Spring walleye fishing on the Detroit River
Original blog by Ashley Rae from SheLovesToFish.com | Posted on April 20, 2022
Over the past year I have been explore fishing opportunities found throughout southwestern Ontario. I was very excited to kick off my very first open water outing of the season with a walleye spring adventure on the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. The famous walleye haul on these waters was on my bucket list and this incredible fishery did not disappoint! I associated with Southwestern Ontario and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island for this adventure.
Note: It is recommended to plan ahead before traveling by connecting with local operators and businesses to determine new public health measures and procedures in place.
The Detroit River
The Detroit River is 44 kilometers long and reaches up to 4 kilometers wide. It flows east to west from Lake St. Clair, then curves north to south into Lake Erie. The river borders the cities of Windsor, Ontario in Canada and Detroit, Michigan in the United States. In the spring, walleye pile up in large numbers in the Detroit River to spawn, creating a unique fishing opportunity. Many anglers travel here each year for the spring walleye run and beyond. The river is also home to many other species including: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, silver bass, yellow perch, crappie, northern pike, muskellunge and many more. Be sure to check out the latest Ontario Fishing Regulations before planning a trip here.
Our Spring Walleye Fishing Adventure
While planning our spring walleye fishing adventure, I booked a trip with Ian Jones from Fish LSC Charters. I met Ian a few years ago when we were both presenting fishing seminars at a trade show and have been following his fishing adventures on social media for some time. Ian has a wealth of knowledge and is incredibly passionate about fishing and angling for his customers. It operates full-time charters on the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie. I knew Eric and I were going to have a great day on the water with Ian!
I troll for the majority of my walleye fishing adventures so was looking forward to jigging on this trip. Ian outfitted us with spinning rods and reels, 3/4 oz jigs fitted with soft plastic minnows, hook and live minnow.
We covered a lot of water and found not only numbers but some quality fish! For a half day trip we landed over 20 walleye (I lost count) and lost a bunch more that got unbuttoned. I was lucky enough to land the biggest of the day, this beautiful 27.5 inch walleye that appears to be a post-spawning female with a slender build! We decided to catch and release, so it was nice to see all those fish coming back.
Check out all the action from our day in the video below:
Accommodation and catering
Traveling from Ottawa, we decided to book two nights at Stonecroft Inn, the day before we went out, and the night after before returning home. We had a great stay at Stonecroft Inn and would definitely stay here again. Ian operates charters from a few different boat launches depending on the direction of the wind and where the fishing has been productive. Stonecroft was therefore an ideal central location for us.
On the catering side, we tasted delicious takeaway meals during our stay!
On our first evening, we decided to order takeout from The Great Canteen after reading good reviews. Everything was very delicious! We ordered a variety of tacos (they have lots of options), as well as quesadillas and their Esquites salad.
After our fishing adventure with Ian, we ordered a late lunch/early dinner from Simon’s first burgers and we were also very happy with our meals from here! We ordered cheeseburgers, fries and poutine.
Local Beer: Eric and I enjoy craft beer and decided to drop by Walkerville Brewery during our visit. We chose the Honest Lager to accompany our meals, which turned out to be an excellent choice!
I’m so grateful to put another check mark on the bucket list. It was a memorable experience in every way and I am seriously considering making it an annual trip! Thanks again to Ian, and a big thank you to Ontario’s Southwest and Tourism Windsor Essex for hosting us!