The fishing report is being offered a day early this week due to the Holiday. In fall highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, walleye, and stocked rainbow trout and landlocked coho salmon (the latter recently stocked in Wallace Lake). The Rocky River and other area streams are just dropping back into nice shape after being elevated and muddy since the weekend and can be expected to have plenty of fresh run steelhead available. There is weekend rain in the forecast so area streams can be expected to continue dropping and clearing into the holiday weekend. Lake Erie has been kicked up and rough much of this week, but when conditions are amenable steelhead and walleye night bite has been very good along the Cleveland lakefront. 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>
Great news for anglers who have a tradition of sneaking out for a bit of Thanksgiving morning steelhead fishing! The Rocky River and other area streams are dropping into perfect shape after being elevated and muddy for days and steelhead fishing prospects are excellent into the holiday weekend. Steelhead are becoming progressively more spread throughout the systems with fish now throughout the entire mainstem of the Rocky River as well as both branches. The big trout, averaging 5-7 lbs as of late, have been biting on brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacks when the water is stained, and beads that mimic salmon eggs, small marabou jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm drifted under a float, flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers), and lures such as Little Cleo spoons and Vibrax spinners as the water clears further. The fall run is kicking into high gear with from Thanksgiving onward historically offering some of the best steelhead fishing of the season for hardy anglers that can handle the cold.
The big lake has been rough most of this week, but the steelhead bite has remained very good along the Cleveland lakefront as lake wave conditions allow- especially at Edgewater Park and E55th east facing breakwall. Steelhead can also be found off the breakwall at E72nd, the pier at Wendy Park at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, off the breakwall at Wildwood Park, and off the jetties at Huntington Beach. 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 a lakefront steelhead trout, as is suspending a small jig tipped with minnow or maggots under a bobber. Make sure to bring a long handed landing net when fishing the lakefront for steelhead!
Complementing the great steelhead fishing along the Ceveland shoreline, excellent numbers of walleye have been found along nearshore Lake Erie. Shore based walleye anglers are doing best casting stickbaits (ie- Husky Jerks and Perfect 10s) and glow in the dark spoons at dusk and after dark. White bass and yellow perch fishing 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>.
The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off E49th Street (down the walking trail from Canalway Center) was stocked with 1,000 lbs of rainbow trout and 600 lbs of farm raised channel catfish on Friday Octover 13th. The daily limit here is 5 trout per angler. Trout bite well on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with maggots, and small spinners. Catfish bite great on chicken liver. Trout and catfish can both be targeted effectively fishing a half nightcrawler worm or chunk of cocktail shrimp right on the canal bottom.
Anglers at Metroparks 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 fall. Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation was stocked with 986 largemouth bass and bluegill, and Wallace Lake was stocked with the majority of 449 largemouth bass and bluegill on four days since October 23. These fish were transferred from a private golf course lake that is being drained, and additionally Wallace recieved 300 catchable size coho salmon and a few rainbow trout back in October. Rainbow trout will be stocked in Metroparks lakes around mid-December- stay tuned to the fishing report for details on that.
Karma On The River.
Ray Lancaster is a guy I'd describe simply as a "good dude". He is always friendly, has volunteered his time to help with the Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby Fundraiser, and is always willing to go out of his way to teach a "newbie" floatfisher how to cast a centerpin reel. Last week he was fishing the Rock and struck up a conversation with Tim Fischer (the guy who submitted a photo of a coho salmon for this report last week). Upon chatting they realized all three of us are mutual friends. Ray moved on to a new spot and later Tim noticed a nice Buck knife on the ground that he suspected might belong to Ray. Tim didn't have Ray's contact info so reached out to me, and I confirmed it was indeed Ray's fishing knife and Tim dropped it off at my office last week. As it sat on my office desk Owen Lockhart, who works for me, noticed it was dull and a bit grimy (as fishing knives tend to be). Over the weekend Owen took the knife home to clean and sharpen it knowing Ray is a stand-up guy. Ray picked up his knife at my office this morning (see photo below) after spending the morning on the water teaching a younger 'pinner how to cast. The moral of this story: what comes around goes around!
