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Maumee River Walleye Run

by: salsinkers
The Maumee River in northwest Ohio is without a doubt the most prolific walleye tributary in the country. Each spring the walleye leave Lake Erie and enter the river to spawn. From mid April to mid May anglers line both sides of the river for miles wading chest deep in frigid water with one thought in mind, the pursuit of walleye. While not all fishermen will catch fish everyone is thrilled with the opportunity of just being in the water. Some have gotten up out of their beds in the early hours of the morning and driven hundreds of miles to share the camaraderie with like minded individuals. The Maumee River Walleye Run also means that winter is almost over and spring will soon arrive. Anglers can get a daily update of the fishing conditions including: best locations on the river to catch fish, water temperature and depth and the best bait and bait color to use from web sites such as Every angler should experience a Maumee River Walleye Run during their lifetime.
Catching walleye in the Maumee has evolved over the last few years. Initially the primary method was to use a lead jig between 1/8 and ¾ ounce dressed with a rubber tail. The object was to make a cast and let the current bounce the jig down the river in an arc until the end of the line was reached. The angler would retrieve the line and make another cast in the hope that a fish would strike the rig at some point during the process. It is safe to say that an angler would make hundreds of cast during a fishing trip. During the casting process it is not uncommon to become snagged on one of the millions of rocks that line the river bottom. If the angler couldn’t free the snag the only alternative was to break the line. Anglers have been known to lose three dozen rigs in one outing. This results tons of lead jigs being depositing in the river. The hook portion of the jig will rust over time leaving a lead ball which will remain in the water forever or until it is physically removed. Certain water fowl are susceptible to poisoning after ingesting the smaller lead weights.
A few year ago the Carolina rig was introduce to the fishing scene and it became an instant hit. The rig consisted of a sinker usually lead, a leader, and floating jig hook. The floating jig hook is a novel idea in concept because in theory it prevents the hook from snagging in the rocks. The length of the leader was determined by the swiftness of the current where the faster the current the longer the leader. Some of the advantages of the rig are that it is difficult to foul hook or snag a fish and if the rig becomes snagged there is a good chance that only the hook will be lost instead of the entire terminal tackle. For the environmentally conscious, substitutes for lead has become a priority. Tungsten sinkers have been replaced by steel sinkers primary due to cost. A snag resistant, non lead sinker from was introduced last season that has great promise and potential. The plastic tube sinker uses steel for submerging the bait.
As they say on the Maumee “The bite is on!”

Added: Tue Jul 21 2009

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