In late spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include largemouth/smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, walleye, steelhead, and panfish. The Rocky River is fairly low and clear at the moment and based on the forecast will likely not change much into the weekend. Lake-run smallmouth bass have highlighted the multi-species Rocky River fishery this week. Trout are available in the East Branch Rocky River and our local ponds and lakes are also offering good opportunities for largemouth bass, and panfish. Walleye fishing has been good around the Cleveland shoreline after dark and bass fishing has been heating up, too. To monitor the most recent river water level, temperature, and clarity (turbidity) you can check the following links: <Rocky River USGS flow gage data> <Chagrin River USGS flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>
The highlight of the Rocky River fishery in late spring is diversity! While smallmouth bass are stealing the show lately, anglers can also expect channel catfish, carp, freshwater drum, white bass, and a handful of lingering steelhead around the marina. The river is low and clear at the moment and will likely remain that way through the weekend based on the forecast. Smallmouth bass are present in deeper, rocky holes throughout the main branch of the river. Anglers fishing a jig, wooly bugger, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish have a shot at hooking "the silver and bronze" (a smallmouth or steelhead) in the same day through the end of May. For targeting smallmouth specifically an olive or dark brown 3-4" tube jig is a great choice. Please consider releasing larger bass, which are on their spawning run. Unlike our steelhead, this outstanding fishery is completely self perpetuating and we want to keep it strong.
Throughout spring, a total of 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake. although our spring stocking program has concluded, plenty of these trout remain when river conditions are amenable to angling. Wallace Lake was stocked with 700 pounds of farm raised catfish and 800 pounds of rainbow trout and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked with 700 pounds of catfish and 500 pounds of trout in anticipation of the children's fishing derby events this weekend (details below). Please note that the Ohio & Erie canal is posted as closed to general fishing until after 4:00pm on Saturday May 21 and Wallace Lake north of the swimming area is posted as closed until 4:00pm on Sunday May 22. Rangers will be out enforcing this closure. The south end of Wallace Lake is not closed to fishing, though.
Some offerings to consider for trout include PowerBait in a variety of color, small jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms, salmon eggs, worms, waxworms, minnows, and small lures (such as RoosterTail spinners). Please note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams 5/day (post May 15 regulation) minimum size 12" (this includes steelhead), 3/day no size limit at Wallace, Ledge, Judge's and Ranger lakes, and 5/day no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal.
Spring is a good time of year to pursue pre-spawn panfish and largemouth bass at our inland lakes and ponds, as well as at protected areas along the Lake Erie shoreline of Cleveland Harbor, like Edgewater Harbor and Gordon Park. Northern pike may also be found prowling weedy nearshore areas of the big lake. A white spinnerbait or Husky Jerk are good offerings for spring bass and pike, while a few waxworms suspended under a small bobber works well for sunfish. Crappie bite well on live minnows or small jigs. E55th Marina and Emerald Necklace Marina are now open from 9-5:00pm to supply your bait, refreshment, and general boating needs. The walleye night bite around Cleveland was good this week, with shore anglers with long handled landing nets have been catching walleye on Husky Jerk and Perfect 10 crankbaits.
Spring Children?�+s Fishing Derbies Are Coming This Weekend May 21 & 22. Our popular annual kid?�+s fishing derbies are coming up on Saturday May 21 at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and Sunday May 22 at Wallace Lake. The event is free, fish will be stocked for the event, and fishing gear and bait will be provided for those in need at no cost. For more information, you can check the following link: <May 21 Fishing Derby Info> <May 22 Fishing Derby Info>.
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.
Congratulations to Giulia, 3 years old, on catching her first fish ever! Her older sister Gia, who is 6, landed many bluegills, as well (photos courtesy of Jeremy Peppeard).
Tony notes that he often catches some nice smallmouth bass at Rockcliff Springs. Inspired by last weeks fishing report he also hooked a huge sheepshead by the marina and big largemouth bass at Lakefront Reservation. He says he had fun even though he lost both of those fish (photo courtesy of Tony Cilluffo).
