Larry's Fishing Hole Fishing Reports

- We Wish You All SAFE & GOOD FISHING..!
We appreciate all who visit and read these reports.
Your support makes all the work worthwhile.
Thanks to all who help supply reports for us to share with fellow anglers.

We strive each week to compile the best reports possible.
However, we cannot assure total accuracy of info supplied along with any human errors that may occur.

- We welcome any fishing reports or photos you wish to send us for sharing with other anglers -
God willing we will try to keep these reports going to share with you again this year..!

UPDATED Feb. 22, 2017

a SAFE & HAPPY 2017..!


Fishing success depends on many factors such as an anglers experience, the baits/lures used,
  the presentations/techniques, weather and other variables. Our goal is to share information to help anglers
  improve their fishing success by making good decisions.
We continue to seek out and secure weekly reports on fishing conditions for most lakes
  and rivers in Central IL.
If a lake is not mentioned, it is due to a lack of current and/or useful information.
Many of our reports are from supportive anglers willing to share info to assist other anglers.
  Ultimately the real test of any lake or stream is to fish it.   GOOD FISHING.!

- Something you must consider is that fishing reports were about things and conditions that have already happened.
  It is not always a forecast or a look into the future but a good starting point when heading out.

-- This past 5 days the weather has been Awesome and several out fishing..
Only problem is makes us feel like Spring is here and looks like a cool down coming..
- Water temps in many area lake are in mid 40s yet..
- Spring is getting Closer..!

** NOTE -- There are still a few Lakes Closed during winter season..
-- Check below in reports for those Closures..
* As of Feb. 15th, Powerton Lake has Re-Opened to Boat fishing for the season..
** NEW this year will be guided Catfish trips with Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service on Powerton Lake starting mid February. I talked with Matt and he already has trips scheduled, so to book your Catfish catching trips for this year contact Matt by Calling 217-855-8406   or FB- * Tell him Larry told you to call..

For State site Closures or partial Closures due to weather or seasons,
  Check IDNR Closures page for full list & more info as they update it.

* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

- The 2017 Illinois Spring Trout Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season Opens March 18 at nine sites
AND Illinois Spring Trout Season Opens April 1st at 52 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
Click HERE for a full list of sites and details.

* The 2017 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available online at IDNR website

- 2017 Illinois fishing, hunting & sportsman´s combo licenses are now available from DNR Direct license vendors,
online at IDNR website or by calling 1-888-673-7648.

* There are several New Illinois Laws for 2017,
Here are couple that pertain to Fishing:
- - No catch limits on private fish ponds Public Act 99-532, House Bill 5796
Illinois law limits the number of fish a person with a fishing license can legally catch in a 24 hour period.
House Bill 5796 creates an exception for people fishing on fish ponds located on their own private property.
- - Permitting bowfishing for catfish Public Act 99-867, House Bill 5788
Bowfishing is the practice of taking a fish with a spear or a bow and arrow. Existing Illinois law limited
the kinds of fish that can be taken through bowfishing. HB 5788 added catfish to the Fish Code list of fish
that can be taken with sharp weaponry.
* this one has caused some confusion & questions.
  Here is the IDNR answer to clear up * Bowfishing for Catfish *

- The U.S. Coast Guard has a Free boating safety app designed to provide additional resources for mobile users. Watch USCG app features video with download info & more


  - Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit   their  website   links   on the right..   ----------------------------------------------> > >


- Connor tells us "The wife and I hit our little private pond on Sunday for the 2nd time this year and were able to catch some fish. In a few hours fishing, we caught a couple Bluegills, a few small Bass, and a few grass Pickerels. No Crappies yet but I am sure they will be showing up earlier than usual this time of year. All fish were caught on slip bobber rigs, set a few feet down tipped with small hair jigs and Gulp Alive ice leeches."
- We also heard from Bill who fished a private lake near Bloomington over weekend and caught couple small Bass, some Bluegills and few Crappie.

