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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 10, 2013

Posted: 10/10/2013
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 exhiting good fishing conditions, with moderate flow and greenish stainTo monitor the most recent Rocky River water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data>

The region recieved a needed bump in flow accompanied by cooler weather this week, and a modest number of fresh steelhead trout took notice and entered the streams.  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), dime size spawn sacks (pink, chatreuse and white mesh), or a 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.  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.  The northern Chagrin River and Euclid Creek at Euclid Reservation (Wildwood) have also produced some fish this week.  Expect the steelhead run to slowly gain steam through the fall season.

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 2,220 catchable size bass and sunfish, many of trophy size, over the past month.  Wallace, Hinckley, Ledge, Ranger and Judges lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon, have all produced bass on rubber baits and shad crankbaits recently.

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area is closed to public fishing until Saturday October 12 at noon.  The area is clearly posted and Rangers will be keeping watch at the area.  The area was stocked this week specifically for the Outdoor Odyssey kid's event on Saturday (more info below).

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.

First Fish.    A few of the photos submitted this week reminded me of my own first fish and first steelhead, both caught in Cleveland Metroparks.  My first fish was a bluegill taken from a rented rowboat at Hinckley Lake with my late father.  I was seven and still remember how strong the pull of the 7 inch fish felt on my Zebco rod with red and white bobber and worm.  My first steelhead came about 10 years later at Lagoon Dam on the East Branch Rocky River.  That 24" spawned out hen bit a jig tipped with minnow and had my heart in my throat until it was beached at my feet.  What memories!  We'd love to hear your own "first fish" stories in the comments section below.

Outdoor Odyssey is coming this Saturday!    Come out to the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area on Saturday October 12 and join us from noon until 4:00pm for Outdoor Odyssey, a free event with a focus on fishing and other kid friendly outdoor pursuits.  1,000 pounds of rainbow trout and 1,000 pounds of farm raised channel catfish have been stocked specifically for this event by Cleveland Metroparks, and fishing gear can be loaned out for free for those who need it.  Please note, the OEC fishing area will be clearly posted as closed to fishing until the event and will be strictly enforced by our Rangers.  More information on this event can be found at the following link: 
<2013 Outdoor Odyssey Info>

Lost Fishing Rod.   An angler accidentally left behind a cherished fishing rod at Rockcliff Springs access on the Rocky River this week.  If you found it, please contact me so I can describe it and subsequently reunite it with its owner.

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,


Congratulations to Myles, age 3, on catching his first fish!  (photo courtesy of Scott Bendler).

Congratulations to Tony on catching his first steelhead on a homemade rod in the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Rachel).

Ray, a military veteran, poses with a dime bright steelie taken on a spoon at a Metroparks Lakefront park this week.

Bill shares "
As always my son Andy and I enjoy the website!  I don't believe I ever started fishing the Rocky River this early (pics are from weekend of Saturday Sept 28th) but my son was more excited to try the River than hit Lake Erie last weekend so I decided it would be a beautiful day to start steelhead fishing and it paid off.  We have been more a reader than a contributor of pictures but we were so excited for our steelhead season to start after seeing some early reports and pictures that we felt let’s add to others excitement with some early pics of our own. One is a nice 31 inch very silver steelie and the other was more in the 25 inch extremely colorful camp.  I caught both drifting minnows but did see a few caught on egg patterns fly fishing! We fished up and down some favorite spots from the Marina to Morley Ford. In addition to the 2 steelhead we caught 22 smallmouth bass and 2 largemouth bass." (photos and report courtesy of Bill Wahl).

Kenji and his father Ken were fishing at Acacia Reservation recently and report "
These bluegill aren't big, but they were biting. I think he didn't have his line in the water more than 5 minutes before getting a bite.  We were using worms from our compost pile on Kenji's panfish rig: #8 circle hook with a Thingamabobber indicator on a 5' spinning rod." (photos and report courtesy of Ken Sakaie).

On this week's episode of Steelhead Dynasty, Si will show us all how he caught this steelhead in the muddy water of the Rock on Monday (photo courtesy of Mike B.).

Last Friday morning "Dr. Norm" from the Inside The Great Outdoors radio program and a buddy got their limit of quality yellow perch north of Rocky River in 37 FOW.  Norm shows off a few of those fish here.  He also reported recently observing a river otter in the Rock by the marina.

Bill reports "
My neighbor, Steve Smith, went fishing out of Rocky River yesterday afternoon and caught this muskie while trolling a large Rapala off Bay Village.  He was trolling the skinny water... 18 to 22 feet. The fish was 27" long and was released".  Native Lake Erie muskies are a rare "Species of Concern" these days and are a very special catch  (photo courtesy of Bill Marquard).

Jakob caught this largemouth bass on a rubber grub this week.

This week my staff and volunteers assisted me in catching and transferring another 983 valuable sportfish to our public fishing areas, bringing the total since mid-September to 2,220 fish valued at nearly $9,000.

Nate continues to pursue the "Golden Bonefish" of the Rocky River (common carp) as fall is ushered in (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Jeff (pictured) and Dan each scored a few Rocky River steelies yesterday.  Dan reports that pink and chartreuse salmon egg sacks both produced a few fish in the stained water (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

Mike was fishing the Cuyahoga River on Saturday following a heavy rain and caught his first steelhead of the season as well as a few channel catfish.  He was fishing a worm on the bottom with a simple hook and sinker rig between 6-9:30pm (photos courtesy of Mike Reed).

Chris stopped by the Steelhead Expo on Saturday, then hit the Rock following the rain and was handsomely rewarded by landing 3 of 4 fresh run steelies he hooked.  The fish bit yellow spawn sacks and a yellow rubber minnow (photos courtesy of Chris Dietrich).

Bill caught two fresh steelies at Euclid Reservation at Wildwood Park on Tuesday.  One fish hit a silver Little Cleo spoon and the other bit a silver/white Roostertail spinner.

On Friday morning a volunteer and I electrofished the Rock by the marina to get a few specimen steelhead for the tank display at the Steelhead Expo.  We were only out for about an hour but saw around 2 dozen steelies ranging from 2-10 pounds (average about 6 pounds) and a few trophy smallmouth bass between the Black Wall and the bridge downstream of the boat ramps.  The water temperature was 68.4F and all fish were released unharmed.

In this installment of "Know Your Fish" our friend Alabama Jim was fishing Wallace Lake this week catching some bluegill and largemouth bass when he hauled in this unidentified catch.  Post your guesses on the species in the comments below and I will post the answer in a few days (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).

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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