Fishing in the Walleye Capitol of the World!
Why on earth would hundreds of people stand in the chilling temperatures of the Maumee River every spring? To catch themselves a walleye, of course! When the winter ice thaws, people congregate to Lake Erie’s surrounding tributaries to catch the area’s most prized game fish!
Walleye (Sander Vitreus) are freshwater fish native to most of Canada and to the Northern United States. The common name, “walleye” describes the unique was the fish’s eyes point outward as if looking at the walls. But the eyes of the Walleye are no joke! The walleye eye is amazing, blessing the predator with incredible night vision, second in freshwater only to its cousin, the sauger.
The famed Walleye Run in the Toledo region starts in early March, then the fishing really heats up in April when the water temperature hits 42 to 54 degrees, triggering the walleye into spawning mode. It’s during this time that Toledo can lay claim to the title of Walleye Capital of the World, as the Maumee River is home to the largest population of migrating walleye east of the Mississippi River!
The best places to catch a walleye during the spawn are in rocky rapids, stone reefs, gravel bars and rubble piles. If you have a solid understanding of this creature's basic nature, you are sure to find your fishing pursuits to be successful here.
Side Cut Metropark in Maumee is one of the most popular spring run fishing destinations. The park provides easy access from W. Broadway Street to the prime spawning grounds just below the Jerome Road Rapids.
Walleye, also called walleyed pike and pike-perch, is the largest member of the perch family and is revered for its flavor and its size. It is not uncommon to catch a walleye over five pounds. The best live bait to use include minnows, night crawlers and leeches, while jigs are a popular choice for lures.
Head over to Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters, just a few minutes’ drive from Side Cut Metropark, to stock up on all your fishing gear including reels, rods, lures, live bait, waders and just about anything you would need to catch your limit. Maumee Tackle also sells Ohio Fishing Licenses.
For more information on walleye fishing in Toledo, visit:
- Metroparks Toledo for a complete listing of fishing hot spots.
- Maumee Tackle offers updated river conditions and weather reports
- Fish Lake Erie website is an online community for Northwestern Ohio anglers and includes information from Ohio Division of Natural Resources (ODNR)