In winter highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. Area rivers are slushing up again with the return of colder weather this week. The Rocky has abundant shelf ice and the open stretches have been slushy in the mornings. 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.
Steelhead fishing opportunities in local rivers are getting more challenging with the return of colder weather this week. Plenty of shelf ice is present and even the open areas have been slushy in the mornings. Areas downstream of fords and dams are affording the most open water, although there is a quite a bit of open water from Brookpark Road bridge to Puritas Roas bridge on the Rocky. 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. Diehard river anglers have reported hooking a few steelies this week on jigs, dime size spawn sacks, and live minnows.
Ice fishers have been out on our inland lakes and Lake Erie marinas this week. Most state conservation agencies recommend a minimum of 4 inches of quality ice for foot traffic, and in Cleveland Metroparks it is the angler's responsibility to check ice thickness and safety. The following lakes received trout in mid-December: Wallace Lake (900 lbs), Shadow Lake (450 lbs), Ledge Lake (450 lbs), Ranger Lake (100 lbs), and Judge's Lake (100 lbs). 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). One consistently successful angler suggests that folks try a variety of offerings when pursuing trout on our lakes. The second (and final) winter trout stocking is tentatively scheduled for late next week, or early the week thereafter. Please note that winter trout delivery is always subject to change based on weather, as our supplier cannot conduct operations in winter storms.
Marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks on Lake Erie are all worth a look from ice fishers. Much of the ice around Edgewater Marinsa is pretty rough from breaking up and refreezing, though. 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.
RRWC Annual Meeting Tonight (January 29). The Rocky River Watershed Council will host their annual public meeting on Thursday January 29 starting at 7:00pm at the Brunswick Community Library. Guest speakers will cover birding in the watershed, as well as unique aquatic creatures of the river. This event will include refreshments and is family friendly! Details <here>.
Metroparks Ice Fishing Derby Confirmed for 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 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 at least 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest trout. Prize packages are being worked out, but so far prize donors that have committed include Erie Outfitters, Butcher & The Brewer, Stink's Bait & Tackle, and The Rodmaker's Shop. Additional sponsors are still welcome! Tip-ups will not be allowed for this competition. 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 .
Dexter and his father had a fun ice fishing outing at Wallace Lake on Saturday afternoon. Although they tried various offerings, a small jig tipped with maggots produced the most action (photos courtesy of Corey Butram).
Andrey caught his first trout through the ice at Wallace Lake this week, and even caught a big channel catfish at Ledge Lake. Jigs tipped with canned corn was his bait of choice (photos courtesy of Andrey Gutsulyak).
Miles caught and released a 27" hen steelhead at Morley Ford on the Rock this week. He also displays the silver/white/purple Kastaway Kulis streamer the fish bit (photos courtesy of Cathy Boozer).
Veteran angler Ken Harper got away from the crowded spots and reported a good bite on the Rocky this week (photo courtesy of Ken Harper).
Ryan caught his limit of steelhead on a Little Cleo spoon. I like the contrast between the very fresh chrome and darker colored steelie in this pic (photo courtesy of Ryam Simmons).
Todd landed a Rocky River steelie on a black with orange head Egg Sucking Leech fly (photo courtesy of Todd Pullman).
Andy sent in this photo displaying open water on the Cuyahoga River by the Rt82 bridge in Brecksville (photo courtesy of Andy Young).
Scott is still grinding it out on the Chagrin and catching some fine steelies (photo courtesy of Scott Deere).
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>