The Rocky River and other area streams are currently muddy from recent rain, but are dropping into great shape for the weekend. Anglers can monitor the most recent river water level and temperature at the following link prior to making a trip: <Rocky River flow gage data><Chagrin River flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>
. Nearshore Lake Erie anglers are targeting walleye, steelhead, and yellow perch. A total of 3,000 lbs of rainbow trout were stocked in Metroparks lakes recently (details below).
The Rocky River and other area streams are currently muddy from recent rain, but will be in great shape just in time for the weekend. Fish are spread throughout the system at this time, with anglers reporting some better size fish (25-29") in the mix the past few weeks. Steelhead have been caught on marabou jigs under floats, brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacks, beads that mimic salmon eggs, flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers), and lures such as Little Cleo spoons and wobbling crankbaits. Overall, the general feeling is that this steelhead season has been somewhat below average overall, although the past several weeks have offered some of the best fishing of the year so far. Steelhead numbers can be expected to peak around March-April.
Anglers fishing along the Cleveland lakefront still have a shot at late season walleye from the E55th/E72nd areas. At the same locations some steelhead have been caught this week on nightcrawlers or small jigs tipped with minnow suspended between 4-6 feet under a bobber, as well as for anglers casting spoons. Some jumbo yellow perch are being caught on the west side of the E55th north facing breakwall on live and salted emerald shiners on the lake bottom using crappie rigs. Perch success seems to vary quite a bit day by day.
In mid-December we stocked 3,000 lbs of rainbow trout, as follows: Wallace (1,400 lbs), Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (600 lbs), Judge's (150 lbs) and Ranger (100 lbs) lakes. The size of the trout averages about a pound and a half each, although fish range from 3/4 lb to 2.5 lbs Along with the predominantly standard rainbow trout are fair number of colorful golden rainbow trout (see photo below). Please note: the limits on these trout at 3/day at Wallace, Ledge, Judge's and Ranger lakes and 5/day at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area (there is no size limit, unlike the river where trout ned to be minimum length of 12" and you can harvest 2/day). The second and final round of winter trout will go into the same lakes around mid January. These trout bite well on jigging spoons, brightly colored PowerBait, and small jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm. Our lakes should continue to be ice free for the weekend based on the current forecast.
Fishing Guide Permit Renewals.
Please note that Fishing Guide Permits expired on December 31, 2018. Folks interested in renewing or beginning guiding on Cleveland Metroparks waters this year may find a link to the application materials following the photos at the end of this report. Thank you and may all your clients have fish filled trips in the New Year!
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
Mandy Sue caught her first rainbow trout in Ohio from Shadow Lake on Friday (photos courtesy of Anton Majcen).
Cary caught a nice pair of Rocky River steelhead recently (photo courtesy of Cary Harris).
Tyler Miller caught some quality walleye casting from shore at E55th this week. The top fish was 31" and was caught last night, the other was 29" (photos courtesy of Kyle Martin).
Liz caught her first three steelhead ever this week. Congraulations Liz!
Moe Slyman likes to takes a few casts in the Rocky River to unwind after getting off work. This week, as usual, his Little Cleo spoon struck silver (photos courtesy of Moe Slyman).
Noah and friends have been catching steelhead in the streams by day and walleye along the Lake Erie shoreliine at night (photos courtesy of Noah Koscho).
Bevaun from Indiana reported on Friday "Redeemed myself from the skunk yesterday. Got 3 today. Not too bad for my first ever trip to OH for steel. Landed 2 and lost 2 on the Rocky this morning and then decided to try the Vermillion on the way back home to IN. Got 1 there too. Nice to fish some new to me water and land some fish. Thanks to the guys willing to help an out of towner a little bit. I enjoyed fishing OH and may try WI next year. So far I've landed a steelhead in 4 states, but OH was a lot of fun and I learned some too. Tight lines everyone!"
(photos courtesy of Bevaun Graves).
Bob has been catching quite a few rainbow trout at Wallace Lake lately (photo courtesy of Bob Hoboda).
Owen reports "Got my first steelhead of the season on the Rocky today! I caught him on a pink and orange jig with maggots."
(photo courtesy of Owen Seilor).
