Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size

Fishing Report Blog

Rocky River and Lake Erie were each named among the "150 Best Places to fish in America" in Field and Stream magazine.

Drop Us A Line - Email Us Your Fishing Photos

September 5, 2013

Posted: 9/5/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

As we transition into early fall, highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks are smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, panfish, with a chance at an early steelhead trout.  Lake Erie anglers are doing well chasing yellow perch.  Overall, the Rocky and Chagrin rivers are running low and clear at this time.  To monitor the most recent Rocky River water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data>  

A few vanguard steelhead have shown up in area rivers, with the very first one reported in the Rocky River on August 9.  That one was found struggling in the river, likely due to higher than preferred water temperature since they are a coldwater fish.  Few anglers are targeting steelhead yet, but those who are giving it a try are focusing on mornings and evenings.  Early season offerings most likely to produce include spoons (Little Cleo spoons being a good choice) and spawn sacks.  Any early steelies in August and early September should be considered a bonus, as the run really won’t begin to gain steam until later this month, and especially into fall.  As an early reminder for those wishing to learn the ropes of steelhead angling, the annual free Steelhead Expo will be at the Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday October 5 from 9:00am-5:00pm.

Smallmouth bass fishing in the river has been fair to good lately.  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).  There are abundant small to medium sized bass in the river along with a few rare resident trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches in length.  Anglers are always encouraged to release the larger bass so that these fine gamefish can be enjoyed again.

Lake Erie boaters out of Lakefront Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River have been making very good catches of yellow perch fishing near the lake bottom with perch speaders and live or salted emerald shiners in 38-45 FOW off the Cleveland shoreline and 44 FOW off Euclid.

Rocky River Fish Kill Sentencing.   On August 29th, the party responsible for the devastating Spring 2012 fish kill in the Rocky River was in court for sentencing.  Most notably, the judge ordered Kennedy Mint to make $300,000 in community service payments to Cleveland Metroparks for aquatic conservation and fisheries projects throughout the Park District.  Read more at this link:  <US Attorney’s Office Press Release>

Come observe a fish population survey at Acacia Reservation this Saturday morning September 7.   On Saturday September 7 from 8:00am-noon Cleveland Metroparks will be hosting a free BioBlitz event at our new Acacia Reservation in Lyndhurst.  Among other offerings, Metroparks staff will be conducting an electrofishing survey of the several acre lake in the northwest corner of the property.  Folks are welcome to join us to observe the boat electrofishing, as well as data collection (measuring and weighing the fish) which will be used to formulate a lake management plan for the site.  Please register for the free event at the following link <BioBlitz registration> and find a map of the site here: <Acacia Reservation Map>.  Attendees will meet at the trailhead by the main entrance/parking lot off Cedar Road at 7:50am for the event.

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 .

Good Fishing,


Matt caught this fresh steelhead in the Chagrin River on a blue and silver Little Cleo spoon on the afternoon of Sunday Septmber 1 (photo courtesy of Matt Brigadir).

Joel caught this trophy 5 pound largemouth bass at his "secret" Metroparks fishing spot (photo courtesy of Joel Terman).

Charlie scored some smallmouth bass on Mepps spinners on a recent outing on the Rocky River (photos courtesy of Charlie Brumfield).

Dale recently caught this 30", 11 pound, bruiser walleye off Cleveland trolling with stickbaits (photo courtesy of Dale Sante).  

Tom reports "My wife and I went fishing yesterday in the Rocky River near Tyler Field.   I've attached pictures of a freshwater drum and a green sunfish-bluegill hybrid that I caught.  The drum was caught on a floating Rapala firetiger colored lure, and the panfish was caught with a live crawdad.  I also caught 2 rock bass on the Rapala but don't have pictures of those.  Thanks for running the site/blog!" (photos and report courtesy of Tom Hooke).

Daniel recently caught this trophy 18.5" smallmouth bass in South Chagrin Reservation on a 3" white/gray GULP minnow lure (photo courtesy of Daniel Holmes).

DJ is showing his Metroparks pride, along with a nice largemouth bass (photo courtesy of DJ Leslie).

Jesse displays a steelhead that he found struggling, likely due to warm water temperature, in the Rocky River back on August 9th (photo courtesy of Sisqo By).

Nathaniel was using minnows trying for an early steelhead, but hooked this good size channel catfish as a consolation prize (photo courtesy of Nathaniel Watkins).

Bill reports that the walleye have been biting "Near shore out of Rocky River in 15 to 22 fow.  Pink lemonade Reef Runners & silver/black Wiggle Warts on inline planer boards.  Biggest walleye was 29.5 inches." (photos and report courtesy of Bill Marquard).

John caught this channel catfish and largemouth bass on the northern Rocky River using his homemade jigs.  The bass hit a pattern he calls Fay's Yellow Stinger (photos courtesy of John Fay).

Brian has been catching some fine largemouth bass in Metroparks lakes and smallmouth bass in the Rocky River and Lake Erie (photos courtesy of Brian Kich).

Tom recently made a catch of 17 walleye, including this fine specimen, trolling spoons and Reef Runners (photo courtesy of To Deweese).

Nate continues to rack up numbers of Rocky River smallmouth bass and carp on both fly and spinning tackle.  Nate also reports seeing a few steelies in the river recently that he was unable to hook (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Ken tried an early attempt for steelies in the Rock, and caught a few juvenile trout on spawn sacks.  With the relatively cool and wet summer, it appears survival of naturally reproduced juvenile steelhead in our streams was better than average this year (photo courtesy of Ken Harper).

Volunteer extraordinaire Steve Nyetrae displays a fresh steelhead and some quality white crappie sampled by the marina on the Rocky yesterday morning.

Runners can register for the September 28 Steelhead Run (and recieve a shirt with this cool logo) at the following link:  <Steelhead Run>.  Runners, as well as non-runners, can also register for a $10 dinner featuring walleye at the finish (you'll find me there cheering on my runner wife and friends waiting for that tasty walleye!).

Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month

2017 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)

17-001 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters,, (330) 984-3086

17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters,, (724) 799-5011

17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing,, (440) 667-2278

17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools,, (440) 781-7536

17-005 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide,

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>


Be the first to leave a comment.

Social media and blog policy