In late spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include smallmouth/largemouth bass, stocked rainbow trout, walleye, panfish, and steelhead trout. We have quite a bit of rain in the forecast for the weekend so wise anglers will keep an eye on the weather and flow data before heading out. Anglers can check the most recent river water level, temperature, and clarity (turbidity) at the following links: <Rocky River USGS flow gage data> <Chagrin River USGS flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>.
Throughout the spring we stocked 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River in Millstream Run Reservation and trout from past stockings remain at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, Hinckley, and Ranger lakes. The Lake Erie marina and harbor areas
also offer walleye, steelhead trout, northern pike, panfish, and largemouth and smallmoth bass in spring.
The Rocky and Chagrin rivers got a modest bump in flow with the rain last night, and there is quite a bit of rain is in the forecast overthe weekend. Wise anglers will check the raingfall and river flow data before embarding on a trip to the river. A fair number of steelhead are still around but the majority are post-spawn (dropback) fish. The remaing spawning steelhead can be found in shallower riffle and tailout areas, while post spawn fish can be found in holes and runs, especially just downstream of spawning areas, as they travel back towards Lake Erie. Please keep in mind that warming river temperatures are stressful on trout, and playing and releasing fish as quickly as possible is a reasponsible plan. Some steelhead are around until mid-May in a typical year.
Edging the remaining steelhead out of the spotlight are very good numbers of lake-run smallmouth bass. These fish are present in deeper, rocky holes throughout the Rocky, Chagrin and Cuyahoga rivers. Anglers fishing a jig, wooly bugger, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish have a shot at hooking the "silver and bronze" (a smallmouth or steelhead) in the same day in late spring. Note: smallmouth/largemouth bass may not be kept in Lake Erie or the Rocky River north of the Detroit Road bridge, Chagrin River north of the SR 283 bridge, or Cuyahoga River north of the Harvard Avenue bridge between May 1 and June 29.
Cleveland shoreline breakwalls are offering a hot post-spawn night bite for walleye right now. Perfect 10s, Husky Jerks, and glow swimbaits are a few of the offerings that produce. Additionally, marinas and harbors on Lake Erie in spring also offer anglers a shot at catching smallmouth/largemouth bass (see prohibited possesion regs above), northern pike, steelhead, and panfish. Productive spots include Edgewater, Wildwood, and East 72nd/Gordon Park boat ramp areas. For almost any of these species a medium size silvery spoon or spinner is a good all-around choice. Note to boaters:
the launch ramp docks are in at all Cleveland Metroparks locations at this time.
We did not stock this week because our supplier had technical difficulties with equipment, but over the course of this spring we stocked 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the river crossing ford about a mile south of Wallace Lake. Of the six spots we routinely stock, Bonnie Park (on both the upstream and downstream side of the dam) recieves the lion's share of these fish.
Our inland lakes are offering very good fishing opportunities at this time. Maintenance at Wallace Lake is complete and the lake is back to normal level. Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, panfish, and coho salmon are being caught at Wallace on live bait and smaller lures. On March 29th the Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked 816 rainbow trout at Shadow Lake and 2,759 rainbow trout at Hinckley Lake (these fish avarage about 3/4 lbs each). Trout typically bite well on PowerBait, jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and smaller spinners (such as Rooster Tail). Please note the current seasonal trout/salmon regulations: Lake Erie and all streams 2/day minimum size 12" (this includes steelhead- but changes to 5/day starting on May 16), 3/day no size limit at Wallace, Judge's and Ranger lakes, and 5/day no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal. Please note: Ledge Lake is posted as catch and release fishing only until further notice.
Spring Childrens Fishing Derbies Are Coming on May 19 & 20.
Our popular annual kids fishing derbies are coming up on Saturday May 19 at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and Sunday May 20 at Wallace Lake. The event is free, fish will be stocked for the event, and fishing gear and bait will be provided for those in need at no cost. For more information, you can check the following link: <May 19 Fishing Derby Info> <May 20 Fishing Derby Info>.
