As we move into late-summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include largemouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. After an early summer of high water, the rivers have finally receded to levels amenable to fishing. Lake Erie perch fishing was also starting to heat up at the end of July. Keep in mind that as the weather gets hot, it can be a big advantage to fish early or late in the day, or even after dark. To monitor the most recent river water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>.
Channel catfish and large carp are available throughout area rivers and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. earlier this summer a total of 1,500 pounds of farm raised channel catfish stocked were stocked between Shadow, Ledge, Ranger, Judge's lakes, Beyer's Pond, and Oxbow Lagoon. Additionally, plenty of catfish stocked in late spring remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Hinckley Lake has fewer catfish, but contains some of the largest around (see photos below). Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, shrimp, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.
Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. A growing contingent of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting visibly feeding carp in the rivers with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, white bass, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford on the Rocky) in summer. For the angling generalist, any of the species thus far can be effectively targeted by fishing a nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.
Smallmouth bass are typically found in the deeper, rocky pools of the river during the day in summer, and often move to the heads of such pools in the early morning and evening hours to feed actively. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about 4?�� length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. ?��Smallies?�� also bite well on live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (ie: spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (ie: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns). The summer resident bass may not average as large as the lake-run bass around from April-June, but they are big enough to give great sport on lighter tackle.
Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish can experience decent action at most of the ponds and lakes in the Park District in the past week. Crappie, bluegill, rock bass, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or redworm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, E55th Marina (east end), and the marina rocks at Edgewater Park are just a few of many places in the Park to wet a line for various panfish species. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters. Lots of bass and panfish have been stocked around the park in spring and summer this year.
Largemouth bass, white bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum and various other species can be found along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Walleye are biting off of Cleveland, as well. The yellow perch bite was challenging earlier this summer, but is finally heating up, too. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>. Anglers/boaters can view current lake conditions off Cleveland at the following link: <City Of Cleveland Water Intake Crib Cam>.
Rocky River Watershed Council Fundraiser on August 14. on Friday August 14 the Rocky river Watershed Council is having a fundraiser- Clean Water-Craft Beer-Fine Wine. The event will be at the Your Wine Cellar (next to Brew Kettle) in Strongsville. Details here- <Clean Water-Craft Beer-Fine Wine>.
Hinckley Lake Fish Population Re-survey. On July 29 we conducted an electrofishing survey of Hinckley Lake as part of a 5 year cyclic program. Data from the last survey in 2010 was incorporated into a <Hinckley Lake Management Plan>. The recent survey turned up quite a bunch of very nice largemouth bass, some trophy white crappie and channel catfish, and even an oddball rainbow trout hanging out in 80 deg F+ water. Among our catch were 191 largemouth bass collected in 108 minutes of sampling-- equating to almost 2 bass per minute for the entire almost 2 hours of sampling! See photos documenting the results below. Between our two sample runs I also conversed with a kayak angler fishing in the middle of the lake and suggested a "hot spot" area along the southwest shoreline for bass. We saw him again at the boat ramp 2 hours later and he reported catching 15 decent size bass in an area we had just electrofished. Hinckley Lake is not a pushover in giving up its fish, but for those willing to spend the time learning its secrets it can be well worth the effort. I suggest focusing efforts on shoreline structure along the deeper half of the lake closer to the dam (west half of the lake). Also, be aware that the launch ramp adjacent to the boat house is very shallow and best suited to hand launchable watercraft and smaller boats 16 feet long or less, and the lake is electric motors only. Boat and kayak rentals are available at the boathouse.
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 .
Alex caught a huge bass this summer, and her father John has been catching some fine Rocky River catfish on his float rig (photos courtesy of John Fay).
Owen is pleased to note that Jen finally caught a fish! Her freshwater drum bit along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie at Gordon Park/E72nd (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
Andre and his pal have been catching channel catfish on chicken liver (photos courtesy of Andre Herron).
Kevin landed this bruiser Lake Erie smallmouth bass on a deep diving crankbait (photo courtesy of Kevin Naim).
Jarred caught this fine catfish from the Cuyahoga River (photo courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
Joel and Grace display a pair of nice bass that were among a bunch recently transferred from a pond being drained (due to dam failure) to our public fishing areas.
Joe caught a fine channel cat, as well as a bonus painted turtle. Please note: reptiles and amphibians may not be harvested in Cleveland Metroparks (photos courtesy of Joe Greve).
Mike caught a very late steelhead in the Cuyahoga River on July 29 (photos courtesy of Mike Reed).
Sean and Andrew have been exploring the CLE lakefront and northern Rocky River in their kayaks and catching a mixed bag of fish (photos courtesy of Sean Fenton).
A slime covered carp complements Grace's pink waders nicely.
An angler displays a trophy largemouth bass at Judge's Lake. He had also caught a nice harvest of good size bluegill and crappies on waxworms.
Kyle caught a late summer rainbow trout in spring fed Ledge Lake (photo courtesy of Kyle Rakovec).
Steve caught this outstanding smallmouth bass fly fishing quite a way up the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Sean Brown).
I was at Wildwood Park for the "A Day in the Life of Euclid Creek" event on July 18 and yellow perch and walleye fishing was beginning to pick up based on reports from boating anglers.
There are a fair number of white bass hanging out around the Rocky River marina area.
Maria and Grace display a pair of resident Rocky River smallmouth bass. They may not be as large as the lake-run smallmouth around from April-June, but are still plenty of fun on light tackle.
I love the Brunner family! Three generations of their clan can often be found fishing together-- and usually catching something! They have been catching largemouth bass, as well as some unexpected catfish and crappie, on RattleTrap style crankbaits at Wallace Lake this summer (photos courtesy of Rachel Brunner).
Brian has been catching some Fish Ohio size channel catfish and carp in the Rocky River by the marina this summer. His secret bait? French fries! (photos courtesy of Brain).
Our cyclic (every 5 years) fish population survey at Hinckley Lake on July 29 turned up some beauties! See the report highlight section for details.
I love to see families fishing together!
Join the Rocky River Watershed Council for a fundraiser event and all around great time on Friday August 14! Details <here>.
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, email@example.com (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, firstname.lastname@example.org www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (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.