Pike Run is a relatively slow, low gradient stream in Western Pennsylvania that flows through farms, backyards, public parks and a few towns before emptying into the Monongahela River. In total, Pike Run is about 11 miles (17.7 km) in length. It is stocked with rainbow trout and brown trout each year by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission. Other groups also add trout to the stream occasionally. The introduced trout join a number of native fish like river redhorse and freshwater drum.
Pike Run is not the most pristine stream around by any means. Quite the contrary. The stream is laden with tires and other garbage and suffers from runoff and bank erosion from one end to the other. But Pike Run is easily accessible for many people and holds a number of fish. So it does receive some moderate fishing pressure. Especially around the beginning of trout season.
A 1.09 mile long section of Pike Run falls under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only regulations. In that area fishing is open year round but the use of bait is prohibited. More details can be found below in the “fishing regulations” section.
Fish species in Pike Run
Pike Run is home to many fish. The biggest draw for most anglers would certainly be the rainbow and brown trout stocked into the stream each year. The entire stream gets a spring stocking and the delayed harvest section often gets another stocking in the fall. Local groups sometimes stock the section of the stream around Rotary Park with trout for fishing contests. Some of the fish remain after the contests are finished.
This typical Pike Run rainbow trout hit a Floating Rapala
There are also a number of native fish in the stream. The bulk of them can be found in the section from Rotary Park in California, PA, downstream to the mouth. Here in the deeper, slower water, you can often find significant numbers of freshwater drum and river redhorse. Smallmouth bass and common carp will also occasionally find their way into this park of the stream. Northern Hogsuckers can be found around the special regulation area with some regularity.
Creek chubs can be found throughout the length of Pike Run, from its narrow headwaters in Beallsville right on down to the confluence with the Mon River in Coal Center.
Fishing in Pike Run
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Pike Run is a popular fishery for a few days of spring. It is not heavily fished the rest of the year. Stocked trout are usually present from the time they are introduced to some point into early summer. Some trout may even hold over in the deeper pools of the special regulations section, though ultimately this is a warm water stream despite having spring fed tributaries.
Pike Run at Rotary Park
The native fish of Pike Run can be found throughout the year. Though the deeper area around Rotary Park holds the most drum and redhorse from the late spring through the summer. Don’t expect to find large numbers of big fish in this stream in the winter. Red worms or nightcrawlers drifted along the bottom are your best bet if you want to catch native fish like drum and redhorse.
Much of Pike Run flows through private property. The most popular fishing areas are Deems Park and Rotary Park, though even in those areas the fishing pressure usually dies off after the trout opener. The Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of the stream which flows through a wooded area sees some anglers throughout the year.
The special regulations section of Pike Run
General tactics work for trout throughout the general regulation section of the stream. Nature and prepared baits like red worms and Chunk Cheese flavored Gulp! Trout Bait on small hooks will catch trout in many situations. Artificials like pink colored trout worms and light trout lures like the Panther Martin MiniFly will also work. Any high quality monofilament line in four pound test will be suitable for most any fish you’ll encounter in this stream.
In the special regulations area where bait is prohibited, artificial lures work well when fished correctly. Size three or five Floating Rapalas in perch and gold colors can be excellent throughout much of the year. Light spinners like Joe’s Flies also catch fish. So do small soft plastics like stonefly nymphs and Trout Magnets fished on 1/64 ounce jigs.
The water in Pike Run stream flows rather slowly. Insect life is also quite sparse, consisting mainly of midges and the occasional caddis. So this is definitely not the best stream for fly fishing. But flies can and do catch fish, especially in the special regulations area. Try flies like bead head caddis larva in size 12 to 16 and general attractor patterns such as green soft hackles in size 10 to 12.
Pike Run fishing regulations
Pike Run is classified as a stocked trout water by the PA fish commission. That means most of the stream is closed to fishing from late February to April each year. The exception is the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) section below Daisytown, PA, which is open to fishing year round. But as the name would suggest, fishing there is limited to artificial lures only.
The DHALO section of the stream starts at the from the confluence with the unnamed tributary upstream of the State Route 2079 Bridge at the end of Daisytown and stretches downstream to the powerline crossing downstream of the State Route 2036 Bridge. In this area fishing can be done “with artificial lures only constructed of metal, plastic, rubber or wood, or with flies and streamers constructed of natural or synthetic materials.” In the DHALO area, three trout of at least nine inches can be kept from June 15 to Labor Day. You cannot keep any trout during any other part of the year.
In the rest of the stream, fishing can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures and flies. Anglers are permitted to keep five trout over seven inches during regular trout season. The limit is lowered to three trout during the extended season later in the year. Other species of fish in Pike Run fall under general fishing regulations.
To the best of my knowledge, this is accurate as of the time of writing. Of course regulations are subject to change. For current regulations be sure to check the Pennsylvania Fish Commission website.
Pike Run fishing at a glance
|Fish species present:||Rainbow trout, brown trout, creek chub, redhorse, freshwater drum, smallmouth bass, northern hogsucker|
|Closest tackle shops:||Angler's Emporium|
|Recommended line:||2-4 lb monofilament / 3-4x leader|
|Recommended lures:||Original Floating Rapala, Custom Stonefly Nymph, Trout Magnet|
|Recommended flies:||San Juan worm, Copper John, pheasant tail nymph, green weenie|
|Nearby hotels:||Hampton Inn & Suites California|
In Pennsylvania in Delayed Harvest Areas, is scented lures permitted?
This is a difficult question to answer. Scent isn’t mentioned in the current summary of the regulations. I’ve asked a few people from the PA Fish Commission in person and received different answers. I think it is best just to fish with unscented gear to avoid any issues.