Fishing Tips for The Maumee River Walleye Run
First and foremost, make sure you’re brushed up on the Ohio Fishing Regulations. And just as importantly, make sure you know the walleye regulations for the walleye run. These are often different than fishing in the Maumee River any other time of year. The times your are allowed to fish and the limit of walleye you can catch usually differs from the rest of the year.
The Maumee can be shallow, rocky and full of shelves and holes–especially in the popular walleye fishing areas. It’s important to arm yourself with the right gear if you want to save yourself from a day of frustration and lost fish.
- Medium Fishing Rods – This is about balance. A lighter pull will help you feel the softer walleye hits that come with the frigid Spring water of the Maumee. But then, you have to land it; often fighting strong currents in the process. Also, a rod with a backbone to it will help you extract those snags that are so common in the walleye run areas.
- Fishing Line – There are a couple of different types of fishing lines that you can use, each with their pros and cons. A popular rig (and with good reason) is braided line with a mono filament leader. The braided line doesn’t stretch, so is more sensitive to strikes. Also, it’s more resistant to abrasion from rocks. The mono filament is less visible to the fish. Both should be 8-10 lb. test.
- Jigs and Twisters – Colors vary widely and favorites can switch daily. But the set ups are consistent: either the Carolina Rig or just straight up rigging the jig and twister. See below for more on this.
- Landing Net – This will make your life a whole lot easier. Removing the hook and stringing a catch is a lot safer in the security of a landing net.
- Stringer – You’ll need a place to keep your catch. You can keep a cooler on shore, but then you’ll have to make trips back there when your time would be better spent fishing.
- Boat or Waders – Yes, you could fish off shore. But if you want the accessibility to get to the right spots, you’re going to need a way to get there.
Choosing the Right Tackle
Weight: Water levels and clarity and going to vary throughout the season, depending mostly on rainfall. Therefore, different weights will have different effectiveness. In faster currents, you’ll want a heavier weight. An important technique in fishing the Maumee Walleye Run, is being able to reach the bottom of the river. If your weights are too light, you’re rig will be swept down stream right over the walleye’s heads. If they’re too heavy, you’re going to be fighting the river bottom more than fish.
Color: There is some speculation on this–whether or not effective colors vary according to water clarity, temperature, etc. Some people have their favorite color(s) that they use on a regular basis. Some, will change colors depending on what other fishermen are having success with on any given day. For the most part, white, pink, orange and chartreuse are all popular colors. Tackle vendors that line the river will be happy to tell you what the color of the day is.
Cast wrong, and the river will claim your lures for its own. Don’t cast upstream. That would be in the direction the water is coming from. That will cause an upstream snag, and those are tough, if not impossible, buggers to get out.
Cast straight out from you and let your jig drift downstream. Don’t let any slack in the line, make sure you can feel the lure on the other end–feel it bouncing on the bottom of the river. Reel in slowly, make sure you keep that lure on the bottom as long as possible.
If you have other anglers near you, watch where they’re casting and adjust accordingly. Getting tangled with someone else’s line is frustrating on both parts.
Most of the time, you’re not going to be able to see the bottom of the river. The bottom of the Maumee can be precarious and unforgiving. If you’re venturing into the river, take it slow and feel the terrain below with your feet. Any sudden movements can mean you tripping over a rock or, worse yet, stepping into to a hole that you’re not ready for. Waders full of water have announced the end of the fishing day for more than one angler.