Willow Brook Lake (143 acres) is home to a large number of hybrid striped bass. The lake was part of a 5-year predator study which ended in 2020 where high numbers of hybrid striped bass and flathead catfish were stocked to reduce over-abundant populations of gizzard shad and common carp, and also to increase growth rates of panfish. The first stockings of hybrid striped bass have now grown to harvestable sizes (>20 inches) but many fish from later stockings are smaller. Expect more hybrid bass to reach legal size over the next few years but be sure to immediately release sublegal fish so they can help improve the overall fishery. Hybrid bass are often caught casting or trolling in open water (where schools of shad occur) using a variety of active fishing lures such as rattle traps and road runners. A few flathead catfish are reaching larger sizes with 6 percent above the legal harvest size of 24", and the largest fish near 35 inches in our 2020 surveys.
White crappie fishing varies from year-to-year at this lake. The 2020 surveys showed good numbers of 8 -10 inch fish with a few individuals over 10 inches. As these young crappie continue to grow, numbers of 10-12" fish should increase in 2021. We also expect crappie growth rates will improve as the hybrid bass and flathead catfish populations mature. Fish brush piles and hinge-cut trees along the shoreline with plastics or minnow-tipped jigs. Channel catfish are abundant in the lake and range from 13-20" with some fish larger than 20". Cut bait and chicken livers work well for these fish during the spring and summer months.