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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 31, 2013

Posted: 10/31/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

***Monday November 4 morning update:  The Rocky River is currently offering excellent fishing conditions.  Anglers out Sunday (yesterday) reported a modest run of fresh steelhead in the river.***

Highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks in fall include steelhead trout and yellow perch, with anglers also pursuing largemouth bass, stocked rainbow trout and panfish.  The Rocky River is currently exhibiting low and clear conditions while the Chagrin River is exhibiting moderate flow and stain
.  Weekend prospects for all streams will be dependant upon how much precipitation the region recieves into the weekend.  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 along the lakefront has been good overall this week, although getting lucky and being there at the right time has been an important part of the equation.  Steelhead are feeding on schools of minnows along the rocks at Edgewater Park, the east facing wall at E55th Street and the Wildwood Park breakwall and anglers have been catching them on spoons (Little Cleo 2/5 ounce with silver has been working well), spinners and minnows or small jigs tipped with a few maggots suspended under a bobber.  Fish tend to provide action in spurts on the good days, with several fish hooked between anglers in short order interspersed between lulls in the action.  A light NW wind and slight chop seem to equate to a better bite.  Remember to take a long handled landing net when fishing these locations.  Anglers trolling the river mouths and shallow nearshore areas with crankbaits are also reporting some steelhead success.  The north facing wall at E55th has been producing yellow perch, including a few limit catches of larger fish, for anglers fishing emerald shiners on the bottom.

Steelhead fishing has been slow for most anglers in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this week.  The big trout are spread out throughout the systems and some searching and persistence have been ingredients to success.  On the plus side, two lucky anglers hooked stray king (chinook) salmon in the Rocky River this week, one of which is included in the photos below.  In the clearing water anglers have reported hook-ups using live minnows, spinners/spoons 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 suspended under a small float.  Dime size spawn sacks in pink and chartreuse are always worth a try, as well.  Fly fishers typically score well using egg pattern flies, streamers (Woolly Bugger and Clouser minnow patterns) and size 14-12 nymph patterns.  Expect the steelhead run to really begin gaining steam from mid November onward.

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 over 2,500 catchable size bass and sunfish, many of trophy size, since mid-September.  Stocking activities are expected to continue throughout November depending on weather.  Wallace, Hinckley, Ledge, Ranger and Judges lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon, have all produced some quality bass this fall on rubber baits and shad crankbaits recently. 

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked earlier 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 area to the left after you cross the footbridge has been producing the most action.  The first round of winter trout stockings in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds is scheduled for mid-December.

Anglers out of Lakefront Reservation, Euclid Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River are making some impressive catches of larger yellow perch this week, with many 9-12" fish and some up to 14".  Quite a few white bass have been mixed in the catch, as well.  A few productive spots have been 41 FOW off the Stadium, 49 FOW off the Crib/East 72nd Street and 54 FOW off Wildwood.  The north facing wall at E55th Street has also been producing yellow perch for shore anglers fishing minnows on the bottom, including a few limit catches of larger perch up to 12" plus.  Walleye trollers are hooking some fish off the Gold Goast (Lakewood in 24-35 FOW.  Reef Runner crankbaits are hooking a mix of walleye and steelhead.

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 .

Good Fishing,


Mike caught this stray king (chinook) salmon in the Rocky River on Saturday while fishing with his father.  Dad reports "We were using live minnows and fishing where the slow water meets the faster current. He took the bait and I saw a flash of the big tail and knew it wasn't a steelhead. My son Mike fought him on the Ugly Stick rod and I worked the net. I got lucky to get him in the net head first."  This is the third salmon reported from the Rock this fall, and are most likely wayward travelers from Michigan waters upstream (photos courtesy of Joe Mineado).

Steve reports "Came up from Columbus again Wednesday and fished the gin clear water and scored chrome a couple hundred yards upstream of Rockcliff Springs. Saw a photo of a huge fish caught 20 minutes before I got to that spot that was actually a king salmon over 30 inches and weighing 14 pounds. Scored a couple late season smallies in the morning along with seeing a handful of deer!  Good day on The Rock" (photos courtesy of Steve Kuklica).

