Busch Family Fish Farm no longer a secret


For the Sidney Daily NewsBusc



Margie and Rob Busch are the owners of Busch Family Fish Farm and Pay Lakes, 15030 Lock Two Road, Botkins.

Margie and Rob Busch are the owners of Busch Family Fish Farm and Pay Lakes, 15030 Lock Two Road, Botkins.


Margie Busch shows off the 6.5 pound bass she caught in pond No. 1 on May 23, 3017.


This photograph is of pond No. 1 and was taken in the fall.


BOTKINS — “Last year we reported that one of the best kept secrets for family fishing fun in Shelby County was Busch Family Fish Farm and Pay Lakes located at 15030 Lock Two Road near Botkins,” said owner Rob Busch. “We are delighted to report that our secret is getting out to more and more happy fishermen. We had our best fishing season ever in 2017 with fishing ticket sales increasing 250 percent over past years. We attributed this increase to a number of factors: favorable weather and relatively good fishing throughout the fishing season; outstanding word of mouth advertising and customer satisfaction; expansion of our customer base from about a 25 mile radius of Botkins to a 100 mile radius; and repeat customers who brought new customers with them.

His report continues:

We maintain a website (www.buschfamilyfishfarm.com) and a Facebook page (facebook.com/buschfamilypaylakes). Both have been instrumental in increasing our exposure and favorable reputation to prospective new customers.

Thirty-nine of 40 reviewers on our Facebook page gave us a 5.0 star rating.

Our facility is different from many pay lakes in several ways. We do not buy and stock the very large commercially harvested channel, blue, and flathead catfish obtained from public rivers and lakes. We raise our own fish that have been naturally produced from fish in our ponds or fingerling fish purchased from commercial fish farms and raised to a harvestable size on our farm. With good pond management and supplemental feeding, and the use of barbless hooks by fishermen, we strive to maintain healthy fish and minimize fish mortality. Consequently, our fish survive in good numbers and continue to grow for years. Our customers often comment on how hard the fish fight for their size. Our largest catfish will run 18-20 pounds, but most are in the 3-14 pound range. Hybrid bluegill ½ pound or larger and large mouth bass in the 1-5 pound range are routinely caught here.

Our facility has seven small ponds stocked primarily with channel catfish, hybrid bluegill, and largemouth bass. Our largest pond has some regular bluegill and crappie in it. We maintain a clean, attractive, quiet, and safe fishing facility equally enjoyed by men, women, seniors and children. Our customers appreciate this environment and are very conscientious about keeping it that way. We operate as a catch-and-release facility. We provide personal attention to those needing assistance while fishing. Our facility is never uncomfortably crowded. We sell bait and a few concessions. Customers are allowed to bring their own bait (no live fish), food and drinks. You do not need a fishing license to fish here. Fishing is by appointment only. We do not allow alcoholic beverages or night fishing.

We are optimistic about 2018. We think we have reached a critical number of satisfied customers who will continue to fish here in the future and introduce new customers to our facility.

What is on the horizon?

We have operated on a cash only basis until now. We are considering accepting credit cards in 2018. We may develop a tournament or two (preserving our facility rules and objectives) for a limited number of fishermen. We may offer fishing clinics for novice fishermen. We will strive to make our facility more handicap-accessible. We will strengthen our capacity to attract and accommodate more group events. We presently have indoor seating for 24 and a picnic shelter that seats 60 people. We have hosted family reunions, school groups, church groups, retirement parties, birthday parties, and community-sponsored fishing derbies for kids. Let us help you incorporate a fun-filled fishing experience into your plans for 2018. Call: 937-693-3640. Email: [email protected]

Margie and Rob Busch are the owners of Busch Family Fish Farm and Pay Lakes, 15030 Lock Two Road, Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_R-M-pic-copy.jpgMargie and Rob Busch are the owners of Busch Family Fish Farm and Pay Lakes, 15030 Lock Two Road, Botkins.

Margie Busch shows off the 6.5 pound bass she caught in pond No. 1 on May 23, 3017.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_IMG_0270.jpgMargie Busch shows off the 6.5 pound bass she caught in pond No. 1 on May 23, 3017.

This photograph is of pond No. 1 and was taken in the fall.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2018/02/web1_DSC02155.jpgThis photograph is of pond No. 1 and was taken in the fall.

For the Sidney Daily NewsBusc