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 offers the opportunity to visit the PA Fish and Boat Commission to view stocking times and the types of fish being caught.

If you are looking for a specific species of fish, visit Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters page to find where you should go to catch them. The state has interactive maps to 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. 

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 in Fall
    John Marino/Wikimedia Commons

    The three rivers are now home for sauger, walleye, catfish, and panfish. 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 from the riverfront wall at Point State Park every Wednesday 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. Participants need only show up with a license and a sense of adventure.

  • 02 of 07

    This 65-acre lake was restored in 2012 and now it has largemouth bass and bluegills for your fishing pleasure. You can rent a boat and use one of the public launches. Oddly enough, a piranha was caught here in the summer of 2016.

  • 03 of 07

    Highland Park Dam

    Come enjoy the 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

    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

    This former sewer is now full of game fish. It is out of the way and you'll need to find your way through the bushes to locate it. The overgrown trail on the Summerset at Frick Park is the side of the stream you want to explore. You could also take the Jeep trail and cross over the stream.

  • 06 of 07

    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.

  • 07 of 07

    Row, row, row your boat or canoe on this lake to fish from your boat (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.