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 few folks starting to look for early returning steelhead trout. The Rocky River level has dropped rapidly following a modest spike in flow yesterday. 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.
During sampling by the Rocky River marina on Tuesday morning we turned up a surprising number of early steelhead (see photos below). Early steelhead tend show up in the northern mile or so of all of our major streams, as well as 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 will bite a dark olive or brown tube jig of about 4?�� length, live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), spinners, smaller crankbaits, and flies (ie: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns). Channel catfish, carp, sheepshead and several sucker species can often be found around the marina on the Rocky. 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 nice fish lately. Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer's Pond are just a few other spots worth poking around in late summer/early fall.
The yellow perch bite has been sputtering along recently following a slow summer. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners. Boating anglers have found a few 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) continue to be caught 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>.
Kids Fishing Derbies this Saturday and Sunday! The city of Middleburg Heights and Cleveland Metroparks are teaming efforts to offer kid's fishing derbies this weekend! The event was one day last year (the inaugural event) and sold out quickly, so this year it is being expanded to two days. On Saturday September 17 the event will be from 1-6:00pm and Sunday September 18 from 11-4:00pm. Bluegill, largemouth bass, and catfish will be stocked in the community pool for this event. This event does require registration and there is a small fee to recover cost of stocking fish. Register by calling (440) 234-2255. The pool is located at the Middleburg Heights community center at 16000 East Bagley Road, Middleburgh Heights, 44130.
Chagrin River Outfitters Steelhead Workshop Saturday September 17. Chagrin River Outfitters is offering a free Steelhead Workshop this Saturday from 9-4:00pm. The offering will cover a variety of topics relevant to the Lake Erie steelhead fishery from local experts. Chagrin River Outfitters is located at 100 North Main Street, Chagrin Falls, 44022.
Grafton Correctional Institution Aquatics Program Request. Grafton Correctional is looking for donations of large resin (or other) aquarium d??cor and rocks for a 300 gallon tank at the facility. Please contact me if you have anything to donate and I can coordinate getting it to them. For this program we assist Grafton with requests like this, and in return they donate a portion of program proceeds back to our public Fishing Fund.
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 email@example.com .
This fellow caught about a half dozen yellow perch by the "Black Wall" immediately south of the Rocky River marina on Tuesday. He was using nightcrawlers.
Matt caught a scrappy Lake Erie shoreline largemouth bass on a dropshot rig (photo courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
On Tuesday morning we electrofished by the marina to obtain some live specimen fish for a school outing and observed an impressive numbers of steelhead relative to the time of year. Above are a sampling of these fish collected in one short run from the Black Wall to the first riffle and back.
Steelhead were not the only sportfish we sampled on Tuesday morning, though. Most surprisingly, among the catch were a large number of young walleye. Although none of the fish quite met the 15" legal size limit, the 14 incher above will be there soon. Hopefully some of these walleye stick around the river as they grow larger.
Over five days recently we have cycled approximately 300 fifth graders from Brecksville-Broadview Heights schools through an educational station where they learn about stream ecology (with a special focus on fish). This is one of four nature oriented stations each group of about a dozen kids goes through during the day long field trip. We do this every year. Our hope is that the experience will leave the next generation of citizens with a greater appreciation for our watersheds and what their significance is in our community, economy, and personal lives.
This 32" fish, caught in Lake Erie, is the Know Your Fish Challenge this week. Please post your guesses in the comments section and I'll post the answer there is a few days (photo courtesy of Jerry Roman).
This likely wild juvenile rainbow trout (baby steelhead) was caught in the northern river yesterday (photo courtesy of Ken Harper).
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.