Brian landed this big channel catfish at the marina on the Rocky River using a worm (photo courtesy of Brian Smothers).
A pair of gorgeous walleyes caught off E72nd Street this week (photo courtesy of Kathy Daley).
I have a nice story to go along with these photos. I was driving along the East Branch Rocky River on Tuesday afternoon and saw this gentleman landing a carp at Lagoon Dam. As I approached the trio invited me to join them in having a small cup of strong Turkish coffee and small chocolate bar to celebrate the catch, which I happily accepted. They are from Iraq and Libya. Meeting interesting and friendly people from diverse backgrounds who share the common bond of fishing is a wonderful thing!
Anthony simply notes that he is "Welcoming the warm water fishery back into the Rocky". In addition to some nice smallies, he caught the second fish pictured stripping a white woolly bugger on his 5 weight fly rod. For this installment of Know Your Fish, can you name the species in the comments section? (photos courtesy of Anthony Marazzi).
Mark, his friends, and his dog Thumper are all enjoying the bounty of our spring waters this week, from 30" channel catfish from the northern Rocky River to walleye and sheepshead from Edgewater Park (photos courtesy of Mark Forbush).
George passed along the following "I?�+ve been fishing the Rocky River 40 years. It is full of bass, like this one caught on a Roostertail spinner. I hope you can put this on your page and show people what the river has to offer. It's my favorite place to fish" (photo courtesy of George Harris).
Jefferey caught this solid sheepshead from the Cuyahoga River (photo courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
Graham caught this blue tinted smallmouth bass from Tinker's Creek, a Cuyahoga River tributary in Bedford Reservation (photo courtesy of Graham Montague).
Owen caught this fine 27.5" walleye off the E72nd shoreline last night at 9:30pm. He was casting a clown colored Husky Jerk (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
Greg has been catching some gorgeous Cuyahoga River smallmouth bass drifting white tube jigs under floats with his centerpin rig (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
Jeff and a companion experienced a diverse catch out of E72nd St area this week. The nearshore northern pike and largemouth bass were followed by a nice walleye trolling the harbor (photos courtesy of Jeff Shaw).
Tim caught some beautiful "bronzebacks" fly fishing the Rock this week, topped by a black spotted hog! The condition is a common and harmless pigmentation quirk called hyperpigmented melanosis (photos courtesy of Tim Maher).
Matt was fishing a Texas rigged red finesse worm when he caught this nice largemouth bass in a local lake (photo courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Local fly fishing guide Pat Campbell was having a successful day stripping streamers for smallies in the Rock when this late season steel hammered his fly (photos courtesy of Pat Campbell).
Chris caught a large goldfish and black pigmented smallmouth among his many fish from the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Chris Dietrich).
And Chris is not the only one catching goldfish this week! Rick got this fantastic shot of a bald eagle delivering a freshly captured goldfish to its nest in Brecksville this week (photo courtesy of Rick McMeechan).
Owen from my staff was conducting turtle research sampling at the Ohio & Erie Canal and photographed and released the largemouth bass by-catch that were in his turtle net traps (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
Nick continues his tube jig assault on the Rocky River smallmouth population this week (photos courtesy of Nick Zarzeczny).
We stocked some really nice channel catfish and trout in anticipation of the children's fishing derbies this coming weekend. The fishing included an albino catfish (pictured) at the canal and several golden rainbow trout at Wallace. Please note: the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area is posted as closed to general fishing until Saturday May 21 at 4:00pm and Wallace Lake north of the swimming area is closed until Sunday May 22 at 4:00pm. The south end of Wallace is not closed, though.
WCPN Ideastream producer Brian Bull just shared the news that they won an Ohio Associated Press award (2nd place, sound use in radio) for an ice fishing story he did with us last winter. You can hear the award winning submission at these links: <Part 1> <Part 2>
Pat was fishing the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area this week and pulled up his stringer to go home and found this. Please complete the story in the comments section, and feel free to be creative! (photo courtesy of Pat Thauvette).
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 (440) 247-7110
- #19-007 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (440) 247-7110
- #19-008 Josh Trammell, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
- #19-009 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
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.