***NOTE: The Fishing Report Blog is back to regular weekly Thursday updates from September-May***
As we begin our approach to fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish- with folks along the lakefront and rivermouth areas chasing early returning steelhead trout. I feel like a broken record saying this yet again- but on the afternoon of this report the Rocky River was very low and clear due to lack of rain, which has been the case for several dry weeks in a row. The return of a cooling trend is a positive thing, though, for steelhead anglers. 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>
. Lake Erie anglers are targeting walleye, steelhead, white bass, yellow perch, smallmouth bass, white bass and panfish, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
Although it has been very dry for several weeks running and local streams are very low and clear, accordingly, the return of cooler weather is being welcomed by steelhead anglers. A mosest number of early steelhead continue showing up off the rocks at Edgewater and E55th, around the Rocky River marina, and off the breakwall at Wildwood Park. 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 an early steelhead trout, as is drifting a small jig tipped with minnow or maggots under a bobber. Any cool rain in the coming weeks should serve to entice a more early steelhead into the streams.
Anglers are also pursuing a mix of warmwater species in the streams. Smallmouth bass being caught in deeper rocky pools of the river. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about 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). Cannel catfish, carp, sheepshead and several panfish and sucker species are also present in some of these same areas in the river, especially around the marina.
Anglers at our 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.
In addition to early steelhead- rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species can be found along the Cleveland shoreline in summer and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs and live bait. Some good eater size walleye (15-20 inches) have been found in water from only 16-24 feet deep by Cleveland area boating and even shoreline anglers. Walleye anglers offshore of Cleveland have been reporting outstanding catches in 60-70- feet of water. White bass fishing, which is typically good in late summer, has been slow lately. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has also been mostly slow. 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>.
Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center This Saturday.
A great way to kick off the steelhead season is to attend the annual Steelhead Expo, which will be held at the Rocky River Nature Center this Saturday September 30th. This event is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Cleveland Metroparks and will offer a full day of expert speakers and seminars, vendors, and other related information to kick off the fall steelhead season. There is no charge for the event but OCBS, a non-profit sportman's group which is very active in the local fishing and conservation communities, is offering a raffle as a fundraiser so donations or participation in the raffle is encouraged. You can check out the OCBS website or find out details regarding the event at this link: <2017 Steelhead Expo>
Coho Salmon Pilot Project
We have an exciting project on the horizon. Due to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund doing so well I am coordinating the purchase of coho salmon (1-2 pounds each) to be released for a put-and-take fishery at Wallace Lake. The fish, which are raised by a private Ohio fish farm (Homestead Farms), bite well, fight great, and are delicious. There will be a clearly posted limit of one salmon per angler daily at the lake. I hope to stock these fish sometime in October once the weather cools a bit more- stay posted to the weekly fishing report for updates.
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 shares "Attached are a couple of photos of Michael and Sophia from a recent trip to the Rocky River. We look forward to your weekly reports and are excited for the beginning of the steelhead season. Keep up the great work!"
(photos courtesy of Mike Wojciak).
Max caught a nice largemouth bass (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).
This afternoon we sampled a few live steelhead by the marina on the Rocky River for the display tank at the Steelhead Expo coming up on Saturday.
Andy caught a nice largemouth bass along the Cleveland shoreline by Burke Lakefront Airport this week (photo courtesy of Greg Young).
David shares "I really enjoy reading your fishing reports, great work! Here are a few pics from this past weekends fishing. Caught limit of walleye (3 people onboard - 18 fish) in approx 2 1/2 hours. In 72 feet of water, approx 8 miles north of the Chagrin River. Feel free to post these on your report!"
(photos courtesy of David Warner).
Late last week Tilson did it again- catching a fresh steelhead from shore at Edgewater Park on a K.O. Wobbler spoon.
Tim shares "Nice 27" steel caught trolling 60 ft water 9-24-17 and other is a nice 21"...also caught over 10 walleye...great morning out of Cleveland"
(photos courtesy of Tim).
It is not uncommon for largemouth bass to exhibit cannibalistic behavior.
Since several folks have inquired recently, the "Black Wall" by the marina is this spot in the photo. While not exactly black, there is a stain on the valley wall from being wet and once the leaves are off the trees it is expecially noticeable as a darker color than the surrounding shale- hence the widely used nickname.
I took this photo of a pair of anglers casting at dusk under the cresent moon this past Saturday evening.
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.