***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 a watchful eye looking for the first returning steelhead trout. On the morning of this report the Rocky River was on the low and clear side. 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.
Last week I saw a few steelhead by the Rocky River marina during sampling (see a photo below). Early steelhead also begin showing up around off the rocks at Edgewater and E55th starting this time of year. 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. Our first cool rain in the coming weeks should serve to entice a few more early steelhead into the streams.
Anglers are also pursuing a mix of warmwater species in the streams. 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" 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).
Channel catfish, carp, sheepshead and several sucker species are also present in some of these same areas in the river, especially around the marina on the Rocky, and fishing for them can be a laid back and relaxing way to enjoy some time on the water. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits. Catfish often bite best following a rain when the water is a bit murky. Carp can often be caught throughout the day on such bait as canned corn, carp dough baits, worms or crayfish tails. 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.
Anglers at our inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. Wallace Lake has been turning up some fine specimens of all of these types of fish lately, as evidenced in the photos below. Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer's Pond are just a few other spots worth poking around in late summer.
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 anglers. White bass fishing, which is typically good in late summer, has been slow lately. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has also been 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 Saturday September 30th.
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 on 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 and find out details regarding the event at this link: <Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders website>
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 later this month or in early October- 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 email@example.com
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2018 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
#18-001 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, firstname.lastname@example.org www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including the permit application, you may check the following link: Fishing Guide Permit Program
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund helps provide a rewarding fishing experience to Northeast Ohio anglers through the stocking of rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and other sport fish. The Fund also supports children's fishing derbies and creation and restoration of essential habitat in the ponds, lakes, and rivers within Cleveland Metroparks.
For more information or to make a gift to Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund, including a web donation option, please visit: <Fishing Fund Donations Online>