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Fishing Forecast and Other News from the PA Fish & Boat Commission

Fishing Forecast

Recent nights in the 40s and 50s this week across much of Pennsylvania have cooled river and stream water temperatures. Except for the western and northcentral counties where drought watch conditions are in effect, normal flows and dropping water temperatures will turn on the bite! Lake water temperatures react more slowly to changes in air temperatures, and summer conditions and fish locations will hold for now. Best bets are river and streams for Smallmouth Bass on crankbaits, surface lures, and paddle tail grubs. Channel and Flathead Catfish bite on live Bluegills, large shiners, and cut bait after dark should continue to be strong. Wild and holdover trout fishing will pick up in larger streams and small rivers where water temperatures are at or below 65 degrees F.

Get Out and Fish on National Hunting and Fishing Day

Saturday, September 26, 2020 is National Hunting and Fishing Day. National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates hunting and fishing while emphasizing conservation. It was first established by President Nixon in 1972. More than 38 million Americans regularly hunt and fish. National Hunting and Fishing Day is a great day to schedule your next fishing outing. For a list of Pennsylvania's Best Fishing Waters, click here. Use the FishBoatPA mobile app "Near Me" feature to find boat access points in Pennsylvania.

Stay Outdoors this Fall in Pennsylvania

The weather is great, and fall is the perfect time to be outdoors in Pennsylvania! Fishing and boating relieves stress and is a great way to spend time with family. Participation in outdoor recreation is on the rise in the United States, with 80% of Americans participating in outdoor activities during the COVID-19 pandemic and 1/3 of them doing so for the first time! If you haven't already, be sure to take advantage of Pennsylvania's beautiful natural resources - and perhaps try your hand at fishing. For more information on where and how to go fishing and boating, tips and tricks, and fishing seasons, visit

Vote Now for the 2021 Pennsylvania Fishing License Button Design

The choice is yours, anglers! The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is excited to announce that an online poll has opened to select the design for the 2021 collectible fishing license button! This year, voters can choose between four different designs, each representing a different aspect of Pennsylvania fishing lifestyle. The design with the most votes will be selected as the winner and become available for order when 2021 Pennsylvania fishing licenses go on sale beginning December 1, 2020. The poll will close on Wednesday, September 20. Vote here.

Purchase a Multi-year Fishing License Online

Anglers can buy a license for three years, five years, or ten years with just one purchase. That is right - no more trying to remember at the last minute to buy a license before opening day or before a weekend fishing trip with friends and family! Purchase your multi-year fishing license online at or by visiting one of more than 700 license issuing agents.

If your purchase your boat registration renewal, launch permit, or fishing license online at, you are permitted to display it digitally on a phone or other mobile device as proof of possession. With each boating-related transaction, customers will receive a digital receipt that serves as a temporary registration or permit valid for immediate use. Upon purchase of a fishing license, a PDF file containing an image of your license is provided and can be saved to a mobile device or computer.

Use Best Boating Practices

Continue practicing social distancing and maintaining extra distance from other boats. Keep a minimum distance of 6 feet between anglers and paddlers - about the length of a fishing rod, or canoe or kayak paddle. If boating and fishing, do not share fishing gear. Only boat with members of your immediate household unit. Bring your own food and refrain from carpooling. Continue to follow CDC guidelines, which include washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently, and not touching your face. If you do not feel well, stay home.

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