One day, three kayak fishing locations

CWF05282016A fine Rainbow Trout from the kayak, at Wallace Lake

BEREA, OH – The previous weekend’s Kid’s Fishing Derby at Wallace Lake had me wondering if there were any stocker Rainbow Trout remaining.  If you read my previous post covering the event, you will know I did not give the fishing it’s due effort, which also left me feeling a bit bummed.  I was hopeful fish would remain, but also knew the lake would have had considerable pressure.

With an opportunity to fish nearly all of the day, I was fortunate that my plan could include multiple destinations.  I decided I would fish Wallace Lake for a few hours before moving on to the Rocky River at Emerald Necklace Marina and then into Lake Erie.

Getting on to the water at Wallace Lake, I was greeted with a nice Bluegill on my second cast.  This didn’t end up meaning anything as to the pace of the fishing as I would go nearly an hour and a half before the next strike.  That strike turned out to be a small Largemouth Bass.  Fortunately, I got this bite or I may have been out of the water by the time I hit the two hour mark where I had planned to leave.  As I fished on, I began to convince myself that it was unlikely many fish remained.  The lake is not so big as to not see a good number of shore anglers at any given time, and I had not seen a single trout taken by anyone.  I am not sure what motivated me to keep throwing my inline spinner and revise my departure time, but I did.  Finally, I got another hit and felt the pull of a bit better fish than the previous two.  As I got the fish close to the boat I could see it was a trout, and a fine sized one for a stocker.  Fish landed without issue, just under 17″.

The kayak view at the mouth of the Rocky River

With goal number one for the day accomplished by catching a trout out of Wallace Lake, it was on to the next missions.  While not so specific, I just wanted to catch some fish in the Rocky River and Lake Erie.  I headed north through the Rocky River Reservation and put the kayak in at Emerald Necklace Marina.  The river was pretty busy with boat traffic, both large and small crafts.  Who knows if this contributed to keeping fish out of the area but I had no hookups, just conversations with other paddling enthusiasts.  Moving on to the lake, my luck didn’t change.  All of my offerings were refused other than drifting worm harnesses that were getting destroyed by Round Gobies.  I landed a few of them to confirm what species was bait robbing me, and gave up on trying to get anything else to bite.  The weather changed too, and I called it a day.

I wish the river or lake would have given up a nice fish or two, but I was happy I got out, and I always get ideas for the next trip and how to be more successful.

Rocky River & Lake Erie from the kayak

CWF09172015Although the nights are starting to get cold, we are still having many very hot days on Ohio’s north coast.  I recently made the most out of one of those days by taking the kayak over to the Cleveland Metroparks and launching out of Emerald Necklace Marina.

I started my day of fishing right at the ramp and was rewarded with a 12″ Largemouth Bass on an inline spinner on the first cast.  This was my first bass from the Rocky River and I had only heard of Smallmouth being caught there, so it was a bit of a surprise.  I decided I would work my way north, fishing as I headed towards Lake Erie.  As easy as the first fish came, I would catch nothing else on my journey to the ‘big pond’.  Out in the lake, the fishing picked up and I caught several Channel Catfish and Freshwater Drum.  I was running a bottom bouncer/worm harness on one rod and casting a tube jig on the other.  I made a few lure changes and was disappointed that I missed a nice strike on a tandem of two Gulp! Minnows.  Maybe another drum, but I hate not knowing.

After getting my fill of the lake, I returned to the river and hooked up with a few more catfish and stumbled upon a new pattern.  I found a spot that I was catching Bluegill on every cast, with a few being worthy of table-fare, if I were keeping.  I will be curious if the spot holds up next trip.

As I headed in, I spotted another fisherman in a well rigged kayak and struck up some conversation.  It turns out it was someone from the CLE Kayak Anglers group I belong to on Facebook, Rusty Butchko.  Rusty knows the river well and was kind enough to share a few tips.  A visit to the Facebook page the next day, revealed that Rusty caught a very nice sized Walleye that evening, too cool!

The Good River

I love rivers.  I often find myself standing in one or on the shore of one.  My mind often drifts into the past, half expecting to see a canoe with native people come around the bend going about their daily work.  As reality sets back in, I embrace the scenery, the wildlife, and a peace comes over me.  I have a deep appreciation that the water still flows present day.  While I may not be fishing to sustain my very existence by the meat I hope to catch, the river provides a salve to my soul and a nourishment I get nowhere else.  To me, that is a ‘good river’, and it is a spiritual connection.

Some time ago, I was fortunate to stumble upon a retailer named “Good River”, who can be found at www.thegoodriver.com.  I had no idea how well they would capture the way I feel about rivers, outdoors, nostalgia, and Ohio, in a hat(s).  I literally love everything about the company and what they sell.  Great people selling a great product.  In my mind, they operate out of an old Victorian era factory, beside a river that could be in anyone’s hometown.  For me, it is the Sandusky River in Tiffin, Ohio.

Before I completely fade into thoughts of walking around the Heritage Festival in the early 1980’s, I better get right down to the business of why this post was initially inked.  The fine folks at Good River decided to gift me with a custom CWF trucker style baseball cap.  Easily, one of the coolest things to happen since having my website/blog!  I suppose the gift was for supporting them by sporting one of their hats (a de-stressed Ohio fish hat) in so many of my photos, but to me, I am just appreciative to them for making something I love to put on that captures my fishing and Ohio pride.


I love these two photos, my new hat & a picturesque shot of me fly fishing

After getting the new hat, I went down to the Rocky River with it, took some photos and created a new banner for the CWF Facebook Page.  I couldn’t resist getting a little bit of fishing in, but I found no takers.  I’ll blame that on the previous night’s rain, but it could have been that I was distracted taking my cap off to admire it every few minutes.  I rarely go on the record to promote something, but I will say without reservation to go check out the Good River website, I’m willing to bet you will find your new favorite hat.