As we enter fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include steelhead trout, smallmouth bass, carp, panfish, and channel catfish. The Rocky River is currently low in level and fairly clear, but there is some rain in the forecast for the weekend that could change that. 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>
. Nearshore Lake Erie anglers are targeting walleye, steelhead, bass (largemouth and smallmouth), and yellow perch, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
The Rocky River is flowing low and fairly clear today, but rain in the forecast could change that into the weekend so wise anglers will check the flow data before heading out. A modest number of steelhead turned up this week off the rocks/breakwalls at Edgewater, E55th/E72nd, Wildwood Park, and in the northernmost river sections by the lake. 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. Things traditionally start to heat up with the steelhead fishing into October.
Anglers are also pursuing a mixed bag 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). A surprise during recent sampling was a respectable number of keep size walleye by the Rocky River marina (see photo below). There have been a very impressive number of baby walleye in our streams lately, as well. Please be gentle handling these index finger size fish from the outstanding 2018 hatch.
Anglers at our inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. In mid September we released 746 largemouth bass, sunfish,and channel catfish at Beyer's Pond following the Middleburgh Heights Family Fishing Days in mid-September. Wallace Lake, Ledge Lake, and Shadow Lake are a few other spots worth that can be worth poking around in early fall. Rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish will be stocked in the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area in mid October. The Ohio Division of Wildlife stocked 1,000 yearling (juvenile) channel catfish at the Ohio & Erie Canal yesterday, as well.
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, walleye, and panfish species can also be found along the Cleveland shoreline in early fall and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs, crankbaits, and live bait. Some good eater size walleye (15-20 inches) have been found in shallow water 16-24 feet deep by Cleveland area boating anglers, although more consistent catches are still being made in 68-70 FOW. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has been slowly heating up off Wildwood Park in 32-38 foot of water. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>
Fall Family Fishing Fest on Saturday October 13.
Come out and join us for Fall Family Fishing Fest at the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation on Saturday October 13th from 9-1:00pm This event is free and we will have a limited number of fishing poles to loan out, as well as 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 grant funds. More details here: <Fall Family Fishing Fest>.
CMNH Trout Club News: Hank Patterson Event and Chagrin River Watershed Project Support.
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH) Trout Club is hosting Hank Patterson (fly fishing comedian/entertainer) for an event from 6:00-9:00pm on the evening of October 20th. Hank will release his new video and do a Q&A as the headline guest. Before Hank goes on stage they will have beer and whiskey, food, and offer 6 seminar tables (Cleveland Metroparks will be hosting one of them). Each table will be offering four consecutive 15 minute seminars on a relevant local fishing topic. Tickets are available <here>
I am also very pleased to report that CMNH Trout Club just approved a Cleveland Metroparks application for an improvement project on a coldwater tributary of the Chagrin River! Spokeperson Kendrick Chittock shared just yesterday "I am happy to inform you that the Trout Club voted to approve and fund your application for the Beecher’s Brook Restoration project at the full $10,000. This type of project, and in particular, this accessible and well known tributary, is a great fit for our members and others who enjoy the stream and Chagrin River Valley."
This stream has an outstanding native fish community in its lower reaches, as well as routine natural reproduction of steelhead/rainbow trout. This project will open up the upper stream reaches to fish migration, which are currently halted by an aging grade control structure (small dam). Thank you to the CMNH Trout Club for being a longstanding conservation partner in working to protect important water resources in northeast Ohio!
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
Bill reported from the Rocky "Took my buddy Brook fishing Saturday morning.
He caught his first Steelhead!"
(photo courtesy of Bill Wahl).
Dominic was casting for steelhead at E55th breakwall and was surprised by this trophy white bass instead (photo courtesy of Dominic Charlot).
Ken reported "I was out Saturday before sunrise and landed this 25” walleye on a black jig and white troutworm. Perhaps the people who routinely fish the Rock may or may not notice the changes in the river but I can clearly see that it is not the same fishery as that of 2012 (Mike's note: Ken was overseas for millitary contract work for several years and just came home recently). Wow! Caught a 20” steelie too!"
(photo courtesy of Ken Stein).
Tuesday afternoon Bill caught a steelhead at Edgewater Park while casting a gold and orange spoon (his buddy Keith is holding the fish in the image).
Ross reports that Kelsey was casting a chartreuse crankbait at Edgewater at dusk hoping for a steelhead when she was surprised by this fine walleye (photo courtesy of Ross Bailey).
Bill reported on Monday "Headed out to fish at lunch today looking for some smallies in the Rocky River. I caught a decent sized smallmouth to start, and shortly after this steelhead hammered my buzzbait! Awesome, just awesome, had to share."
As an update, yesterday Bill reported catching another steelhead on the same buzzbait! When I asked if the hits were explosive Bill further shared "YES! Monday’s fish hit it full speed sideways, and I saw the silver flash, so I kinda knew what it was even though I was surprised. Today I ran the buzzbait next to a downed tree, and I didn’t see the flash when it hit, so I thought it was a monster smallmouth, being that it came out from under a tree stump and all, then it jumped! I think I was even more surprised than Monday. It’s definitely a couple catches I’ll be replaying in my head for a long time. FYI, It takes about 5-8 casts to figure out how to straighten the wires back out on the buzzbait so it can work properly again. Have a good week Mike, I enjoy your fishing reports."
Bill also shared a few other recent smallmouth bass he caught fishing the river with his wife Breanne (photos courtesy of Mark Thaxton).
Tuan shared from the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie "My family had a great time fishing over the weekend. We have some photos would like to share on the weekly fishing report. I believed one of the fish we caught is a 17" white bass but I could be wrong (Mike's note: white bass is correct, and a trophy one at that!). Again thank you for your hard work on the weekly fishing report. I am a big fan of it."
(photos courtesy of Tuan Truong).
Brian shared "Caught this (17" walleye) in the Hoga last Sunday between the gorge and the Brecksville spillway. Ever here of any others caught in this section? I've fished this area 4 to 5 times per year for 20 years and this is my 1st! I've caught everything else in this section, including steelhead."
Mike's note: walleye are turning up EVERYWHERE this year so I'm not a bit surprised. Nice catch! (photo courtesy of Brian Knapp).
John reported going 3 for 4 on steelhead Sunday morning on the Chagrin River this week with his son and daughter (photos courtesy of John Russell).
Eddy reported "My wife Shannon outfished me again. I’m holding the first one she caught. I’m in the white t-shirt"
(photos courtesy of Eddy Repjar.
Jeremy went 1 for 2 on steelies using a white minnow fly in Euclid Creek this week (photo courtesy of Jeremy Springer).
Father and son Andy and Greg caught some fine largemouth bass casting squarebill crankbaits along the CLE shoreline on Saturday morning (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
Father and son Eddie and Bobbie caught a walleye limit on Sunday trolling Stinger spoons on Dipsey Divers way out in 76 feet of water fishing 60 feet down (photo courtesy of Eddie Lavelle).
On Sunday afternoon my brother Mark and I caught a nice mixed bag casting along the CLE shoeline- including largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, and freshwater drum.
Yellow perch fish is slowly heating up off Cleveland and Euclid. Photos are from aboard the Linda Mae party fishing boat out of Wildwood Marina on Euclid Creek (photos courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
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.