has been fishing for the last 4 years and he loves fishing instructor profession. Based on his experiences with the different type of fishing; he is sharing his opinion about various fishing technique so that a beginner can get started right away. Find him on Twitter. Happy reading!