By David Thornbury
Each year, a natural phenomenon takes place in the Sandusky River that has attracted generations of anglers who seek to experience the “Spring Run.” It begins in early March with walleye and lasts well into April. The white bass are second to arrive to the river and they tend to run from early April through mid-May. Hundreds of thousands of these fish spawn in the river and begin their journey downstream to Lake Erie.
During this 3-month period, the riverbanks are lined with fishermen from all across Ohio and the United States. Many of them return year after year, making fishing the Sandusky River an annual, generational event with their family and friends.
Fremont native Kameron Allicock has fished the Sandusky River for over 25 years, since he was a youngster. “I have family that comes from Pennsylvania and Florida each year to fish the river. It’s a long-standing family tradition. I’m in that river as often as I can be each spring.”
The spring run is also known for producing some of the largest walleye taken from Ohio’s waterways each year. The best walleye and white bass fishing in Sandusky County can be found from public access areas near the downtown Fremont area.
The Black Swamp Conservancy is working to restore land along the river to a more natural habitat and recently converted a former golf course in Fremont to natural space with fishing access. Darr-Root State Fishing Access, located at the end of Walnut Street in Fremont, also opened in 2019 with a public boat launch, large parking area and frontage for fishing the Sandusky River.
Located just a short walk from the downtown Fremont fishing area is a popular bait shop named Anglers Supplies. This locally owned and operated business has been in operation for 35 years, and Bernie and Tina Whitt have served a lot of fishermen over the years. For many, walleye and white bass fishing begins and ends with a stop at Anglers Supplies. Owner Bernie says, “I have seen some amazing fish come from that river and I try to snap pictures for the Anglers Supplies Facebook Page (@anglersupplies) to show what people are catching and to provide daily updates about fishing conditions.
Anglers Supplies, located at 319 Howland Street, sells fishing gear, bait, snacks and more. Everything you need to get out there to fish. Bernie also offers free fishing condition reports and his expert advice. “Fishing is in my blood,” says Bernie. “Prior to me running Anglers Supplies, my brother operated a carryout and bait shop next door to my current location.” Plan a fishing trip to Fremont, Ohio this year and stop in to see Bernie, and maybe you and your river monster will be featured on the Anglers Supplies Facebook Page.
Several years ago, the Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau introduced Angler Savings Cards. These plastic credit card-sized cards offer licensed fishermen discounts on select local hotels, restaurants, and businesses. The cards are available to both local anglers as well as those visiting from other areas and can be used with a valid fishing license. The cards will act as a measure for the economic impact that fishing has on our county. These cards are available at the Visitor’s Bureau, located at 712 North Street in Fremont, as well as at participating businesses.
For more information about fishing, public access areas and/or promotions, visit the website www.sanduskycounty.org.
Fishing on the Sandusky River