Cold April weather put a damper on the first two weeks of Walleye fishing this Spring, but the spawning season in the Detroit river is finally heating up! Blue skies inspired Walleye lovers from all over the state to cast their lines and try their luck.
At the Elizabeth Park Marina, the early bird gets the parking space. The lot opened at 5 a.m., filled to capacity and closed two hours later.
While hundreds of trailers sit empty, dripping with the fresh hope of eager anglers that today the Detroit River will finally deliver the Walleye season they've have been waiting for.
Because as Steve Davis laments, "It’s been terrible so far, the weather has been terrible!"
Waking up to blue skies and sunshine for the first time in a long time has been a relief for this fisherman from Grand Rapids.
"We’re really hoping that helps and we start catching them," says Davis.
As temperatures rise, so do expectations.
"Catch a big ten pounder, fill up the freezer with walleye!" says one fisherwoman confidently.
Some even played hooky just for the chance to hook the big one.
"The conditions are right today so I actually took a day off work to come out here," says John Kinkead who drove out to Trenton from Southgate.
Many plan to be out on the water for the entire weekend.
"We've got over a hundred teams going to fish here Friday and Saturday right here at Elizabeth Park," says Daniel Palmer, tournament director for Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit.
With a walleye tournament on the first nice Spring weekend of the year, you non-competitive anglers will have to plan ahead.
"He's got a sign out there that says 'lot full'. It's that crowded! If you don't get here by launch, 5/6 in the morning, it's going to be a little bit of a wait," says Davis. Davis by the way, had to park in the overflow lot down the street.
For Walleye lovers, it's worth it.
"Fishing is absolutely second to none of you want to catch big walleye, Detroit river the first few weeks of April, there’s not a better place in the world," says Palmer.
The DNR says the Walleye limit this year is 3 rods per angler, 5 fish a day and a minimum of 15 inches.