Lake Erie walleye are already biting and fishermen from Ohio and around the country are getting ready for the walleye tournaments and derbies to be held this spring and summer. The most noise is coming from Cleveland, even though the Walleye Fall Brawl won’t hit the water until Oct. 20-Dec. 3.
The Fall Brawl fishing derby has become the biggest fishing event on the wide waters of Lake Erie and Tournament Director Frank Murphy of North Royalton has found a way to get even more attention. Murphy has upped the ante for the 2017 challenge, giving the derby winner a Warrior 193 boat, EZ Loader trailer and Evinrude outboard.
Check out the Fall Brawl 2017 rules and registration at lakeeriefishingderby.com.There is also a kids Fall Brawl this year. Entry is $30 per angler. There is a sign-up party Oct. 7 and awards party on Dec. 8.
FishCrazy 2017 Spring Derby: The spring walleye derby on Lake Erie lures a crowd each year, with this year’s derby almost ready to roll. This year’s spring derby is April 23-May 27. Registration deadline is April 16.
Entry is $25. Head to the derby web site (lakeeriewalleyederby.com) for rules, regs and entry. A check can also be mailed to FishCrazy Charters, 1387 West 87th St., Cleveland OH 44102.
Rossford Walleye Roundup & Festival: A $20,000 walleye tournament has been hatched for the Maumee River and Lake Erie on April 1-2. The inaugural event is based at the Rossford Marina and hosted by the Bass Pro Shops in Rossford, just south of Toledo, and the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Anglers will have the chance to catch spawning Maumee River walleye if the big waters of Lake Erie are too rough, knocking out the possibility of a spring weather delay of the tournament. The $20,000 in prize money is based on a field of 40 two-angler squads paying the team registration fee of $500.
For information visit the web site VisitRossfordOhio.com, check out the Facebook page or call the Rossford Convention & Visitors Bureau, 855-765-5451.
Lake Erie Walleye Trail: Ohio’s veteran walleye tournament circuit is hosted by the Western Basin Sportfishing Association. Ample proof of its popularity is that the first of this year’s four events, the Magee East Event at Magee East Marina west of Port Clinton on April 1-2, is already sold out. For LEWT details visit wbsa.com.
Two-anglers teams must be members of the WBSA ($20) and pay a $200 entry. The remaining tournaments are the Hi-Way Bait Event at Lakevue Marina on Marblehead (April 29-30); Ole Pete Memorial in Sandusky (May 20-21); and the Erie Outfitters Event in Huron (June 2-4).
Masters Walleye Circuit: The 2017 Masters Walleye Circuit will be all over the map in 2017, except for Ohio. The MWC will come close to the Buckeye State and will fish Lake Erie, though, with a Detroit River stop on April 7-8. Here’s the schedule: Illlinois River (March 17-18); Detroit River (April 7-8); Big Stone Lake (April 28-29); Bay of Green Bay (May 19-20); Lake Winnebago (June 2-3); Devils Lake (July 21-22); St., Mary’s River (Aug. 25-26).
The Cabela’s MWC World Walleye Championship is on Cass Lake on Sept. 14-16. For more information visit masterswalleyecircuit.com.
Walleye Madness Tournament Trail: A hybrid walleye tournament trail, Walleye Madness splits its season on the inland walleye waters of Northeast Ohio and on Eastern Lake Erie. The entry is $150 for a two-angler team, with a limit of 50 teams.
The Salt Fork Lake (May 7) and Mosquito Lake (May 21) events kick off the action. Wrapping it up are Lake Erie tournaments at Geneva (June 24) and Conneaut (Aug. 12). For details and registration visit walleyemadness.net.
Ohio Walleye Federation: The OWF Inland Lake Championship sends out four qualifying tournaments this year, as well as the Vic’s Challenge Lake Erie, an open tournament hosted by the Ohio Walleye Federation clubs on July 15.
The regular season ICL events are being held at Mosquito Lake (April 23); Berlin Lake (May 7); Pymatuning Lake (May 21) and Lake Milton (June 25). Entry is $155 with tournaments limited to 40 two-angler teams. Club membership ($10) is needed.
Cabela’s National Walleye Tour: Eager to get in on the Lake Erie’s wealth of hefty spawning walleye, the National Walleye Tour is kicking off its season of weekday tournaments on April 11-12 in Huron, ground zero for big Ohio walleye. The NWT trail will send out tournaments on Lake Sakakawea on May 11-12 and Prairie du Chien on June 15-16 before hosting the NWT 2017 Championship (Aug. 16-18) in Marinette WI (Green Bay).
The NWT events are Pro-Am tournaments. The pro entry is $1,500 and the co-angler entry is $350. For details visit nationalwalleyetour.com.
Uncork’d Wine Fest: This used to be the Wine & Walleye tournament in Ashtabula OH. Now its been Uncork’d, but it is still on for Aug. 26-27. The Pro-Am event has a Pro Division boat entry of $200 and an Amateur Division angler fee of $40. Sign up at uncorkdwinefest.com.
Western Ohio Walleye Circuit: A low-key tournament group, the Western Ohio Walleye Club hosts four tournaments and a championship on Western Ohio lakes. Entry is $90 per angler, $170 for the WOWC championship at Indian Lake on Oct. 28-29. The regular tournaments are: Indian Lake (April 9); Alum Creek Reservoir (May 28), Caesar Creek Reservoir (June 25) and C.J. Brown Reservoir (July 30). Go to westernohiowalleyeclub.com.