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, channel catfish, and early returning steelhead trout. The Rocky River level is flowing low and clear this morning. 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 steelhead.
A decent number of anglers reported catching steelhead in the northern stretches of the Rocky River this week following the recent spike in flow and cooler temperatures, as well as along the Lake Erie shoreline at Edgewater, E55th, and Wildwood Park. Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) at these locations are as good a bet as any for connecting with an early steelhead trout. A few steelhead ran upstream at least to the Nature Center by Cedar Point road following the last rain (photos below). More steelhead will come in following each cool rain for the remainder of fall.
Anglers are still pursuing a mix of warmwater species in the streams, as well. Smallmouth bass have been biting dark olive or brown tube jigs of about 4?�� length, live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), spinners, and smaller crankbaits that mimic gobies, crayfish, or baitfish. Some quality size channel catfish are lurking around the marina on the Rocky, with anglers targeting steelhead hooking a few recently. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, 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. For the angling generalist, any of these species can be effectively targeted by fishing a crayfish or nightcrawler worm right on the river bottom with a sinker.
Anglers at our inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. Wallace Lake, Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer's Pond are a few spots worth poking around in late summer/early fall. The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area is being stocked with 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout, 600 pounds of big channel catfish, and 1,000 smaller catfish (the latter by ODNR Division of Wildlife) for Fall Family Fishing Fest this Saturday (details below) and is closed to public fishing until the event starts at 9:00am on Saturday October 8.
The yellow perch bite has picked up this week following a slow summer and early fall. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners, although emerald shiners have been hard to come by this year. Boating anglers have found a few perch this week off Cleveland and Euclid in 32-40 feet of water. The perch size has been very good. Early fall walleye fish around Cleveland is improving and will only get better into fall. Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species are also found along the Cleveland shoreline in early fall and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs and live bait. 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>.
Fall Family Fishing Fest is this Saturday October 8th. Come out and join us for Fall Family Fishing Fest at the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation this Saturday October 8th from 9-1:00pm This event is free and we will have a limited number of fishing poles to loan out, as well as courtesy bait. The location is stocked with rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish the days leading up to the event. Although anglers of any age can participate, prizes in several categories will be reserved for kids 15 years old and under. Thank you to Ohio Division of Wildlife and Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders for supporting this great event with $2,500 in grant funds. More details here: <Fall Family Fishing Fest>.
River Otters in Lake Erie? As a point of interest we've received reports of a river otter in Lake Erie by Edgewater Marina over the past two weeks. If you think you've observed the otter, and especially if you have a photo, please share your observations with me. Thank you!
Spey Daze Event at Chagrin River Outfitters on Saturday October 8. Want to learn more about spey fishing for steelhead? Then you will want to check out Chagrin River Outfitters' Spey Daze event this Saturday from 9-3:00pm. Check out their website for details, including listing times of seminars from local experts.
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 .
Adam caught a nice steelhead by the marina this week as his proud grandfather watched on (photo courtesy of Mike Flachbart).
Congratulations to first time angler Patrick on catching his first fish ever- a dandy channel catfish from a Metroparks pond (photo courtesy of William Barrett).
Dalton has been catching some gorgeous smallmouth bass in the Cuyahoga River and along the Cleveland shoreline. He shares that a Live Target Goby crankbait has been hot for him (photos courtesy of Dalton Hayes).
Matt was casting a Little Cleo spoon along the Lake Erie shoreline yesterday and landed 3 big white bass, as well as hooking and losing a steelhead (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Joe "Santa" Tonich got a surprise while targeting steelies by The Black Wall- a big channel catfish! He also observed some young bucks duking it out in the river, and got this great <video> of the two (photos courtesy of Joe "Santa" Tonich).
On Tuesday morning we sampled the Rocky all the way upstream by the Nature Center, just north of Cedar Point Road, and saw several steelhead around the old ford.
The Linda Mae party boat out of Euclid has located some jumbo yellow perch this week (photos courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
On Monday morning a multi-agency team conducted our third set of pre-wind farm fish data collection at nine sites off Cleveland. Among the points of interest was a walleye with a genetic quirk where it was missing its pelvic girdle. The tiny fish in the one photo were our most abundant catch in all the trawls and they are the Know Your Fish Challenge this week, so please post guesses in the comments below and I'll post the answer there in a few days. The team consisted of representatives from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, LimnoTech, Cleveland Metroparks, and The Ohio State University/Ohio Sea Grant.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked the Ohio & Erie Canal with channel catfish yesterday afternoon. We are also stocking trout for the Fall Family Fishing Fest at this location. PLEASE NOTE: The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area is closed to fishing until Saturday October 8 at 9:00am.
OK, this one was not caught in Cleveland Metroparks- but I figured some folks might like to see it anyways. I set a goal for myself recently to catch a 50"+ muskie. On Saturday morning I accomplished that with this very old 51" girl on Lake St Clair. My buddies and I were casting big rubber swimbaits from my boat when she followed mine to the boat, opened her giant mouth/flared her gills and inhaled it right in front of me! It was a heart stopping moment. The size of her head had to be seen to be believed- it was huge. The wound on her side is from a sea lamprey, which was still hanging off of her when I landed her. Of course, she was released (minus the lamprey). The fellow in the photo with me is fishing buddy and old graduate school chum Eugene Braig, who is currently Director of the Aquatic Ecosystems Extension Program at The Ohio State University.
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>