As we begin our approach to fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish- with a watchful eye looking for the first returning steelhead trout. 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>. Lake Erie anglers are targeting yellow perch, walleye, and smallmouth bass, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
I have not yet personally witnessed any early steelhead returning to Metroparks streams, although the timing is about right and there are rumors of a few of the big trout at the lakefront and northernmost river reaches. The past several years I witnessed the first steelhead in the Rocky River from mid-late August. Early steelhead also tend show up around the river mouths and off the rocks at Edgewater and Wildwood parks. Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) at these locations early in the morning, or in the evening, are as good a bet as any for connecting with an early steelhead trout. See details regarding the inaugural "First Steelhead Contest" and associated prize in the September 3 report. ODNR has invited anglers to take an <Ohio Trout Angler Survey> through the end of October. Please consider taking a moment to do this and give important feedback to those who make this great fishery possible.
Anglers are also pursuing a mix of warmwater species in the streams. 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).
Channel catfish, carp, sheepshead and several sucker species are also present in some of these same areas in the river, especially around the marina on the Rocky, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. Catfish often bite best following a rain when the water is a bit murky. Good catfish catches have also been reported at our inland lakes and ponds this week. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. 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.
The yellow perch bite around Cleveland has been slowly improving recently following a challenging summer, but is still on the slow side overall. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners, although local bait shops have had golden shiners and fathead minnows in place of hard to find emerald shiners lately. Boating anglers have found perch this week off Cleveland and Euclid in 50-53 feet of water. Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species are also found along the Cleveland shoreline in summer and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs and live bait. Walleye schools are primarily still in deep water offshore, although a few locals have reported walleye caught at E72nd St after dark the past few weeks. A highlight has been an abundance of juvenile walleye this year (see photos below), which promises a continuation of our great Lake Erie walleye fishing into the foreseeable future. White bass fishing, which is typically good in late summer, has been slow lately. 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>.
From ODNR: Welcome to the Ohio Trout Angler Survey! If you fish for trout in Ohio, the ODNR Division of Wildlife invites you to take part in a survey to help us gather angler opinions, attitudes, and preferences regarding Ohio?�+s Lake Erie and its tributaries steelhead, small reservoir/lake ?��catchable?�� put-take rainbow trout, and stream brown trout fisheries. Because these fish are not native to Ohio, each fishery is maintained through annual stocking of trout raised in ODNR Division of Wildlife fish hatcheries. These fisheries expand and diversify opportunities provided by the ODNR Division of Wildlife for Ohio?�+s 1.3 million anglers. The survey will run from now through the end of October at: <Ohio Trout Angler Survey>
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 .
Myles had a good week fishing with Dad. He caught 4 white bass by the marina, as well as his first largemouth bass (photos courtesy of Scott Bendler).
Andrew and Nick caught a big freshwater drum (aka sheepshead) at E55th while enjoying the air show (photos courtesy of Nick Milkovich).
Larry caught a bruiser channel catfish on a worm by the Rocky River marina on Saturday (photo courtesy of Brian Smothers).
Andre and friends have been making some great catches of channel catfish at Ohio & Erie Canal, Shadow Lake, and Ledge Lake using chicken livers. They also caught a snapping turtle at Hinckley Lake as by-catch. Please note: as a reminder reptiles and amphibians may not be harvested in Cleveland Metroparks (photos courtesy of Andre Herron Jr.).
Greg caught a huge sheepshead while walleye fishing. He also reports catching lots of juvenile walleyes this summer (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
Dale also reports an abundance of juvenile walleye, which has been great news all around this year. Shoreline and boating anglers are all reporting catching these first year walleye. We can expect our great Lake Erie walleye fishing to continue into the future! (photo courtesy of Dale Sante).
Brian caught this fine bass in Shadow Lake recently while casting a charteuse spinnerbait (photo courtesy of Brian Perk).
Yellow perch fishing on the Linda Mae party boat out of Euclid has been reported as slow this week, overall, but will be picking up as the weather begins to cool (photos courtesy Wildwood Marina).
Volunteers display a few nice largemouth bass collecting during our 5 year cyclic fish population survey at Wallace Lake recently. An updated Management Plan for the lake will be formulated this winter using the data.
The Rockin' & Reelin' fundraiser for Reel Recovery (benefitting men living with cancer) will be held on October 9. Please contact me if you'd like to support this initiative by purchasing tickets for the fun event. Among a pile of great auction items will be an OSU football signed by Urban Meyer.
Unfortunately, the Lake Erie harmful algae bloom is bad this late summer, spurred by heavy June rains washing an abundance of phosphorus into the lake. The bloom is expected to peak in Cleveland sometime this month. Beach advisories are currently posted at Huntington and Edgewater (MODIS image).
Despite the algae bloom, the Cleveland shoreline remains a beautiful place (photo courtesy of Greg Young).
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>