As winter comes to an end and the lakes begin to thaw is when the walleye will start their annual trip up the rivers and onto the reefs to spawn. One of the best places to catch these walleye is in the Maumee River in Northwest, Ohio. When the ice clears out of the river and it warms to near 37 degrees the first walleye will show up. 40% of the walleye will come from Lake St. Clair and then the rest will come from the Western Basin of Lake Erie. Many of the walleye stay out in the lake to spawn on the reefs but we have plenty of fish that come up the river for everyone.
Most Fishing will start in late Febuary depending on the ice that is left on the river. When the water is in the upper 30's you will start to see some male walleye coming up the river and this time can be very good fishing if you can stand in the water with 20 mph winds and snow. Most people tend to wait to the actuall spawn begins which is usually around the second week of April or when the water is near 47 degrees. There are a few things that will affect the fishing in the river, one is the level of the river and current. It is hard to fish the river when the water is up high like it usually is in the spring from all the ice melting. Another is the clearity of the water, the walleye have to see what they are going to eat, 4 inches at least is when they start hitting good.
During the first high water in late March we will recieve our first major run of fish. When the warm water in the river hits the cool water of the lake it will send the fish waiting at the mouth up to us. We will have a few different runs of fish depending on the weather and water. This is why there is always a run of fish willing to bite onto a lure. When the fish are in the spawning stage they rarely will take a bait but since we have different runs that is not a problem. Your best chance to take large fish is right when they get in the river and as they leave after the spawn. For Trophy fish (9-15 lbs.) mid April is your best chance. If you are looking for the smaller jacks (males) the best time is from late April to June after the females leave the river. It all depends on the conditions you are willing to fish and what type of fish you want.