Cleveland, Ohio – The fishing gene was noticeably absent in most of my family, but for some reason I had an intense craving for worms, gill fishing, and catfish at a very young age. The best choices were a small farm pond in Parma, or Edgewater Park’s fishing pier on Lake Erie.
Both require a pint-sized kid to take the long bus ride with bait and handle.
This was a long time ago. These days, kids and their parents have plenty of fishing options, and one of the best options for a budding fisherman is to take a trip to the Baby Fishing Derby’s at Wallace Lake in Berea, Ohio, and Erie Canal Fishing in Cuyahoga Heights. All components are provided by Cleveland Metroparks and their fishing fund, including a lent fishing rod and live bait if needed. The fish will be there, too. Rainbow trout and catfish were released this week by Metroparks in both lakes.
Lake Wallace will host a free kids’ derby on Saturday, May 21. Follow the signs on Valley Parkway at Mill Stream Run Preserve, south of Bagley Road in Berea.
The Ohio District and Erie Canal Fishing will operate on Sunday, May 22. Park at the Canalway Center parking lot, located down the hill from the East 49th Street entrance to Ohio and Erie Canal Reserve in Cuyahoga Heights. Follow the path from the parking lot to the canal.
For more information, call Youth Outdoors at 216-206-1010. If the parents weren’t good hunters, there would be plenty of experts from the Cleveland Metroparks and Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders. Every day 4 to 8 year olds are allowed to line wet from 9-11:45 am 9 to 15 year olds will be allowed to fish from 1-3:45 pm Children can be checked in on arrival at the large tents pitched in each site.
Boys and girls will catch prizes for the biggest trout, the biggest “other fish,” and the smallest fish. There will also be a Casting Challenge and prizes for youth.
For elderly parents and fishing guides, there will be a shuttle bus from the parking areas to the fishing waters. For adults wanting to fish a bit with the kids, hang out. The two kids fishing areas for adults will open after 4pm, but not before.
Upcoming fishing clinics: Cleveland Metroparks will feature a session on Fishing Basics on Tuesday, May 31 from 6-9 p.m. at Wallace Lake in Berea. The “Try-It: Fly Fishing” seminars will be held on Wednesday, June 1 at the Reserved Cottonwood Refuge on the Rocky River, just south of Mastick Road and Puritas on Valley Parkway.
Rocky River still has the allure: The famous steelhead trout fishing in the Rocky River now concludes, with trout returning to Lake Erie. Unlike salmon that spawn and die, steelhead trout will fatten up this summer on Lake Erie and return year after year.
To pick up the slack, smallmouth bass was moving into the rivers of northeastern Ohio to spawn. They are eager to feed and will attack tube jigs, spinnerets, little diving jacks and pouring spoons. Most anglers catch and release steelhead trout and smallmouth bass. The light-colored eye that ventures into the lower rivers often turns into a dinner for fishermen.
Guardian cruising in Lake Erie Shallows: Lake Erie’s bountiful schools of chalk were a fortune this spring for fishermen casting lures from the levees. Once the sun goes down, head out to the rocky shoals to feed on shad geckos and other bait fish. Minnow-style plugs such as the Husky Jerk, Bandit and Smithwick Perfect 10 recover varying velocities early and often.
Anglers will need a long handle on their fishing net, and a lantern to navigate the changing lures and climb around the barriers. Several catches and fishing locations have become closely-kept secrets. The East 55th Street area was in the lead, usually crowded after dark.
Metroparks Cliffs & Fishing Cleaning Station: Gordon Park’s state-of-the-art fish cleaning station on the Cleveland Lakefront reopened for the season this week, giving anglers an easy option to pick up eyefish, yellow perch and bountiful rock bass in Cleveland Harbor.
Boat launch permit purchase kiosks for Metroparks rapids are now in use.