As we begin our approach to fall, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks includes steelhead, yellow perch, and landlocked coho salmon (the latter recently stocked in Wallace Lake). The Rocky River and other area streams finally received an increase in flow following the recent rain and the steelhead followed. Anglers have been making good catches of fresh steelhead in the northernmost miles of the Rocky River and other area streams. The steelhead bite has remained good along the Cleveland lakefront, as has the night walleye bite. 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>
The Rocky River and other area streams finally recieved an increase in flow from the recent rain and the steelhead took notice! Here is a <video>
of a steelhead doubleheader on the Rock this morning. Catches of fresh steelhead were reported throughout the Rocky River north of Lorain Road over the past few days, and fresh fish are also present in the Chagrin River, Euclid Creek, Cuyahoga River, and other area tributaries. The silvery trout, averaging 5-7 lbs as of late, are biting on brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacks, 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. This is just the beginning as more steelhead can be expected to migrate into our streams following every cool rain that bumps stream flow.
The steelhead bite has remained very good along the Cleveland lakefront- especially at Edgewater Park. Steelhead are also showing up off the breakwall at E55th & 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!
In addition to steelhead- largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, panfish (rock bass and sunfish), freshwater drum and northern pike can be found along the Cleveland shoreline in early fall and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, crankbaits, dropshot rigs and live bait. Nice catches of walleye (15-20 inches) have been found in water from only 16-24 feet deep by Cleveland area. Shore based walleye anglers are doing best 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>.
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 late summer and early fall. Wallace Lake was just stocked with catchable size coho salmon and a few rainbow trout this week (see highlight below for details).
Coho Salmon Pilot Project *UPDATE: SALMON HAVE BEEN STOCKED!*
Due to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund doing well I have purchased coho salmon (1-2 pounds each) released into Wallace Lake for a put-and-take fishery. The landlocked fish (meaning they can't migrate to Lake Erie), which are raised by a private local fish farm (Homestead Farms in Frederickstwon, Ohio), look similar to a rainbow trout but have subtle differences in spotting (larger and more irregular shaped spots on most fish), as well as a different look to the head and tail. See several photos of the salmon stocked below. On October 4 & 11 we stocked 300 fish- mostly coho salmon but a few rainbow trout were also mixed in. Reports are that the salmon are biting more fickle than the trout, which is OK by me so that the fish can pose a challenge to anglers and last in the lake a bit longer. All the salmon I've heard about hooked so far have been on small flashy lures, namely small spoons and spinners. There is a clearly posted limit of one salmon/trout per angler daily at the lake. I request that anglers report their catches (ideally with photos) to me so that I can track the success of this project- thank you!
Fall Family Fishing Fest on Saturday October 14.
Come out and join us for Fall Family Fishing Fest at the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation this Saturday October 14th from 9-1:00pm This event is free and we will have a limited number of fishing poles to loan out, as well as courtesy bait. The location is stocked with rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish in the days leading up to the event. Although anglers of any age can participate, prizes in several categories will be reserved for kids 15 years old and under. Thank you to Ohio Division of Wildlife and Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders for supporting this great event with $2,500 in grant funds. More details here: <Fall Family Fishing Fest>.
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
Mike took his three kids fishing at Edgewater Park this week and watched on proudly as the kids reeled in some feisty steelhead that he hooked on spoons (photos courtesy of Mike Petruska).
Morgan and her father were trolling crankbaits along the breakwall just outside Gordon Park boat ramps on Sunday and she was ecstatic (Dad's words) to have her first steelhead encounters (photo courtesy of Jeff Shaw).
Ben caught (and released) his first steelhead ever at Edgewater Park on a Little Cleo spoon. The fresh fish jumped several times (photo courtesy of Mike Sekerak).
Ben caught his first steelie ever last week and followed up with a rock bass and sheepshead this week. He was casting a spoon at Edgewater Park (photos courtesy of Pat Jurco).
Thomas was another happy angler who caught his first steelhead at Edgewater Park this week. The fresh steelie struck a gold and maroon Little Cleo spoon and he reports that it gave quite an account of itself on the end of his line (photo courtesy of Thomas Banker).
The morning of this report I took a video of anglers landing a steelhead doubleheader at Rockcliff Springs hole on the Rocky River. To watch the video click <here>
. As anticipated, the recent rain brought a nice run of steelhead into our northern river reaches.
A lucky angler was casting a glow in the dark K.O. Wobbler sppon along the Lake Erie shoreline last night and landed a 33" chinook salmon! A few stray chinook, aka king, salmon venture into Lake Erie streams from the upper Great Lakes every fall (photos courtesy of Ryan Simmons).
Julius (top) caught his first steelhead fishing with his buddy Troy (other photo) this week. The guys were casting Little Cleo spoons (photos courtesy of Troy Shirley).
A happy angler caught this coho salmon in Wallace Lake yesterday on a Little Cleo spoon (photo courtesy of Jason Blackeny).
Lenney reports from the Rocky River "Top of the morning to you Mike, hope all is well. I just wanted to share with you some pics from my first trip out of the season yesterday morning (Oct 11) I went 3/4 with 1 of them being a beefy smallie that took me for a ride! Surprisingly, it gave me the best & hardest fight of the morning! I was pinning 8mm bead I painted myself... Pink, Chartreuse & Orange all with blood dots & different shimmers. Orange was the ticket. I'm stoked the season is back & can hardly wait for the next trip!!!"
(photos courtesy of Lenney).
Shaun "Catfish King" Cassidy (my moniker for him) did it again! He caught and released a 34", 16 lb, blue catfish in Wallace Lake! He has also been catching coho salmon (pictured) and rainbow trout using 1/4 oz Little Cleo spoons at Wallace (photos courtesy of Shaun Cassidy).
Yee scored a fine pair of Edgewater Park steelies this week (photo courtesy of Mike Reed).
On Wednesday we stocked a second (and final) batch of farm raised coho salmon, with a few rainbow trout mixed in, at Wallace Lake. This brings the total up to 300 fish stocked at the location since last week. There is a one (1) salmon/trout daily limit at the lake until December 15th.
We were not even finished stocking Wallace Lake yesterday and anglers had already caught 5 salmon. The fish seem far more inclined to strike a flashy lure than bait- with spinners (ie RoosterTail and Mepps) and small spoons (ie Little Cleos) having proved effective so far.
Edgewater Park has been getting a lot of attention from steelhead anglers- and for good reason- but other spots along the Cleveland shoreline are also producing. Breakwalls and piers at E55th (Kenneth pictured with steelhead at this location), E72nd, Wendy Park at mouth of Cuyahoga River, Wildwood Park at mouth of Euclid Creek, and Huntington Beach are all turning up some steelhead lately.
Shaun captured a stunning image of Edgewater Park fishing pier at sunset (photo courtesy of Shaun Campbell).
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.