West Branch walleye

Discussion in 'Northeast Ohio Fishing Reports' started by allstardreamma, May 19, 2007.

  1. I have had a very hard time finding the walleye on West branch this year. We have been skunked every time out so far. On a good note though, we always manage to find the crappie to keep the kids happy and wanting to go back out. I was hoping the excellent walleye bite that started a few years ago would continue but I guess not. Anyone else having luck out there on the walleyes? MAybe I forgot how to do it??
     
  2. Your post rings true, I feel like we have been fishing out of the same boat! I have been out 2 or 3 times this year at West Branch and have had the exact same outcome, been able to find the crappie but walleye are no where to be found, at least by me.
     

  3. i think with west branch the most ideal and active time is towards the evening.....thats at least what all the succesful posts have been at that time.....i personally haven't had any succes catching them....i have just basically been crappie fishing and if a bonus eye comes along then i am pumped....i only really target bass, crappie, and muskie out of west branch.....that lake really is a good lake to fish just because you never know what you'll catch.....when i was bass fishing i caught a pike....last year my buddy caught a 25" walleye fishing for crappie....i haven't learned the secret of west branch walleyes....so i just fish for what i can catch and then any bonus's i am happy
     
  4. there's really NO secret to WB walleye. The fact is, there's just not many in there! Testing by the DNR recently revealed a few small ones(lowest returns they ever recorded in a lake with walleye!) which supported Whaler and my statements to State Biologists that there definitely is 'some limited reproduction' of walleye there.(They were unaware of it.)
    They have not been stocked since 1992, and everyone who has fished there for walleye has caught some little ones, which supports the fact of 'some limited reproduction'. We suggested to the State that they invoke a 15" size limit because many smaller ones are being kept. They said since the electro-sampling shows reproduction is going on, they will pursue the size limit with the Bigs in Columbus but it propbably won't occur this year.
    Not to start a war of words, but I suggest to all our members that the small (under 15") walleye's be released as these are the basis for future numbers of walleye in WB. This lake is not like Mosquito with hundreds of thousands of fry being stocked every year-the State will never again stock walleye in WB since "the forage base is critically low" to sustain the vast numbers of other predator species there-and without these little guys to build on for the future, "walleye will cease to exist completely in West Branch"!!
     
  5. I thinks we should be returning the breeders also. I was out with Jig last night and we got six eyes and this SM. A couple of the eyes were 17", a couple 15", one 12" and a 6". It's nice to see that little guy. Here's the SM.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Good night of fishing, M-M. Yeah, maybe what the WB walleye need would be a "slot" limit. That seems to work just fine on some of the trout rivers out west and some of the canadian waters also. I do know a lot of muskie anglers score occasionally on some very large walleye and for the most part, put them back. The ODNR so far seems a little short-sighted sometimes with our game and fish limits. Over-all, I think they do a good job though. Esp. up on the big lake!
     
  7. Almost every walleye caught in WB is the result of very limited natural reproduction. If people would quit treating waterways like refrigerators and walleyes like "meat" fish maybe there would be decent fishing for naturally produced fish on this lake. I fear at this point the limited pop. has already suffered over-harvest. Once the word got out (on the net) that a few eyes were being caught on this lake the meathunters moved in and decimated the fragile population. My biggest WB walleye was 25" and she was released.
     
  8. Amen, MA! But it may not be too late! It will take time though as you said, the pop. is still very fragile. Thanks for your comments!
     
  9. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    6,701
    669
    2,398
    c.j., I think it is already too late without the ODNR beginning a stocking program for 'eyes there. It has a great habitat for them, but I agree with Master Angler in that the lake has simply too much pressure from good fisherman to be able to self-sustain a walleye population from here on out.

    The ODNR wants to manage WB for a muskie fishery, not a walleye one.

    Unless that were to change I think it will get fished out of walleye altogether in a couple of years.
     
  10. I agree. That's why I've decided to concentrate on muskies this year. If I run low on eyes in the fridge a trip to Erie will take care of that. My goal is now the state record muskie.
     
