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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.

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September 26, 2013

Posted: 9/26/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

As we move into fall, highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and panfish.  Lake Erie anglers continue to make good catches of yellow perch.  The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are currently moderately low in level and clear, although the forecasted rain into the weekend could change that scenario.  To monitor the most recent Rocky River water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data>  

The return of cooler weather has given the early season steelhead fishing a boost in local streams.  A modest number of steelhead have been taken by anglers in the northern Rocky and Chagrin rivers again this week.   A growing numbers of anglers are beginning to target steelhead, with most success occurring in the mornings and evenings.  Early season offerings that have produced fish this week include spoons (a 2/5 oz Little Cleo spoon in silver/blue is a good choice), spinners (silver/white Roostertail and Vibrax), spawn sacks, 1/32-1/64 oz marabou/hair jigs (white and black work well) tipped with a waxworm or a few maggots suspended 2-3' under a small float and spawn sacks (white, peach and blue mesh have produced fish).  The Rocky River from the marina to Rockcliff Springs has produced the most fish, with some anglers also scoring near the mouth of the river in small watercraft.  Any steelhead taken at this time should be considered a bonus, as the run really won’t begin to gain steam until mid fall. 

Largemouth bass and sunfish have been biting well in Metroparks lakes and ponds this week.  Natural populations of fish in these waters have been supplemented with stockings of 1,237 catchable size bass and sunfish, many of trophy size, over the past two weeks.  Wallace, Hinckley, Ledge, Ranger and Judges lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon, have all produced bass on rubber baits and shad crankbaits recently. 

Lake Erie boaters out of Lakefront Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River have been making very good catches of 8-12” yellow perch fishing near the lake bottom with perch speaders and live or salted emerald shiners in 42-51 FOW off the Cleveland shoreline and 44-53 FOW off Euclid.

Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center Saturday October 5th!    A great way to kick off the steelhead season is to attend the 20th annual Steelhead Expo will be held at the Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday October 5th, 2013.  This event is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Cleveland Metroparks and will offer a full day of expert speakers and seminars, vendors, and other related information to kick off the fall steelhead season. There is no charge for the event but OCBS, a non-profit sportman’s group which is very active in the local fishing and conservation communities, is offering a raffle as a fundraiser so donations or participation in the raffle is encouraged.  More information on this offering can be found at the <Cleveland Metroparks website> and <Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders website>

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 Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or .

Good Fishing,



James displays one of two Rocky River steelies he hooked yesterday on a white tube jig (photo courtesy of James Haynik).

Kenny displays one of the nice largemouth bass he caught in Ranger Lake this week.  He took the fish on a blue 4" Zoom rubber worm Texas rigged with a slip bobbe (photo courtesy of Kenny).

Travis caught his first steelie of the year in the Rock yesterday on a jig (photo courtesy of Travis Males).

John took this chromer in the Rock yesterday on his "gold and green secret weapon" (photo courtesy of John Lusnek).

Jake landed this quality steelie well up the West Branch of the Rocky, proving that at least a few of the big trout migrated quite a distance upstream already (photo courtesy of Jake Gruse).

Brittany displays a fine smallmouth bass sampled by the Nature Center during a Baldwin Wallace University biology class field outing on the Rocky River recently.

After four steelhead free outings on the Chagrin River Mark's persistence finally paid off with these two chromers caught on back to back trips.  Both fish bit a black, white and olive color FTA jig (photos courtesy of Mark Warren).

Emmanuel struck silver in the Rock again this week on Monday and Tuesday (photos courtesy of Emmanuel Roman).

This week a total of 870 quality size largemouth bass and sunfish, as displayed by volunteers above, were collected in four private lakes/ponds and released in Metroparks public fishing areas.  This brings the total for the past two weeks to 1,237 fish, many of which were trophy size.

The Steelhead Expo will be held at thr Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday October 5th.  See the report above for more information.

Danny, 14 months old, and Paige caught this big bluegill in a local lake not in Cleveland Metroparks (photo courtesy of Danny Leslie).

In this installment of "Know Your Fish" I present these specimens that were stocked in a Metroparks public fishing area this week.  What species are they?  Is one a male and one a female of the same species, or are they different types of fish?  Please post your guesses in trhe comments section below and I will post the answer in a few days.

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>


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