As we begin to approach fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish...with a watchful eye looking for the first returning steelhead trout. Local streams are currently elevated and muddy from overnight rain. Local anglers should wait for a drop in flow down to below around 400 cfs on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers before heading out to fish, which can be done at the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. Lake Erie anglers are targeting yellow perch, walleye, white bass, smallmouth bass and panfish, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
Although I have not yet confirmed any reports of early steelhead returning to Metroparks streams, this rise in water levels and drop in temperature could be the trigger to bring some early fish in. Early steelhead also tend show up around the river mouths and off the rocks at Edgewater Park. These early steelhead do appear to be running later than usual, and an article about one possible reason why can be found <here>. In the meantime, anglers are pursuing a mix of warmwater species in the streams. Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river during the day in summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about 4?�� length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. ?��Smallies?�� also bite well on live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (ie: spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (ie: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns).
Channel catfish, carp, sheepshead and several sucker species are also present in some of these same areas in the river, especially around the marina on the Rocky. Catfishing is often best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. Catfish often bite best following a rain when the water is a bit murky. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.
Yellow perch have been biting fairly well off the north facing breakwall at E55th Street. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live emerald shiners, which can be purchased at the bait shop right at the E55th Marina building (if hungry, the food there is excellent, as well). Boating anglers have found perch hotspots this week off Rocky River/Gold Coast in 43-46', east of the stadium in 33-40', Edgewater Park in 30', Gordon Park/E72nd Street in 26-40' and Wildwood Park in 26-40'. White bass have been providing great action for lucky anglers who encounter the schools along the Cleveland (E72nd) and Euclid shorelines of Lake Erie. An agitator/rattle bobber with trailing jig or small spoon can be a highly productive way to catch them. Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species are also found along the Cleveland shoreline in summer and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs and live minnows. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>. Anglers/boaters can view current lake conditions off Cleveland at the following link: <City Of Cleveland Water Intake Crib Cam>.
Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center Saturday October 4th! A great way to kick off the steelhead season is to attend the 21st annual Steelhead Expo will be held at the Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday October 4th, 2014. This event is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Cleveland Metroparks and will offer a full day of expert speakers and seminars, vendors, and other related information to kick off the fall steelhead season. There is no charge for the event but OCBS, a non-profit sportman?�+s group which is very active in the local fishing and conservation communities, is offering a raffle as a fundraiser so donations or participation in the raffle is encouraged. The event press release can be found <here>. You can check out the OCBS website at this link: <Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders website>.
If you have a photo that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or if you have any further questions regarding fishing in the Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or email@example.com .
Jake displays a mixed bag catch caught trolling crankbaits in Lake Erie off Rocky River this week, including walleye, sheepshead and a big channel catfish (photos courtesy of Bill Marquard).
Tyler and his dad have caught some fine largemouth bass and catfish at Wallace Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal recently (photos courtesy of Tyler Jolley).
Pete scored a feisty channel catfish at Ledge Lake this week (photo courtesy of Ranger Sean Flanigan).
Steve shows off a nice Wallace Lake bass.
On September 3rd, we assisted the city of Brunswick and the Rocky River watershed Council by conducting the first fish population assessment in the history of Brunswick Lake. The data will be used to make management decisions to improve this water body. An article about the survey can be found <here>, although the article is incorrect about the size of some fish collected, as bass up to 13" and many large carp were collected (photos courtesy of Rocky River Watershed Council).
It was another fun and productive week of perch fishing aboard the Linda Mae party fishing boat out of Wildwood Marina (photos courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2017 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
17-001 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, firstname.lastname@example.org, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
17-005 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, http://steelheadguide.com
17-006 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-007 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-008 Justin Shillaci, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including the permit application, you may check the following link: Fishing Guide Permit Program
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund helps provide a rewarding fishing experience to Northeast Ohio anglers through the stocking of rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and other sport fish. The Fund also supports children's fishing derbies and creation and restoration of essential habitat in the ponds, lakes, and rivers within Cleveland Metroparks.
For more information or to make a gift to Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund, including a web donation option, please visit: <Fishing Fund Donations Online>