Milford Music, of Adrian, MIich., holds up his first walleye catch of the season while spending the day in the Maumee River at Orleans Park in Perrysburg on March 31, 2018.
Maumee River: The mayor of the Maumee shoreline, retiree and New York transplant Joe Roecklein, reports that Mother Nature has been the big winner along the waterway, as she has been for much of the spring. Heavy rains throughout the watershed have flushed the river with fast, high, and heavily-stained water. Roecklein said he spent three hours to take six white bass from the Orleans Park access earlier this week, and under normal mid-May conditions he would have had a couple of baskets full of white bass in that time frame. Once the river settles, the white bass fishing should be outstanding. In the interim, Roecklein recommends persistence, and if the white bass are not in a cooperative mood, put out a line on the bottom with a worm or shrimp for bait and take a run at the catfish and white perch.
Sandusky River: The white bass are in the waterway, and despite high and muddy conditions, some anglers are taking modest numbers of the spawning run fish on bright twister tails, spinners, or minnows fished under a float. Bernie Whitt at Angler’s Supplies in downtown Fremont reports that the higher water historically brings on a new mass of fish moving in from the bay, so as the river level drops and the water clears a bit heading into the weekend, the fishing should really take off.
Lake Erie: The previously hot walleye jig bite has slowed this past week, so the switch is on to spoons, crankbaits, and worm harnesses. The pros at Netcraft report that a slow drift with spoons and harnesses fished just off the bottom has been productive in the waters off Turtle Creek. They report that gold, pink. and purple blades have produced the best. For the trolling navy, success has come in the region north of Wild Wings, with Deep Husky Jerks and Walleye Deep Bandit crankbaits the go-to lures, and most fish are coming from 13-17 feet of water. In Michigan waters, the MDNR reports that anglers are taking walleye in 20 feet of water in Brest Bay on bottom bouncers rigged with purple crawler harnesses. There has also been some walleye action just north of River Raisin in 24 feet of water for anglers trolling or drifting with gold and purple worm harness rigs.
Detroit River: The MDNR reports that good numbers of spawning run white bass have moved into the river and anglers are picking them up with minnows and spinners. Meanwhile, the walleye run continues, with jigs and minnows rigged with stinger hooks the rig of choice for most river anglers. The walleye anglers curse the ultra-aggressive white bass, but as more of that species begin to crowd the river, that issue will only intensify.
Irish Hills: The crappie fishing appears to be tapering off while the bluegill fishery starts to take shape. Reports from the many lakes in this picturesque region of southeast Michigan indicate that bluegills, redears, and sunfish are active and staging in deeper water in close proximity to their traditional nesting areas. Anglers had success this week with worms, live crickets, and small twister tail and spinner rigs.
Boat inspections: Anglers and pleasure boaters can get their boats inspected free by officers of the Ohio State Parks & Watercraft during Safe Boating Week (Saturday through May 25). On Sunday, inspections take place from 9-10 a.m. at the Lucas County Public Launch Ramp near Curtice, and from noon-2 p.m. at the Cullen Park boat ramp. On Monday, inspections are offered from 5-7 p.m. at the Maple Street boat ramp in Perrysburg, while on May 25 inspections take place from 5-6 p.m. at Mary Jane Thurston State Park.
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