Plentiful lakes, creeks and river water make the area around Carbondale a top destination among anglers. Fishing is a popular activity year-round here, but even more so during spring. In honor of the opening of trout season April 1, we came up with a list of top fishing spots near Carbondale that are sure to lure you outside.
Merli Sarnoski County Park
On the outskirts of Carbondale, the gem of this 840 acre-park is the 35-acre mountain lake. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks the waters at Merli Sarnoski County Park with Trout each spring. The lake is also home to healthy populations of Largemouth Bass, Chain Pickerel, Bluegill and Yellow Perch. Anglers can choose a spot along the shoreline or from the large, handicapped accessible fishing pier. A boat launch offers access for electric motor vessels and rowing boats.
Lackawanna River (Carbondale/Mid Valley)
Wild Brown Trout flourish in the Lackawanna River. In fact, 11 miles of the river are designated as a PA Class A Wild Trout Stream. The section of the river from Carbondale to Olyphant is especially popular among anglers. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail offers some of the easiest access to the river. Much of the trail’s 70 miles traverse the waterway. Trailheads and parks throughout the Carbondale and Mid-Valley area make ideal gathering spots. The river is such a popular natural resource, it was named the 2020 River of the Year by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Lackawanna River (O & W Rail Trail)
Anglers can find access along the newly re-opened O & W Rail Trail. The PA Fish and Boat Commission stocked a 6.4 mile section from Old Stillwater Dam downstream to the first unnamed tributary north of Simpson. Cast a line here for Rainbow and Brown Trout.
Aylesworth County Park
This 252-acre park located between Jermyn and Archbald boasts a four-acre lake. The PA Fish and Boat Commission stocks Aylesworth County Park’s lake with Trout two times a year. There is a trail that encircles the lake where anglers may find the perfect spot to cast a line.
Prompton State Park
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass are the most popular catches on this 290-acre lake. Anglers can also try for Crappie and Yellow Perch. There’s one boat launch open to motorboats (up to 10 hp motors) and non-powered boats. Prompton State Park is located just off Route 6 in Wayne County.
Varden Conservation Area
The 444-acre Varden Conservation Area in Wayne County boasts Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Sunfish and Catfish. A spring-fed pond in the Tannery Tract is a warm water fishery while Trout fishing can be found in Middle Creek.
Before you wade into the waters, make sure you have all the essentials. A & G Outfitters in Dickson City carries a full line of rods, reels, lines, ties, waders, boots, clothing and accessories. The outfitters also offer half and full day fishing trips on the Lackawanna River led by licensed guides.
Escape for Reel
Plan the ultimate fishing holiday with a stay at the Hotel Anthracite. The Perfect Culinary Getaway Package includes overnight accommodation in Carbondale’s only boutique hotel, $100 dining credit at Kol Steakhouse located in the hotel, plus the chef’s specialty appetizer or small plate for that evening.