In 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. It is always encouraging to see most anglers releasing the larger bass recently so that these fine gamefish can be caught again. 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. In mid-late June farm raised catfish were stocked at Shadow (800 lbs), Oxbow Lagoon (350 lbs), Ranger (200 lbs), and Ledge (150 lbs), and Judge's (100 lbs) lakes. Good numbers of channel catfish stocked in May also remain to be caught at Wallace Lake and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. Plenty of catfish are available in the northern Rocky River, as well. Catfishing is usually best during lower light conditions using baits such as nightcrawlers, minnows, chicken liver, and processed dough baits.
Some large carp 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, white bass, northern pike, catfish, freshwater drum and sunfish species can all be caught along the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie on offerings such as tube jigs and live minnows. Walleye fishing has been fantastic and yellow perch are biting in the nearshore waters of Cleveland, as well. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>.
Seeking Cuyahoga River Success Stories.
For the Year of the Cuyahoga River we are wanting to collect photos from those of you who have fished the river for a number of years and have noticed improvements in your success. Short stories of how you have seen the changes would be welcomed, too. Basically, we are looking for firsthand accounts of how anglers have noted improvement of this fantastic natural resource over the decades. Ideally, you can email or mail me any info you want to share. Thank you in advance for your assistance!
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 .
Ava landed a quality yellow perch in the Rocky River immediately following the Rocky River clean-up on June 3rd (photo courtesy of Julie Lawson).
Mike shared "My son Dylan pulled in this unexpected beauty while bluegill fishing at Beyers Pond." (photo courtesy of Mike Card).
Scott shared "My grandson Myles caught this channel cat at Wallace lake during the fishing derby. Thanks again to everyone, the derby was excellent as usual" (photo courtesy of Scott Bendler).
Luke caught a big walleye fishing out of Rocky River with grandpa recently (photo courtesy of Carl Schweisthal).
Max caught a big bluegill in a local pond (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).
A young angler displays a trophy caught off E72nd recently.
Macho caught this 29", 15 pound, trophy channel catfish at the Rocky River marina on a nightcrawler (photo courtesy of Macho Velez).
Hannah shows off a fine bass caught at Edgewater Marina from her float tube (photo courtesy of Keith Knerem).
Chuck was fishing for smallmouth bass by the Rocky River Nature Center and was surprised to catch a male bowfin in spawning colors with bright green fins (photos courtesy of Chuck Snyder).
Mark shared "Caught this behemoth on a ¼ oz white/blue buzzbait just north of the nature center. It was 19 ¼” I grew up fishing ponds and inland lakes. Now that I work close to the rocky river I’m falling in love with fishing here in the river. I spend almost every lunch hour trying to find steelhead, and now smallmouth." (photo courtesy of Mark Thaxton).
Vince shared "During Dr. Wolin's stream ecology field trip today, you inspired me to go fishing (which I haven't done in years), so myself and a couple other classmates went fishing on the shore of the lake. First fish i caught was a 16 inch white bass!" (photo courtesy of Vince Kotkowski).
Joe caught and released this gorgeous northern pike at Edgewater Park while casting off the rocks for walleye (photo courtesy of Joe Manazec).
Dave shared "Good job on the Metroparks reports. Here's a carp that gave me a nice fight, from the upper Rocky River. Nightcrawler was the bait" (photo courtesy of Dave Kushman).
Evan shared "I'm finally getting around to sending you that photo of my northern pike I caught at the wall of whales on June 6th. Also included is the white bass I caught on June 5th fishing with Vince from my stream ecology class. The pike measured 27.5 inches and that white bass is 14.75 inches. The fishing there has been really good recently. It started to slow down this week though." (photos courtesy of Evan Shie).
Wes and a buddy made a great catch of yellow perch off Cleveland back in June (photos courtesy of Wes Janke).
Galen caught a beatiful walleye casting from the Cleveland shoreline (photo courtesy of Galen Bizzell).
Jarred scored a quality largemouth bass at Edgewater Marina (photo courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
David notes thar the Cleveland area fishing on Lake Erie has been "on fire" (photos courtesy of David Wagner).
Dave shared "Caught these Walleye and the lone Perch on Fathers Day (Sunday, June 17th) right off of East 55th street (about 1/2 mile out). We were casting Erie Dearie's with nightcrawlers and having much success!! June was a great month for Walleye fishing!" (photos courtesy of Dave Warner).
A young lady displays a nice resident smallmouth bass from the Rocky River.
Adrian shared "Fished CYC battle of Lake Erie tourney today (June 16th). 6 limits. No monsters. Our five biggest fish together were about 1 pound more than our one large fish last week" (photos courtesy of Adrian Zachary).
Brad can tell you from experience that although walleye taste great, a large sheepshead pulls quite a bit harder! (photos courtesy of Brad Gardner).
The Deluca family made a nice catch of Cleveland area walleye (photo courtesy of Jeff Deluca).
Tim has been making some great catches of walleye on crawler harnesses off Cleveland, topped by a 28" beauty (photos courtesy of Tim).
Joe "Santa" displays a fine eater size walleye that are so abundant this year (photo courtesy of Greg Young).
During a field outing with a Cleveland State University Stream Ecology class in June we collected a very late adult steelhead and several naturally spawned juveniles.
The last of the trout are disappearing from our inland lakes with warmer temperatures having finally arrived to stay.
A family wets their lines together at the Rocky River Marina.
An ODNR creel clerk collects data from the catch of a successful family fishing off Gordon Park.
A total of three flathead catfish were collected at Wallace Lake over the past month. Although they are a neat species, they are not supposed to be in the lake and are voracious predators of any fish that will fit in their big mouth. ith this in mind, two of these fish were delivered to the Zoo for display at Wolf Wilderness beaver pond and the other (a smaller on not pictured here) is on display at Lake Erie Nature and Science Center.
Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders founding member and all around Ohio steelhead fishing legend Mike Spanulo passed unexpectedly on June 23rd. I'm sure you are fishing a erene river full of eager fish where you are now, friend (photo courtesy of the Spanulo family).
Perch charters are going out of Wildwood Marina. Here is a bruiser caught on the party boat Linda Mae (photo courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
On a recent day on my boat along the Cleveland shoreline buddies Moe Slyman, Mark Warren, and I caught a fun mixed catch in a few hours in the morning.
The annual Rocky River Volunteer Clean-Up was a big success this year with a record 129 attendees!
Being a fisherman, I included this gratuitous picture of my new personal best largemouth bass. The 24" bass hit a purple rubber worm with hot pink tail and was released. This eclipses my former (and long held) personal best, a 22" bass caught night fishing with a Jitterbug when I was 13 years old. Of course, that doesn't count all the 22-25" bass I've caught while electrofishing during that same timeframe :)
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.