Pennsylvania is a wonderful place for outdoor activities all year round. The beautiful scenery and natural resources make it the perfect state for hiking, skiing, camping and especially fishing.

Pennsylvania is the perfect place to do some winter fishing. This is especially true in Pennsylvania's Laurel Highlands, where there are many beautiful places to fish throughout the year. Winter fishing is obviously different from summer fishing, so here are some tips for having a successful trip.

Decide what type of fish you want

Fishers need to know what type of fish they are looking for and make sure they are at the right body of water for their preference. During winter, freshwater fish species tend to group up more, so this can actually be the ideal time of year for catching these types of fish.

There are more than 100 bodies of water to fish at in the Laurel Highlands area, so getting to know which fish populate certain bodies of water makes for a more efficient trip.

Time the trip appropriately

Winter Fishing in PA

Weather changes during winter can significantly impact the quality of the fishing trip. Fish tend to be at their highest feeding level right before a cold front comes and passes. This obviously means it is easier and faster to get fish to bite.

Keeping an eye on currents is also important. Pennsylvania winters tend to be very cold, so keeping track of weather is important. The Laurel Highlands Trout Trail is a 70-mile region with a lot of popular fishing spots that remain popular through winter months, even when weather isn't ideal. Try to avoid lakes or rivers that are expected to have high currents, as this usually isn't conducive to catching a lot of fish.

Keep gear up-to-date

Fishing gear needs extra care during winter months, as the conditions are much harsher. Making sure your gear is up-to-date and well-kept is key to a successful winter fishing trip.

For instance, a reel bearing that is stiff in warmer conditions can be non-functional in cold conditions. Line conditioners can help with the tangles and stiffness that come with winter's cold water. Knowing which reel is better for your winter needs will you help you a great deal. For example, there’s a great difference between baitcasters and spinning reels. Don’t forget to go over your gear before heading out to the water.

Wear the right clothes

Winter Fishing in Pennsylvania

Having inappropriate clothing can ruin a winter fishing trip. As mentioned above, winters in the Laurel Highlands area can be cold, so appropriate clothing is crucial.

Fishers are going to want to have insulated and waterproof boots, insulated gloves, insulated water-wicking long underwear, a parka or heavy coat, a hat and any other layers that will help them stay warm. Waterproof clothing really is important because getting wet is very uncomfortable in cold conditions.

With the proper planning and gear, Pennsylvania is one of the best places to go fishing in the winter. And the Laurel Highlands has a ton of great options to fish. The area encompasses more 3,000 square miles, so enjoy exploring it to the fullest!