  -   NORFORK LAKE in Arkansas
For current reports or to set up an Awesome fishing trip (we highly recommend), check Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters at
- Here is latest Report/tips from Tom:   Everything on Norfork Lake says it is spring, warm air, breezes, fish biting, trees budding yet the calendar says February. I have been doing things liking catching fish in 30 foot of water and catching bait in 2 1/2 foot of water.
The bait is all over Bennett´s Bayou. Large schools of threadfin shad and gizzards, crappie are being caught over brush piles in 8 foot of water and the young male white bass are being caught from shore. All these things point to a very early spring.
I just keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, a cold blast and some ice. I hope not because this could be the greatest spring of fishing we have ever seen. Last year started off warm and then April turned into early March with very cold weather and lots of wind. Let´s hope not!
Late afternoon in Bennett´s Bayou the surface temperature had reached 55 degrees. With the warmer nights the lake should maintain some of the warmth and stay in the low to mid-50s. There are some large schools of white bass in Float Creek feeding heavy on shad before they move up the creeks to spawn. You should be able to find them in most creeks as long as the weather stays warm.
It is now time to move from the deep water and start looking on the flats for roaming schools of stripers. I found stripers by Fouts Marina in waters ranging in deep from 30 to 45 foot.
Friday I took Dick out for some pre-fishing vowing not to fish in any deep water. We went directly to Fouts Marina and started looking along the bluff and kept moving in front then parallel to Fouts. I found schools of stripers in 40 foot of water and started fishing. We were fishing with threadfin and gizzard shad. I ran 2 floats, 2 free lines with a split shot, 2 planner boards, and 2 down lines. We fished all morning and boated 2, loss 3 at the boat, and had 6 other strikes. I continued to mark stripers all morning zig zagging back and forth between 30 and 45 feet.
With this warming trend I suggest getting out there and start your spring fishing in February instead of March.
A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at for everything Norfork Lake!
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 36 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at   or 870-421-1541 or on Facebook
** Reading these Norfork reports it is hard to know the time and work involved to get & keep bait to be able to catch these awesome fish, but We can verify the time and how much work it is for a live bait fishing guide as we spent 2 days with Tom from start to finish of day to understand "A day as a Guide" and all the time and work involved.   Read our full STORY HERE

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
* New permits are required for boating and fishing each year - are free and available at Dickson Mounds Museum, 10956 N Dickson Mounds Rd, Lewistown, IL from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call The Nature Conservancy at (309) 547-2730.
- - Check their site for updated rules or go to Official Site RULES file.

  2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N & then next right.
* * LAKES are CLOSED for the Season..

- While planning to make a Fishing trip to Rend Lake,
  make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD past weekend on jigs along break from 9-15 foot
- - The US Army Corps wants to Reminds us all:
- - "Please fish safely! Always buckle up your life jacket on the water! "   And:

  - Please use these collection stations
  for recycling monofilament fishing line
  provided at various locations around Lake.
  For more info feel free to contact
  the Rend Lake Project Office at
  11981 Rend City Road, Benton, IL 62812
    or   by phone at   618-724-2493


** This Lake is CLOSED for the season

CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
* 2017 New Fish Limit Regs =   Walleye . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit
Blue or Channel Catfish . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit, singly or in the aggregate

  - Guide Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake
    Catfish Guide Service

  A quick trip on Clinton Sunday morning yielded
  a nice 10 fish limit of Channels and Blues mixed.
  All released of course, just feels good to say limit.!

- Guide Terry Davis tells us: "Had a weekend full of limits of crappie and fun guide trips.
  The warm weather had just about every tactic working. Most fish were caught corking 3 to 4 ft with
  Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Pearl white and Hot Lips. Jigging was also effective but once that sun came
  up and warmed the banks the shallow bite was on! Stop by Ol' Joe's before hitting the lake to get geared up.
  Only dates available in March are the 6th and 11th."   Check out his new website to book your trip now!

  Rick caught this nice Crappie at Clinton Feb. 19th.

