As we move into late-summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include walleye, yellow perch, largemouth/smallmouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. The river water levels were low much of the month of July, with rainfall approximately 3 inches below normal. 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> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>. Please note: the Fishing Blog is updated once a month in June, July, and August and back to weekly in September.
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" in 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). Bass of all sizes are available in the river. Rock bass are also present in the same river areas as smallmouth, and can be caught using the same offerings listed above.
Channel catfish and large carp are also present in some of these same areas in the river, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. In mid-late June farm raised catfish were stocked at Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (300 lbs), Ranger (250 lbs), and Judge's (150 lbs) lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon (150 lbs). Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Plenty of catfish are available in the northern Rocky River, as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.
Large carp will be found throughout the rocky, Cuyahoga, and Chagrin rivers in summer, as well. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. A growing group of fly anglers looking for a challenge are targeting carp with nymphs and crayfish imitations, as well. The key to fishing for either carp or catfish is fishing on (or very near) the river/lake bottom. In addition, freshwater drum (sheepshead), white perch, and bullhead catfish are also available in the northern river reaches (north of Morley Ford) in early summer. 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.
Summer means family fishing time for many folks, and panfish fit the bill perfectly for a leisurely picnic and fishing outing. Anglers seeking panfish have experienced decent fishing at most of the ponds and lakes in the Park District in the past week. Crappie, bluegill, and other sunfish species can be taken with a number of offerings, but a waxworm or redworm on a small hook (or tiny jig) suspended under a stick float and fished around a weedbed or shoreline brush is always a good choice. Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake, and Lakefront Reservation are just a few of many places in the Park to wet a line for various panfish species. Largemouth bass fishing is often best in Wallace and Hinckley lakes, although bass can be found in most park waters.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rock bass, crappie, freshwater drum, catfish, and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Walleye are biting off of Cleveland, as well, with a surprising number of smaller 15-20" walleye remaining in nearshore areas into summer, too. Yellow perch fishing has been picking up off Cleveland. 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>
Crain's Cleveland Business Article: World Class Fishing Lures Visitors from Afar. Crain's Cleveland Business recently offered an article written by D'Arcy Egan highlighting our great local fishing in the greater Clevand area. That article may be read <here>.
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 .
Jack and Patrick Mochan caught some nice sheepshead fishing off Wildwood Park in Euclid and they landed a few in a very unique manner- while floating in the water on a hot day! (photos courtesy of Sam Horn).
Students fom a Bay Village STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) summer camp display a few nice smallmouth bass from the Rocky River recently.
Adam displays a nice bowfin, aka dogfish, from a marina (photo courtesy of Mike Flachbart).
Moly caught a few keeper walleye mixed in with lots of sub-legal ones fishing out of Rocky River (photos courtesy of Randy Gerrick).
Tony has been making some impressively diverse catches fishing tube jigs from shore in the Edgewater andGordon parks marina recently- including freshwater drum (aka sheepshead), northern pike, and largemouth bass (photos courtesy of Tony Cilluffo).
This huge smallmouth bass was taken in Lake Erie off Cleveland recently (photo courtesy of Jon Jonela).
David caught this freshwater drum in the Rocky River (photo courtesy of David Given).
My brother Mark has been enjoying the fish diversity the Rocky River offers in summer (photos courtesy of Mark Durkalec).
Matt and his buddy have had success chasing panfish on local lakes this summer (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
A few examples of the nice largemouth bass in Metroparks lakes as turned up during fisheries work this summer.
Mark and friends have been catching some nice walleye along with bonus species trolling crawler harnesses out by the Cleveland Crib water intake (photos courtesy of Mark Matteson).
We recently collected over 900 bullhead and green sunfish at Twin Lake in Parma, which is being drained to repair the failing dam in a Northeasty Ohio Regional Sewer District project. These fish were transferred to the small pond at Camp Cheerful- a summer camp for children with disabilities. We also collected a bunch of goldfish, which are not native. The sewer district put together a short video detailing the project which may be viewed <here> (video courtesy of NEORSD).
We recently resurveyed fish at the site of the Lakewood Fish Habitat Shelf project on the northern Rocky River and turned up some interesting species. For this installment of the Know Your Fish Challenge can you name the two species above in the comments section?
Sometimes on a hot day in waders (we need to wear waders when electrofishing) my crew just needs to cool off!
A naturalist at North Chagrin Reservation recently came across a young northern watersnake that had captured a juvenile rainbow trout in a small creek (photo courtesy of Jake Kudrna).
The bluegill knows! This is an old sign, but I love it.
I was fortunate to catch a trophy brook trout on a trip to Canada back in July. <Here> is a short story about the catch.
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 (440) 247-7110
- #19-007 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (440) 247-7110
- #19-008 Josh Trammell, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
- #19-009 Nathan Miller, 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>
Learn how you can support recreation opportunities through a donation to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund.