About the Lake:
Lake Wallenpaupack (or the "Pack"), located in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, is one of the best fishing spots in the state. Not only does it have an abundance of smallmouth bass (smallies) from 2-5 pounds, it offers a bonus of giant walleyes to 15 pounds, brown trout in the trophy class, striped bass (stripers) and hybrids, and large yellow perch, to mention a few. The lake is a highland reservoir built in 1928, and has been managed very well over the years by the PA fish Commission. They started stocking the Stripers and hybrids about 12 years ago, alternating between the two each year. The lake record is now at 34 pounds, which the commission figures is right on track with the year classes. Hybrids in the 8-12 lb. range are a regular catch by the anglers. The commission also nets the walleyes each spring and transports them to the hatchery to strip the eggs, and raise the fry in a controlled environment, to get a much better growth rate, before releasing the fry back back into the lake in the fall. Some of the walleye fry are also traded to other states in return for other types of fish. With all the different fish present the lake can produce some great angling from season to season, with early May trout fishing in the shallows, then walleye and pickerel come in, June is bass time, and stripers are in season all year. For more information contact: Hawley-Lake Wallenpaupack Chamber of Commerce (570) 226-3191. Also, check out PP&L's Home Page for more Lake Information
Lake Wallenpaupack Area Map (see below for fishing maps)
When, Where and
with What to fish:
The spring and fall are the absolute best times to catch smallies on the Pack. The smallies outnumber the largemouth almost 9 to 1 on the lake. However, the largemouth population has been on the rise recently due to more abundant vegetation. Spawn and pre-spawn bass can be caught with jerkbaits, spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Just like any other lake in the spring, target on the transition routes from the depths to the spawning flats. From the end of May to the middle of July the topwater action is phenomenol. During the summer the fish go deep so if you like finesse fishing- this is the ticket. Fishing during the first two hours of safe light and at night during the summer can be phenomenol. I'm talking big smallies- 3-4 pounders. You might even hook into a 5 pound trophy. In the fall, the smallies will rip the rod right out of your hand. They are actively feeding for the winter. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits are the ticket in the fall.
Where to stay:
Guide service on the "Pack" is provided by Bill Albright of Bill's Guide Service. Bill gives 1/2 day or full day trips out of a new fully rigged Ranger bass boat. Bill has been guiding on the Lake longer than any other guide service. He will put you on Largemouth, Smallmouth, Walleye or Striped Bass. For more information, click here.
Bill Albright pictured here with typical 3# Wallenpaupack smallie.
If you want a great fishing map of the "Pack" pick up Fishing Hot Spot (FHS) Map #A375, by calling 1-800-ALL-MAPS. It will be shipped within 48 hours and shipping and handling is free.
Recommended Boat Ramps:
State Ramp- The preferred launch ramp is the state ramp in Mangan cove on the North end of the lake. There is no fee for launching. The launch has three ramps and one dock to tie up to. Most boats pull up to the shoreline for weigh-ins since there aren't any docks. There is plenty of room for club tournaments. The NABA/Renegade trails launch out of this ramp. There are no gas pumps at this launch. The ramp is off of Rt. 590 just a mile or so West of the Rt. 590/ Rt. 6 junction. There is plenty of parking for tournaments up to 50 boats. Most tournaments are run out of this ramp. Beware, there is a no wake area when you launch. I can't tell you the number of times people have been stopped by the Coast Guard Auxillary/Fish and Game Commission.
Caffrey Ramp- This is the other ramp that I would consider running a tournament out of. There is a $5 launching fee and plenty of parking. Not as much parking as the State Ramp but enough for a tournament. There is a gas pump at this facility. There are two ramps and a dock to tie up to. Most boats pull up to the shoreline for weigh-ins since the floating docks are usually full. Besides they are private docks. A good number of tournaments are run out of this ramp. This ramp is located off of Rt. 590 approx. 3 miles West of the State Ramp.
Ledgedale Ramp- This is the only other ramp that I would consider launching from. I'm not sure tournaments are run out of this one but if you're traveling from the South to visit the lake this would be the closest place to launch. You'll save yourself about 15-20 minutes. The launch has two ramps and the fee is $5. It is located at the Southern end of the lake where the Wallenpaupack creek feeds the Lake. It is located off of Rt. 507 about a mile from the Rt. 84/ Rt. 507 junction.
Tackle Shops around the Lake
Note: For a good map, ask for the Fishing Hot Spot Map of Lake Wallenpaupack. If you can't make it to a tackle shop to get one call FHS at 1-800-all-maps. I know that Hunter's Gallery carries it.
Gas Stations (no local gas stations open 24 hrs.)
Restaurants/Bars (nothing open 24 hrs.)
Car Wash/Boat Wash- Rt. 590 2 miles east of Hamlin Corners, near the Hideout
Medical- hope you never need it- but you never know
Directions and times from Rt.
611 (Doylestown) to State launch ramp
(Pulling a trailer w/ no traffic)
Mostly Highway (~110 mi., 2 hr. 15 min.)- Rt. 611N into Easton. Rt. 22W to Rt. 33N. Rt. 33N to Rt. 80W. 80W to Rt. 380W (380W is 65 mph) . 380W to Rt. 84E. 84E to Mt. Cobb/Hamlin exit (exit 4). Left at exit ramp stop sign. Right at light onto Rt. 348E. 348E to Rt. 590E. 590E towards Hamlin. Stay on 590E (past Rt.191) until launch ramp. Launch ramp is approximately 13 miles from intersection of Rt. 590E and Rt. 191 (Hamlin Corners) on right hand side. Easy to miss so look out for it. Small sign will read: PP&L Mangan Cove Picnic Area- State Launch - it is set back about 20 yards from the road (good place for a sign) Ramp is free.
There is a 45 mph speed limit and counter-clockwise traffic pattern on weekends in the summer. The lake receives heavy fishing pressure and heavy boat traffic on the weekends during the summer. Also, watch out for the Fish and Game Commission/Water Patrol. They have been known to stop bass boats and check them out.. April/May/June and Sept/Oct are the best months for trophy fish. Fishing is better at night during the summer - July/August. Get the FHS map for good results. For better results hire Bill Albright of Bill's guide service. The water skiiers and jet skiiers, wet bikes, aqua skiis, etc. will drive you nuts on a nice day in the summer- so beware. Did you know that there is a toll free number that will tell you the current lake level and whether they are generating power (i.e. letting water out of the dam)? There is, it is: (800) 807-2474. If the water level is much different than the chart that I included above please let me know. Enjoy the PACK!