The Blade Fishing Report

The best angling information from area experts


Maumee River: Anglers are still hitting the river in a few locations, but high, fast and muddy water do not make for great walleye fishing as the Maumee still suffers from recent heavy rains. Bob Barnhart of Jann’s Netcraft said that as of Thursday, a lot of the river remained unfishable for wading anglers, while those in small boats were having some success. Dennis Bryant, who works the Side Cut area each day with his mobile tackle shop, said that the few fish he has seen come out of the river in recent days were a decent size, but that the Maumee would need to slow down and clear up for things to really turn on.

Sandusky River: There are a lot of walleyes in the river, and limit catches were not uncommon over the past couple of days, according to Bernie Whitt of Anglers Supply in downtown Fremont. The river is still muddy, but wading anglers can reach most of the traditional spawning run sites. Whitt said a variety of lure colors were producing fish, and unless heavy rain interferes, Whitt expects a very busy weekend.

Lake Erie reefs: Spring jig fishing on and around the Lake Erie reef complexes is booming, with many walleyes in the 8-12 pound class being caught. Bob Barnhart of Netcraft said anglers are using jig and minnow combinations or ice fishing lures tipped with minnows and vertically fishing for walleyes while anchored in the reef areas, while others are making slow drifts over the reefs as walleyes stage there, preparing to spawn. Oregon angler Bryan Johnson, who was jig fishing off Catawba recently and had two walleyes that cleared 12 pounds as part of his catch, said he observed a lot of fish moving through that area at the time.

Steelhead rivers: There are good numbers of steelhead in Michigan’s Au Sable River, and the fishing has been best in the slower water in deeper holes, according to Streamside Custom Rod & Guide Service. Small nymphs and egg patterns are producing fish, and the outlook is good into May, since the water is still too cold for spawning to take place.

Irish Hills: There was still ice covering most of Devils and Round lakes on Thursday, but the ice has deteriorated considerably and is unsafe, according to area angler Zak Decker. “There’s nowhere to fish right now, except on some of the smaller lakes and ponds,” Decker said. “Once the rest of the ice comes off, the crappie fishing should get going.”

Contact Blade outdoors editor Matt Markey at: or 419-724-6068.