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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Im from the Cleveland area. Several years ago, in April or May, I fished Fred Fullar Park with a friend of mine for Pike, we both hooked up relatively quickly and easily. I have gone down there twice in the last 3-4 weeks and fished for several hours with both my fly rod and baitcasting gear with zero hookups at all. As far as specific gear, on the fly rod I was throwing several different large Pike streamers as well as some big top water flies, on the baitcaster I was throwing spoons, crankbaits, and big spinner baits. I've spent probably a total of 12 hours this fishing several stretches of the Hoga. Covering a ton of water really thoroughly near structure and deep holes. Fred fullar park, water works area, as well of this area up river really close to Lake Rockwell at a random Canoe launch in the middle of a residential neighborhood. I was told that April and May are good times to target them in these areas because they are coming down from Rockwell to spawn, I don't know if this is true or not. Another thing I need to add is that I've seen very little baitfish in the water, or any fish for that matter. So I don't know what they would be feeding on if they are in there. Does anybody have any info on catching Pike on the Cuyahoga? Are they not as concentrated as they used to be? To me it seems like they are either not in the river at all where I've been fishing, and if they are the numbers are very low. Thanks for any help.
 

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Not sure where you live but I've had more success further north near mantua/burton area. Maybe the wet weather this spring has also changed things a bit. I have caught them as low as cuyahoga falls. Never fished in kent specifically but do know most guys go a little further north. Best of luck
 

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Those areas get hit hard for pike, Kent and north near Burton are always mentioned when people ask about pike fishing. I would hit la due or mosquito lake for pike, better chance at those spots. I to hit that spot above standing rock and blanked out. To much pressure these days.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Those areas get hit hard for pike, Kent and north near Burton are always mentioned when people ask about pike fishing. I would hit la due or mosquito lake for pike, better chance at those spots. I to hit that spot above standing rock and blanked out. To much pressure these days.


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I really felt like they arnt in the river in those spots we hit. If they are the numbers are extremely low.
 

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They should be on the feed now, a few at west branch last week and a fella got some at ladue a week ago. Cuyahoga is hit to hard lately.


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They're in there, up and down every stretch you're fishing. Guaranteed. But there ain’t gonna be a ton of them, and they get pressured pretty good. With that said, right now is a great time to get after them, even if the weather swings have been pretty wild lately. If anything, this sustained cooler weather has helped keep the water temps lower, which suits them. They are in postspawn right now which can be hit or miss. If they are in a bad mood, you can’t buy a bite. If they get into that feeding frenzy that usually happens for a couple weeks, it can be insane. It's funny you mentioned not seeing any baitfish. Besides a bluegill here and there, I never see baitfish either. Never have. But they're eating panfish, chubs, perch, minnows, other pike, all the usual stuff. I think you’re doing all the right things. I'd keep chucking those big streamers on a sinking line all over the place. Since you’re fishing downstream of Rockwell, I’d say just keep pounding fishy-looking spots and everything in between. The wood along the banks always looks inviting but don’t dismiss blind casting to areas that don’t look like anything special. Most of my big gals regularly come from mid-stream without any noticeable cover in sight. They're surely laying down there next to a sunken log, other types of weedy/woody cover breaking the current, or a depression in the bottom, maybe a cool spring escaping the heat of summer. Use that sinking line and weedless flies to get down into that stuff. I can't tell you the last time I used a floating line or topwater flies going after them. Topwater is fun to watch, but streamers produce. You're right in the ballpark and tossing the right stuff with the baitcaster. Don’t rule out live bait either. Head over to Mark’s Bait and Tackle and buy some shiners. Drop them under a bobber and they'll smash ya sooner than later. Cuyahoga pike fishing can be tough, even further upstream in my neck of the woods. There aren't a tremendous amount of them in there, and they tend to scatter, especially when it warms and the kayak party crowd and canoe convoys start bashing the water for 10 hours a day. You gotta cover a lot of water and structure sometimes to hookup. Keep casting. Also, I doubt any pike would purposely attempt going downstream out of Rockwell, taking a shot at passing the dam for spawning. Especially since it’s not like they were born downstream, magically traveled upstream past the dam into Rockwell to grow up, then felt the urge to return to their breeding grounds downstream. Just ain’t happening. If anything, they might migrate back upstream; but I bet any pike that was smart/lucky enough to discover or be born into Rockwell probably stays for life due to its supreme selection of potential mates for reproducing, habitat, forage base, and deeper water options which translates into cooler water. It’s just one endless, big-ass pike party in that place. Who would want to leave? I'm positive they are happy as motor lodge bedbugs in the fertile, shallow, weedy flats and bays of Rockwell going at it like wild rabbits. It’s the perfect nursery. Man, I'd sure love to toss a fly in there around the spawn and watch the water boil.

Someone above mentioned Ladue and/or Mosquito. That’s a good advice, if you have a boat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They're in there, up and down every stretch you're fishing. Guaranteed. But there ain’t gonna be a ton of them, and they get pressured pretty good. With that said, right now is a great time to get after them, even if the weather swings have been pretty wild lately. If anything, this sustained cooler weather has helped keep the water temps lower, which suits them. They are in postspawn right now which can be hit or miss. If they are in a bad mood, you can’t buy a bite. If they get into that feeding frenzy that usually happens for a couple weeks, it can be insane. It's funny you mentioned not seeing any baitfish. Besides a bluegill here and there, I never see baitfish either. Never have. But they're eating panfish, chubs, perch, minnows, other pike, all the usual stuff. I think you’re doing all the right things. I'd keep chucking those big streamers on a sinking line all over the place. Since you’re fishing downstream of Rockwell, I’d say just keep pounding fishy-looking spots and everything in between. The wood along the banks always looks inviting but don’t dismiss blind casting to areas that don’t look like anything special. Most of my big gals regularly come from mid-stream without any noticeable cover in sight. They're surely laying down there next to a sunken log, other types of weedy/woody cover breaking the current, or a depression in the bottom, maybe a cool spring escaping the heat of summer. Use that sinking line and weedless flies to get down into that stuff. I can't tell you the last time I used a floating line or topwater flies going after them. Topwater is fun to watch, but streamers produce. You're right in the ballpark and tossing the right stuff with the baitcaster. Don’t rule out live bait either. Head over to Mark’s Bait and Tackle and buy some shiners. Drop them under a bobber and they'll smash ya sooner than later. Cuyahoga pike fishing can be tough, even further upstream in my neck of the woods. There aren't a tremendous amount of them in there, and they tend to scatter, especially when it warms and the kayak party crowd and canoe convoys start bashing the water for 10 hours a day. You gotta cover a lot of water and structure sometimes to hookup. Keep casting. Also, I doubt any pike would purposely attempt going downstream out of Rockwell, taking a shot at passing the dam for spawning. Especially since it’s not like they were born downstream, magically traveled upstream past the dam into Rockwell to grow up, then felt the urge to return to their breeding grounds downstream. Just ain’t happening. If anything, they might migrate back upstream; but I bet any pike that was smart/lucky enough to discover or be born into Rockwell probably stays for life due to its supreme selection of potential mates for reproducing, habitat, forage base, and deeper water options which translates into cooler water. It’s just one endless, big-ass pike party in that place. Who would want to leave? I'm positive they are happy as motor lodge bedbugs in the fertile, shallow, weedy flats and bays of Rockwell going at it like wild rabbits. It’s the perfect nursery. Man, I'd sure love to toss a fly in there around the spawn and watch the water boil.

Someone above mentioned Ladue and/or Mosquito. That’s a good advice, if you have a boat.
Man I really appreciate the advice. I basically ignored slower moving water and was exclusively casting towards structure. There was one seam at fred fuller park that I fishing just to be thorough but other than that I was tossing towards all those logs. There are some huge lugs in the middle of the river at FFP right now.
 

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Heavily fished indeed. I don't do much river-venturing anymore, but when I did 6+ years ago, the only spots I caught pike in Kent were Riverbend access, downtown at the dam, and downstream of Middlebury. Husky jerks and rooster tails.
 

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I have friends who live on the Hoga, and I used to fish it weekly and do well in previous years. The relentless parade of kayakers and canoeists, many loud and drunk, has ruined that stretch of river for me forever. I once counted 249 individual boats in a single day, most of them making an unbelievable racket, leaving beer cans all over, blasting crappy music from cellphone, screaming at each other as if they aren't 10 feet apart and all of Geauga county can't hear them...it's a nightmare to try to fish that stretch outside of the cold months. I absolutely despise it, one of the last "wild" areas around us is now just a drunken playground. I've had to rescue people, too.

I have seen so many ill-prepared idiots kill pike, keeping them out of the water, making them bleed, even leaving lures with trebles stuck in the pike's jaw...all of this has affected the fish population pretty drastically. Where I used to land 5-6 pike on a "slow" day, now if I get one or two on a trip I consider it a good day. This isn't just me being a grouch, I've been fishing that stretch for 15 years regularly and know the patterns and even individual pike (there is a female named "Greta" with a distinct deformed fin. She's probably the last spawning female in a mile of river) and have seen the fishing drop off a cliff along with the increased fishing pressure and use of the river.

So, if you're reading this, please be respectful of the rare and unique, and barely clinging to life population of pike in the river. If the current trend continues, we may not have them much longer. And FFS, be a little more quiet and pick up your trash.
 
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