OHMC has come up with an unbelievable raffle starting with the Ohio Muskie Show and extending on to our Summer Contest. The drawing will be July 12, 2015 and the winner need not be present to win.
The centerpiece of the raffle is a custom built St. Croix rod built by OHMC Trustee Robert Neville. The rod is built on a St. Croix SlingBlade blank with only the highest quality components. Check out the custom handle, wraps and guides in the pictures with this post. The pictures show the custom rod next to a standard St. Croix Slingblade rod. You need to see the rod in person to fully appreciate the craftsmanship.
The rod is paired with a Calcutta 400B reel spooled with 80# Power Pro line.
With the rod and reel comes a Lexan Big Bait Tackle Box built by Mike Mordas including 10 fish catching muskie baits. The 10 baits included will have at least one bait built by Ed Latiano and a couple of others with teeth marks in them.
Finally to give the winner a even better chance to catch a muskie, the raffle includes a full one week stay in a cottage at South Fork Marina on Leesville Lake.
Awards Banquet / Annual Business Meeting – McCalls in Canton – March 28
Minnow Fund Outing – West Branch – May 2 & 3
Division Day – Alum Creek – June 5
Spring Outing – Alum Creek – June 6 & 7
Summer Contest – Piedmont – July 11 & 12
PM Bite – Leesville – August 15
Fall Outing – Piedmont – September 26 & 27
How often do we get the opportunity to try out a new Ohio muskie lake? We had members from across the state come to the Cincinnati area to test this newest program lake. Members drove from Toledo, Cleveland, Lima, Akron, Steubenville, Columbus, Dayton, Rogers, and other areas. We also had some local anglers register and we even gained some new OHMC members over the weekend. The weather was picture perfect from Thursday through Sunday with temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees. The water temperatures were warmer than some may have expected with those numbers being 72 to 76 degrees.
The campground came to life starting on Thursday as some of us decided to make a long weekend out of the event. By Friday the area filled in nicely and soon we were enjoying campfires, great food, beautiful clear starlight skies, and the laughter of friends getting together. We had registration on Friday evening and Saturday morning and were pleasantly surprised to have 30 anglers for the event.
As the fishing got underway it was apparent that these muskies are not hurting for food. I have never seen balls of shad like those at East Fork. There was what seemed like billions of shad in the lake. We also saw several majestic bald eagles, a couple of otters, successful hawks catching fish, oh and did I mention…we saw shad. The lake has quite a bit of deep water and loads of standing timber.
There were a few catfish caught, one bluegill that I know of, and even a row boat that got caught, but the muskies did not show up in any of our nets. It was not for a lack of effort as there were a wide variety of techniques that the participants attempted to coax a fish to strike.
As we gathered on Sunday afternoon for the event closing, I think most of us were shocked that no fish were caught. We conducted a 50/50 raffle which was won by Jerry Rice. That was a fitting reward for someone that had generously donated baits to our raffle and had once again done a fantastic job of cooking our steaks for the weekend. We also had a door prize drawing for every person that was at the closing as a small token of appreciation for coming out. Thank you to Mr. Ray McMaster who also showed up to fish and donated baits for use in our raffle.
Ohio Division of Wildlife Inland Fisheries Program Administrator, Mr. Scott Hale made the drive down East Fork for the closing on Sunday and had many very kind remarks for the group. He reminded us that some lakes take longer than others to develop as viable fisheries and pointed to the early years of Alum Creek and Caesars Creek as prime examples where patience in the program has paid great dividends.
I have to thank our board of trustees for showing up such a long distance from home to participate in the event. Most importantly, Thank You to the anglers that came out in support of both the club and the stocking program.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife will soon be tagging Muskie as part of the four reservoir (Alum Creek Reservoir, Clear Fork Reservoir, Leesville Reservoir, and Salt Fork Reservoir) angler use and emigration study. The dates for tagging are currently scheduled as September 16th, 18th, 23rd, 25th, 30th, and October 2nd. However, later dates may change due to available numbers of fish and weather events. All tagging is planned to occur at the London State Fish Hatchery, located at 2470 Roberts Mill Rd, London, OH 43140.
