Spring Walleye Fishing on the Detroit River
Original blog by Ashley Rae of SheLovesToFish.com | Published on April 20, 2022
Over the past year I’ve been exploring the fishing opportunities found throughout Ontario’s Southwest region. I was very excited to kick off my very first open water outing of the season with a spring walleye adventure on the Detroit River out of Windsor, Ontario. The famous walleye run on these waters had been on my bucket list and this amazing fishery did not disappoint! I partnered with Ontario’s Southwest and Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island for this adventure.
Please note: It is recommended to plan ahead before traveling by connecting with local operators and businesses to determine any new public health measures and procedures put in place.
The Detroit River
The Detroit River is 44 kilometers in length and reaches up to 4 kilometers wide. It flows east to west from Lake St. Clair and then curves running north to south into Lake Erie. The river borders the cities of Windsor, Ontario in Canada and Detroit, Michigan in the United States. During the spring, walleye stack up in great numbers in the Detroit River to spawn thus 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
When planning our spring walleye fishing adventure, I booked a trip with Ian Jones of Fish LSC Charters. I met Ian a few years ago while we were both presenting fishing seminars at a trade show and I’ve been following his fishing adventures on social media for quite some time. Ian has a wealth of knowledge and is incredibly passionate about fishing and putting his clients on fish. He operates charters full-time on the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Erie. I knew that Eric and I were in for a great day on the water with Ian!
I troll for the majority of my walleye fishing adventures so I was looking forward to jigging on this trip. Ian equipped us with spinning rod and reel set-ups, 3/4oz jigs rigged with soft plastic minnows, a stinger hook, and a live minnow.
We covered a lot of water and got into not only numbers, but quality fish as well! For a half-day trip we landed over 20+ walleye (I lost count), and lost a bunch more that came unbuttoned. I got lucky to land the biggest of the day, this beautiful 27.5” walleye that appears to be a post-spawn female with a slim figure! We decided on catch and release so it was nice to see all of these fish go back.
Check out all the action from our day in the video below:
Accommodations and Dining
Making the trip from Ottawa, we decided to book two nights at Stonecroft Inn, the night before our outing, and the night after before making the trip back home. We had a great stay at Stonecroft Inn and I would definitely book here again. Ian operates charters out of a few different boat launches depending on the wind direction and where the fishing has been productive, so Stonecroft was a great central location for us.
As for dining, we enjoyed some delicious take-out meals during our stay!
During our first evening we decided on ordering takeout from The Grand Cantina after reading great reviews. It was all very delicious! We ordered a variety of tacos (they have plenty of options), along with quesadillas, and their Esquites Salad.
After our fishing adventure with Ian, we ordered a late lunch/early dinner from Simon’s Prime Hamburgers and were very pleased with our meals from here as well! We ordered cheeseburgers, fries, and poutine.
Local beer: Both Eric and I enjoy craft beer and decided to pop by Walkerville Brewery during our visit. We picked up the Honest Lager to enjoy with our meals which turned out to be a great choice!
I’m so grateful to put another checkmark on the bucket list. This was a memorable experience all around and I am seriously considering making this an annual trip! Thanks again to Ian, and huge thank you to Ontario’s Southwest and Tourism Windsor Essex for hosting us!