Roly Poly Fish Heads.
If you or an angler you know catches and harvests a lake trout from Lake Erie or a connected tributary please retain the head. John Deller, Fish Biologist at ODNR Fairport Harbor Fisheries Research Unit (and old grad school chum of mine) made this request because many stocked fish have coded wire tags implanted in the head that contains very useful data for Lake Erie fish managers. Just freeze the head and you can get in touch with myself or Fairport Harbor ODNR to arrange acquisition of the specimen. Thank you!
Donations of Aquarium Equipment needed for Grafton Correctional Institution Collaboration.
We are seeking donations of aquarium gravel, aquarium decor, and larger capacity pumps and filters for the Grafton Correctional Institution inmate-run Aquatics Program. We are good on aquariums at this time. Please contact me to coordinate a donation.
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
Congratulations PJ! Keith shared "My 6 year old son PJ hooked this 33" steelhead on Lake Erie using a Little Cleo spoon during his after school fishing surprise. Thanks to the fellow angler that helped us net this fish."
(photo courtesy of Keith Weitz).
Paul shares "Caught on Thanksgiving Eve, in the Rocky River, near the Hilliard Rd bridge. Water was settling down and starting to clear nicely."
(photo courtesy of Paul Beargie).
Joe notes regarding his annual pilgrimmage to our state to fish the Rocky River "Joe and Todd from West Virginia with the help of native angler Eric Tancak (bottom photo) landed some fine steelhead this week. Took a break from deer and bear hunting too come fish the Rock 3rd year in a row now great trip"
(photos courtesy of Joe Goodman).
Folks in the Fall Brawl tournament can rest easy- Ben is not competing! He reported to Ranger Aaron Coleman "Here is a my walleye from Friday night off of E55th St. I measured it a little over 33" and 13.5lbs.It was my 3rd time ever out to do night time walleye fishing and it was worth it. Got my personal best."
(photo courtesy of Ben Vue).
John, who has great taste in shirts by the way, and his father got into a fun mixed bag of smallmouth bass and steelhead right off Cleveland this week (photos courtesy of John Jonela).
Tony caught this beatiful fresh steelhead in the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Tony Cilluffo).
Ross caught a coho salmon in Wallace Lake using a jig tipped with maggots over the weekend. When he cleaned the fish it also had a kernal of corn and half a nightcrawler in its stomach (photo courtesy of Ross Bailey).
Galen caught a chrome steelie at the marina on the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Galen Bizzell).
Shiny trout like to eat shiny things! Caught off E55th this past weekend (photo courtesy of Jen Brumfield).
Jeff and friends are seeking big fish in the Fall Brawl tournament, but they are catching plenty of good eater size walleye off E55th, as well (photo courtesy of Jeff Shaw).
If you don't have a launch ramp you make one! Getting the last of the fish out of a private golf course lake being drained with the help of a pallet launch ramp.
On Monday we transferred another 638 bluegill, largemouth bass, and grass carp from a private golf course lake being drained to Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation, bringing the total recently stocked at Oxbow to 986 fish. We collected an overall total of 1,436 fish valued at $5,968 from this lake on four dates since October 23. Most of the remainder of these fish went into Wallace Lake.
An Atlantic salmon was caught in a Lake Erie tributary to the west of Cleveland yesterday (top photo). The young angler, who caught it on a silver crankbait, didn't know what species it was but thought it might be a coho salmon. This is in fact a super rare catch in Erie. The adipose fin clip indicates it was stocked in Lake Huron in Michigan. Adding to the story, Michigan DNR netted an Atlantic salmon in the Detroit River (not far from Lake Erie) two days ago- bottom image. If you would report any unique catches to me, especially with accompanying photos and details, it is always appreciated (photos Rae King and Michigan DNR, respectively).
Ray Lancaster was reunited with his favorite fishing knife this morning (see the story in the report text).
Proud grandfather Brian Squire, a Metroparks retiree, sent me this photo of his grandaughter Emme in her cozy fish outfit (photo courtesy of Brian Squire).
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.