Chuck Earls caught a smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, channel catfish, and quillback carpsucker from his kayak. (Chuck Earls, via Cleveland Metroparks)

Steelhead have been a highlight fishing the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this week.

The rivers have pre-spawn, spawning, and post spawn steelhead, especially in the northern river reaches closer to Lake Erie, Cleveland Metroparks aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec reports in his weekly fish report. Steelhead in spring will bite a variety of offerings, including dime to nickel size spawn bags, 1/32-1/64 oz marabou jigs under floats (black, pink, and white are top colors), beads that mimic salmon eggs, and flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers are top producers). This is the best part of steelhead season; expect fishing to taper off at the end of the month. 

Also in the Rocky River are lake-run smallmouth bass, which you can find in deeper, rocky holes, Durkalec writes. Anglers fishing a jig, wooly bugger, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish have a shot at hooking “the silver and bronze” (a smallmouth or steelhead) in the same day for the next several weeks.  The white sucker run is also going strong on local streams, with Morley Ford north of the Lorain Road bridge a hot spot. 

In Lake Erie, the breakwall at East 55th Street Marina, the Old Coast Guard Station,rocks at Edgewater Park and East 72nd Boat Ramp offer a chance at steelhead, yellow perch, and variety of other species, Durkalec reports. The post-spawn shoreline bite for walleye typically picks around Cleveland around mid April. 

The Lake Erie water temperature is 41 off Toledo and 39 off Cleveland.

See the full Ohio Department of Natural Resources fish report.