One of the most versitile lakes that we have in Western Pennsylvania is Pymatuning Lake. It offers something for every angler at every age and skill level. Pymatuning Lake is a great family destination because there are multiple campgrounds, beaches, and great fishing. The lake is has over 17,000 acres of surface area and is one of the largest lake is the state. Even though part of the lake is located in Ohio. Pymatuning has an average depth of approximately 15 feet but don’t let that fool you. This lake shallows very quickly and has many boating hazards such as stumps, standing timber, and submerged islands. The maximum horse power was recently changed on Pymatuning Lake is 20.
First let’s talk about the marinas located on the Pennsylvania side of Pymatuning Lake. There are three marina’s located on the Pennsylvania side of the lake. The southern most marina is Jamestown Marina and it is located near the dam. There are plenty of slips, gas station, concession, and a public boat launch located here. The Espyville Marina is located by the causeway on the north side of the lake. Espyville Marina has the same amenities as Jamestown, but the public launch is on the south side of the causeway. The causeway spans from the Pennsylvania side of the lake to the Ohio side of the lake along route 285. The last marina is called Linesville Marina. It is the northern most marina in the lake and has the same amenities as the Jamestown and Epsyville Marina.
There are three campgrounds located in Pennsylvania that are on the lake. Jamestown Campground is located in the south end of the lake. It has a private beach, playground equipment, camp store, and boat launch for campers only. The two camground on the north side of the causeway are Tuttle and Linesville Campground. Both have the same amenities as the Jamestown Campground. All three campgrounds allow pets on certain sites and also have electric and water hook-ups on certain sites. Reservations can be made through the DCNR website. Typically, these campgrounds open on April 1st and stay open until late October.
There are a few other boat launches and sites to see and use. Manning boat launch is located between Tuttle Campground and Epsyville Marina on the Northeast side of the lake. Snodgrass boat launch is another commonly used boat launch which is located on the Southeast side of the lake. Both boat launch have ADA accessible restrooms. Another great attraction of Pymatuning Lake is the spillway on the north end of the lake. The carp really stack up at the spill way and you can feed them on one side and fish for them on the other. There is a little bite of something for everyone at the spillway, which makes it a great family destination. Another place you should see is the causeway. The causeway run East to West across the lake along PA route 285. The causeway offers a place to fish and site seeing.
Pymatuning Lake offers great fishing for a number of different species. Smallmouth and Largemouth bass are frequently caught and can be sizable. Largemouth bass are often caught in shallow weeds, stumps, laydowns, and rock piles. Some common lures for largemouth bass are spinnerbaits, tubes, jigs, crawbaits, buzzbaits, shiners, minnows, nightcrawlers, and crawfish. Smallmouth bass are often located in slightly deeper water, but don’t be surprized if you find them spawning in the spring alongside largemouth bass. These bass are often caught on jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, drop shot worms, crankbaits, and jigs. Try tipping a jig and grub with fathead minnow on the rocky drop-offs. Muskie are often taken by trolling or by casting. Larger lures are necessary for catching these monsters, but there are plenty of them in the lake. The southern end of the lake by jamestown seems to hold more muskie than the northern end of the lake. Try fishing behind Jamestown Island near the dam for the best muskie action. There is an abundent amount of pan fish for any skill level to catch. Crappie, Perch, and Bluegill can be caught on typical panfish lures and small bass lures. The stump field by linesville launch and clark island is a great place to try to get some panfish. At one time Pymatuning was know for its great walleye fishing. Although the size of the fish wasn’t as good as some locations it was good for catching high numbers of walleye. Today the walleye population is a bit lower, but the size has increased. Whatever species of fish you desire, Pymatuning Lake is a great location to find them.
There are some good sources of information about Pymatuning Lake. First, check the PA Fishing and Boat Commission website. Then take a look at the Pymatuning Lake Association website.