  11. thanks to all the cool guys on this site, i have been able to catch more fish because of them. wb can be a tough lake like any and i have walked away being skunked(and recently-hehehe) but i feel most that fish this lake are the ones going by the limit or c&r, sometimes we have to change our patterns and to where we felt we covered them all we still walk away with no fish, negative response levels from fish are a &%$^!!!!!! but i have had some great days out there and thats what keep me going back, i think this is still a great eye lake. sorry for writing so much dont usually but been workin alot so all emotional about gettin out again!!!!!
     
  12. Cool! Good luck with that! I'll be looking for the pic of that monster fish!!! :B
     
  13. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    6,701
    669
    2,398
    Is that it Steve? I wondered about you muskie fishing, that explains it then.

    I figure Mosquito and Erie will be the walleye lakes for northern Ohioans for the most part soon. They already are to a great degree.
    How many guys do you know who cut their teeth on Mosquito and then move up to fishing for Erie 'eyes? I know quite a few.
     
  14. Quite a few Jim. I'm kind of the exception. We caught eyes in Canada drift fishing for perch with Grandpa when I was little. Then my Dad had a boat and house trailer in Port Clinton back in the day. Used to fish the reefs out there but that was just basically bouncing an Erie Deerie off the bottom. I learned most of my eye fishing from Bobby, DVD, magazines, books, and TV then applying these techniques at WB of all places. Really tough place to learn. That's a lot of time and studying but it feels pretty good when you can have some success on that lake. I respect the DNR but feel they are a little off base with WB. From what Whaler has said they don't seem to be testing that lake at the right times and places. I have been out there at night and the graph is almost solid with bait fish. It kind of ticks me off that they will put 10 to 13 million walleye fry in Mosquito and none in WB. If they would just put a million or two in WB I would feel better about the future of the eyes there. A slot limit would seem to be in order also. Did you get out today?

    Thanks Gabmstr. I will definately be posting the pics if I get her. Now I have to study muskies. Feels like starting all over. lol
     
  15. The West Branch shad population was looked at a couple years ago by the dow. Its true that there is shad in there but there just isnt enough to support a hudge walleye population along with all the other predators that are present. I also believe that the reason that Misquito gets so many fry is because it is a brood stock lake (which means that the dow takes eggs out of it for all of ohio). I dont think that anyone would want to cut misquito (and possably the rest of ohio) short because a few walleyes are surviving at West Branch.
     
  16. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    6,701
    669
    2,398
    No Steve, I really wanted to, but decided to save the gas money for better weather conditions.

    One day later this week in the morning I'm planning right now.

    D3, what does it take to support a good muskie population? Are you saying the eyes would compete with the muskies for their food?

    You are right about Mosquito.
     
  17. A solid population of eyes definitely would hurt the muskie at WB. There's already, SM, LM, and white bass, plus crappie, northerns, and saugeye(a few)and maybe a few left over stripers/wipers??. All eating shad which do not populate the whole lake very well. Might be because of the ups and downs of the water levels? no idea why, but the State says it's one of our worst lake for forage so no eye stockings.
     
  18. we were comming to the marina ramp to pull our boats out ,but first maybe a few more casts . shut off ,threw afew, looked around and noticed the entire launch&marina bay .......it was anabsolute nervous surface just rippeling with minnows & fish chasing but,ODNR says no food base.! hmmnhph gofigure ! FRIDAY NIGHT 10:30 pm
     
  19. Yeah, I didn't want to argue Sonar. I've seen the same thing and more many times over. My graph has been blacked out with bait fish before. I'm not trying to knock the DNR guys but was just trying to say maybe they weren't looking in the right place at the right time. Whaler has stated he was with them during electro-shocking and it only works in shallow water. Wel if you aren't in the right area or it's not the right time to look shallow guess what, you're not going to see much. That lake has deep water real close to all the shallow stuff so the fish can move in and out in the blink of an eye.
     
  20. I believe that the state uses a boat equipted with a hydro-acustic sonar and looks at the whole lake. I saw them on Berlin one day and asked a bunch of questions. They drive back and forth in a zig-zag pattern covering the whole lake. This would mean (madmac) that they cover the whole lake, deep and shallow water. I guess that if you see a bunch of shad on your fish finder then your fishing in the right spot because thats going to be where all the fish are. There deffently not going to be in the rest of the lake were there is nothing to eat!!! Just think, when was the last time you were at west branch and you snagged shad like what happens at berlin. At least to me its a no brainer.