As before, volunteers that are interested in assisting in the tagging process are welcome and appreciated. For anyone interested in participating in the tagging, we ask that they please contact Kevin Page (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible, so we may plan accordingly. Tagging commences at 9:30 am each day and lasts approximately 2-4 hours, depending on the number of Muskie being tagged that day.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have and thank you all for your support!
The OHMC will host our first ever event at East Fork State Park in Bethel, Oh on September 27th and 28th. The lake has been stocked with fish for 7 years and should be holding some huskies by now. This event is very important as a benchmark test to empirically observe how well the muskies are progressing in this new fishery. If you have any chance to come to the Cincinnati area to enjoy the weekend fishing with us, please do so. It will be fantastic when we provide valuable data to the ODNR about the quality of the fishery by catching and reporting some fish at East Fork.
ODNR formed our club in 1961 and one of our clubs’ stated purposes remains to “…provide the Ohio Division of Wildlife with statewide information on muskie catch…”. It is not a frequent occurrence that we are called on to provide data, but the time is NOW. We need as many anglers as possible to fish this event to really gauge how the fishery is progressing. I recognize this will be quite a journey for most of our membership. Please consider helping us continue our longtime partnership with the ODNR and showing how much we appreciate the quality muskie fishing that we all enjoy around the state by making the trip to East Fork for this event.
Many of the OHMC trustees will be camping in the area “Loop D”. There will be signs placed to direct you to the registration area. We will be having registration, raffles, and event conclusion at the campground. The entry fee for this event will be $10 and as usual there will also be the optional $5 Big Fish pool for those that are interested. If you are not camping, you can still enter the camp area by stopping at the camper registration checkpoint and indicating that you are with the OHMC. We have made special arrangements with the park manager to allow non-campers to enter the area. We will be conducting registration on Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 and again on Saturday morning from 7:00 to 8:00. If you need to register outside of those hours, please contact Paul Anderson at 740-381-8181 or on VHF channel 68.
There will also be a Steak Fry at the campground on Saturday evening at about 8:00. Steaks will be $13 each and must be ordered and paid for in advance. Our cost for these highest quality ribeye steaks has raised must be passed on. We are NOT profiting from the steaks. There was some discussion about reducing the thickness to keep our cost in check, but at the last event, all the feedback we received was that participants would rather keep the quality of the steaks as it has been recently and to pay a little more if needed. Your steak payment must be received no later than Saturday, September 20th. Please order early as there will be no extra steaks purchased and the order must be called in to the butcher by that day. You can mail your payment to: OHMC, 111 Anderson Lane, Bloomingdale, OH 43910.
The event fishing hours will be from 7:00 Saturday morning until 1:00 Sunday afternoon. All fish must be turned in by 1:30 Sunday. We will be holding the raffle drawings at the conclusion of the event at the campground at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon. First and Second place trophies will be awarded to our winners at the 2015 OHMC banquet next March.
I look forward to seeing you at our newest Ohio muskie lake!
The OHMC and Muskies Inc. Chapter 19 held our 2014 Annual PM Bite joint event on August 23rd at Petersburg Marina of Leesville Lake. The event started off with registration beginning at 10:00 and the shore lunch beginning at 11:00. We had a bait raffle and a 50/50 raffle. There were some very nice prizes on the table, including a walleye charter for Lake Erie donated by Petersburg Marina. The 50/50 paid out $73 to our winner Mark Porter. We had some fantastic grilled goodies served up by our host Mr. Elmer McClure. There were lots of good side dishes and some nice cold refreshments to wash them down with. It was a new way to kick off the event and seemed to be well received by all those in attendance. Thanks to everyone that brought all the great food!
We had 40 anglers register and head out to tame the beast. The weather was ideal with mostly sunny conditions that made for a great day on the lake. The fish were not impressed with the weather and for many anglers we were left without any slime to show for our efforts. Not all entrants struggled though, as they were able to crack the code and catch some fish. We also had some really nice salad bowls caught along with the ever present tree and rock snags and even a volleyball caught by a UFO boat.
When the event concluded at midnight, we met back up at the ramp to tally the results. Our big fish for the event was witnessed and photographed by myself. As it turns out, I have witnessed the big fish caught for every OHMC event this year. I may not be any good at catching fish, but my timing for trolling near the eventual big fish winner is impeccable.
