As we move into mid-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 June and remain that way into early July. 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>
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 .
Jake shares "My son Kai caught this 29" walleye near Wildwood . He and I had a great day and released countless short walleye and managed to get our 12 keepers which included a couple 28" plus." (photo courtesy of Jake Kerstetter).
Jeff reports "Quinn caught two keeper catfish on Father's Day Weekend! Caught on a Fay's Jig tipped with nightcrawler." (photo courtesy of Jeff Sutliff).
Dustin caught his first fish ever in Ranger Lake- a warmouth sunfish (photo courtesy of Dustin Forgac).
Dave introduced hios son to his first walleye (photo courtesy of Dave McCloskey).
Levi caught some nice Wallace Lake catfish fishing with his grandfather (photos courtesy of John Hall).
Corey, his father Danny, and sons Dexter and Max have been catching some nice largemouth bass around ClevelandMetroparks- topped by a 21" Fish Ohio Award qualifying Wallace Lake bruiser (top image). The bottom images depicts a bass he found that bit off more than it could chew (photos courtesy of Corey Butram).
Andy caught some fine Rocky River smallmouth bass, and Mark caught a big Lake Erie sheepshead (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).
Bill shares "Went out of Rocky River. Started at 7:00 AM had to quit at noon. My friend Joe and I pulled 11 in the skinny water. Reef Runners, Wiggle Warts, Bandits, and Long A Bombers all worked as long as the color was blue and chrome. 15 to 20 feet of water. 50 back at 1.7-2.0 mph. Biggest was 27" Great day on the water!" (photo courtesy of Bill Marquard).
Gus reported "We're slamming the catfish out at Shadow Lake. Thanks for stocking. Got a friend in from Arizona we're having a blast. Floated half of a crawler about 2 feet under a slip float, adjusting depth if & when they're not biting" (photos courtesy of Gus White).
Jason shares "I read the fishing report frequently but have never contributed a photo so i am submitting one. I caught this smallmouth by the Morley Ford on the Rocky River. It weighed 3 lbs and was 18" in length caught him on a Strike King KVD Squarebill. Thank you for providing the fishing report every month." (photo courtesy of Jason Chrosniak).
In June we stocked 1,600 lbs of farm raised catfish at 5 Metroparks locations, including this albino. See the report above for details.
Rich shows off a pair of trophy Cleveland walleye. Rich was recently promoted to a Captain position at the Metroparks Rangers (photos courtesy of Rich Svboda).
Tony has been catching some nice Rocky River smallmouth bass and a bonus largemouth bass. He notes "The smallies were hitting a 5" silver and black Culprit worm, and the last one I caught hit my 'go to'- an olive/craw colored 3.5" tube" (photos courtesy of Tony Cilluffo).
I recently took my brother and my buddy, both named Mark, out on my boat to fish for multispecies along the Cleveland shoreline. The highlight was their walleye-largemouth bass doubleheader on olive tube jigs.
Shaun continues to hold the title of "Catfish King of Wallace Lake"- catching and releasing yet another big blue catfish from the lake! He has also been enjoying smallmouth bass and channel catfish on the Rocky River (photos courtesy of Shaun Cassidy).
Mark caught a fine 17" largemouth bass at E55th Marina on a Jitterbug topwater lure (photos courtesy of Mark Forbush).
Mike Biddle made a nice catch of fresly stocked farm raised channel catfish in the Ohio & Erie Canal (photo courtesy of Pete Surace).
Matt observes that Roadrunner jigs catch everything- including these Lake Erie white bass (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Brandon has made some great smallmouth bass catches from the Rocky River, as evidenced by photos of a few of them (photos courtesy of Brandon Stewart).
My brother Mark caught some trophy bluegill in the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Mark Durkalec).
Joe caught some bruiser smallmouth bass in the Chagrin River on his centerpin float rig (photos courtesy of Joe Vidovic).
Riley caught a longnose gar while fishing the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Riley Minerd).
An angler displays a nice yellow perch caught from the E55th breakwall.
Young and older anglers alike caught some nice panfish and largemouth bass at the Fishing & Boating Fest at E55th Marina on June 10th.
Juvenile steelhead (rainbow trout) showed up in some of our stream surveys in June.
The Rocky River Volunteer Clean-Up on June 3rd was a great success, with 100 attendees removing a truckload of trash from along the river.
My cousin Laura dug with this early 1980s photo of my two brothers, my cousins, and I (I'm on far left) on a family picnic/fishing outing at Wallace Lake (photo courtesy of Laura Pepera).
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.