Nestled in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Pocono Mountains have become the outdoor recreation hub for many city dwellers in the northeast.

This is in part due to its proximity to such major cities as New York City and Philadelphia.

It’s in the Poconos that the weekend warrior angler can indulge themselves in throwing lures to many different species of fish.

The Poconos have an abundance of different lakes, rivers, creeks, and streams to fish in.

They boast strong populations of trout, walleye, and bass. With over hundreds of miles of streams and thousands of acres of lakes, the hardest part is deciding where to actually fish.

Pocono Mountain Regions

Poconos mountainsThere are five distinct regions in the Poconos.

Upper Delaware region

Located in Pike and Wayne Counties.

  • Lake Wallenpaupack
  • Promised Land Lake
  • White Oak Pond

Lake Region

Also located in Pike and Wayne Counties.

  • Lake Wallenpaupack
  • Promised Land Lake
  • White Oak Pond

Delaware River region

Delaware River region

Located in Monroe and Pike.

  • Promised Land Lake

Wyoming Valley Region

Located in Luzerne County.

  • Harris Pond

Mountain Region

Located in Monroe, Luzerne, Southern Lackawanna, and Northern Carbon county.

  • Mauch Chunk Lake

These regions offer numerous bodies of water and a bounty of fish, but which of the above bodies of water has the best fishing opportunities?

Best Lakes in the Poconos

Lake Wallenpaupack

Lake WallenpaupackThe third-largest man-made lake in PA is the largest fishing lake in the Poconos.

Boasting 5700 acres and a max depth of 60 feet, you can catch a number of different species of fish here, such as largemouth bass, walleye, pickerel, smallmouth bass, yellow perch, trout, striped bass, channel cats, and a variety of panfish.

Currently the lake is being stocked by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat commission. They stock both striped bass, (hybrid and pure) as well as brown trout. The commission has also placed structure around the lake in order to increase habitat for the fish.

There are 52 miles of shoreline so don’t worry if you don’t have a boat. However, if you choose to bring your bass boat, you can launch at one of the several launch sites.

If fishing at the northern end of the lake, you can expect to catch striped bass, smallmouth, and walleye. If you’re at the southern end you’ll find that large mouth and panfish are the most prevalent.

That being said, you can catch all types of fish across the whole lake, those fish are just more prevalent in the northern and southern sections.

Mauch Chunk Lake

Mauch Chunk LakeThis 345-acre lake is considered a “Big Bass Lake” by the Pennsylvania fish and boat commission. This means that only bass above 15” long can be retained.

Besides largemouth, you have the opportunity to catch smallmouth, walleye, crappie, panfish, perch, chain pickerel, and catfish. Artificial lures can be successful on this lake, however, you have the opportunity to purchase live bait at the boat rental shop.

You are permitted to fish around the entirety of the shoreline of the lake except for the designated swimming area as well as the dam.

There is also a fishing pier that anglers use to their benefit. This gets very busy in the spring though, so you may have some competition.

Similar to Lake Wallenpaupack, the Pennsylvania boat and fish commission have more habitat for the fish. This is a part of the “Fish Habitat improvement program.”

There are two different boat ramps on the lake. However, only electric powered motors are allowed. Kayaks, canoes, and row boats are all permitted.

If you are using the park for camping and forget to bring your gear then have no worries, as this lake is a part of the “fishing tackle loaner program”, and all campers have the ability to obtain free tackle.

Harris Pond

Harris PondNestled near Sweet Valley, this 30-acre pond is perfect for an easy day of fishing with a new angler or someone young.

Catching panfish in the shallows with worms can be a great way to help build confidence in a young fisherman, and the small shoreline makes it quick and easy to locate fish.

Harris is also a part of the “Big Bass Program” so no fish smaller than 15” may be retained.

The pond houses largemouth bass, perch, and panfish.

You are legally allowed to retain four 15” or larger fish except during April 15-June 16.

This ensures that the fish have a successful spawn and the population of fish stays strong.

Promised Land Lake

Promised Land LakeIn the middle of Promised Land State Park lies a lake of the same name.

The 422-acre lake offers plenty of shoreline for fishermen, as well as boaters.

If the Promised Land Lake is too crowded, there is the lower lake that is 173 acres and is an approved trout lake, holding brown, brook and rainbow.

Promised Land Lake contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel, muskellunge, yellow perch, pan fish, and catfish.

Ice fishing is permitted during the winter time, but it is advised to always wear your PFD and other safety devices. Also, it is recommended to never be out by yourself or to fish over ice that is less than 4” deep. Perch and bass are the most prevalent fish caught through the ice.

There is also a boat rental station that you can use to access the harder to reach areas of the lake. Only electric motors are allowed on the lake.

White Oak Pond

White oak pondWhite oak is classified as an infertile water. This means that there are not enough nutrients in the water to support strong growth of fish.

That being said you can still catch largemouth bass, chain pickerel, panfish, crappie, catfish, and yellow perch.

The lake is 225 acres but relatively shallow, with the average depth being just over 6 feet.

There is one boat launch ramp where anglers can launch electric motorized boats only.

Stevens Lake

Only 62 acres, this small lake holds largemouth bass, panfish, crappie, perch, catfish, and rainbow trout. This is the perfect spot if you’re looking for diverse species.

Depending on the time of year bass will be the primary game fish for this lake. They are plentiful and, if fished properly. you have the opportunity to limit out for the day.

The fish here can be caught in a number of different ways.

Lures are the most popular but live bait and dough can be used to catch many of the species here. Fly Fishing can also be extremely productive and, if fished properly, you can catch all species in the lake on flies.

The lake features plenty of shoreline to fish, but you can also launch your boat to fish from as well.Take note: electric motors only.

Conclusion

It’s said that an angler can visit the Pocono mountain regions for an entire month and never fish the same water twice.

Based on the amount of lakes and ponds in the area it certainly seems true.

There is an array of spots that one can fish and a broad spectrum of species to catch.

And the above lakes will offer fun and challenging opportunities for the serious angler, the novice, or anything in between.