Russ Roberts caught a 40.00” fish worth 14.00 points and unfortunately lost a second fish out of the net which therefore did not count since it was not measured. Sorry for the bad luck buddy, but at least you got to catch the fish.
George Kourkounakis landed a 42.25” huskie worth 16.25 points and a Third Place finish.
David Baio got two subs along with three more at 41.00”, 38.00”, and 31.00” for a total of 32.00 points which earned him a Second Place finish.
OHMC Secretary Tim Smith landed a third huskie for the season that secured his first Dunmire Award. He had a 44.50” fish and a 40.00” fish to go with it for a total of 32.50 points and a First Place finish. He also won the big fish side pot of $190 for his trolling efforts. As with our Spring and Fall outings, we will award our First and Second place trophies at next years’ banquet. Congratulations to all those that caught fish!
Thanks to everyone that came out to support the clubs and enjoy the good times that are always present when we get together. The talk of “dreams”, meeting new friends, stories by Grandpa and many others, taking time to enjoy a sandwich on the lake, poking fun at each other, and of course the sound of the clicker; these are the things that make these events really fun and I look forward to the next one.
The 44th annual OHMC Summer Contest was held on July 12th and 13th 2014 at Salt Fork Lake. The weekend started off with registration and a few slushy beverages at the campground on a warm Friday evening. There were lots of members and visitors hanging around and as usual, there were stories, laughter, and lots of smiles. We were all glad to be blessed to be able to come out and enjoy the fun of chasing toothy critters.
The 2nd half of the registration was held at the old marina on Saturday morning with pancakes and coffee along with the anticipation that is ever present when anglers prepare to launch the boats. Soon the air had warmed into what would eventually become an oppressive 90 degree day with humidity that made it feel more like Florida than Ohio.
Sporadic fish reports filtered over the radio and it seemed as though all the anglers were intently focused on trying to repeat past success. We had casters working feverishly, persons jigging the bottom, trollers in open water, and some that tried all three strategies.
Sunday started off with the fear of the impending storms and had everyone break camp early in an attempt to avoid having to do so during a potential mid-day storm. We had a mixed bag of fishing success with a few anglers getting multiple fish and a few ‘skunks’ being taken. By the time closing ceremonies arrived, we were fortunate to just finish our activities before the skies broke open and luckily no one got wet.
We had 36 anglers fish the event with 12 fish caught. There was a trend towards the fish that were caught being nice fish and I know of two anglers that caught their personal best (Greg Eichen and Gloria Roberts).
First place went to Phil Cummins with two fish sizes 44.00” and 37.75” worth a total of 29.75 points.
Second place and Big Fish went to Gloria Roberts with one fish of 45.00” worth 19.00 points.
Third place went to Junior member Charles Neville with one fish of 43.50” worth 17.50 points.
Other anglers that caught fish were:
Syl Trunkett – 42.50” (16.50 points)
Jeff Ferjutz – 34.25” and 33.50” (15.75 points)
Greg Eichen – 41.50” (15.50) points)
Elmer McClure – 40.00” (14.00 points)
Russ Roberts – 34.00” and 32.00” (14.00 points)
Paul Andeson – 36” (Club President not registered for event)
We are now half way to determining our annual event winner and Junior member Charles Neville has jumped out to a big lead with his first place finish at the spring outing and his third place finish at the summer contest. With two events remaining, the award is definitely still up for grabs though.
The door prize and raffle drawings were held during the closing and the winners were as follows: Angelo Maniglia won the 50/50 and donated his winnings to the Minnow Fund. (THANK YOU !) Jeff Clark won the camera sunglasses door prize for the longest distance traveled (3.5 hours). Tim Smith won the Lure Board. Anna Land won the Rod and Reel. The grand prize Sony PS4 was won by Alicia Anderson.
Thank you to everyone that helped make the event successful. Jeff Ferjutz, Rick Simpson, Tim Smith, John Ringenbach, Phil Ringenbach, Jerry Rice, and Alicia Anderson. We also had other trustees that were there, but had to exit early due to other commitments. Jake Lederer, Fred Lederer, Mike Reed, and Chirs Silverthorn. We are truly blessed to have such a great group of trustees. If you are able to help our club as a trustee, we still have several positions available and we would really appreciate any additional assistance that you might be able to offer.
