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Children's Fishing Derbies

When & Where

May 21 at 9:00 am - noon (ages 4-8) 1-4pm (ages 9-15)


Equipment Provided: Free bait and loaner rods and reels while supplies last
Phone: 216/206-1010

Annual Children's Fishing Derbies - FREE!

Saturday, May 21 at Ohio & Erie Canal, Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, Cuyahoga Heights AND
Sunday, May 22 at Wallace Lake, Mill Stream Run Reservation, Berea  

Kids can reel in big fun at the annual Cleveland Metroparks Children’s Fishing Derbies.

Each day there will be two sessions:

            Children, ages 4 to 8 fish from 9 a.m. to noon
            Youth, ages 9 to 15, fish from 1 to 4 p.m.

Hungry rainbow trout, catfish and a variety of other fish are ready for young anglers to try their luck on while competing for prizes. Children can also learn how to cast and test their skills at the casting challenge.

Guidance will be available from experienced anglers to help those new to fishing. Bait (red worms, maggots and corn) will be available at no charge for derby participants.  Bring a rod, tackle and a cooler with ice to store the “catch of the day.” While supplies last, loaner rods (fully rigged for bait fishing) are available for children who do not have their own.

Prizes will be awarded at the end of each session, noon and 4 p.m. sharp! Prize categories will include the largest trout, largest other fish, smallest fish and best cast from the casting challenge. You must be present to win.

 Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area and Wallace Lake will be stocked with rainbow trout and channel catfish between Wednesday, May 18 and Friday, May 20. These areas will be closed to fishing beginning on the day of stocking. Each area will reopen for youth fishing only, for each session of that location’s derby. Youth and adults may fish in derby waters when the event is over at 4:00 p.m.

 The event is rain or shine and there is no pre-registration. Please go to the big tent when you arrive on derby day to register. All children are encouraged to learn how to cast or test their skills at the casting challenge station.

Golf Cart shuttles will provide rides throughout the event for seniors and persons with disabilities at both the Ohio & Erie Canal and Wallace Lake derbies.

Fishing recommendations: To reduce tangles, use single hooks or rigs using single hooks (no treble hooks). Still-fishing methods are strongly recommended, using live or processed bait fished from either bobber rigs or bottom rigs. Bobber rigs are the easiest for children to use since bites are easy to see. Bottom rigs are a little harder to fish but can be a productive way to catch catfish and trout.  Artificial lures when fished by frequently repeated casts and fly casting should be avoided during the derbies due to the many lines in the water and the close proximity of others.

For more information, call Youth Outdoors at 216-206-1010.

Directions to the Children’s Fishing Derbies:
Ohio & Erie Canal Derbies: Park at the CanalWay Center parking lot, located down the hill from the E. 49th Street entrance to Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation in Cuyahoga Hts. Follow the trail from the parking lot to the canal. 

Wallace Lake Derbies: Follow the signs on Valley Parkway in Mill Stream Run Reservation, south of Bagley Road in Berea.

Part of the Family Series