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 pursue early returning steelhead trout. The Rocky River level has been flowing low and fairly clear this week. 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.
A handful of anglers reported catching steelhead in the northern stretches of area rivers this week. One local angler reported that he took his boat out to the mouth of the Rocky River at first light this morning and he observed around 30 steelhead jumping and rolling in that area. Although the steelies did not want the spoon he was casting he did catch a few sub-legal walleyes. 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, Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer's Pond are a few 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, although emerald shiners have been hard to come by all summer. 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 eating size walleye (15-20 inches) have been 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>.
Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center This 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 this 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>.
Update on City of Lakewood Projects on the Rocky River. Lakewood Engineer Mark Papke gave the following updates regarding the timeline of the projects on the lower river "The aerial sewer pipe project is on schedule to be completed December 1 and the temporary construction causeway in the river will be removed by October 1. The fish shelf project should be done by Oct. 31."
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 .
Nate was bitten by the early season steelhead bug and was rewarded for his efforts on a small Cleveland Metroparks stream (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).
Alabama Jim (pictured) and Mark had a great morning on a Metroparks pond yesterday. He texted "2 cats, 8 bass and 35 bluegill this morning. Having a blast. All fish being released" (photo courtesy of Mark Fascione).
Our condolences to the family of Frank Simoncic on his passing last week. Countless anglers were greeted to Frank's smiling face at the Rodmakers Shop in Strongsville (he was co-owner). Frank and his business were longtime supporters of community fishing events. He was also a founding member of the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders club. Frank left his mark in the local fishing community and will be sorely missed by many (photo courtesy of Rodmakers Shop).
The Steelhead Expo is this Saturday September 24th at the Rocky River Nature Center. This free event runs from 9:00am until 4:00pm.
This past Saturday and Sunday we had lots of happy kids at our sold-out Fishing Fun Day at the Middleburg Heights community pool. Above is a sampling of images from the day- you can check this link for the full <photo album> from the event. Thank you to our co-collaborators the Middleburg Heights Community Center and Fin Feather Fur Outfitters for putting on a great event!
On Tuesday morning following the Middleburg Heights fishing event fish were relocated to a smaller Metroparks public fishing pond. The exact location is being withheld to avoid undue fishing pressure while these fish become acclimated to their new environment.
For the Know Your Fish Challenge this week can you name this species in the comments section? I will post the answer there in a few days.
Thank you to Charlie Seibolt for bestowing me with this cool cap from their Rocky River Steelhead baseball team.
As a proactive heads up, the river ford on the East Branch Rocky River by Cedar Point Road will be closed for a little over 2 months this fall.
BATTLE OF THE COTTONWOOD TREE!!! This territorial dispute played out between a hawk and great blue heron along the river this week. Who would you place your bet on (post guesses in the comments section)? I'll post who came out on top in the comments section in a few days.
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>