Pittsburgh Fishing Spots for Beginners

Whether you're looking for a fun afternoon with the kids, or just want to break into fishing gently, these Pittsburgh fishing spots are a great place to start. Many of these popular fishing spots are stocked lakes, which means you can visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission website to view stocking times and the types of fish being caught before you head out.

If you are looking for a specific species of fish, visit Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters to find where you should go to catch them. The state has interactive maps to help you find the best spots for 13 different species. These are bluegill/pumpkinseed, bullhead catfish, channel catfish, common carp, crappie, flathead catfish, bass, muskellunge, striped bass, stocked trout, wild trout, walleye, and yellow perch. In stocked lakes and ponds, the type of fish will change season to season.

Other favorite Pittsburgh fishing spots offer easy river access, such as the North Shore and South Side Riverfront Parks. Just don't forget your PA fishing license (and trout stamp if you're fishing in a lake or stream that has been stocked with trout).

01 of 07

Point State Park

Point State Park in Fall
John Marino/Wikimedia Commons
601 Commonwealth Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, USA
+1 412-565-2850

The three rivers are home for smallmouth bass, walleye, and sauger. The wharf is accessible for those with mobility challenges. You can enjoy fishing here on your own or join a group.

The Pittsburgh TriAnglers welcomes both members and non-members of Venture Outdoors to try their hand at fishing every Wednesday, May through September, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (many members come on their lunch hour - some even dressed in suits). Free fishing tackle and instruction is offered. Participants need only show up with a license and a sense of adventure.

The group meets underneath the Roberto Clemente Bridge across from Point State Park along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail just outside of PNC Park near Kayak Pittsburgh.

02 of 07

North Park Lake

North Park Lake, McCandless, PA, USA

This 65-acre lake has largemouth bass and bluegills for your fishing pleasure. You can rent a boat or kayak and use one of the public launches. Oddly enough, a piranha was caught here in the summer of 2016.

Additional amenities include a golf course, pool, ice rink, ball fields, nature center, shelters, off-leash areas, hockey rink, and hiking/biking trails.

03 of 07

Highland Park Dam

Highland Park dam framed by railroad bridge and its reflection
George Schnakenberg, Jr. / Flickr   
Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA

Come enjoy walleye fishing, especially during the cold weather months. Catfish and smallmouth bass can also be had. Reportedly, the best fishing is downriver of the Highland Park Dam, with access from the Fish and Boat Commission's Sharpsburg Access.

04 of 07

Cross Creek Lake - Washington County

Cross Creek Lake
Jon Dawson/Flickr  
Cross Creek Lake, Pennsylvania 15312, USA

This county-owned, 258-acre stocked lake offers plenty of shore fishing for panfish, as well as excellent bass fishing. A county permit is required for boating. A handicapped fishing dock is available at the County Park Road boat launch.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Keystone Lake, Armstrong County

Keystone Lake in Pittsburgh
Armstrong County
Keystone Lake, Derry Township, PA, USA

You can fish for both warm water and cold water fish at this 78-acre lake in Keystone State Park. You can find largemouth bass, carp, and brown bullhead catfish. It is also stocked with catchable rainbow trout. Then in the winter, you can go ice fishing.

The fishing area by the spillway is ADA accessible. Boats with electric motors are allowed.

06 of 07

Raccoon Lake State Park, Beaver County

Raccoon Creek State Park
Pa DCNR      
1588 S Raccoon Parkeway, Rockville, IN 47872, USA
+1 765-344-1884

Row your boat or canoe on this lake to fish (electric motors also allowed) or enjoy fishing off the pier. The lake has bluegill, sunfish, bullhead and channel catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass. They also stock brown and rainbow trout.

There is an ADA accessible fishing peninsula. You can enjoy year-round catch-and-release fishing on Upper Lake. For children under 12, there is a designated area on Traverse Creek near the park office. 

07 of 07

Highland Park - Carnegie Lake

Carnegie Lake, Pittsburgh, PA 15206, USA

Carnegie Lake was recently stocked and open for fishing. When the lake was re-opened, it was stocked with channel catfish, largemouth bass and bluegill. The pond was restored by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservatory and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, according to the ​Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  

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7 Pittsburgh Fishing Spots for Beginners