West Branch....Banner year in 2008?

Discussion in 'Muskie & Pike Discussions' started by vc1111, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. It would seem that West Branch should produce a lot of mid to maybe even high 40's fish in 2008 based on the numbers of 40+ inch fish that were caught in and released in 2007.

    Any thoughts?
  2. Hello Vince,
    I HOPE you are right, but there are too many variables. Weed growth and declining forage base have been two problem variables. The following are statistics from OHMC for West Branch:

    2001 51 Huskies and there were 374 Over 30"
    2002 44 Huskies and there were 242 Over 30"
    2003 19 Huskies and there were 125 Over 30"
    2004 31 Huskies and there were 154 Over 30"
    2005 14 Huskies and there were 60 Over 30"
    2006 8 Huskies and there were 67 Over 30"

    If you look at 2005 and 2006 results, it would appear that 2007 would be a terrible year, that of course was not the case. The statistics do not tell the whole story, many fish are not reported for example. WE CAN HOPE 2008 IS A BANNER YEAR!!!

  3. Sure hope so. I agree about the statistics John. If you and Vince alone would have reported all your fish those numbers would look a lot better. lol I don't think many people report them anymore. I know I don't. I really don't agree with taking the extra time to get scale samples. To me, that just adds to the odds of the fish not making it.
  4. Hi Steve,
    I reported all my fish this year over 30", as I have done in the past. It really is a quick procedure once you get on to it, BUT, I am glad the ODNR no longer needs the samples, they have received all the info they need. The OHMC based their awards on the scale samples, in part to encourage people to take them. Since scale samples are no longer needed, I predict a huge increase in the awards the OHMC passes out next year!!;) :confused: :D
  5. With only 67 30"+ fish in 06 I'd say 07 was significantly better.;) I boated 10 and you had a lot more than that. Is it Spring yet?
  6. Whaler

    Whaler Whaler

    You're right John. There will probably be a lot more fish reported that weren't caught since there won't be any way to verify the catches unless the club requires a witness to the catch. I spoke with Phil Hillman about this months ago and he said that was a concern of theirs.
  7. MuskieJim

    MuskieJim Trophy Tamer

    Hey guys,
    I just graduated from Kent State, which is right up the street from WB. I took a few friends on my boat (Green Lund Explorer, maybe you guys have seen us), and we boated at least 10 skiis from WB water. 4 of which were over 40, and none of which were reported. Just giving some input, and reinforcing the idea that not all fish are reported.

    Some of the fish that I've seen a few of you gentleman catch at WB are astonishing. You guys definately have that lake figured out. We caught over 30 skiis this year at Chautaqua, also, none of which were reported, including a 52 incher trolling.
  8. MuskieJim
    Ohio Esox Hunter,
    Congratulations on your major acomplishment of graduating from an institution of higher learning. I graduated from YSU in 1968, and my degree enabled me to raise a family and have a good life. Good Luck!!

    I understand not taking scale samples, I did not enjoy doing it, but I felt it helped the state in their research.

    If you see a blue Lund Rebel 1650SS with a blue Etec and silver Johnson kicker, please flag me down. I am usually at WB in the mornings.
  9. They should require a pic or a witness like you said Whaler. Myself, if the ODNR would like the info I would be more than happy to report but as for awards I'm just not interested. That's not what I get out of fishing. I've never considered tournament fishing for the same reason.
  10. Maybe all you musky guys should plan a get-together at WB??? I'd volunteer to cook brats and bring a case of pop to share a boat with someone...

    All the knowledge you guys have on catching them, the lure making(bring examples!). Could be a lot of fun... Just throwing it out there.

    I have NO musky fishing experience, unless you count GIANT I had at Piedmont while jigging a Vibe-E for saugeyes... It was HUGE. Also, hooked one while crappie fishing the willows out there at WB... Saw the stripes and red fins, then she was gone! LOL.

    If you guys schedule it, I'll cook!
  11. Always welcome in my boat Carl. That would be an awesome idea.
  12. No doubt! Troll around WB for a few hours then on to fishy eats! A little more trollin as the sun sets and all hell breaks loose. Ya! Im for that! By spring Ill have some eye fillets to share. Even help in the cooking being Ill be out there most the night pullin boards.

  13. I have to agree with that statement MadMac. To many people in the sport of fishing for the wrong reason. It's why I always liked fishing for Musky and the people involved in it. I've only fished Clearfork but would be interested in attending something somewhere else. Like the challenge of a new lake. We'd have to have some money involved though, I need to pay for gas to get there. :D Just being the optomistic musky fisherman, I thought it was a requisite. :p
    I'm sure some of you have seem me on Clearfork - 18' Seapro center console with trolling gear, downriggers ect..,. ???
  14. My buddy and I have caught about 20 this past year and never reported them. We decided not to take the scale samples this year. WB has alaways been a good lake for us. I am interested, have you guys noticed there seems to be a smaller number of guys fishing for them. We generally fish in the evenings and we have noticed fewer fishermen targeting muskies than in the past. We have even noticed fewer club fisherman than in the past.
  15. siggy45,
    Your observation about declining numbers of anglers is interesting. I fish only in the mornings at WB, and that has also been my observation. I have wondered about the evenings. I think the major reasons angling pressure for Muskies was down the last few years, lack of weeds turned off the casters, and tough fishing for most trollers the last few years. I have no idea about weekend pressure because I will normally avoid WB unless the BITE was really good during the week or it is raining.
  16. I'd really like to see a day of food and fishing at West Branch. I'd bring some venison and peppers and onions, some fresh bread, and whatever else would be good for a good old fashioned barbeque.

    It would be fun to put names and faces together too.

    I'm looking forward to fishing West Branch again this year, but I'll be watching her carefully as always. She's broken my heart many times in years past. It can be a tough lake at times.:D
  17. Coot

    Coot It's all about the doin'

    Food and fishing ?

    Sounds like a great idea....count me in.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2015
  18. Whaler

    Whaler Whaler

    I think a couple reasons why there don't seem to be as many Muskie anglers as there used to be is the high cost of fuel and the high cost of lures. Most guys don't make their own lures so therefore they have to pay through the nose for ones they buy.
    I used to be heavy into Muskies but I'm getting lazy in my old age and just don't put as much time in on them as I used to. Now I troll one rod with a small Walleye lure on it and one with a large Muskie lure and I find I get more Muskie on the small lure than I do the large lure.
    There's no secret to catching Muskies though. You just have to put your time in. The most I ever caucght at West Branch was four in one day but I have gone for weeks without a hit from one. They are fun when you get one one your line though !
  19. Sounds good to me too. It would be nice to put faces and names together. I only fish WB spring and fall as I have a 14' w/ a 9.9, so depending on when it was I would be there also.
  20. MuskieJim

    MuskieJim Trophy Tamer

    I'm in too. We should plan the outing around ice out, when those muskies are going to be hungry and feeding!