Anglers hitting the Maumee River in search of walleye despite cooler weather

MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - Whether by boat or wading in the water, dozens of fishermen crowded the Maumee River Saturday looking to reel in walleye.

"As a kid I used to come up here quite a bit," said Mike Blasius of Fostoria.

"It's worth the vacation," said another fisherman from West Virginia.

Every year in March and April walleye come to the Northwest Ohio river to spawn.

It's a process that's dependent on the water temperature and right now it's a little cooler than normal.

"I don't care if it's snowing or not," said Cory Spencer of Youngstown. "I still fish."

While it's not cold enough to keep anglers out of the water, many of them say they've noticed the weather's impact on fishing.

"I think a lot of it is just the constant change in weather between the cold and the warm and everything put together," said Blasius. "I don't think it's one variable, it's multiple variables."

One thing that hasn't changed, though, is the business that the fishing enthusiasts bring.

"Business is steadily picking up," said Mario Campos of Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters. "Mother Nature's winter grip on us has been a little tough."

Campos estimates between 8,000 to 10,000 people will pass through the area for this year's walleye run.

"It's a boom for the local hotels, restaurants, bars, the nightlife, and, of course, the fishing places," said Campos.

With fishermen from 40 states already accounted for, the Maumee business owner says he's hopeful he'll get more through his doors before the season is through.

"As they come in we holler out, 'Iowa,' 'Georgia in the house,' whatever—make it a little fun," said Campos. "So we're seeing people from all over the country. It's pretty exciting."