Family Fishing Fest features trout, catfish: NE Ohio fishing report


CLEVELAND, Ohio — The popular Family Fishing Fest will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the well-stocked Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation ponds just south of Cleveland. It’s a good time for youngsters and their families to go fishing for pan-sized rainbow trout or channel catfish.

The Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation stretches through the villages of Cuyahoga Heights and Valley View. The stocked reservation ponds are easily accessible off I-77 at the East 49th Street exit.

The reservation stretches through the villages of Cuyahoga Heights and Valley View and follows a portion of its namesake, the historic 309-mile Ohio and Erie Canal. Together with the Cuyahoga River, the northernmost remaining 4.4 miles of watered canal provides wildlife management areas, fishing opportunities and scenic beauty.

The family fishing event is free and the Cleveland Metroparks will have a limited number of fishing poles to loan out, as well as bait. The parks will be stocking 600 pounds of channel catfish and 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout.

The fishing is open to everyone, although the prizes in several categories will be reserved for kids 15 years old and under. Anyone age 16 years and older must have a current Ohio fishing license to fish.

Ohio’s muskie lakes at their best in October: Muskie fishing is very popular around northeast Ohio right now, and for a good reason. The big, toothy predators are moving to shallower waters to feed and get ready to spawn, and that’s when Ohio Division of Wildlife begins to release about 20,000 of the 8- to 12-inch muskies raised at the Kincaid and London state fish hatcheries.

Stocking muskies in the fall contributes to higher survival, say fisheries biologists, because they can be stocked at larger sizes and in cooler water.

Of the Northeast Ohio lakes where hatchery muskies are released, West Branch in Portage County is rated as one of the friendliest. Pymatuning Lake on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border has been a traditional hot spot for muskies, Leesville Lake in Carroll County has a solid population, and Lake Milton (Mahoning County) and Clear Fork Reservoir in Morrow and Richland counties have a lot of fans.

Southern Ohio muskie lakes include Alum Creek Lake (Delaware County); Caesar Creek Lake (Clinton, Greene and Warren counties); East Fork Lake (Clermont County); Piedmont Lake (Belmont and Harrison counties); and Salt For Reservoir (Guernsey County).

Lake Erie lights up as walleye derbies begin: The Lake Erie launch ramps will be busy this week, and not only because there have finally been some very good walleye fishing reports in recent days.

Some major league prizes are attracting fishermen as two fall fishing derbies begin. The Blaster Walleye Fall Brawl and the Walleye Slam both have an online registration deadline of Monday, Oct. 11, with the derbies to run from Friday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 28. Expensive fishing boats top the prize lists in both derbies, followed by lots of cash.

A Fall Brawl sign-up party is Saturday at Vic’s Sports Center in Kent from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Walleye Slam sign-up party is Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at Erie Outfitters in Sheffield Lake.

The Fall Brawl weigh-in site will move to the Cabela’s store in Avon. The Walleye Slam weigh-ins will be held at Erie Outfitters.

Walleye moving west as Lake Erie cools: The wind and rain that had plagued the Lake Erie walleye fishing in September has done an about face. The schools of walleye moving westward from the deeper waters of Central Lake Erie are showing up off Lorain, Vermilion and Huron, and they’re hungry.

Trolling anglers are employing diving planers to target the suspended fish with diving plugs, or crankbaits. As steelhead trout move closer to shore and stage around the river mouths for their spawning season, fishermen are casting spoons, in-line spinners and crankbaits from harbor piers and break walls, especially early and late in the day, and catching both trout and walleye.

The drift-and-cast walleye bite is heating up around the Lake Erie Islands. Small single-spinner rigs tipped with part of a nightcrawler are favored to catch walleye in 15 to 20 feet of water, with Kelleys Island and Gull School drop-offs attracting attention.


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