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Pennsylvania Walleye & Sauger Fishing

Walleye & Sauger

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Walleye fishing in Pennsylvania

Walleye prefer moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.

Pennsylvania is a fantastic destination for anglers looking to pursue walleye, a highly prized game fish known for its delicious flesh and challenging nature. The state's lakes, rivers, and reservoirs offer excellent walleye fishing opportunities for both avid anglers and beginners.

Lake Erie, Pennsylvania's northern border, is renowned for its exceptional walleye fishery. The lake's deep waters and ample forage make it an ideal habitat for walleye. Anglers can target these fish by trolling with deep-diving crankbaits, jigging with soft plastics or live bait, or drifting with worm harnesses. Walleye fishing on Lake Erie can be incredibly rewarding, with the chance to catch trophy-sized fish and experience the thrill of battling these hard-fighting predators.

In addition to Lake Erie, Pennsylvania's inland lakes and reservoirs also offer productive walleye fishing. Raystown Lake, Pymatuning Lake, and Lake Wallenpaupack are popular destinations known for their healthy walleye populations. Anglers can target walleye in these waters by trolling, casting, or vertical jigging near underwater structures, drop-offs, and rocky areas. These lakes provide diverse fishing opportunities and the chance to reel in some impressive walleye catches.

Sauger, a close relative of walleye, is another species anglers can encounter in Pennsylvania's rivers. The Susquehanna River, Juniata River, and Allegheny River are known for their sauger populations. These rivers offer a different angling experience, with anglers typically targeting sauger by drifting or jigging with live bait, soft plastics, or blade baits. Sauger provide exciting action and add variety to Pennsylvania's walleye fishing scene.

Pennsylvania's state records for walleye and sauger highlight the potential for trophy-sized catches. The state record for walleye is over 18 pounds. As for sauger, the record is 4 pounds, 0 ounces, caught in the Susquehanna River. These records demonstrate the quality of walleye and sauger fishing that can be found in Pennsylvania's waters.

Pennsylvania's walleye and sauger fishing offer anglers thrilling opportunities to target these highly prized game fish. Whether fishing on Lake Erie, exploring the state's inland lakes and reservoirs, or venturing into its rivers, anglers can experience the excitement of hooking into walleye and sauger. With the chance to break state records and the satisfaction of catching these elusive predators, Pennsylvania is a top destination for walleye and sauger fishing enthusiasts.

Major lakes in Pennsylvania with walleye fishing include Allegheny Reservoir, Beltzville Lake, Blue Marsh Lake, East Branch Lake, Falls Township Park Lake, Frances Slocum Lake, Glendale Lake, Gordon Lake, Green Lick Reservoir, Hammond Lake, High Point Lake, Kahle Lake, Lake Arthur, Lake Erie, Lake Wallenpaupack, Pymatuning Lake, Raystown Lake, Shenango River Lake, Shawnee Lake, Tamarack Lake, Yellow Creek Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake. Associated rivers are also likely spots for walleye fishing.

River systems with populations of walleye include Allegheny River, French Creek and Tulpehocken Creek (Blue Marsh tailrace).

Fishing Boats For Rent In Pennsylvania

Fishing for walleye in Pennsylvania



World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 1 oz



World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 0 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Top lures for walleye in Pennsylvania

Jigs with a variety of trailers and bait work well in virtually any depth water. When walleyes are shallow, spinnerbaits, small crankbaits and rip baits are the often very productive. As they move deeper, spoons are ideal for active walleye. Jigs and ice jigs are very popular with local ice fishing enthusiasts. Understanding the seasonal movements of walleyes improves your odds of selecting the right lures for conditions on local waters.

The Youghiogheny River gave up the state record walleye.

The state record sauger was caught in the Susquehanna River.

Fishing For Walleye

This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Trolling for walleye with deep diving crankbaits, jerkbaits, spinners and live bait provides a way to cover vast areas and locate concentrations of fish. Use of planer boards allows anglers to cover water out both sides of the boat while trolling. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.

Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

Fishing For Sauger

Closely related to the walleye and similar in appearance, sauger are generally smaller than walleye, reaching 4 to 5 pounds (or more) and up to about 20 inches. Often found in muddier rivers, it thrives in larger, silty lakes. They spawn in the shallows at night, without creating or guarding specific nests.

Walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

Watch this video for walleye tips and tactics.

Walleye Resources

In-Fisherman - Walleye
U.S. Fish & Wildlife - Walleye
The National Wildlife Federation - Walleye


Also find information about walleye, sauger or saugeye fishing in these states.

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Learn the migration patterns of walleye

Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter.