Review: Fishing Ranger Lake in Strongsville, Ohio

They stock this small lake with “largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, crappie, and rainbow trout. The lake is stocked with trout in the winter for ice fishing.”

You can see what fish are in there any particular season at https://www.clevelandmetroparks.com/parks/visit/parks/mill-stream-run-reservation/ranger-lake.

The parking lot (directions here) is small, and this little lake has┬ámaybe 100 feet of shore fishing. This looks to me like a good place to put in a canoe or kayak, which you’d need to lug maybe 75 feet.

You will not see any fish caught in this video. We stopped by after an early morning rain and right before another rain—less than ideal conditions for chasing panfish and bass. But, this video will provide you with a view that will help you judge whether you want to visit Ranger Lake. For sure, I’ll return to try it again—with a kayak, and maybe even a fly rod.

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More fishing at Lock 3 in Akron, Ohio


We saw fish in the canal every visit we made to Lock 3 in downtown Akron, Ohio. In summer, they are there. (Not so in winter—the shallow water is too cold.)

We’ve caught largemouths, little catfish, rock bass, sunfish, and bluegill. Here you see us contend with panfish who were skittish. But, with a little cunning we quickly scored one.

For more info on this fishing hole, see my previous Lock 3 video and blogpost.

Fly Fishing the Cuyahoga Falls River in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio


It is not a river runs through it, but hey—it is a river, and its health is coming back. I’ve written previously of this fishing dock, located at 1160 Front St. Cuyahoga Falls, OH 44221.

Here I had to work hard to nab a panfish, but it was worth it—certainly the kids cheered. Why it was so slow this time is beyond me, as small fish tend to school about the dock. Regardless, we had fun, and as the dun went down we got to watch a resident raccoon make her way along the shore.

Lake Medina Surprises Me with a 30″ Northern Pike

Lake Medina is a sizable, beautiful lake where you do not need a fishing license to enjoy its waters. The water is clear, the shored are rocky, and there’s a huge amount of space to shore fish. Kayaks can be put in on the northern side of the lake — although it is about a 500-foot haul from the parking lot just off Granger Road. (I have not clue what the southern side of the lake looks like. I never made it there.)

When we arrived around 9am, my eyes popped—a couple of largemouth bass a short distance from the shore! And bluegill and other panfish immediately began hitting worm on bobber.

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Yes, There Are Fish to Catch at Lock 3 in Akron!


This downtown Akron spot is in for the performance space, Children’s Museum, and bars. But Lock 3 has a canal (hence the name) and its still spots have fish: bass, bluegill, catfish, and more.

A bobber and worm works, as does a 2.5″ Gulp minnow on a small jig head. I caught this fish on my daughter’s pink-purple Zebco rod. No need for heavy line or tackle here. The water is no deeper than 4 feet. 8-pound line is a happy medium. (Yes, you could use 10-pound or 12-pound, or 4-pound or 6-pound, although the latter two might bust if a big bass hits it. You do have to pull the fish up 12-feet or so to get it out of the canal.)

Gulp 2.5″ minnow: https://amzn.to/2L9DMLA
1/4″ jigheads: https://amzn.to/2upatv7
8-pound monofilament: https://amzn.to/2uoY368

Akron Lock 3 Entry.jpg

Entryway to Lock 3 in Akron, Ohio.

Catching bluegill and sunfish with shrimp


Earthworms are terrific for catching panfish. But what to do when you do not have a bait shop nearby and can’t dig any up (maybe you live in an apartment)?

Sure, I have heard folks sing the praises of boxed mashed potatoes. They have not worked for me—the potato tends to fall apart when the hook hits the water. I have reworked the consistency a bunch of time—and I’m done with that.

My new go-to bait is shrimp. I buy frozen, peeled shrimp—a container of 36 ran about $10. Each shrimp can be lopped into maybe a dozen tiny pieces that fit snugly on little size 8 snelled hooks.

Here’s the math for the value proposition: $10 / 36*12=432 pieces of bait = 2.3 cents per piece of bait. Bargain!

I only need to thaw three or four shrimp at a time—which can easily be done by soaking them in warm water for 10 minutes.

Shrimp also endures the nibbling by small panfish very well.

What more can you ask? Shrimp is cheap, you can have it on hand year round, and it work ridiculously well. Give it a shot.

Fish I Have Caught in the C&O Canal in Washington, DC

It is the simplest of rigs: monofilament line tied to a modest swivel, then attach a trim bobber 6 inches above it and put an Eagle Claw snelled hook (size 6) on. Put a worm on (put the hook through both ends and the middle), and cast and watch.

I have had the following fish strike this rig and bait: bluegill, sunfish, large-mouth bass, channel catfish, and a carp.

The map above shows where I have had success—but don’t feel obliged to try only there. Fish run through the canal, which runs from Pennsylvania to Washington, DC. Wherever one finds a bridge or a fallen tree or brush in the water—those are good places to cast your bait.

One question I sometimes get is, “How can fish be in the canal?” Simple: the canal connects to Rock Creek and the Potomac River—so the fish in the latter two end up in the canal.

Bike/walking/running trails (former towpaths) run along the canal—so if you fish one spot and find it wanting, move along!

Kosar large-mouth bass 04-2017

Photo credit: Craig Furuta.