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#11014095 - 08/01/15 05:14 PM Wheeler Branch
FlaNative Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 472
Loc: Between Azle & Lake Worth
I'm thinking of trying Wheeler Branch tomorrow and have never been there. I'll be fishing out of a small boat, so assuming they'll open the gates at 7am, how early do I need to be in line to be one of the first 15 boats?

Thanks in advance for your input!
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Steve Raulerson
Ranger RT188
Manta Ray 14
Florida Native by Birth, Texan by Choice

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#11014230 - 08/01/15 07:25 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
Ban-D Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 6707
Loc: Tx
You don't need to be there early to be one of the first 15 boats... I've never even seen more than one other boat and some kayaks. Just bring your $33.00 and fish. I would fish the grass line with a jig or senko.

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#11014268 - 08/01/15 08:00 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
Brad R Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 791
Loc: Texas
Actually, $25 for the boat and one occupant. Either John or Dave will be at the gate before 7. I have never known them to be late.

Correct! No rush to be 1 of 15. The most vehicles I have seen lined up at the gate was around 5 with half kayaks, half boats. Today, there were two of us.

They were letting water in the inlet today and that usually attracts fish, all species, over near the swimming platform. I caught two nice bass there today between the inlet and the swimming pier off of the little point separating the two. Stay out and a bit deep. I caught 2 more at the end of the day fishing the vegetation line, outside edge, from down at the low retaining wall near the dam and that boat house . . . while floating back up toward the boat ramp.

But, most of my luck was early fishing the dam side of the rock island straight out from the ramp. Only 2 were of decent size and then a half dozen or so 10" fish. I lost a couple of nice fish, too, but my land-ratio was actually really good today.

I used a drop shot rig all day long, the hook was about 13" or so above the sinker. And, I used one bait: roboworms in one of the purple shades/brown bottom (Aaron's Magic maybe) and a blue gill color boater Mike shared with me. Both worked great.

If something works better than roboworms on a drop shot, I am all ears!

Note, too, that Bill Wilcox did a Honey Hole episode out there and he caught almost all of his fish on top waters, a few it seems on worms. Watch for surface activity out there. They can be quite active and boil up all over the place at times. I saw two pods of bass boiling up down by the spillway a few months ago and they were about 50 feet in diameter each with a bass every square foot chasing bait fish. Really great to see.

Gosh, I hope today was a sign of a turn-around out there. It has been tough since the rain filled it up. Great today, though!

Brad


Edited by Brad R (08/01/15 08:02 PM)
Edit Reason: oops

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#11014310 - 08/01/15 08:25 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
Ban-D Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 6707
Loc: Tx
I was going off a boat and two people,sorry for the wrong info.

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#11014388 - 08/01/15 09:31 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
stetson Online   content
Angler

Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 319
I will be out there tomorrow and Im gonna throw jigs and Arigs offshore the whole time, how I've caught them the best out there lately
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Tarleton State Bass Fishing
PB: 12.11 el salto
Trying to stick fish since 1994!

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#11014476 - 08/01/15 10:27 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: Ban-D]
FlaNative Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 472
Loc: Between Azle & Lake Worth
Originally Posted By: Ban-D
I was going off a boat and two people,sorry for the wrong info.


Nope, your info was correct... I expected $33 for me and buddy and the boat!

See you out there Stetson!
_________________________
Steve Raulerson
Ranger RT188
Manta Ray 14
Florida Native by Birth, Texan by Choice

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#11014692 - 08/02/15 07:34 AM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
361V Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4032
Loc: somervell county
25+8= $33.00 for two non-resident fishermen and a trailered boat. Makes that $10 I pay for myself & boat seem cheap. I told y'all to stay out of my backyard! :-)
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#11014789 - 08/02/15 08:58 AM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
COWBOYSFAN008 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 04/22/13
Posts: 172
Loc: Killeen, TX
Its like they want to keep non residents out of "their" lake! WTH!?
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"On the 8th day, God created the DALLAS COWBOYS"
" Now then, get your weapons-your quiver and bow-and go out to the open country to hunt some wild game for me" GEN 27:3
Real men love Jesus, don't wear scarves, pop their gum, or use an umbrella....IMO

<*\\\><
PHIL 4:13

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#11014914 - 08/02/15 10:06 AM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
Ban-D Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 6707
Loc: Tx
I think it's more like, "The residents use this water and already pay for it."

