In winter highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. Area rivers are very iced up with the arctic blast. Anglers can check the latest river flows and temperature at the following links (be aware ice on the flow gage sensors can cause erroneous readings): <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. Anglers have been out ice fishing on local inland lakes and Lake Erie marinas this week catching trout, largemouth bass, and panfish. An update on the recent trout stocking can be found below.
Steelhead fishing opportunities in local rivers are extremely limited due to frozen rivers, and the forecast shows no sign of winter lessening its icy grip on the region. A few anglers have been ice fishing the deep, slow marina area. Please exercise extreme caution on river ice if you must venture out there.
Ice fishers have been out on our inland lakes doing well this week. Wallace Lake was stocked with 1,000 lbs of trout two weeks ago, and Shadow (500 lbs), Ledge (400 lbs), and Judge's (100 lbs) lakes were stocked last Tuesday. Ranger Lake was not stocked this time. Daily trout limit is 3/day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake which is 5/day. Winter trout bite on Power Bait (rainbow and other bright colors have been best) about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker, small jigs tipped with bait (maggots, waxworm, minnow, corn) suspended under a float, spawn sacks, as well as small to medium size jigging spoons (like Swedish Pimple or Forage Minnow). It is always a good strategy to try a variety of offerings when pursuing trout on our lakes until you find what they are in the mood for.
Reports from the Lake Erie marinas and harbors have been few and those I have received indicated slow fishing recently. Marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks on Lake Erie can all be worth a look from ice fishers. Anglers are pursuing panfish such as bluegill, crappie, and yellow perch using small jigs tipped with waxworms or maggots. The most successful anglers move often and use electronics (ie- Vexilar unit) to find the fish. Steelhead can also be found roaming the marinas, and will bite on the same baits they will in the rivers. A few quality size northern pike are also always around in winter. One strategy is to use one or two jigging/bait rods and then set up to six tip-ups per angler using larger live minnows for predators like steelhead and pike. Unlike inland Metroparks waters, you can fish the Lake Erie marinas 24 hours/day.
Fundraiser Ice Fishing Derby Results. Despite a dire weather forecast and the Valentine's Day holiday, the inaugural Fundraiser Ice Fishing Derby was a success drawing 142 attendees and raising $1,613 for the Fishing fund. The beginning of the day started beautifully, with relatively clear weather, temps in the upper 20s, and trout biting very well in the southern portion of the lake. Then the weather transitioned with strong north winds, heavy snow, and the bite went dead. Still, attendees relayed that they enjoyed the event and had fun, and at this point we plan to hold it annually as long as conditions cooperate. Top trout caught were:
1st Place - Jeremy Dotson 14.84" (377 mm)
2nd Place - Leah Nagy 14.06" (357 mm) Note: it was her first time ever ice fishing!
3rd Place - Jon Brauer 13.94" (354 mm) Note: he was fishing with his fiance Lauren on Valentine's Day.
4th Place - Danny Butram 13.82" (351 mm) Note: he was fishing with his son Corey and grandson Dexter.
5th Place - Brian Kich 13.70" (348 mm) Note: Brian caught his first of several trout with 90 seconds of the opening horn.
All the place winning trout were caught on the southern portion of the lake. For a photo album from the event check this <link>. For an NPR IdeaStream story about the event check <here>. For a detailed summary of the event check this <link>. Thank you to all of you who joined us at the event and hope to see you again next year!
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 .
Stephen shares "My best friend Bob Kraft and I fishing Wallace Lake with jigging spoons. Bob and I had a great day enjoying the outdoors as a final hoorah together - he moved to Baltimore this week. I'm in search for a new fishing buddy!" (photo courtesy of Stephen Czekalinski).
This 20 inch trout caught at Wallace Lake on Monday would have won the derby...but was a few days too late (photo courtesy of Brian Kich).
The photos above are a sampling from the Fundraiser Ice Fishing Derby held at Wallace Lake. For a full event photo album, check <here>. For a detailed summary of the event, check <here>.
It's a cold winter when Berea Falls freezes over!
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2018 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
#18-001 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
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>