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 has been very good in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers and other area streams, with lots of fish actively spawning. The rain earlier this week helped to maintain a decent 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>.
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 dropback (already spawned) and some fresh (not yet 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 numbers have increased appreciably this week, and spawning lake-run white suckers are still around, as well. A spinner, jig, live minnow, or baitfish crankbait can catch smallmouth and steelhead...sometimes from the same hole.
Trout fishing at several lakes has been good this week, with plenty of recently stocked trout remaining at Wallace Lake (200 pounds were stocked here on Monday), 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 two weeks, as well.
The East Branch Rocky River was stocked with 500 pounds of rainbow trout between Royalton Road (Rt. 82) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake on Monday, which concludes our scheduled spring trout stockings. This stretch of river has been stocked for five 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.
Anglers fishing the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie shoreline are pursuing the steelhead, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike and a menagerie of panfish species. Many fish can be found prowling the marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks. The spring yellow perch bite is just getting started out towards Lorain and will only get better towards Cleveland in the coming weeks. See below for an update of launch ramp docks and bait for sale at Lakefront.
The Rocky River Fish Kill of 2012: Where Are We Today? Many of you will remember the extensive fish kill caused by illegal dumping of cyanide waste on the East Branch Rocky River back in late April 2012. You will be pleased to know that data supports that the fish community there, which had been formerly devastated, is currently 100% recovered. Also, the $300K settlement for damages received by Cleveland Metroparks is going to a variety of excellent projects, including: increased trout stocking (for the next 10 years), feasibility study on a dedicated children's fishing pond, a restoration project in the watershed (at Oxbow Lagoon), fish cleaning stations, and more. For those interested in learning more about the investigation, the following link offers a presentation that I've given at various conferences, watershed meetings, and to other groups over the past year (some of the slides are not put in full context if you don't hear the actual talk, but you'll get the idea): <Rocky River Fish Kill Investigation>
Anglers Should Not Wade Upstream of Lewis Road Bridge without Written Permission. Please note that the West Branch Rocky River upstream of Lewis Road bridge is all private property, and in Ohio you require the written permission of the landowner to wade through to fish a private stretch of river. Our Rangers have received several landowner complaints about this issue recently.
Live Bait is Available at E55th Marina and Edgewater Pier. For the convenience of lakefront anglers, live bait (worms and emerald shiners) is available for sale at E55th Marina and Edgewater Pier. The marina is open 8:00am-4:00pm all week, and the pier is open the same hours Friday-Sunday. Hours will be extended in May. Both locations also offer basic fishing tackle. Also, docks will be installed at Edgewater and Gordon Park boat ramps by the end of the week.
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 .
Young Adam is quite the fisherman, having caught five big smallmouth bass on a trip to the Rocky River early this week! The black spots on this fish are harmless, and it's a common quirk known as hyperpigmented melanosis (photo courtesy of Mike Flachbart).
Robert caught and released this surprise 35" northern pike by the marina on Tuesday. The toothy critter chomped a jig tipped with a spawn sack (photo courtesy of Pete).
Mickey reports "My kids would be thrilled if you could please post these pics. Lucius and Cecelia landed their first steelhead last weekend on the fly in the Rock with a little help from Dad! Lucius and Cece each landed 3 for the day!" (photos courtesy of Mickey Venditti).
Brandon caught this bruiser Rocky River smallmouth bass on a tube jig this week (photo courtesy of Brandon Aspery).
Jennifer Kerbo caught her first steelhead in the Rocky River this past Sunday (photo courtesy of Jim Kafantaris).
Idris shows off a fine Shadow Lake largemouth bass.
David caught this fine Rocky River steelhead on Monday (photo courtesy of David Steele).
Andrew was leisurely fishing by the marina and caught "Nemo" the goldfish! He caught the fish using worms on a crappie rig (photo courtesy of Andrew Pickett).
Father and son Brad and Jake had a great outing on the Rocky river this week (photos courtesy of Brad Martinez).
Russ is catching some nice Rocky River smallies on spinners (photo courtesy of Russ Ring).
An angler displays a beautiful East Branch Rocky River rainbow trout caught by the covered bridge in Strongsville (photo courtesy of Michelle Kurucz).
Logan caught a steelie and two fine smallmouth on a white RoosterTail spinner. He was fishing the northern Rocky River (photos courtesy of Logan Appenzeller).
Charlie displays a gorgeous silver hen steelie (photo courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Vlad and his father in law Pete caught 4 nice trout in the Rocky River yesterday evening (photo courtesy of Pete Surace Sr).
Sean had a great week on the Rock, catching many steelies on Egg Sucking Leech and egg patterns (photos courtesy of Sean Fenton).
Ed reports from Saturday "I was trying for the silver medal (steelhead), but got the bronze (smallmouth)" (photo courtesy of Ed Schmitt).
Channel 5 Cleveland did a nice story about steelhead fishing the Rocky River this week, which you may watch <here> (video courtesy of NewsNet5).
Students from a Case Western Reserve University fish biology course display several fine smallmouth bass specimen from a field outing on the Rocky River by the nature center yesterday.
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2019 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides
(name, company, contact)
- #19-001 Jim Lampros, floodplainsmag.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (216) 513-6011
- #19-002 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (440) 667-2278
- #19-003 Daniel Bennett, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
- #19-004 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (330) 984-3086
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including the permit application, you may check the following link: <Fishing Guide Permit Program>
Learn how you can support recreation opportunities through a donation to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund.