Anglers from across the globe flock to Northwest Ohio for annual walleye run

Published: Mar. 19, 2017 at 10:30 PM EDT
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Anglers waited for the blast of an air horn to cast their lines on the Maumee River Sunday morning. Many of them showed up for the annual walleye run.

"It's the hot spot," said Justin Weppler of Tontogany. "It's where they go. It's where you gotta' go. You gotta' chase them down."

"It's a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of grief from the wife, but sometimes it's worth it," said James Morrison of South Toledo.

Morrison's been coming to the river for the annual run for 17 years. Besides reeling in the fish, he also enjoys the camaraderie of others out on the water.

"You get to meet new people, fish with the guys, get to know them and you come out the next year and meet up with them again and then you got a group of friends out here," said Morrison.

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the end of March to beginning of April is the peak time to take advantage of the Walleye Run.

ODNR experts estimate that walleye will measure in between 20 to 30 inches this year.

Along with drawing people from across Northwest Ohio, the popular fishing run also brings in people from all over the world.

"I've seen people from Kentucky. There's people from the Ukraine, there's people from Michigan—everywhere," said Alexis Hiltz of Grand Rapids.

After traveling six hours from Pennsylvania, Raymond McGhee will spend three days in our area fishing for walleye.

"I just think they're the best eating freshwater fish there is," said McGhee.

On his first day out, he had high hopes of hitting it big but struck out.

"[I] usually catch a lot, not today," said McGhee. "[Only] one so far."

With the Walleye Run just getting started, and warmer temps on the way, fishing enthusiasts have plenty of time to cast their lines.

Anglers have from now until April 30th to reel in up to four walleye each day, says the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.