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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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October 3, 2013

Posted: 10/3/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

Highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks in fall 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 low in level and clear, and based on the weather forecast this won't be likely to change until late into the weekendTo monitor the most recent Rocky River water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data>

River conditions are currently on the low and clear side due to lack of rain, and coupled with warmer weather the steelhead fishing is becoming more challenging accordingly.  Regardless, a few steelhead have been taken by anglers in the northern Rocky and Chagrin rivers again this week, with most success occurring in the mornings and evenings.  A few anglers are targeting steelhead after dark, as well.  Offerings that have produced fish recently 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 dime size 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.  Look for fishing to improve with the next bump in flow.  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 fair to good 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 few 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 38-42 FOW off the Stadium and Goldcoast and 37-47 FOW off Wildwood.

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 from 9:00am-5:00pm.  In addition to the many information, instructional/demo, and vendor booths  which will be at the Expo, the presentation schedule for the day will be as follows:

9-9:30am  Steelhead Fishery Update by ODNR representative
10-11:00am  Gearing Up For Steelhead (overview of the fishing gear used by steelheaders)
11:30am-12:30pm  River Basics (understanding steelhead behavior and movements in the rivers)
1-2:00pm  Fly Fishing for Steelhead
2:30-3:30pm  Float Fishing for Steelhead
4-5:00pm  Fundraiser Raffle

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,


Ethan was very excited to land this nice largemouth bass on a shallow diving crankbait at Ledge Lake this week (photo courtesy of David Bialek).

Lance landed some nice Rocky River steelhead this week using jigs tipped with Gulp minnows and spawn sacks (photos courtesy of Lance Masarik).

David scored a nice steelie in the Rock this week, as well as a big sheepshead (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).

Dan caught this chromer at the Rocky River boat ramps Monday night on a white glow in the dark tube jig (photo courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

Scott, from Columbus, lost a 6 pound steelie at his feet Saturday morning on the Rock, and got this sheepshead as a consolation prize (photo courtesy of Scott Heidrich).

In this installment of "Know Your Fish" can you identify this fish taken in the Rocky River?  The fish is full grown.  Please post your answers in the comments section, and I will post the answer there in a few days (photo courtesy of Ryan Meadows).

Michael caught and released this 25" Rocky River steelie over the weekend by a bridge near the marina.  He reports that the fresh fish slammed his Kwikfish wobbling plug and gave a great fight (photos courtesy of Michael Venditti).

Charlie caught this northern pike at an undisclosed local spot using a chartreuse buzzbait (photo courtesy of Charlie Brumfield).

Show where you like to wet a line with these new "I fish Cleveland Metroparks" soft T-shirts.  They can be purchased at any of our Earthwords shops at Nature/Visitor centers, at the Steelhead Expo or online at the following link:
<Metroparks T-shirts>

John caught this feisty 15" skipper steelhead on the northern Rock.  The fish bit a white jig tipped with maggot in some fast water (photo courtesy of John Fay).

Nate caught the Rocky River trifecta this week:  a steelhead, smallmouth bass and common carp.  He reports that he enjoys fishing during clear water conditions (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

During John Carroll University and Midview High School biology/ecology class field outings this week , students observed 24 different species of fish that call the Rocky River home near the Nature Center.



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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