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
Andrew shared "My kids Jacob, Ryan, and Nick caught these 4 trout in about a half hour close to Bonnie Park in the East Branch on Sunday. My wife was mad because she didn’t get one but all of the kids did. It’s crazy how these fish can turn on (and turn off). I’m hoping we can get out once or twice more before mid June."
(photo courtesy of Andrew Marantides).
Proud papa Fred shared his son Anthony's smallmouth bass, as well as his friend Matt's longnose gar, both from the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Fred Miranda).
Dave shared his son's catch as well as an astute observation "Hi Mike. My son Jacob and I had been busy the past few weekends. We went to the river hoping for steelhead on May 6th, but knew they were gone when we drove to the Rocky and there were 200 less fisherman! On a positive note, the smallmouth are in! Jacob caught this on an inline spinner that morning!"
(photo courtesy of Dave Nose).
Phi shared "My name is Phi (in the Cleveland shirt and also green coat) and my brother Mike (in the red shirt ) fishing Wallace Lake this past week catching whopper bass and trout this past week. The bass are in the shallows now and are very actively spawning so of course I release them very quickly. All of the fish we are catching are very aggressive and putting up a mean fight. I have also caught some big gills and sunfish too. Thanks for the hot fishing"
(photos courtesy of Phi Nguyen).
Mike scored a tasty walleye from the rocks at Edgewater after dark this week (photos courtesy of Mike Sekerak).
Adrian caught this bruiser smallmouth bass on a dropshot rig with 1" Berkeley Power Minnow (photos courtesy of Adrian Zachary).
Speaking of smallmouth, Fabio caught a fine lake-run bass swinging a spey fly on the Chagrin River (photo courtesy of Fabio Malaspina).
JP got the "silver and bronze" on a smaller white rubber jig this week (photos courtesy of JP Webb).
And Mike shared "Got my first smallie of the year out of the Chagrin River. The river was very active too. Saw lots of quillback, carp, and suckers, even a few trout."
(photo courtesy of Mike Brady).
And the smallmouth bass parade continues with Larry's fine specimen from the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Larry Koncar).
Matt also got in on the hot smallmouth action this week, but in his case along the lakefront (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Tim proved those Rocky River smallmouth will munch feathers as well as bait or hardware (photo courtesy of Tim Maher).
And Matt shared his own bass news "The Smallies are here! I have been getting bites on both soft and hard jerkbaits. Caught that big one Wednesday 5/9 on a weightless white swimbait (had to rig up weightless and weedless because floating vegetation is starting to become a problem). Caught the other two on a Rapala X-Rap a week earlier. Have a good day!"
(photos courtesy of Matt Laskowski).
And for the smallmouth grand finale this week I offer you father and son Andy and Greg, with a bonus largemouth bass and walleye thown in for spice. Greg reports they've had to work for fish along the CLE lakefront in the colder water, but a KVD squarebill crankbait has been performing (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
Nick reported yesterday "I caught this largemouth this morning at Wallace lake, first time fishing there!"
(photo courtesy of Nick Fischer).
And the largemouth are also biting at Ledge Lake (photo courtesy of Ted).
Rich shared "I caught this steelhead near Hogscack Lane in the Rocky River on a 3/4 oz. Little Cleo. It gave me the best fight I've ever had."
(photo courtesy of Rich Miller).
Max shared "My most likely last week of steelhead until fall. Was great I went 8/11 at the Rocky Saturday and 13/19 at the Chagrin on Sunday and caught one at the Cuyahoga Tuesday. All on custom streamers and pink egg flys in fast water "
(photos courtesy of Max Madden).
Jon caught some nice walleye on the lake this week, but it was this monster sheepshead that impressed me most! (photo courtesy of Jon Brauer).
I had a fun morning on Lake Erie recently jigging and trolling for walleye with buddy Moe Slyman and Captain george Uhl III.
Tim and David recently took 6th place in a catfish tournament, with this 17 and 20 pound whiskered brutes coming from a Lake Erie bay (photos courtesy of Tim Daley).
Not all anglers out there right now require a fishing pole! (photo courtesy of Randy Tillman).
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.