Thousands flock to the Maumee River for the Walleye Run

Mar. 17—TOLEDO — As spring approaches, anglers from across the region are gearing up for the annual walleye run in the Maumee River and surrounding waterways.

Every year, millions of Lake Erie walleye migrate to the western basin of the lake to spawn, drawing tens of thousands of anglers to the area with hopes of catching some Lake Erie walleye.

According to recent reports, anglers are starting to catch fish all along the Maumee River. The snow and cold weather has slowed fishing down for some anglers.

Limits of walleye are being reported to local bait shops, while most anglers are reporting one and two fish days. The hot bait has been 3" hot pink grub, small red or pink flouting jig head and a 3/4 to 1-oz weight.

Anglers are advised to wear a good pair of neoprene waders and cleated boots, and to use a 6'-7' medium rod with a decent spinning reel.

Braided line between 12 to 18 pounds is recommended for the main line, with fluorocarbon as leader material just lighter than your main line. An inline fixed sinker ranging in size from 1/8oz-1 1/2oz and a floating jig head with a plastic grub at the end of your leader is also suggested.

Once you've found a good spot to cast, attach your inline sinker to your main line, followed by 3 to 6 feet of leader material, and finally your floating jig head and plastic grub.

The goal is to have just enough weight so that your sinker stays in contact with the bottom and still slowly moves downstream. Most bites can be light, so be prepared for a fight of a lifetime when you feel your line stop moving downstream.

While fishing, remember to check all state and local fishing regulations, as Ohio's walleye bag limit is six fish that must be 15 inches or bigger and hooked in the mouth.

You are only allowed to fish during daylight hours during the walleye run. Make sure to check with the local bait shops as they will have the posted sunrise and sunset times.

Additionally, always respect the rivers and be mindful of the muddy and high waters during the walleye run. It is recommended to never cross the river alone and to stay with the crowds for safety purposes.

Whether you're a seasoned angler or just starting out, the walleye run in the Maumee River is an experience that should not be missed.

With plenty of public lands and parks lining the river, there are ample opportunities for anglers of all skill levels to participate in this annual tradition.

Tight lines.

Anthony Hyvarinen writes about outdoors for the Star Beacon. He can be reached at