John guided his friend James to his first two steelhead this week, one from Edgewater Park that hit a spinner and the other from Euclid Creek.  I like to think that James bought dinner on the way home to thank John for his services and for being a good friend! (photos courtesy of John Lusnek).

Nathan caught this plump hen up the West Branch of the Rocky River this week (photo courtesy of Nathan Klier).

Jeff caught this fine buck steelie near Morley Ford on the Rock on Saturday while drifting a Fay's Green Goblin jig...which seems appropriate given Halloween (photos courtesy of Jeff Sutliff).

Jeff and two buddies made a nice catch of tasty yellow perch and white bass near the Cleveland Crib yesterday afternoon.  The big white bass in the photo was 15.5" (photo courtesy of Jeff DeLuca).

Yuriy landed this chrome hen steelie by the Black Wall this week on a white spawn sack (photo courtesy of Yuriy Chen).

Karl was one of the few who reported a pretty solid bite in the Rock late last week, including this brute taken from the middle Main Branch of the river (photo courtesy of Karl Ternay).

Tim reports from the river "Here's a couple photos from this week, including my buddy Mark Deal whom I took out and got his first hookup on chrome ever, only to have it snap off after one right back on his horse and landed his first ever next trip out.  The look of terror and panic once he realized it was not a snagged rock was priceless.  This common carp was pushing 10 lbs...and a few Rocky chromers to add to the mix, all out of broken or faster water.  I've been picking up one or two right at sunset most evenings mostly on the lower rock with a few up pretty far, including the greedy feesh that had a jig in its mouth"  (photos courtesy of Tim Matty).

Kevin caught this chrome beauty from the northern river on a Red Devil spoon (photo courtesy of Kevin Bunch).

This chrome buck steelie was taken off the east facing wall at E55th Street yesterday, and they have also been biting off the rocks at Edgewater and the breakwall at Wildwood Park.  Fishing in these spots has been hit or miss, and comes in spurts on the good days, but can be fast and furious if you're there at the right time casting spoons, spinners or fishing minnows or jigs tipped with maggots under a bobber.  A light NW wind and slight chop have been present on the better days (photos courtesy of Ranger Dave Albaugh).

Tom slipped out last night to cast crankbaits from the Lake Erie shoreline and hooked two walleye, landing this good one.  I bet I know what's for dinner at the Nock house tonight! (photo courtesy of Tom Nock).

Dan displays a very fresh steelie from the northern Rock this week (photo courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

The crew display a few of the (couple hundred) fine largemouth bass and redear sunfish transferred from a private country club to Metroparks public fishing waters yesterday.

Lance and his son made some great memories on the Rock this week and even hooked some nice steelies and bonus smallmouth bass in the process.  Lance also exercised his creative side with this centerpin reel Jack-O-Lantern work of art! (photos courtesy of Lance Masarik).

Rick submitted this photo of a bruiser steelie he caught in the Rock at Morley Ford back in mid-January 2013.  He credits Matt with the assist for practically jumping in the river to land it! (photo courtesy of Rick Smolinski).

Speaking of January 2013, this is a photo of my "Welcome Back" steelie caught on literally the first drift of my first steelhead fishing effort since my nearly fatal car accident driving home from work back on January 11, 2013.  The fish was taken last Friday on an annual extended weekend fishing trip to New York.


Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month

2016 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)

16-001 Patrick Campbell, Fisher of Men Outfitters, LTD,

16-002 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide,

16-003 Don Mathews, Steelhead School,

16-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools,, (440) 781-7536

16-005 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters,

16-006 Gareth Thomas, Steelhead Alley Outfitters,, (216) 235-5056

16-007 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters,, (440) 796-6105

16-008 Jim Lampros,,, (216) 513-6011

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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