2014 OHMC Fall Outing at East Fork State Park Sept. 27 & 28 Results
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.