The Walleye Run: How this annual tradition benefits one Maumee business
Here’s a clue: It has a lot to do with those coming to Northwest Ohio.
MAUMEE, Ohio — The Walleye Run is well underway, and people from across the country come to our area to participate — and one Maumee store is well-prepared.
“In the spring, March and April, the walleye come in the river to spawn. They’re not feeding, they’re spawning. So what happens, here in the Maumee River, the bottom is very brushy and rocky. It’s a good place for them to lay their eggs. And the little nooks and crannies in the river protect them from predators. So the river gets warm, flows into Lake Erie, which is a little colder, triggers a spawning instinct, and the walleye come up into our river,” explained Mario Campos, proprietor of Maumee Tackle Fishing Outfitters.
If you’re looking for one, Campos is your expert on fishing. He tells me that the economic impact of the walleye run is a big one for his and other businesses in the area.
“It’s great. As near as I can figure, we get about 10,000 fishermen from all over the world. There’s a large Chinese contingent, Europe, Russia- there’s a lot of people from all over the world that come to fish, and of course, every state in the United States,” Campos said.
Giving me the grand tour of his uptown Maumee store, it’s clear that his staff have everything you’ll need for a successful day on the water — from waders to just the right bait:
“One of the main things you use to catch walleye are floating jig heads. These types of baits are what’s used to mimic a minnow or a shad out there.”
“I was out fishing, right? One morning, and there were five baby ducks swimming along, beautiful morning, then there was a big splash — and there were four baby ducks swimming along. Big bass and pike eat baby ducks. So, the baby duck lure.”
“And we do kayak trips up and down the river, so we’re a full-service kayak rental place. Bring you and the family here, just bring your water clothes and some snacks, we take you up river, provide the kayak, life jackets, paddles, you guys float down the river, and when you’re done, we pick you up at your destination, bring you right back to your car — good to go.”
Campos tells me that in addition to providing his customers with the gear they’ll need, he also prides himself on providing them with the knowledge that’ll eventually provide them with a meal or just a sense of pride.