As we move into mid-summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include walleye, yellow perch, largemouth/smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. The river water levels were low almost the entire month of June and, consequently, there is more algae accummated in the river than usual (at least at the beginning of this month). A good rain will take care of that. 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> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>. Please note: the Fishing Blog is updated once a month in June, July, and August and back to weekly in September.
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). Bass of all sizes are abundant bass in the river, with a healthy number of trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches in length available. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.
Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. In mid-late June farm raised catfish were stocked at Shadow (700 lbs), Ledge (450 lbs), Ranger (300 lbs), and Judge's (150 lbs) lakes. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Lots of catfish are available in the northern Rocky River, as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.
Large carp will be found throughout the rocky, Cuyahoga, and Chagrin rivers in summer, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. A growing group of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp 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- unless they happen to be feeding on cicadas (see images below)!. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also abundant in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early 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.
Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the Park District in the past week. Crappie, bluegill, 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, and Lakefront Reservation 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.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, crappie, freshwater drum, catfish, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Walleye are biting off of Cleveland, as well, with an impressive number of just sub-legal 14" walleye around boding well for fishing in the years to come. Yellow perch fishing has been slow. 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>
Cicada Madness! Leading this month's record number of Fishing Blog photos are 20 images highlighting all the types of fish that took advantage of the feeding windfall of cicadas this summer. While the emergence of these periodical cicada is now, sadly, just about over a lot of anglers capitalized on the opportunity, as highlighted in this video <Periodical Cicadas and Fishing in Cleveland Metroparks>. The hard part is that now we need to wait 17 years to do it again!
RNC Related Boating Restrictions. as an FYI to Cleveland area boaters, there will be some serious restrictions during/prior to the Republican National Convention from July 15-22. A good summary of the rules/restrictions is offered <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 email@example.com .
Although it is just about over, the cicada bite was amazing for a diversity of fish species all June (at least where the emergences occurred). Just think of these bugs as the fish equivalent of a big, free rib-eye steak for the taking! The first 20 photos of this report will chronicle some of the related fun anglers had over the past month. It's just a shame that we need to wait another 17 years for the next emergence of periodical cicadas.
The Butram family used live cicadas for bait at Ranger Lake and caught a bunch of largemouth bass and channel catfish, and even a grass carp. Corey reported seeing catfish swimming along the surface with their whiskers out of the water feeding on the floating bugs (photos courtesy of Corey Butram).
Tim was one of many anglers who targeted river smallmouth bass on cicada flies (photo courtesy of Tim Maher).
Carp on dry flies were among the more unique opportunities afforded by the cicada emergence this summer. Owen caught several on his fly rod at Hinckley Lake (photos courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
I even caught bullhead catfish on cicada flies! (photos courtesy of Pat Campbell).
Pat, his friends, and family caught carp, panfish, and largemouth bass on cicada flies at Hinckley Lake. Over a 10 day period Pat landed 70 carp on cicada flies there! He also put together this video featuring the cicada bite: <Cicada Fly Fishing> (photos and video courtesy of Pat Campbell).
Drew caught a fine largemouth bass (photo courtesy of Anthony Rini).
"Alabama Jim" caught a diversity of fish from his favorite Wallace Lake fishing platform, including this big catfish (photo courtesy of Mark Fascione).
A few nice panfish and bass were being caught at E55th Marina.
Congratulations to Sam on catching his personal best largemouth bass at Hinckley Lake! The 21 inch Fish Ohio award qualifier bit a yellow/green spoon (photo courtesy of Pat Campbell).
Cindy and others have been catching channel catfish and a sprinkling of other species fishing by the Rocky River Marina. Check out the shrimp po-boy at the caf?? there, it is my new favorite sandwich. The burgers are very good, too.
Joe caught his first northern pike ever in the Cuyahoga River of Cleveland Metroparks recently, and what a fish it was! The big pike bit a live creek chub (photo courtesy of Joe Jackson).
Rick was fishing the lower Rocky for smallmouth, and caught everything but smallies! Among the fish that bit his spinner were a 15 inch walleye, a sheepshead, and even a catfish.
The crew displays some fine largemouth bass transferred to Wallace Lake recently.
And apparently our bass stocking is paying off based on the next several photos from Wallace Lake! Chris caught this 3.5 pounder on a red plastic worm (photo courtesy of Chris Carter).
Ted caught this trophy 22 inch bass at Wallace Lake on a Slugo (photo courtesy of Ted Choukalas).
Jarred caught this fine Wallace Lake bass on a watermelon candy colored Yum Senko (photo courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
Mark took his raft out on Lake Erie and caught a fine white bass and large sheepshead on crankbaits (photo courtesy of Mark Forbush).
Ed caught a fine pair of walleyes trolling right off Rocky River.
Reverend Hood caught a pair of nice catfish and a largemouth bass at Shadow Lake recently.
Gavin shares "I waded the East Branch this morning, and had some luck on a flashy streamer. First time fishing the Rocky and was not disappointed. Catching a trout in Ohio in July is an not something I get to do every day." (photos courtesy of Gavin Nupp).
Kyle and his buddy Dale caught some delicious Lake Erie walleye (photo courtesy of Kyle Sapara).
My buddy Mark and I enjoyed the diversity of the Cleveland Harbor recently. He did quite well on a firetiger colored spinner, while I mainly used 3'' olive tube jigs.
John caught this 28" Fish Ohio channel catfish in the Rocky River on his custom Catnip jig. He also reports catching five different species in only a few hours (photos courtesy of John Fay).
Jeff has had luck catfishing at Wallace Lake after dark. You can fish the lake from 6:00am until 11:00pm (photos courtesy of Jeff).
Matt is doing well fishing the Lake Erie harbor areas for largemouth bass (photo courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Ledge Lake is spring-fed and therefore holds trout longer in summer than most of our other lakes. In fact, some years trout survive the entire summer here.
My volunteer Sean has been catching all kinds of fish with his friends from a small johnboat along the lakefront and northern Rocky River. Topping his catch have been some trophy smallmouth bass and lots of catfish. Live leeches under bobbers has been a producer for him (photos courtesy of Sean Fenton).
A family enjoys some fishing time at Shadow Lake.
The Know Your Fish challenge has two parts this month. In part 1, can you ID this species in the comments section? (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
This specimen is part 2 of the Know Your Fish challenge. The fish was sampled while electrofishing at Mentor Marsh as part of a multi-agency collaborative project.
I am titling this one Wild Ohio Steelhead of the Future! My stream survey crew turned up several minnow-size wild trout in a tributary of the Chagrin River recently. Survival until adulthood for this fish is against the odds, but it can happen.
At the end of school fish collection outings I ask the class to make do a group "fish face" pose. Why? Because they actually do it! Here are combined groups from a CSU Stream Ecology class, Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, and Lakewood High School from recently outings on the Rocky River.
In this image, Owen is preparing to deliver another bunch of donated aquarium supplies to Grafton Correctional Institution. Over the past 3 months we've acquired 28 aquarium donations and 80 pieces of related equipment (hoods, stands, pumps, filters, test kits, d??cor, etc). In return Grafton has already donated $2,055 to our Fishing Fund, with more expected down the road. Thank you to all those who have helped us with your donations! And yes, we are still accepting donations of used aquarium equipment.
Come on out to the Rocky River Watershed Council annual picnic on Wednesday July 27 from 5-8:00pm! Food and programs will be provided free at this family/kid friendly event. Bring your well behaved pet, as well! Among the activities I will be doing an electrofishing demo with live fish on display.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org (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, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (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.