***NOTE: The Fishing Report Blog is back to regular weekly Thursday updates from September-May*** 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. On the morning of this report the Rocky River was on the low and clear side. 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, white bass, smallmouth bass, white bass and panfish, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
I have not yet personally witnessed early steelhead returning to Metroparks streams, although our colleagues at the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District turned up a few steelhead in the park portion of Euclid Creek in mid-August during sampling (see a photo below). The past several years I have witnessed the first steelhead in the Rocky River from mid-late August, so there should be a few out there now. Early steelhead also tend show up around off the rocks at Edgewater and E55th. 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. Our first cool rain in the coming weeks should serve to entice a few more early steelhead into the streams.
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. 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.
Anglers at our inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. Wallace Lake has been turning up some fine specimens of all of these types of fish lately, as evidenced in the photos below. Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer's Pond are just a few other spots worth poking around in late summer.
The yellow perch bite has been improving recently following a slow summer. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners. Boating anglers have found perch this week off Cleveland and Euclid in 42-48 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. Some good eater size walleye (15-20 inches) have been found in water from only 16-24 feet deep by Cleveland area boating anglers. 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>.
Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center Saturday September 24th! A great way to kick off the steelhead season is to attend the 23rd annual Steelhead Expo, which will be held at the Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday September 24th. This event is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Cleveland Metroparks and will offer a full day of expert speakers and seminars, vendors, and other related information to kick off the fall steelhead season. There is no charge for the event but OCBS, a non-profit sportman?�+s group which is very active in the local fishing and conservation communities, is offering a raffle as a fundraiser so donations or participation in the raffle is encouraged. You can check out the OCBS website and find out details regarding the event at this link: <Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders website>.
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 .
Grayson caught a nice Wallace Lake sunfish, while his grandpa Bob caught a catfish on a spinner (photos courtesy of Rachel Brunner).
Ryan caught a bruiser 30" channel catfish in the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Nick Zarzeczny).
Frankie reports "I have to admit I have not been to Wallace Lake in quite a while! I sold the kayak and bought a new Ranger bass boat last year and have been hitting big water all year. So my first 10 hours are up on the new motor and I had to take her in and leave it a week with the dealer. What was I to do all weekend? Well, I decided to hit one of my all time favorite shore spots for bass. I ended up catching 11 total between 8am and 11am including this one. Great to see you are still doing an outstanding job with Wallace Lake and thanks for all you do Mike....helped not miss having the boat that weekend!" (photo courtesy of Frankie G.).
A fine catch of walleye out of Wildwood Marina (photo courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
Jason scored a nice carp at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
Shawn did it yet again! He caught and released a third big blue catfish at Wallace Lake (photos courtesy of Shawn Cassidy).
Dan Delaney caught a baby flathead catfish at Wallace Lake recently. A 40 pound flathead catfish was caught in the lake two years ago (photos courtesy of Jesse Gentry).
The increased catfish interest at Wallace Lake due to the big catfish caught there has more reports coming in. Marcus caught his second flathead catfish at the lake on a live creek chub on the evening of August 30th. The size of the fish could indicate that they are being illegally released in the lake, especially since spawning habitat in the lake for this species would be limited. Big flathead catfish are voracious predators that can eat lots of sportfish. For that reason, anglers are advised to remove any flathead catfish they catch here and eat them, as they are very good table fare (photo courtesy of Marcus Phillips).
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District has been turning up some interesting catches lately. In the first pic, we are reminded why we should not release pet goldfish in local waters- they get large, reproduce rapidly, and compete with native fishes. These specimens came from the Cuyahoga River at a restoration site on Metroparks property near Scranton Road. The second image depicts one of a handful of steelhead NEORSD staff turned up in Metroparks waters of Euclid Creek in mid-August (photos courtesy of Mark Matteson at NEORSD).
Jeff made a nice catch of yellow perch and bonus walleye fishing off E72nd in his boat recently (photo courtesy of Jeff Shaw).
After work recently volunteer Steve, Ranger Captain Sean, and yours truly trolled the skinny water near shore and caught enough perfect size walleye for a few meals. We got them trolling Reef Runner crankbaits at 2.0 mph in 16-20 feet of water. We were pulling a 50/50 mix of Bare Naked and translucent Pink Lemonade colored lures and every walleye hit the Bare Naked while, interestingly, the lone perch hit the other color. And I never get sick of those Lake Erie sunsets.
Customers on the party fishing boat out of Wildwood Marina have been catching some quality yellow perch lately (photos courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
Middleburgh Heights Community Center and Cleveland Metroparks are collaborating for their second annual fishing derby at the community pool before it is drained for the season. The event was one day last year and sold out and people had to be turned away, so this year it has been expanded to two days- Saturday and Sunday September 17-18. THIS IS AN EVENT REQUIRING PRE-REGISTRATION! For details and to register please call (440) 234-2255.
Our Lakefront Ranger Lieutenant Rich Svoboda took this great photo of a storm front moving over Lake Erie in Cleveland recently. The captivating image was shared by over 1,100 people when posted on my personal Facebook page (photo courtesy of Rich Svoboda).
I had the opportunity to serve onboard a trawling vessel as a fish expert on a project related to the proposed Lake Erie wind farm offshore between Cleveland and Avon Lake. There are nine proposed locations sighted as to minimize interfering with recreational and commercial boat traffic.
I attended the American Fisheries Society Conference in Kansas City last week and Curt Wagner from the Ohio Division of Wildlife and I were among the brave souls who sampled an Asian carp hotdog (top image). As you might suspect, the local BBQ was better than the carp fare (which also included carp tacos). At the conference I had the opportunity to present some research Cleveland Metroparks collaborated on with Case Western Reserve University offering <an improved method of determining grass carp sterility>. Researchers in Michigan are already using our faster, less expensive method with very good results.
The owner of this boat, stranded on the rocks not far from Edgewater beach, recently had what I would call a very bad day (photo courtesy of Jeff Shaw).
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, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (440) 667-2278
#17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
#17-005 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, www.steelheadguide.com
#17-006 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#17-007 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#17-008 Justin Shillaci, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#17-009 Daniel Bennett, 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
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>