***Tuesday February 10 afternoon update: The following lakes were stocked with trout today: Shadow Lake (500 lbs), Ledge Lake (400 lbs), and Judges Lake (100 lbs).***
***Monday February 9 afternoon update: Following the weekend thaw the Rocky River has significantly more open water than it did last week and a moderate stain and flow.***
In winter highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. Area rivers are largely filled with ice and slush following the colder weather and heavy snow this week. 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 trout stocking can be found below.
Steelhead fishing opportunities in local rivers are very limited following the colder weather and snow this week. Abundant shelf ice and slush is present on over 95% of the rivers. Areas downstream of fords and dams, as well as the stretch of the Rocky between Brookpark Road and Puritas/Mastic Road bridges, have offered some open water, especially in the afternoons. As a tip, the dam off Station Road in Brecksville Reservation (below the Route 82 bridge) is a popular and often productive spot on the Cuyahoga River in winter, with Cleveland Metroparks owning most of the west bank (with the railroad tracks) and Cuyahoga Valley National Park owning the east bank. Please note: Using live bait, including salmon/trout eggs, is NOT permitted on Cuyahoga Valley National Park land, and their Rangers have been out checking anglers.
Ice fishers have been out on our inland lakes doing well this week. One surprise this week has been all the nice size largemouth bass that have been caught (see several examples in the images below). Wallace Lake was stocked with 1,000 lbs of trout yesterday, but the stocking at Shadow, Ledge, and Judge's lakes had to be delayed until Monday or Tuesday next week. I apologize for the latter inconvenience, but trout supplier has difficulties with pumps freezing and other challenges when the temperature is below 20 deg F. Ranger Lake will not be 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 indicated slow fishing this week. Marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks on Lake Erie can all be worth a look from ice fishers. Much of the ice around Edgewater Marina is rougher from breaking up and refreezing. Ice in these windswept areas along the lakefront is thicker than most inland areas at this time. 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.
Cleveland Metroparks Fundraiser Ice Fishing Derby on Saturday February 14! We will be hosting a Metroparks ice fishing derby at Wallace Lake on Saturday February 14 from 9-2:00pm. THIS IS OPEN TO ANGLERS OF ALL AGES! A $10 entrance fee for each participant will benefit our Metroparks Fishing Fund. Some live bait will be available for purchase onsite, also to benefit the fundraiser. Please plan to get there early to register onsite (starting at 8:00am) at the tent on the lake near the swimming area parking lot. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest trout. Prize packages details are outlined at the link below. Prize donors/sponsors include Erie Outfitters, Butcher & The Brewer, Stink's Bait & Tackle, Rodmaker's Shop, and Cleveland Metroparks. Additional prize donors are still welcome! Tip-ups will not be allowed for this competition, but sonar/electronics will be allowed. Anglers may use two fishing rods per entrant. Complete event info page <here>.
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 .
Rachel and her father have been brushing up on their ice fishing skills in anticipation of the upcoming Fishing Derby, and she caught this largemouth bass on a small jig tipped with a salmon egg at Ranger Lake (photo courtesy of Rachel Kemp).
Andrey caught this beautiful Wallace Lake rainbow trout by the swimming beach this week (photo courtesy of Andrey Gutsulyak).
Britt shared "My boyfriend, Sebastian and I just started ice fishing at Wallace Lake recently. We've had a great time and are looking forward to heading out for the derby! What a romantic Valentine?�+s Day date ;) Here are some photos of the luck we've had so far. Thursday Jan 29th we each caught largemouth bass and then Sunday Feb 1st we each got a trout! Of course, mine were both bigger! We got them on jigs tipped with waxworms. That's pretty much what we've used exclusively. Just wanted to share our latest experience. I really appreciate the blog and all the info- I'm newer to ice fishing and it's been really helpful and encouraging!" (photos copurtesy of Britt Reeves).
Congratulations to Alyssa on catching her first trout through the ice yesterday! (photo courtesy of Alyssa Dreiman).
Nate caught this fine largemouth bass specimen his first time at Wallace Lake and his first time ice fishing. The fish munched an ice jig tipped with Gulp maggot on Sunday (photo courtesy of Nate Strader).
Drew did well using an orange and gold jigging spoon at Wallace Lake yesterday. Drew is also a chef at the Butcher and the Brewer, one of our upcoming ice fishing derby prize sponsors (photo courtesy of Drew).
This big brown trout was among the fish stocked in Wallace Lake yesterday in anticipation of the upcoming fishing derby (photo courtesy of Andy Young).
Branden shares some good tips: "Here are some the more recent catches from the previous weeks at Wallace and Ledge lakes. I use mostly Kastmaster 1/12 oz. jigging lures. The bite sometimes can be slow but moving around the lake frequently gets results." (photos courtesy of Branden Vecchio).
It has really been the "Week of the Bass" on local lakes! Yamma landed this bruiser through the ice, as well (photo courtesy of Yamma Zemesarajs).
We had a nice turnout at the RRWC Annual Meeting last Thursday night. Thank you to those of you who braved the nasty road conditions that evening to come out and show your support for the watershed!
Alyssa peers into a hole at Wallace Lake and wonders "Where are those fish?!" (photo courtesy of Alyssa Dreiman).
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>