***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. After a small spike in flow yesterday the Rocky River is back to low flow conditions. 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.
The past several years I have witnessed the first steelhead in the Rocky River from mid-late August, and I wouldn't doubt that yesterday's spike in flow drew in a small number of fish in the northern portion of the river. A local angler sent in a the first photo I've yet seen of a Rocky River steelhead caught this week (see below). 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, and another angler has been doing well using spinners (see photos below). ?��Smallies?�� also bite well on live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches) 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 sputtering along 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>.
Orvis Cleveland Steelhead Talks Tonight (September 8). Tonight from 6-8:00pm at the Orvis Cleveland Shop in Woodmere there will be a pair of free steelhead talks. At 6:30pm yours truly will be covering options for where to go for local steelhead, followed by store fly fishing manager John Brochue covering gearing up for Cleveland area steelhead. The store is located at 28839 Chagrin Boulevard in Woodmere.
Lost Rod Found At Wallace Lake. Local angler Frankie G. found a lost rod at Wallace Lake this week. If you contact me with a matching description we will work out getting it returned to the owner.
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 .
Tuan reports "Thank you for your hard work on the fishing report. I really enjoy reading it every week. I have few photos over the Labor day weekend would like to contribute. I caught an unexpected steelhead about 18 inches by Rockcliff on 9/5 at 1 pm using left over golden shiners from yellow perch fishing. My dad caught a 30 inch long catfish while we on the Wildwood perch trip." (photos courtesy of Tuan Truong).
Brad caught this bruiser sheepshead at edgewater (photo courtesy of Brad McMichael).
Antonio caught this 9.25" bluegill on a bit of nightcrawler at Wallace Lake yesterday evening (photo courtesy of Antonio Aroney).
Shaun "The Blue Catfish Whisperer" Cassidy scored yet again at Wallace Lake this week with this ~20 pounder. He's been releasing all his big cats (photos courtesy of Shaun Cassidy).
George has been catching some scrappy smallmouth bass, along with a bonus largemouth, in the Rock on RoosterTail spinners (photos courtesy of George Harris).
Mike caught this 22" channel catfish in Beyer's Pond on Gulp dough-bait. He broke off another similar sized whiskered beast right by shore (photo courtesy of Mike Card).
Matt and friends have been enjoying a diversity of species available along the Lake Erie shoreline this week (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
They are not hauling in limits of perch yet, but folks on the party fishing boat out of Wildwood Marina in Euclid have been catching some decent fish this week (photos courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
This fellow is one of the less common fishes of the Rocky River. For this episode of Know Your Fish can you name this mystery fish in the comments? I will post the answer there in a few days. It was collected during a recent outing by the Nature Center and now resides in one of the public display tanks at the center (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
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 (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.