6 Lakes on 6 for Family, Fishing, and Fun!

6 Lakes on 6 for Family, Fishing, and Fun!

Fishing is a great way to experience the nature and beauty of the Route 6 corridor. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just looking to “get your feet wet, the lakes across Route 6 offer something for everyone, and the fishing is some of the finest in the region.

When not fishing, visit local attractions and learn about each area’s history and heritage. So pack up the family, grab your tackle boxes and set out for a day, a week, or even longer, and explore all that these awesome family destinations have to offer.

Lake Erie (Erie County)

The fourth-largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie provides a plethora of fishing opportunities for families year round. Bass, walleye, yellow perch, crappie and bluegill are favorites for anglers of all ages. You can fish from shore or charter a boat and head out to deeper waters. And after a memorable day on the lake, take a stroll around Presque Isle Bay State Park, discover one of the scenic hiking trails at Asbury Woods, or enjoy a meal near the lakefront.

The Erie tributaries are well-known for their fall and winter steelhead runs. Come spring, those tributaries are stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC). In April, fishing in the lake for panfish and walleye can be fantastic, and smallmouth Bass action heats up in May as fish travel to Presque Isle Bay to spawn. Lake Erie was ranked #3 out of the Top 100 Best Bass Lakes of the Decade by Bassmaster Magazine. ‘Nuff said!

Pymatuning Lake (Crawford County)


(Pictured: The Spillway at Pymatuning Lake)

Sometimes referred to as “The Other Great Lake, the 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir is the largest lake in the commonwealth, not counting Lake Erie. By day, watch for eagles, relax on a pontoon boat or catch enough for a tasty fish fry. At night, tell tales around the campfire at a campground within Pymatuning State Park – just don’t forget to reserve your spot ahead of time HERE!

At Pymatuning Lake, anglers can expect to find walleye, yellow perch, crappie, bluegill, carp, largemouth and smallmouth bass and muskellunge. There is ADA accessible fishing access in the Jamestown Day Use Area and ADA accessible fishing piers at the Espyville and Linesville marinas. The lake is governed under a 10-horsepower limit for all outboard motors.

Hamlin Lake (McKean County)

Created in 1822, 32-acre Hamlin Lake is nestled in the center of heritage community historic Smethport and is accessible to anglers of all ages. Also, this is a non-motorized lake, so bring your canoe or kayak and enjoy a quiet paddle among the shadows of the Allegheny Mountains.

The PFBC stocks Hamlin Lake with trout three times every spring. The south channel is of particular interest to trout anglers. Other species in the lake include panfish and bass.

Got young kids interested in more than just fishing? A nearby playground provides a safe place to play. The park is also home to basketball hoops, tennis courts, baseball fields, and pavilions and picnic areas to grill up some hot dogs after a long day of fun.

Lyman Run Lake (Potter County)

(Picture: Lyman Run Lake)

Spring or fall, 45-acre Lyman Run Lake is a beautiful place to visit. The mixed northern forest that surrounds the lake is dominated by maples and cherries, and whether you’re fishing or floating along in a kayak, you can’t help but gaze up at all that beauty and feel at peace. This quiet little lake will help you unplug from technology and regain a sense of natural calm.

The fishing’s good, too! Lyman Run Lake is stocked with trout every spring by the PFBC, and during the summer months, bass and panfish offer plenty of rod-bending action.

Tioga-Hammond Lake (Tioga County)

Tioga-Hammond Lake is a 680-acre reservoir best-known for its crappie fishing. In April, crappies move into the shallows to spawn, making this the easiest time of year to catch enough for a good fish fry. Bass, bluegill, bullhead and carp are also plentiful here.

Tioga-Hammond Lake is encompassed within Ives Run State Park, which offers numerous hiking trails, a swimming beach, sand volleyball court, playground, boat launches, a camp store, scenic overlooks, and other places to explore. There are no horsepower limits for outboard motors, but some areas are zoned Slow-No Wake.

Visit Tioga-Hammond Lake for a day or stay for a week at one of the park’s 163 campsites with water and electric hook-ups, modern bathhouses, playground facilities and a dump station.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Wayne County)

Lake Wallenpaupack is synonymous with adventure! Its sprawling 5,700 acres offer plenty of opportunities for watersports such as paddleboarding, jet skiing and swimming. And let’s not forget the fishing! Largemouth and smallmouth bass, stiped bass, hybrid striped bass, rock bass, walleye, northern pike, musky, crappie, yellow perch, bluegill, channel catfish…pick a species and you’ll probably find it here.

Are you new to fishing and don’t have your own tackle? No worries, the Lake Wallenpaupack Visitors Center has you covered with loaner rods, reels and a tackle box full of hooks and all the terminal tackle you need to get started. Think of it like a library that lends out fishing gear instead of books. And if you don’t have a boat, no problem. Lake Wallenpaupack has 52 miles of uninterrupted shoreline with plenty of shallow water hot spots for a variety of species. Just grab your rod and tackle box and set out for adventure.


6 Tips for Fishing with Kids

1. Start simple. Bluegills and other panfish are easy to catch and provide lots of action.

2. Short excursions. Limit trips with young children to only a few hours.

3. Bring snacks and drinks. When the fishing slows down, or a child’s attention span starts to waver, snacks and drinks can keep things fun.

4. Follow regulations. Set a good example and know the rules and regulations for wherever you’re fishing.

5. Patience, patience, patience. Focus on helping kids cast their lines, bait their hooks, and unhook and release their catch. The reward will be a memorable family experience they’ll always treasure, and they’ll naturally associate fishing with fun and want to learn more.

6. Take lots of photos!