As we transition into early summer, highlight species targeted around Cleveland Metroparks include smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch, largemouth bass, panfish, channel catfish, and common carp. 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 early 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 3-4" 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 abundant bass in the river, with a healthy number of trophy lake-run fish available through at least early June. It has been very encouraging to see most anglers releasing the larger bass recently so that these fine gamefish can be caught again. Also, note that all smallmouth bass must be released immediately if caught downstream of the Detroit Road bridge through June 24th. 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. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area, as well as several smaller Metroparks waters. More catfish will be stocked at various locations in June, as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. A good number of larger catfish are moving into the river from Lake Erie on their spawning run. Resident channel catfish are available in the river all summer.
Some large carp (some exceeding 15 pounds) will be found in the northern river reaches throughout the month, 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 contingent 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 abundant 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.
Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species are biting along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Yellow perch and walleye are biting off of Cleveland, as well. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>.
Rocky River Clean-Up Saturday June 3. The annual Rocky River volunteer clean-up will be held Saturday June 3 from 9:00-noon, to be followed immediately by a cookout (food/beverages donated by Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Rocky River Watershed Council) to thank our valued volunteers. This is a collaborative effort between caring citizens, Rocky River Watershed Council, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, local groups (such as Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Boy Scouts) and Cleveland Metroparks. We will be meeting at 9:00am sharp at the picnic shelter at Scenic Park (near the marina) to form into groups and discuss our plan of attack to clean-up the river. All are welcome at this family/kid friendly event, and don't forget to come dressed to possibly get a bit wet and muddy. Trash bags and work gloves (the latter from OCBS and the local U-Haul) will be provided for attendees.
Boating & Fishing Fest at East 55th Marina on Saturday June 10. The free Boating & Fishing Fest will be held Saturday June 10th at East 55th Marina from 11:00am-6:00pm. Enjoy a day of fishing and boating info, fishing for kids, boat rides, food, music, and more! This is a free event.
Grafton Correctional Institution Collaborative Aquaculture Program Update. Thank you to the prisoners and staff involved in the aquatics program raising fish at Grafton Correctional Institution. They recently donated a check to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund for $740, bring the total up to $3,305 since April 2016.
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 .
I usually like to start the photos with a kid fishing, but this week i'm doing the opposite. Dick, at a spritely 78 years old, caught his FIRST FISH EVER at Ledge Lake on Saturday morning May 27- a colorful pumpkinseed sunfish!
Brandon caught some fine Wallace Lake largemouth bass recently. The fish at the top fish hit a pink rubber worm that Brandon pitched into a school of boiling gizzard shad (photos courtesy of Brandon Stewart).
Dale reports walleye fishing off Lakewood in early summer "Purple harnesses – 2 oz. 60 back 43’ and 3oz. 80 back in 46’ at the Gold Coast . Again a lot of smalls. Still managed to get some keepers from Saturday through Monday- the most on Monday with 9 total" (photos courtesy of Dale Sante).
Rachel and her father Bob took up Tenkara fly fishing this year and she caught some nice late spring rainbow trout (photos courtesy of Rachel Kemp).
Greg and his father andy have been alternating between catfish Lake Erie shoreline smallmouth bass and river channel catfish (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
In late spring some toothy northern pike were turning up at Edgewater, E55th, and Gordon Park marina areas (photo courtesy of Mark Forbush).
Tom reports from a recent walleye trip off Cleveland "We caught 6 keepers...3 where exactly like this one 9+ pounds. Several throw backs too. Bandits on the boards took 3 and a custom spoon harness with Peerless Predator blades on the downrigger took the rest. Only fished for 4 hours so it wasn't too bad" (photos courtesy of Tom Banyas).
Adam had a great kayak fishing outing at Wallace Lake- catching a bunch of largemouth bass and rainbow trout. You can read the details <here> (photos courtesu of Adam Eibling).
A mix of fish species have been biting on the lake bottom at E55th.
Owen noted that Lake Erie shoreline freshwater drum and channel catfish were biting well when the water had muddied after a rain (photo courtesy of Owen Seiler).
Rainbow trout love cold water, and at least a few hold over in most summers at Ledge Lake because there is a spring feeding the waterbody.
Brandon caught a huge 16.5" white crappie in a local lake (photo courtesy of John Burkhart).
On Saturday May 27 attendees of the Ken Mantkowski Memorial Fishing Outing caught some trout, sunfish, and bass at Ledge Lake and enjoyed some great weather.
Summer means family fishing for panfish at a number of smaller Metroparks lakes and ponds.
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.