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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 17, 2013

Posted: 10/17/2013
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 decent catches of yellow perch, although finding them has been more challenging this week.  The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are currently exhibiting elevated and muddy conditions due to overnight rain.  The rivers will need at least a full day of dry weather before they approach fishable conditions.  Before making a trip anglers are advised to monitor the most recent river water level and temperature, which can be done at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data>  <Chagrin River flow gage data>

Steelhead fishing in area streams had improved this week following the rain and cooler weather, although river levels are currently unfishable due to heavy overnight rain.  As the rivers clears, bright offerings like a nickel size pink or chatreuse spawn sack is a good bet.  As the water continues to drop offerings such as spoons (a 2/5 oz Little Cleo spoon in silver/blue is a good choice), spinners (silver/white Roostertail and Vibrax), egg pattern flies, streamers (Woolly Bugger and Clouser minnow work well), 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.  Some more adventurous anglers are prospecting further upstream for scattered pods of fish that have moved up, and a few have found fish as far south as Cedar Point Road and into both branches of the river.  Following this most recent rise in water checking spots further upstream will be even more worthwhile.  The Chagrin River up to North Chagrin Reservation, Euclid Creek at Euclid Reservation (Wildwood) and Lakefront Reservation at East 72nd Street 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.  A reliable source reported the catch and release of a 20 inch, 5 pound, largemouth bass at Wallace Lake on a rubber bait this week.  Some big stocked bluegill have been biting on worms and maggots at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and Wallace Lake, as well. 

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked last week with 1,000 pounds each of rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish.  Trout are biting on PowerBait and catfish are biting on chicken liver, although a nightcrawler will catch either species.  The area to the left after you cross the footbridge has been producing the most action. 

Lake Erie boaters out of Lakefront Reservation, Euclid Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River have been working a bit harder to locate big schools of yellow perch this week. Once they do they are making decent catches of 8-12” fish near the lake bottom with perch speaders and live or salted emerald shiners.  A few productive spots have been 38-45 FOW off the Stadium and Goldcoast and 48-55 FOW off Wildwood.

We couldn't do it without our volunteers!    I would like to take a moment to thank all the regular volunteers that help us conduct fisheries fieldwork and host fishing events.  Among the regulars are Steve Nyetrae, Al Previtte, Lana Holdash, Josh Kovach, Justin Ostry, Jerry Roman, Pete Surace, Ron Kellog, Joe Falkowski, Joe Moravec, Ken Strauss, Cathy Briggs, and Robin well as the many others who join us to assist for a day.  Thank you very much to you all and please know how much you are appreciated!

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,



Kyle broke in his new centerpin in style with this 35" chinook (king) salmon taken in the Rocky River on a chartreuse spawn sack.  This is the first report I've received of a stray salmon in the river this fall (photo courtesy of Kyle Hinderer).

John reports "With flows just over 100 cfs and most the leaves still on the trees,I had some of the best steelhead fishing on the Rocky River Friday mid-morning that I have had in years. I was probably mid river. For about two hours the fish were absolutely on fire float after float. I was pleasantly surprised at the action. I have fished early fall each year with some success each trip. I started in a popular spot and shared the location with a couple other guys, landing one and seeing another landed. My next stop was good for double digit fish. I took my son Brandon back down after school and we pulled a couple more. Looking forward to a productive season. I've attached a few pics of the better ones"  (report and photos courtesy of John Burkhart).

Jonathan was fishing at Wallace Lake Saturday when he caught and released these bruiser bluegill on a chartreuse Rooster Tail spinner (photos courtesy of Jonathan Ristau).

Andrew caught these fresh steelhead at Euclid Reservation (Wildwood Park) on Lake Erie this week.  The fish smashed 2/5 oz silver/green and 1/3 oz all silver Little Cleo spoons (photos courtesy of Andrew Kursh).

Congratulations to Matt on catching his first steelhead in the Rock this past Saturday.  The fish bit a #3 silver Vibrax spinner (photo courtesy of Matt Schaffer).

After making four trips from Columbus to fish the Rocky River, the fifth trip was a charm as Chris finally caught his first two steelhead on Saturday using silver Vibrax spinners (photos courtesy of Chris Glick).

DeAngelo hooked into a couple chrome fresh steelies throwing spoons at Lakefront Reservation at East 72nd Street this week (photos courtesy of DeAngelo Williams).

Outdoor Odyssey was a great success this past Saturday at Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation with over 1,000 attendees!  Several happy kids and adults caught fish during the event as evidenced above.  For an album of event fishing photos you may check the following link: 
<2013 Outdoor Odyssey fishing photos>

Scotty was fishing for bass where a tributary enters the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland Metroparks and was pleasantly surprised to catch his first northern pike.  The 27" predator chased down and hammered his green and orange spinnerbait (photo courtesy of Scotty Denham). 

Andrey caught two steelies on a white tube jig on the northern Rock this week, including this 27" hen (photo courtesy of Andrey Gutsulyak).

Tom took his buddy Joe to the Rocky River on Friday for his first steelie trip, and beginner's luck paid off!  Joe landed this 28", 8.5 pound hen, and is now hooked for life (photo courtesy of Tom Deweese).

Ed reports "I fished for a couple hours last Friday south of Big Met and Little Met golf courses with the water looking good.  On the 3rd cast with a gold 1/4 oz Little Cleo spoon, I lost a nice fish that was over 10 lbs and kept rolling.  After an hour, I landed the attached fish that was a nice, fat female around 10 lbs.  She took an olive colored jig
tipped with wax worms.  Not many bites, but the two I had were big fish for this time of year that far down." (report and photo courtesy of Edward Schmitt).

In this installment of "Know Your Fish", this little fish was caught at Hinckley Lakwe recently and was sent to me for confirmation regarding the species.  Please post your guesses in the comments section below and I'll post the answer in a few days (photo courtesy of Tom Hooke).

Volunteer Michael poses with an albino channel catfish held next to an ordinary one for comparison.  Both fish were caught (and released) by anglers at Outdoor Odyssey this past Saturday.

Brian caught and released this 2 pound largemouth bass at Wallace Lake on Saturday afternoon.  He was fishing a floating rubber frog through a mat of floating fallen leaves (photo courtesy of Brian Kich).

Nate was fishing the Rock with a buddy this past weekend when his friend broke off a nice steelie on a blue/silver spoon.  A short while later Nate hooked and landed the same fish on a white streamer fly. (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Mike and his friend Justin have been catching a mix of fish in the Cuyahoga River using a simple sinker with nightcrawler rig on the bottom, including common carp, channel catfish and bullhead (photos courtesy of Mike Reed).

Yesterday Dan hooked 7 steelhead, landing 4, on the northern Rock following the rain.  All his fish munched the pink salmon egg spawn sacks Dan was drifting below a float (photo courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

Lance has been doing great on the Rock lately, catching a number of chrome steelies and even a catfish on rubber minnows and jigs.  He is also takes the time to appreciate the wildlife around him (photos courtesy of Lance Masarick).

Cleveland Metroparks has been stocking lots of gamefish around the Park District this fall.  Chances are a lake or pond near you has recieved some of these fish.

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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