***Monday April 20 afternoon update: This morning we stocked 700 pounds of rainbow trout; 500 pounds in the East Branch Rocky River and 200 pounds in Wallace Lake.***
In spring highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, panfish, as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass. The steelhead fishing this past week had been very good in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers and other area streams, with lots of fish spawning. With rain in the forecast over the next day the river could get a bump in flow. Stocked trout in the East Branch Rocky River and Wallace, Hinckley, and Shadow lakes have also been biting. Anglers can monitor the latest river flows and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. As a bonus, nearly 1,500 bluegill, largemouth bass, and crappie were stocked at Wallace and Shadow lakes over the past week (see where these fish originated from in the photos below).
The Rocky River is currently exhibiting very good fishing conditions, and lots of steelhead are available. A large number of steelhead were reported spawning in shallow, gravelly areas this week, although plenty of fresh (not yet spawned) and dropback (already spawned) steelhead can be found in deeper water downstream. Anglers reported hooking steelhead on a variety of offerings, including dime size spawn sacks, small marabou jigs tipped with a few maggots, live minnows, spinners (Vibrax and RoosterTail are good), and egg and streamer fly patterns. I expect steelhead will be around well into May this year following the harsh winter and gradual transition to spring. Lake-run smallmouth bass continue to trickle into the system, and lots of lake-run white suckers are currently in the river. A worm or small jig/flies fished near the river bottom will often catch plenty of suckers.
Trout fishing at several lakes has been good this week, with plenty of recently stocked trout remaining at Wallace Lake, Hinckley Lake, and Shadow Lake (the latter two stocked by ODNR Division of Wildlife earlier this month). Ledge and Judge's lakes both still have some trout remaining, as well. Please take note that the daily trout limit is 3/day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake which is 5/day. Trout often bite on small jigs tipped with bait (maggots, waxworm, minnow, corn) suspended under a float, spawn sacks, small to medium size spinners (RoosterTail spinners are good), and Power Bait (rainbow and other bright colors have been best) about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker. As an added bonus, just shy of 1,500 quality size bluegill, largemouth bass, and white crappie were stocked in Wallace and Shadow lakes over the past week (see photos below detailing this activity).
The East Branch Rocky River was stocked with 700 pounds of rainbow trout between Royalton Road (Rt. 82) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake this past Tuesday. This area has been stocked for four weeks in a row, with one scheduled stocking remaining. Trout have been biting excellent in the river on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with maggots, salmon eggs, and small spinners. NOTE: the limit on any trout in the river, whether stocked catchable size or steelhead, is only two per day/angler with a 12" minimum size limit and our Rangers and the state Wildlife Officer are out enforcing this. If the river level is in good shape on Monday I plan to stock the river again one last time this spring (with 700 pounds in the morning), but if the river is not in good shape the stocking will likely be delayed a week. Keep posted to the report for updates.
The Cleveland area of the Lake Erie shoreline is ice free and anglers are pursuing the steelhead, crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike can all be found prowling the marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks and other nearshore. A 42" muskie was even caught at Edgewater Park this week (see photo below)! The spring yellow perch bite is just getting started out towards Lorain and will only get better towards Cleveland in the coming weeks.
Crappie Seminar with Carl "Big Daddy" Bachtel on April 26th. Want to catch more crappie? Then come out on Sunday April 26th at 11:30AM to hear panfish expert Carl "Big Daddy" Bachtel give a seminar titled Crappie: A Fish for All Seasons. The talk will cover different ways to catch crappie during each season of the year; from live bait to artificials, from shore and boat, crappie are always available. This seminar will help you figure out patterns and help you catch more of these fun and fine eating fish. Location is Kulis Freeze Dry Bait & Tackle at 725 Broadway Avenue in Bedford . Attendees are asked to call Kulis Freeze Dry Bait & Tackle to register at (440) 232-8352. They have chosen to collect donations at the talk to support the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund (100% of proceeds go to the Fishing Fund to support public fishing programs).
Live Bait Will be Available at E55th Marina and Edgewater Pier By this Friday. For the convenience of lakefront anglers, live bait (including emerald shiners) are scheduled to be available for sale by this Friday (tomorrow). See a photo (below) of one of the nice new minnow tanks recently installed.
Fly Fishing 101 With Orvis Cleveland. Lee DeAngelo at Orvis Cleveland wanted to let folks know about their free Fly Fishing 101 offerings, which aim to teach fly-fishing basics. Perfect for beginners of all ages, the course includes free lessons on fly casting and outfit rigging. Visit http://www.orvis.com/cleveland to learn more details or sign up.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
Brandon caught this trophy lake-run smallmouth bass in the Rocky River on a 4" tube jig (photo courtesy of Brandon Aspery).
Frank shared "Fished the Rock this week with good success. I used a 1939 Heddon bamboo fly rod that I restored. Landed some big fish. Sucker spawn pattern worked well. My friend Mark had a good day Wednesday hooking 8 and landing 2." (photos courtesy of Frank Filippelli).
This 42" muskie was caught and released at Edgewater Park this past weekend. The lucky angler caught it on a Husky Jerk. A post about the surprise catch garnered quite an engaged crowd on the Metroparks Facebook page this week! (photo courtesy of Sean Fenton).
Jon caught this beautiful steelie by Maple Grove on the Rocky River this week (photo courtesy of Jon Zuccola).
An angler displays a fine largemouth bass at Wallace Lake.
Charlie and Vince were back at it this week, having what he described as "a good week of steelhead" (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Don reports from Wallace Lake this week "Caught these and missed a couple more on jigs with Chigger Craws (watermelon) and Dream Shot in shad color. All released." (photos courtesy of Don).
Russ caught some fine smallies by the Rocky River Nature Center this week (photos courtesy of Russ Ring).
Danny caught this rainbow trout at Wallace Lake (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).
Malcolm scored a channel catfish from the Cuyahoga River this week (photo courtesy of Malcolm Brown).
The Surace family enjoys eating those East Branch Rocky River stocked trout almost as much as catching them! (photos courtesy of Pete Surace Sr.).
"Wild Bill" caught this chunky boot-sized largemouth bass at Wallace Lake yesterday (photo courtesy of Bill Keaton).
This angler was reflecting while fishing at Wallace Lake...in more than one way! We'll call him "The Reflective Angler".
Tim caught this smallmouth bass on the Rock near Puritas Road. It bit a Gulp Minnow (photo courtesy of Nate Watkins).
Over two days this past week, we've collected just shy of 1,500 quality sportfish and transferred them from a pond being drained to our public fishing waters, notably Wallace and Shadow lakes. Some of the largemouth bass were real bruisers! The lake was rimmed by knee deep jelly-like mud, but we improvised successfully with a makeshift launch ramp/walkways made of old wooden pallets (last image).
Jaret shared these photos of some fine largemouth bass he caught in a local pond-- not in Cleveland Metroparks (photos courtesy of Jaret Hoch).
Our staff installed new bait tanks at E55th Marina and Edgewater Pier. Bait is scheduled to be available starting around Friday this week (photo courtesy of Jared Magyar).
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, email@example.com, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, email@example.com, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (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>