Blue Marsh Lake is a man-made lake in Reading Pennsylvania administered by the Philadelphia Division of the Army Corps of Engineers. The Tulpehocken Creek feeds the lake from western Berks County.
The Lake has its main span along the border between Bern and Lower Heidelberg Townships, although it is sparsely populated in the northwestern reaches. Bern Township claims a large, uninhabited island in the middle of the lake.
At Blue Marsh Lake fishing, swimming, and boating are all popular activities at the lake during the summer and in addition to 36 miles of hiking trails, the lake contains 1,147 acres of water.
Let’s look at what you need to be aware of when heading off fishing at Lake Wilhelm including boat ramp locations, fishing spots and what you can expect to catch.
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Fishing at Blue Marsh Lake in Pennsylvania
Sunfish, catfish, perch, striped bass and walleye are common species here, along with bass, crappie and muskie. Additionally, the lake is regularly stocked with trout. There are plenty of fish waiting to latch onto your line at Blue Marsh Lake, but knowing where to find them is the hard part.
There is not a lot of cover here and when you find some you may not be alone. The best fishing spots I have found are near the State Hill Boat Ramp and the Dry Brooks boat ramp. Find some trees down in the water and cast right into them, you’ll get a bite!
Speaking of boat ramps, if watercraft are more your style then this is the lake for you. Fishing boats and pleasure boats of any horsepower may use Blue Marsh Lake even though it is a day-use area. There are no restrictions here! Kayaks, canoes, and paddle boats are also popular and seen regularly on this 1,147-acre lake in northeastern Pennsylvania.
If the crowds get too much for you, head on down to the no-wake areas where you will find less congested fishing spots that aren’t affected by the boats on the lake.
The lake border trail provides easy access to shore fishing areas from the highway. But be sure to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays, because finding a good parking place can be challenging!
Note that Blue Marsh Lake has very little grass cover within its waters, so you’ll need to use your best fishing techniques to coax the fish out of their less obvious hiding spots.
What Types of Fish are in Blue Marsh Lake?
Fishing in Blue Marsh Lake offers anglers the chance to catch a variety of species, such as:
- Channel Catfish
- Flathead Catfish
- Striped Bass
- Largemouth Bass
- Smallmouth Bass
- Trout (Rainbow, Brook and Brown!)
Bass Fishing at Blue Marsh Lake
To pull in a decent largemouth bass at Blue Marsh Lake (they exist!) you need to fish the rocky bluff areas that have a sheer drop off next to them. Just south of the Shieldy Boat Ramp before the Old Bridge Rd you will find a stretch of rock wall that has given me a lot of success.
Try find some trees or wood in this area and throw your crankbaits right up against them to coax the bass out.
I’ve had success with jigs and tubes chasing Smallmouth Bass in this area too and live minnows have landed me quite a few Crappie.
Best Time to Fish Blue Marsh Lake
The best fishing times at this lake are late April right through May into early June. The action dies off a little after that for the summer months before picking up again in late September. Good fishing continues through to drawdown which is usually in late October, but this will change year to year. Fall can be the best time to fish anywhere in Pennsylvania and Blue Marsh is no exception.
Blue Marsh Lake Fishing Map
Below is the map of Blue Marsh Lake in PA which will lead you to the part of the shoreline you want to visit. I’ve also provided the US Army Corp of Engineers Map that shows trails, no wake zones and toilet facilities
Blue Marsh Lake Contact Information
The Visitors Center at Blue Marsh Lake will be able to give you information on weather conditions, water temperatures, expected crowds and helpful maps of the lake.
Contact: Blue Marsh Lake Visitors Center
Address: 1268 Pallisades Drive, Leesport, PA 19533
Phone: 610 376-6337
The Last Cast
Located just outside of Reading, Blue Marsh Lake is just over an hour’s drive from Philadelphia making it the perfect spot for a weekend away or even a day trip. But being so close to major population centers means you won’t be the only one at the lake.
You can’t have it all!
Throw your line in around any wood you see in the water and you should do just fine. And if you’re tempted to hop in the car during Fall, you should see some great color in this area too.
Blue Marsh Lake in Pennsylvania offers decent fishing to those willing to put in the work and find those fish. Take a drive out there one weekend and see for yourself.