We welcomed our newest OHMC Life Member Jim McConnell to the event and had had several other members that had not previously been to Salt Fork. It was nice to see some new faces and I hope you had an enjoyable time and felt welcomed as part of our group.
Thanks to all that showed up and I look forward to seeing you at the Nite Bite in August with our joint sponsor MI Chapter 19.
Links to various media covering the event from June 6th, 2014.
We are also anticipating an article by Robert Lowendick – President of the Outdoor Writers of Ohio.
Finally, OHMC Treasurer – John Ringenbach was on the Buckeye Sportsman radio program hosted by Dan Armitage during the Saturday, June 14th program. The interview with John is available via podcast at the link below. The muskie portion begins at about 22:00 and John did a fantastic job !
It’s really nice to get some good PR for Ohio’s muskie program.
The OHMC held our annual Division Day and Spring Outing at Clearfork Reservoir near Mansfield, Ohio on Friday June 6th through Sunday June 8th 2014. For several club officers, the weekend started on Thursday as we arrived early to setup for the event and get in a little pre-fishing. We had the entire overflow camping area reserved and over 20 club members took advantage of the opportunity for some group camping together. It was the largest crowd of members camping at one site that any of us could remember.
Division Day started off crisp and clear as we assembled in the pavilion that would serve as home base for the weekend activities. We had 10 club members guide 6 Division of Wildlife personnel and 4 Outdoor Writers of Ohio. Shortly after 8:00 we hit the water and soon thereafter the radio came alive with reports of fish in the net. The fishing was decent for numbers, but we certainly were not on pace to break any size records. With that being said, every guest came to me individually and indicated that they had a wonderful day. I reminded them that we cannot have such a great day without our members volunteering their time and resources to make it possible.
By 3:00 we were back on dry ground and taking in the pleasant smoke pouring from the grill as Rick Simpson and Tim Smith prepared our table fare of burgers and dogs. Along with some side dishes, we were all able to satisfy our bellies and enjoy the atmosphere of cooperation that has been a long time tradition of our organizations.
The tally sheet showed that a total of 7 muskies had been caught and that the winner was Nick Radabaugh who works as a Fisheries Biologist for the DNR. Nick’s winning fish was 34.50” and was netted by his guide Member Elmer Heyob. We had a couple of first time guides and they did quite well. Members Robert and Stephanie Neville guided Nick Jamison onto 3 fish for the day. Member Jack Neville guided Curt Wagner onto a fish and President Paul Anderson guided for Dan Armitage and his son Ethan. It worked out well as Ethan was able to catch his first muskies ever.
Thank you to all the guides that came out, which included Treasurer John Ringenbach, Secretary Tim Smith, 2nd V.P. Rick Simpson, Member Jack Whyde, Member Phil Cummins, and Member George Kourkounakis.
Saturday morning started off with pancakes and coffee along with an enormous bass tournament that overfilled the parking lot. Before the officers were done conducting the registration, the eventual winner had already landed a huskie. The rest of us were playing from behind for the entire event, and we loved it. That is because the nice fish had been caught by Junior Member Charles Neville. Being family friendly is also a proud tradition of our club.
When 5:00 rolled around we were about to have what were possibly the best steaks ever served at an OHMC steak fry. One inch thick enormous rib-eye steaks greeted the participants as they were served by club chef Jerry Rice. As has become a tradition over the last several years, OHMC 1st V.P. Jeff Ferjutz and Jerry came in early to fire up the grill and proceeded to cook our steaks with the masterful touch that all of us truly appreciate. We also conducted the raffle prize drawings after the steak fry. The Rod and Reel was won by Anna Land, the 50-50 was won by Jeff Ferjutz, and the Lure Board was won by Paul Anderson. Nearly every person that purchased a general raffle ticket left with a prize.
As the dawn cracked on Sunday morning we all realized that the perfect weather that had been enjoyed for the three preceding days was now over. Much of the day was raining and a few of those showers were very heavy. With the change in conditions, several entrants hit the water in hopes of encountering a hot bite. Most of us had misplaced our hopes and took a wet boat ride.
When the event concluded and we met back up at 3:30 the record showed that a total of 6 fish had been caught by 34 anglers for the Spring Outing on Saturday and Sunday.
Third place went to John Ringenbach with a 36.00” fish worth 10 points.
