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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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November 27, 2013

Posted: 11/27/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

Highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks in late fall include steelhead trout, with anglers also pursuing yellow perch, walleye, stocked rainbow trout and panfish.  The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are currently getting fairly low in level and clear with edge ice beginning to form in some of the slower areas.  Anglers can check the most recent river water level and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data>  <Chagrin River flow gage data>

Steelhead fishing in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers was good for many anglers braving the cold over the past week.  The big trout are well distributed throughout the systems from the marinas to the reaches well upstream.  Most fish this week were reported by float fishers drifting dime size spawn sacks, live minnows, and small 1/32-1/64 oz marabou/hair jigs (various colors) tipped with a waxworm or a few maggots or 2-3" white tube jigs/Berkley Gulp minnows.  Now that the water in the streams are getting cold I have recieved fewer reports of fish taken on spoons and spinners.  Fall fly fishers typically score best using egg pattern flies, streamers (Woolly Bugger and Clouser minnow patterns), spey patterns for swinging and size 14-12 nymph patterns.  With the water expected to further clear into the weekend and fish biting lighly in the cold flows, anglers would be wise to adopt finesse techniques try lighter fluorocarbon leaders (4-6# test) and downsized terminal tackle (split shot, hooks and floats).  The river will have slush in the mornings when night temperatures dip into the mid twenties and below, but it often burns off as the day goes on.  Anglers should also expect ice in their guides on those cold mornings.  A little Chapstick rubbed on the guides can help remedy this issue. 

Steelhead and walleye fishing opportunities from the shore at Lakefront Reservation are available depending on Lake Erie wave conditions.  The lake was kicked up good this afternoon.  Anglers can view current lake conditions off Cleveland at the following link: <City Of Cleveland Water Intake Crib Cam>.  Steelhead have been feeding on schools of emerald shiners along the rocks at Edgewater Park, the east facing wall at East 55th Street and the Wildwood Park breakwall and anglers have been catching them most consistently on minnows or small jigs tipped with a few maggots suspended under a bobber.  Spoons and spinners can also be productive.  Walleye action has also been reported at dusk and after dark off the rocks at Edgewater Park and East 72nd Street/Gordon Park access on Husky Jerk, X-Rap, Rattlin Rogue and Rattle Trap crankbaits.  For both fisheries, the action tends to come in spurts and anglers need to bring a long handled landing net and should be very careful on wet and slippery shoreline rocks. 

Largemouth bass and sunfish fishing prospects in Metroparks lakes and ponds remain good, as natural populations of fish in these waters have been supplemented with stockings of nearly 3,000 catchable size bass and sunfish, many of trophy size, since mid-September.  Wallace, Ledge, Ranger, Shadow, Judges and Bunns lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon (Rocky River Reservation) and Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area, have all been beneficiaries of some of these fish recently. 

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked in October with 1,000 pounds each of rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish.  Trout typically bite well on PowerBait and catfish like chicken liver, although a nightcrawler will catch either species.  The first round of winter trout stockings in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds is scheduled for mid-December.

Hardy boating anglers out of Lakefront Reservation, Euclid Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River can still expect catches of yellow perch as lake conditions permit.  Schools of perch have been shaken up due to recent storms and a little searching will likely be required to find them, although 40 FOW is a good starting point this time of year.  Walleye trollers are also reporting some success, especially after dark.

Noteworthy Reports of Fishing Success around Cleveland Metroparks.    I ran into local guide Monte Casey with a father and son clients Ron and Jack Brocco by the marina earlier today.  They reported that 11 year old Jack caught and released a dime bright 30" steelie, which happened to be his first steelhead ever (photo below). The fish was hooked on a green and white bucktail jig drifted below a float after the fish ignored their flies in the same hole.  

Derek Schafer of the West Creek Preservation Committee reported that he was recently casting a Banjo Minnow lure along the lakeshore around Huntington Reservation and landed the "Lake Erie Trifecta" in one afternoon: a walleye, steelhead and a few nice size smallmouth bass.  Now that's a successful outing!

What We are Thankful For.
   Being that time of year that we reflect upon what we are thankful for over the past year, I speak for myself as well as my Cleveland Metroparks colleagues that we are all very thankful for all of the support we recieve from the community.  We appreciate the opportunity to be on the Lakefront this year to complete the original vision of the Emerald Necklace and better serve those park users, as well.  And we are thankful to be able to serve a public that sees the need for a healthy, safe, and clean system of regional parks and which largely approves of our management of these local treasures. 

If you have a photo or information 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

Happy Thanksgiving,


Jack, 11 years old, caught and released his first steelhead ever while fishing by the Emerald Necklace Marina on the Rock today.  The 30" chrome brute hit a green and white bucktail jig drifted under a float while fishing with guide Monte Casey (photo courtesy of Monte Casey).

Stefan and a friend were out perch fishing near the lighthouse out of Edgewater Park when he was surprised to hook this 27" walleye (photos courtesy of Bajuski).

John caught this 7 pound hen steelhead on the lower Rocky Sunday on a Fay's Satellite of Love jig.  He reports the fish fought great despite the cold water (photo courtesy of Jeff Sutliff).

Bob made a nice catch of trout from the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area this week highlighted by a golden rainbow trout.  He caught them on Berkley PowerBait Mice Tails in white retrieved slowly under a bobber (photo courtesy of Bob Chitester).

Joyce scores a chrome skipper steelie! (photo courtesy of Joyce Smith).

DeAngelo caught a brace of walleye at East 72nd Street access at Lakefront Reservation.  The fish hit Husky Jerk crankbaits fished after dark (photos courtesy of DeAngelo Williams).

Tim with a bright Rocky River hen steelie.  He has been catching them on peach and white spawn sacks (photo courtesy of Tim Matty).

Nate "Carp Jedi" Adams can even catch Ole Rubberlips in the river under wintery conditions! (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Dan shines on the Rock on those mornings that many other folks choose to stay in their warm, cozy beds.  Between Sunday and Monday mornings Dan hooked three steelies in the northern river, and reports that they were biting on 3" white trout worms and dime size chartreuse spawn sacks with king salmon eggs (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

Veteran local steelheader Mike Spanulo caught and released this beautiful hen steelhead this week (photos courtesy of Chuck Mechling).






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>


12/8/2013 5:27:27 PM by Ray
What happened to weekly updates during winter months?
11/28/2013 3:10:19 AM by Chuck Mechling
I'm a good photographer. Much better then my fishing lately haha gotta turn it around here soon. Have a good thanksgiving Mike!!!

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