redstone creek in pennsylvania

Fishing Redstone Creek in Pennsylvania

Redstone Creek is a long creek of varying width and flow in southwestern Pennsylvania. The stream rises on Chestnut Ridge above Uniontown. It then flows more than 28 miles through mountains, foothills, farms, forests, junk yards, dumps, cities, and towns before finally emptying into the Monongahela River just outside of Brownsville.

Redstone is a home to a wide variety of fish species ranging from wild trout in the headwaters to carp and catfish in the lower reaches. The stream has very obviously been impacted by years of pollution. Yet it continues to support a good number of fish from one end to the other.

The area around the mouth of the stream is a somewhat popular place for fishing. Unfortunately, it is even more popular as a dumping ground. Still a lot of fish can be caught there. The water is deeper thanks to a concrete structure meant to steer the flow of the stream and backflow from the river. Access is also easier here than most other parts of the stream. Other parts of the stream get less attention but still hold fish.

Fish species in Redstone Creek

As stated, there are a lot of different fish in Redstone Creek. I’ve caught rainbow trout, white bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, sauger, white crappies, freshwater drum, channel catfish, longnose gar, redhorse, creek chubs, blacknose dace, and common carp in Redstone Creek. I’ve also seen quill back and northern hogsuckers in the stream.

According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, Redstone Creek is also home to a wild reproducing population of brook trout upstream of its crossing with Route 40. The creek is rather shallow through that stretch.

sauger caught on rapalaAn average Redstone Creek sauger

There used to be large runs of white bass into Redstone Creek each spring. During those runs it was nothing to catch a few dozen sizeable fish on a single day. In recent years the runs have petered out. You can still catch white bass in Redstone, but they are few and far between.

This is a warmwater stream. Its lower reaches wouldn’t be able to support a year round population of trout. Yet trout do show up there. I’ve caught several rainbows over the years. One day I caught six trout in the 14 to 16 inch range in the same day. Chances are they were stocked by a club. They may also have migrated from some of the other nearby tributaries to the Monongahela River that are stocked with trout like Dunlap Creek and Pike Run.

Fishing in Redstone Creek

Redstone Creek is a good place to fish for both smallmouth bass and freshwater drum. They are plentiful and can reach decent sizes here. If you’re not as concerned with size, it is also a decent place to fish for other species like sauger, carp, and channel catfish. Flathead catfish have also started showing up in the river in some numbers. It’s likely some make it into Redstone. Other fish are less numerous but they can be sizeable. My dad and I have caught some largemouth bass in the 3 to 5 pound range here. We’ve also hooked into some sizable crappie.

This is a also a good place for general fishing. A lot of people who fish here are after “whatever will bite.” There’s nothing wrong with that. Rigging a nightcrawler or live minnow on a size 6 baitholder hook on a sliding sinker rig with 8 to 10 pound test line is one way to do it. You could hook into anything from a drum to a longnose gar this way. Just watch the weather. Redstone can get pretty muddy after a big rain.

big freshwater drum in pennsylvaniaThis nice drum came out of Redstone

If you want to target species like bass, crappie, or sauger, lures will allow you to cover a lot of water and catch fish too. I’ve done best here with size 7 Original Floating Rapalas, Bleeding Shiner Tiny Traps, and Rebel Crawfish fished on 6 pound test monofilament. Yamamoto Double Tail Hula Grubs in colors like watermelon also work well on bass in Redstone. Just rig them on a jig head, pitch them close to cover, and follow them as they slowly sink.

There is sporadic bank access along Redstone Creek’s length. It’s enough to fish, but it can be limiting depending where you access the stream. A lot of the creek can also be fished from a canoe or kayak however, and that really opens it up. There are no official launches on Redstone, but there are several areas where you can put in with just a little effort.

Redstone Creek fishing regulations

Redstone Creek falls under general inland fishing regulations for Pennsylvania. You can fish with up to three rods, with no limit on the number of hooks per rod. Fishing in Redstone Creek can be done with traditional angling methods using bait, lures, and flies.

Redstone is open to fishing year round, though there are seasons and limits on species like bass and sauger. Although trout are present in Redstone Creek, it is not classified as a “Stocked Trout Stream.” So Redstone is open to fishing in March and part of April when stocked trout waters are closed. Obviously you can’t keep trout out of season here. Though I probably wouldn’t eat a trout out of the lower reaches of the stream anyway.

As a tributary to the Monongahela River with significant back flow, the lower end of Redstone Creek falls under a fish consumption advisories. The DEP says carp here are contaminated with PCB. They recommend you don’t eat more than one carp caught here a month. I wouldn’t eat one in a lifetime.

USGS Water-data graph for site 03074500

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.

Redstone Creek fishing at a glance

Fish species present: brook trout, rainbow, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, white crappie, common carp, channel catfish, longnose gar, freshwater drum,northern hogsucker, sauger, white bass, redhorse, creek chubs, blacknose dace
Closest tackle shops: Angler's Emporium, S&S Bait and Tackle
Recommend line: 6-10 lb monofilament
Recommended bait / lures: Original Floating Rapala, Tiny Trap, Rebel Crawfish
Recommended flies: Clouser minnow, BH woolly bugger
Nearby hotels: Hampton Inn & Suites California

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