Went out to West Branch Reservoir in Portage County for the first time in many years this week. We had a windy blue sky day with temps in the 60’s. West Branch ‘s water was 65 -70 degrees. Its the warmest water we have fished in this year. We saw healthy vegetation growing in 4 -6 feet of water, although all of our fish came off logs and brush along the shoreline. The water was very lightly stained, but West Branch is pretty clear, almost ocean-looking water.
We probably had the best day of catching we have had ever on West Branch. Caught a white bass on a jointed crankbait, but most other fish came either on a chatter bait or a 2K Jigs swim jig. Bluegill was the favorite color combination for the day. All fish were caught in 4 – 5 feet of water, in calmer bays. A few musky wanted in on the action, too! Almost caught one on a chatter bait.
West Branch seems like one of those lakes you could get lost fishing on. With 40 miles of shoreline at full pool, there are many cuts, creeks and bays to explore. We launched from the Rock Springs Rd. ramp (West Ramp), which is an improved 2 lane ramp with ample parking. There is plenty of shoreline to fish at this ramp, and there are picnic tables and benches for your convenience. We fished across the lake, up to the campground, hitting the cuts and bays along the way, and a small island. Stay tuned for another report, as we found it interesting enough to book a 5 day camping vacation there in August.
A note of interest for any walleye anglers out there – ODNR just stocked a million walleye on May 19th. Should be great walleye lake in a couple years!