Discover the Top Spots to Fish for Walleye on the Maumee River

Where to Fish for Walleye on the Maumee River: A Guide for Anglers


The Maumee River, located in northwest Ohio, is renowned among avid anglers as a prime destination for walleye fishing. With its rich biodiversity and stunning natural scenery, this beautiful river provides an excellent opportunity to reel in some trophy-sized walleye. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best spots along the Maumee River to ensure you have a successful and memorable fishing experience.

The Upper Stretch: Defiance to Grand Rapids

One of the most productive areas for walleye fishing on the Maumee River lies between Defiance and Grand Rapids. This upper stretch offers ideal conditions due to its deep pools, abundant rocky structures, and submerged logs that create perfect hiding spots for walleye.

Tackle Recommendations

When fishing in these areas, it’s recommended to use medium-action spinning or baitcasting rods paired with reels capable of handling 8-12 lb test lines. Additionally, opt for jigs ranging from 1/4 oz to 1/2 oz with soft plastics or live bait such as nightcrawlers or minnows.

Best Fishing Spots

Within this upper stretch area of the Maumee River lie several highly productive fishing locations:

Independence Dam State Park:

Located just south of Defiance, this state park offers access points along both sides of the river. The deep holes created by water flow around Independence Dam make it an exceptional spot for walleyes seeking shelter.

Riverside Campground:

Situated near Napoleon City within Henry County, Riverside Campground encompasses nearly half a mile of riverfront access where anglers can find success hooking walleye. The area upstream of the campground is particularly promising due to its rocky structures and submerged logs.

The Lower Stretch: Grand Rapids to Lake Erie

As the Maumee River flows downstream from Grand Rapids towards Lake Erie, it continues to provide ample opportunities for walleye fishing enthusiasts. This lower stretch boasts fast currents, diverse habitats, and an abundance of baitfish—the perfect combination for attracting trophy-sized walleyes.

Tackle Recommendations

To tackle these stronger currents and larger fish in the lower stretch, opt for medium-heavy spinning or baitcasting rods paired with reels capable of handling 12-17 lb test lines. Leadhead jigs ranging from 1/2 oz to 1 oz combined with soft plastics work exceptionally well in this area.

Best Fishing Spots

While there are numerous productive areas along this segment of the Maumee River, a few notable spots stand out:

River Road Public Access:

Situated just south of Grand Rapids on State Route 65, this public access point provides easy entry into prime fishing territory. Target deep holes near submerged trees or any eddies formed by rock formations within close proximity.

Mallard Club Wildlife Area:

Located approximately four miles north-northeast of Toledo near Jerusalem Township, Mallard Club Wildlife Area offers both riverfront access and backwater fishing opportunities. Explore channels around islands or focus on marshy areas where you’ll find excellent chances at hooking trophy walleye.


The Maumee River is undeniably one of Ohio’s premier destinations for anglers seeking thrilling walleye fishing experiences. Whether you choose to explore the upper stretch between Defiance and Grand Rapids or venture downriver from Grand Rapids towards Lake Erie, preparation is key when targeting these elusive and prized fish. By following our recommendations on tackle, best fishing spots, and practicing patience, you’ll significantly increase your chances of landing that walleye trophy you’ve been dreaming of. So grab your gear, head to the Maumee River, and get ready for an unforgettable angling adventure!