Second place and the $95 big fish pot went to Chuck Land, Jr. with his total of 21.5 points for two fish; sizes 30.00” and 43.50”.
First place and a mighty big smile went to junior member Charles Neville with his total of 42.00 points for his three fish; sizes 30.00”, 44.50”, and 45.50”.
Congratulations to all of our winners! They will receive their awards at our annual banquet next March.
Thank you to everyone that came out to support the event and the club!
The second annual Minnow Fund Muskie Outing was held on May 3rd and 4th, 2014. On Friday afternoon, the campground started showing signs of the upcoming event by 2:00 as the early birds set up tents and various cooking apparatus’s. Good food would be a theme for the weekend. Upon entry to the park it was immediately apparent that the flood warning which was still active had not been overly cautious. The lake was up about 5 feet and the water in the shallow areas was a witch’s brew of debris, silt, and choppy waves. The spawn, having arrived later than usual, was now over. This was the perfect storm of poor fishing conditions.
Even with such a poor opportunity, we still had 47 anglers sign up for the event and 29 of those anglers chose to participate in the big fish pool. We had persons sign up from OHMC and from MI chapters 16, 18, 19, 23, 41, & 56. We had persons sign up that had never fished an outing of any type and had no club affiliations whatsoever. Door prizes were assigned to random registrations numbers and our winners of those prizes were Bryan Mellon, Dakota Bechter, Mike Reed, Kevin Proffit, and Jen Martinez.
The campground came to life as the deep fryers and burners roared to life. Tim Smith cooked so much good food at the campground that nobody could possibly have left hungry. A few cold beverages washed down the fare for the evening as laughter and good camaraderie filled the air.
Saturday morning seemed to arrive just a touch early for some of us, but soon the griddles were burning and the coffee pot was singing my favorite song. Some fantastic pancakes soothed the crisp morning air as the registration was completed.
Now it was time to attempt to launch the boats and that was no easy chore. The parking lot at the old marina had water in it and the concrete walkways by the ramps were completely submerged. Most anglers traveled to Cabin Bay and to my knowledge, nobody had too many problems getting launched. The casters casted and the trollers trolled and the muskies rejected most of our offerings. The radio silence meant that either we were all catching fish or nobody had anything to report. Unfortunately it was the later.
By 1:00 it was time for a shore lunch and as the anglers filed in, the rain started falling. Fortunately, we had the shelter house and a wonderful group tent that had been brought and set up by Kevin Proffit and Rich Daniels. The raffle table opened up as we sold tickets for a lure board, rod & reel combination, 50/50, and a general raffle. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and break from the harsh conditions that were present on the water. Greg Them of Xtreme Muskie Lures had baits for sale and offered them at a price of two for $25 with $5 from each sale being donated to the Minnow Fund.
We chased fish for the balance of the day and for the first half of Sunday and most of us loaded the boats up with our tails between our legs. The raffle table opened up for the final sales as the fish that had been caught were reported. The tally sheet showed that a total of 5 fish were caught, although I’m fairly sure that there was at least one fish that was caught but not reported.
In fourth place with one fish caught was Rich Newman with a 36.75” fish worth 10.75 points. In third place was Gabe Rosplock with a 34.50” fish worth 8.5 points and a 31.25” fish worth 5.25 points for a total of 13.75 points. In second place was Mike Money with a 40.00” fish worth 14 points. In first place was Jack Whyde with a 44.50” fish worth 18.50 points. Jack also won $290.00 for having the big fish for the event.
Next we drew raffle ticket winners. The winner of the rod & reel combination was Paul Anderson. The winner of the 50/50 was Chuck Kuhlman. The winner of the lure board was Tim Smith. Every person that purchased a general raffle ticket won a prize.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to all those persons that donated, helped, or both. Those include, Alicia Anderson, John Ringenbach, Phil Ringenbach, Tim Smith, Rick Simpson, Jeff Ferjutz, Mike Reed, Kevin Proffit, Rich Daniels, Elmer Heyob, Greg Them, Jimmy Struznickle, Josh Marshall, Eli Trimmer, Cliff Honeycut, Ray McMaster, Ziggie Obidzinski, Mark Smith, Fred Pearson, Rich Newman, Guy Bechter, Tackle Industries, and anyone else that I may have overlooked.
Check out the pictures in the Photo section of our site.