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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I went to West Branch today for the first time. We caught one bluegill. What is the best area to shoreline fish from and what to fish for? What bait, color etc. I'd really like to get into some muskie, but without a boat it doesn't sound like we'll be that lucky. Trying Berlin tomorrow, will be back to West Branch soon!

Parmaangler
 

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One area, close to parking is the picnic tables and shelter shoreline by the east ramp parking lot. Try long casts with crawlers (or whatever) on the bottom. If you search this forum, there's lots of info in here on carp fishing in that area by a bunch of fanatics who love the fight those big guys offer! Should be good cat fishing as well but, like life, you never know what you'll get. Good luck.
 

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Try below the dam. I believe you can still walk all the way up to the shoots, and there are times where you can catch some amazing fish (including musky). I cant remember the name of the road but it parallels the dam. There is a small park there next to the creek with trails that follow it. Most people walk all the way up to the dam, but the creek itself can be good. I've seen 40+ inch musky down there on multiple occasions. Also caught stripers, walleye, bass, crappie, gills.
 

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either side the dam is decent. The walk is killer though. You can also try the coves near the dam. There are also some coves by the marina and of course rock springs road is always a good place to start.

If you really want to catch decent fish at west branch a boat is a must though.
 

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So, this would be West Branch dam correct?

And do you guys by saying "both sides of the dam" mean both the "lake" part and the "spillway" part, or like "north" and "south" ends of the "lake" part?? I've never been there, and am looking for some decent shore fishing suggestions so this is why Im asking.

Also, what is meant by the "dam cover" areas??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the great info. We're working on the boat, for right now though it is shore fishing for us.

We spent the afternoon and evening at Berlin off of Rt. 14 south of the bridge. The fish were on fire. Even had a small muskie or pike cut my line. I hated to loose the lure though!!
 

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If you are going to shore fish West Branch buy some big shiners and cast out under a bobber and leave your bail open. While waiting for a hit on this cast another rod using some type of lure . Fish anywhere where there are some weeds near shore. There are a lot of Muskies in there and they like to hang around these near shore weed beds. Just ask the Bass Fishermen !
C J Stone's suggested area is a good area to try.
 

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If you are going to shore fish West Branch buy some big shiners and cast out under a bobber and leave your bail open. While waiting for a hit on this cast another rod using some type of lure . Fish anywhere where there are some weeds near shore. There are a lot of Muskies in there and they like to hang around these near shore weed beds. Just ask the Bass Fishermen !
C J Stone's suggested area is a good area to try.
I know this is a dumb question, but how exactly do you "hook" shiners(or minnows) for that matter when using them as bait? I've only fished with minnows once, and kinda just guestimated, but thats the only time I've used a live bait fish as bait so Im not 100% sure.
 

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If you are fishing them vertically (under a bobber for instance) I like to hook them under the dorsal so they hang horizontal. Stick the hook in the upper meaty part so they don't die right away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wonderful information everyone. We'll be trying out WB sometime next week again. We'll try going up to the dam area first. I'll make sure to post how we do on both shiners and artificial lures.

Mike
 

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I hook my minnows straight through the eyes. They live well hooked this way and they swim naturally.
If I'm going to fish for Stripers with herring , shad, or bluegills I hook them in the top of the back just behind the head. The Striper or any other fish swallows them head first and so the hook goes in the mouth quickly.
That's the way the good ole boys hook them up at Santee Cooper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Went to WB this morning. Caught a few nice bass down by the picnic tables at the boat ramp near the dam. I want to save walking up to the damn for a nice late evening trip. Make's it worhtwhile that way. Are the muskie more likely to bite at dusk like bass do? We're planning a family trip to Georgian Bay canada in 2008 and I'm wanting to get some muskie and pike experience under my belt before we go. I'd be up for meeting with someone out at WB sometime soon. I have to fish alone alot of times, get's boring when your alone!! Talk to all of you soon. Thanks for everyones great info.
 

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My brother and I made the trip from Wheeling and was very disappointed in the lake in general.
I'm talking a k-zillion shads every where we fished...we must have snagged a hundred of em while spinning. All them big fish need to do is open their mouth and swim. :)
 

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Very interesting observation, TC. Most everyone up this way says(as does the DNR)that there's a serious UNDER-population of baitfish. Maybe it's improving? It's really a good lake to fish if you know your spots and programs.
Quite a trip to get disappointed though. Like anyplace, it takes time to learn the lake.
 

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I was just there this week and didnt have a single bite I tried everything from minnows to worms. My father works at the maintenance building at the dam he said they just finished a bug study for the outflow and said there is minimal to zero smaller life forms in the outflow for the smaller fish to eat so there arent going to be any bigger fish,they said the zebra mussels are filtering the water to well.
 
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