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 elevated and muddy this morning, but as it clears into the weekend will be offering at least a few fresh steelhead. 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>
. As Lake Erie settles down anglers will target walleye and yellow perch, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
The Rocky River is flowing high and muddy today, but as it drops and clears into the weekend anglers can expect some fresh run steelhead to be available in the northern river section. Early steelhead also show up around off the rocks at Edgewater and E55th, 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 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). 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 shocking number of baby walleye in our streams lately, as well. Please be gentle handling these cigar size fish from the outstanding 2018 hatch.
Anglers at our inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. Two weeks ago 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.
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 as shallow as 16-24 feet deep by Cleveland area boating anglers, although more consistent catches are being made in 68-70 FOW. Yellow perch fishing off Cleveland has been 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>.
Local Chapter of Project Healing Waters Fundraiser.
Monte Casey wanted to share an <info page>
regarding a fundraiser for the local chapter of Project Healing Waters.
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 shared "Mike good to see you and very nice Hooked on Fishing event!! We had a great time. I was hoping to have a shot at some steelhead by now but in the mean time a buddy’s twin boys turned 8 so we did a little lake fishing. Jake caught a nice catfish and Nick caught a 10 lb freshwater drum. Both gave them a nice fight!"
(photos courtesy of Bill Wahl).
Corey shared this week "Beyers Pond. Kids caught 13 gills and 2 bass. All released back."
Here is a <video>
detailing their outing. (photos and video courtesy of Corey Butram).
Ken, who just got back after working for the US Army in Germany for the past 6 years, shared on Monday "Hit the river yesterday AM at about 0600, down by the marina throwing a husky jerk - no action. I went down to my favorite first bend 0715 and hit a skipper on the first cast using a orange headed - black jig with a white trout worm. I didn’t expect to catch a fish on the first cast and of course, hook was not set properly. I threw the same rig out and hooked this 24”. I looked at my diary, and noted that the last time I caught a steelie was on 6 NOV 2012, just 5 days before we left Ohio. Funny too was that I used pre-weighted rigs that I had hung on a curtain rod in my office (Clara always asks meto put them somewhere but they have been there for 6 years too!). So, I was happy to see that I didn’t forget anything. I also caught a 16” smallmouth in the same hole on a jig and troutworm! I was surprised that it never jumped out of the water but it fought tough, even with my 11’ rod.
" (photos courtesy of Ken Stein).
Domin C&R a fine Rocky River steelhead this week, too (photo courtesy of Dominic Charlot).
Andrew and a buddy had a good day bass fishing at Beyer's Pond, and shared pics a few of the bass they landed (photos courtesy of Andrew Sowinski).
Joe caught a bruiser channel catfish while walleye fishing this week (photo courtesy of Bill Marquard).
Keith landed a steelhead along the CLE shoreline of Lake Erie. Edgewater, E55th, E72nd, and Wildwood parks are all places worth poking around for early fall steel (photo courtesy of Keith Knerem).
The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District was electrofishing around the mouth of the Rocky River last week for a fish tissue study and turned up several 2-4 pound smallmouth bass around the rock jetty into the lake (photo courtesy of Mark Matteson at NEORSD).
The Rocky River at Morley Ford was flowing high and muddy this morning, but should be fishable by the weekend barring any further rain.
Last Friday afternoon we sampled the Rocky River by the marina to collect some live fish for the Steelhead Expo. Despite the 90 deg F weather that day we got a few steelies, but keeper size walleye outnumbered them about 3 to 1! Small walleye were all over the place, too. And we saw some big sheepshead and channel catfish, too.
Public education and outreach are a big part of our park mission. We strive to teach folks of all ages what lives in local waterways and why it's important. I'd like to thank my dependable crew this summer- Owen, Madeline, and Veronica- for doing an ace job of educating the public at various events this year. Great work, gang!
Happy Birthday today to my very dear friend (and Metroparks fisheries program heavyweight supporter) Moe Slyman! We enjoyed a fantastic Monday morning salmon fishing on the Niagara River together this week, as well.
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.