Don’t let the big ones get away

David Lafreniere
By David Lafreniere April 20, 2018 13:16

Amanda Liebgott shares a fishing story at Anglers Point Bait, Tackle & Marina in Chesterfield Township, Mich. (Photo by David Lafreniere)
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada — “The eyes of walleye are like those of cats and have a reflective layer that enables them to see well in the dark. Out of the water, the reflective layer gives the eye a whitish or glassy appearance. A “wall-eye” is one where the iris is whitish and is most often seen in horses and so these fish with their whitish eyes were called walleye.”

By David Lafreniere

Growing up in Windsor, they were called pickerel, but across the border they have always been walleye and early spring is the time to catch them.

According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the walleye, largest of the perch, has a fin on its back that is divided in two. It is commonly called pickerel or yellow pickerel in parts of Canada.

The Detroit River offers multiple fish species but is most famous for its spring walleye run, which has begun despite the cold weather.

“The walleye have been great,” said Amanda Liebgott, a store clerk at Anglers Point Bait Tackle and Marina in the northwest corner of Lake St. Clair. “The runs have already started, and we’ve got tons of walleye running.”

The size has gone down, according to Liebgott. Fishing by boat around the Windsor Yacht Club a few weeks ago her smallest fish was 19 lbs.

“By the drift with the rock piles, that is a good spot to go,” said Liebgott. “They were just monsters.”

She finds it surprising how many fishermen put up with the cold and weather the storm to fish. There are people fishing around her shop every day, rain or shine.

One of these fishermen Rick Sharik of Richmond, Mich said bad weather is no excuse for not fishing. He has fished throughout the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair and knows how to catch his limit.

“I’m just fishing on a boat with a vertical jig,” said Sharik. “A lot of people spike it with a minnow, but I just use a rubber bait and put some walleye scent on it.”

“We had a triple limit in less than two hours last Friday, which was fun. As far as catching the fish you’ve got to keep your line straight up and down and it seems to me that they are in the deepest spots of the river right now. They’re down there and when they bite you know they’re there.”

A triple limit is three fishermen each catching the maximum regulated amount of fish.

For those who prefer to fish in a warmer climate, when the walleye run winds down the Detroit River white bass run will be ready to start. The river is a great place for young anglers to try out the sport.


David Lafreniere
By David Lafreniere April 20, 2018 13:16

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