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#11014935 - 08/02/15 10:19 AM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: Ban-D]
Frank the Tank Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/27/13
Posts: 17644
Loc: Rockwall & a lake somewhere
Originally Posted By: Ban-D
I think it's more like, "The residents use this water and already pay for it."


Yep, I think thats why it's setup the way it is, and thats OK. Kudos to that county.
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Proverbs 3:5&6
Talon Lures - high quality, hand tied lures made in Texas.
Team McRib

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#11016229 - 08/02/15 10:19 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: COWBOYSFAN008]
361V Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 11/21/08
Posts: 4032
Loc: somervell county
Originally Posted By: COWBOYSFAN008
Its like they want to keep non residents out of "their" lake! WTH!?
WTH? I hate paying large fees anywhere/anytime but let's look at big picture. Every single property owner in Somervell County pays taxes to the Somervell County Water District every year when we pay property taxes. The SCWD was formed through these taxes to provide water to entire county. Wheeler Branch is just one piece of the big equation that makes up the SCWD. We payed for it. If it was free for county property owners it would not be "unfair". I don't have a problem with others using the lake "I built" but lets consider all the facts when deciding "what's fair". It was not built by the state or federal government. :-)
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#11016240 - 08/02/15 10:39 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
aquaholic1822 Online   content
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 4401
Loc: Grand Prairie
i fished from the bank friday at the inlet and caught them on topwater and weightless flukes
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#11016325 - 08/03/15 05:34 AM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
Brad R Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 03/09/15
Posts: 791
Loc: Texas
Yes, county residents paid for Wheeler Branch. Lone Star Chronicles did a nice write-up on it years ago. It averages around $200 to $300 a year for each county tax payer.

The state paid/pays for the fish, it also paid for the boat ramp. It uses the Paluxy River as its primary source of water. It cost $28 million to build it.

I am not resident.

The fair/unfair argument is just a matter of opinion, as it should be.

A good point is made that the 180 acres lake simply cannot accommodate very many more boats from all over the surrounding areas. I agree with that assessment. I can't even imagine what it would be like with unlimited boats out there . . . except that the operating authority correctly assumes, I think, that it would likely diminish the fishery.

$25 for a single and $33 for carrying along a partner will weed out boats interested in fishing the small lake. Squaw Creek, just 5 miles away, is a better fishery (certainly during colder months) and it isn't cheap and it attracts a heck of a crowd. And, you have to be off the water by 4 PM. and can only fish, from a boat, 3 days a week. Thursdays is bank only.

Fishermen will pay for access to nice lakes. Park you trailer and walk away in either of these two lakes and you could leave your windows rolled down, doors unlocked. And, the satisfaction of fishing a lake without skiers zipping by too close, jet skis making a nuisance? It is worth something.

Some very light trash on the banks on occasion, to be sure, but both fisheries are well maintained. I wish other lakes were as attentive to this.

Anyway, not so much on the fair/unfair issue, but from an operating point-of-view, I think they have the fisherman load dialed in pretty close to perfect. By extension, that means they have set their fees just about right.

One other general point: I don't think all that many fish are harvested from WB. Almost everyone is catch and release.

Brad

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#11018016 - 08/03/15 08:09 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
FlaNative Offline
Angler

Registered: 08/19/11
Posts: 472
Loc: Between Azle & Lake Worth
After my first trip to WB, I'm a fan! We didn't tear them up by any means, but Somervell County did a heck of a job setting up the park and its facilities. The water is crystal clear (which brings its own challenges) and for a small, trolling motor powered boat like mine, it's the perfect size for a day's fishing. It's a great mix of fishing and family fun, which I'm sure is what they were going for. I'll be back to try and figure it out; it's in my rotation now.
_________________________
Steve Raulerson
Ranger RT188
Manta Ray 14
Florida Native by Birth, Texan by Choice

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#11018067 - 08/03/15 08:20 PM Re: Wheeler Branch [Re: FlaNative]
stetson Online   content
Angler

Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 319
Awesome glad you liked it I spend to much time out there! But love it, couldn't make it out there sunday but will be out there sometime this week
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Tarleton State Bass Fishing
PB: 12.11 el salto
Trying to stick fish since 1994!

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