One of the most popular spots for anglers all over North America, the Detroit River is a 28-mile waterway that stretches from Lake St. Clair to Lake Erie. On the Canada side of the Detroit River sits Windsor, Ontario, and on the American side sits Detroit, Michigan. Between these two cities, and along the rest of the river’s run through small towns and countryside, there are numerous places to cast a line and catch some of the finest freshwater fish in the United States or Canada.
Here are some of the most frequently caught fish in the Detroit River.
From October through November, muskellunge, or “muskies”, are in a heightened stage feeding as they gear up for winter. This makes late fall an ideal time of year for anglers to catch these members of the pike family. The Detroit River is one of the most accessible spots in either Canada or the US where muskies can be caught in large numbers, and often even fishing from shore can bring in a fish over 20 pounds in weight. The best lures to use to get a muskie on the line are large crankbaits, shadzillas, and spinners.
Mid-May through early June is the spawning season for the white bass. Millions of these beautiful, silverfish swarm the Detroit River in late spring, and they are eager to feed, which makes them easy to catch. A line cast or jigged from the shore with any lure that has a good shine, or carrying live bait such as minnows or worms on a heavily weighted perch rig, is sure to catch one.
The walleye salmon is the most desired fish for anglers who come to the Detroit River. The best time of year to fish for walleye is in the spring, when they go into the waterway out of Lake Erie to spawn in massive schools. During spawning, the fish is more likely to eat, and thus take the bait, and can be anywhere from one to over 10 pounds. Walleye can be caught from the shore, or by casting from a boat further out, and by vertical jigging with swimbait or a rubber worm.