As spring time approaches and all our ice is melting, anglers in northern Ohio have a great opportunity for some excellent walleye fishing. In many of the Lake Erie tributaries, walleye will begin to migrate as the waters begin to warm up to spawn. In particular in my area, the Maumee and Sandusky rivers are the primary areas that anglers target as the walleye move up these rivers to spawn. There are many access areas to both of these rivers. However, the key to catching these walleyes is location and understanding what to look for in these "key" areas.
Rather than getting into lures, gear and setup, I would rather focus on some other important factors for catching these walleye. When the walleye move into the river to stage for the spawn, they are going to look for gravel/rocky areas to spawn. As they move into these areas (often times around riffles), the walleye will hold in deeper holes below the riffles until they are ready to spawn. Accessing these areas often times requires a good set of chest waders.
Another very important factor that many people overlook is the water level. As the river changes levels very often this time of year, it is important to look at the river predictions to determine which areas you will be able to access, as well as which areas may be too shallow to fish due to receding water. Remember that if you walk into the river early in the day and the water was just below the top of your waders, rising water may put you in a difficult position to return. With the cold water temperatures and current, safety needs to be the #1 priority on your mind.
Lastly, another key factor to keep in mind is with your lure presentation. Walleye position themselves facing into the current. When you are fishing in this current it is important to cast upstream at approximately a 45 degree angle and let the current sweep your rig downstream. Lure weight is key. You want to use a weight that consistently can bounce off the bottom, but not too heavy that your lure just drags on the bottom. It is very important to get that bottom contact. Getting the right sweep of your lure in the current may be the difference between catching walleye and not. I want to wish everyone luck out there this year. Hopefully, a few of these tips will help you determine some productive areas. Lastly, be safe out there and have fun!
Local Pro Staff