Ken gave his usual outstanding fishing observations "I went out this past Saturday morning and thought that I didn’t get the memo telling me to stay home. There were only a few anglers out there, downstream from Morley Ford! I fished for 1.5 hours before moving upstream where I connected with a 27” buck steelie by drifting a Rapala through a deep hole. Of course, it blasted the lure and that was the biggest fish that I caught in the Rock this year. I suspected that there were others so I retied my knots and went at it again. This time a fish blasted the lure so hard that it caused me to bobble the rod in my hands before it went on a blistering run and snapped my 9# line. Somewhere a steelie has that Rapala hanging as a trophy in its mancave hole. I’ll make an excuse and say that I have not been used to catching big steelies this season and forgot to loosen my drag after fighting it. So, I went back to the same place Monday morning and floated a small jig and a dime-sized spawn sack, several times, through the same hole. There were no takers. I put a Rapala on and ended up fighting a 27-1/2 inch steelie for almost 10 minutes. This one was not keen on running into the fast water but wanted to stay around the structure during the initial hookup. I wish you a Happy New Year and thanks for all the support you bring to our fishery. We’re so fortunate to have this treasure in our backayard!"
(photos courtesy of Ken Stein).
E55th perch fishing from shore can be hit or miss, but when it's on the fish are mostly high quality jumbos. And as evidenced by the last photo (from Saturday), you'll sometimes get big surprises using live or salted emerald shiners on a crappie rig when targeting perch!
Speaking of big surprises while perch fishing, and angler caught this 30" 10 pound walleye on a perch rig at E55th on Saturday morning (photos courtesy of Scott Tandler).
Ed shared a tip he learned "Great bite over the past week on the Rock. Landed 6 for 6 in 2 short trips after work, and one of them was over 12 lbs slipping off my fish grip before I could get a shot of the beasty female. I wanted to pass along a tip that I've learned over the past year for landing more fish. While snook fishing on Sanibel/Captiva, I was losing many snook which can be hard to hook and land due to their hard mouths. After tightening my drag all the way when setting the hook, I started to land and hook way more snook. Then loosening the drag right after the hookset to fight the fish. This same method over the past year for steelies has taken me from landing about 6 for 10 in all my years, to now 9 for 10 landed! For both snook and trout, I'd say my landing % went from 60% to 90% by setting the hook with a completely tight drag using either braid/fluoro for snook and all 8 lb fluoro for steelies. It really helps drive those hook(s) home, single or treble, compared to if the drag has even a little give...Just goes to show you can always learn a new trick even after 20 yrs of catching these bad boys."
(photos courtesy of Ed Schmitt).
Arthur caught a fine steelhead on Christmas day (photo courtesy of Arthur Fisher).
Michael and friends caught some beautiful walleye off Cleveland on Sunday trolling Perfect 10 crankbaits (photos courtesy of Michael Ruffo).
Joe caught his second steelhead ever fishing the Rocky River on Friday (his first was last week) and he is officially hooked now (photo courtesy of Joseph Compton).
Chris landed his final steelhead of 2018 swinging flies on Saturday and reflected on his passion for this sport and appreciation of the resource as he release her (photo courtesy of Chris Thompson).
Dana and Mike are still making their typical great catches of Cleveland walleye on Lake Erie (photos courtesy of Dana Daugherty-Klonowski).
Jp caught this beautiful 28" chromer in the Rocky on Friday drifting a VooDoo jig with white head/black marabou/purple tinsel (photo courtesy of JP Webb).
These two fish illustrate how much different two trout from the same source can appear- one with lots of spots and the other with comparatively few. Scott shared "I got these 2 chunks at a Judge's Lake in Hinckley on Friday afternoon. One on a jig/ powerbait and one on spinner."
(photo courtesy of Scott Kaib).
Speaking of variability between fish check out these two caught locally only 2 weeks apart. The super thick fish came from the Rocky River by the marina and the rail thin fish came from the E72nd area while trolling. The thin fish is clearly not healthy, although the reason why is difficult to determine from a photo (photos courtesy of Richard Angelone and Michael Ruffo, respectively).
Brian caught a very colorful rainbow trout at Wallace Lake this week (photo courtesy of Brian Kich).
On Sunday Bianca let dad hold her Barbie pole while she fished with Daddy's rod on the Rocky River. Hopefully this is the beginning of a lifelong passion (photo courtesy of Bill Mantle).
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, firstname.lastname@example.org (216) 513-6011
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>