- Over weekend the fishing was FAIR around 48 bridge area (water temp in high 60s) with small Bluegills,
some Crappie and whiteBass with also some small Bass and a Walleye..
- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports and ALL your fishing needs
* Ol´ Joe says the Bait Shop is FOR SALE as well as the Building next door, just give him a call at 217-935-6244 if interested..!
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge is CLOSED and will re-open on MARCH 31st...
As of Jan. 25th - The dock at West Side boat access was still Closed pending repairs.
-- Contact Terry of Feel the Thump Guide Service, at   to book Crappie fishing trip on Clinton Lake * Tell him Larry told you
-- Contact Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service to book Catfish catching trips
this year with night or day trips available on Weekends. Call 217-855-8406   or
  FB -  * Tell him Larry told you to call..
* Places to stay while at Clinton Lake are - the Holiday Inn Express hotel, the newest hotel in Le Roy, IL  
AND - Days Inn in Le Roy, IL   both Just off I-74 between Bloomington and Champaign,
  only 17 minutes from Clinton Lake. Make your reservations today (309) 962-4439 or (309) 962-4700

COFFEEN LAKE - SE of Hillsboro off Rt 127 or south of Coffeen off Rt 185, site office 217-537-3351.
-- There is a 25hp motor limit.
- Ken tells us: "Coffeen Lake is at full pool and mostly clear throughout with water temps ranging from mid 50´s in the main lake to mid 60´s and low 70´s in the hot water arm. Many boats were out due to the warm air temps on Friday.
Bass fishing was Fair mostly on billed crankbaits and a ned rig.
No report on other species. Looks like there may be some early spring fishing if the mild winter continues."

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Guide Reagan Smith of Reag´s Guide Service says "Lake Springfield has been on fire this past week with
for White and Yellow Bass. Crappie are picking up slowly but surely. I had a few trips this week
a lot of success. Charlie Brewer Slider grubs in acid rain and Tennessee shad have been the hot colors.
I have been throwing an 1/8th ounce jig head with the Charlie Brewer Slider grubs
and have been using Big Reds - krazy blades."
  -- Check with Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle for your bait and current reports at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield 62703 just a mile west from the lake dam. You can call them at (217) 679-1800
** While there, Check out his New baits and the KRAZY BLADES - One of the best White Bass, Walleye and Crappie Lures made ..!

** This Lake is CLOSED for the season - will reopen in March ?

POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
-- WINTER HOURS (Through April 30th) will be: 8am - 4pm
  - Guide Matt Lamb of
 Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service tells us
  "The bite was tough on Powerton last Friday,
  but if you put your time in you will be rewarded."
  And this was his rewarded catch,
    a 43 pound BlueCat..!
  Check him out at:

** NEW this year will be guided Catfish trips with Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service on Powerton Lake starting mid February. I talked with Matt and he already has trips scheduled, so to book your Catfish catching trips for this year contact Matt by Calling 217-855-8406   or FB- * Tell him Larry told you to call..

SANGCHRIS LAKE - South of Springfield off I-55 Exit 82 - go east on Route 104 about 10 miles.
-- Lake has a 25HP limit, Lake site office # 217/498-9208 from 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Red´s Bait and Tackle for current reports at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..

- LINKS or Other Lake Reports outside Central Illinois. -

- For Chicago area and southern to central Wisconsin Fishing Reports check out the
Chicago Sun-Times Outdoors section by  Dale Bowman

- MARK TWAIN LAKE in Missouri
---Check Out The Fishing Reports from the Good people at South Fork Resort

- NORFORK LAKE in Arkansas
For current reports or to set up a fishing trip (we would recommend), check STR Outfitters at
--- View STR Outfitters Facebook page click here for real time up to date each day or read Tom´s fishing blog here at

If you are thinking of Fishing or Hunting this year
Check the Reports & specials from Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters

- Read about our Outdoor Writers/Broadcasters Visit a few years ago at Kentucky Lake.

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Hoss's Hawg Bait Hoss's Hawg Bait
The Dip Bait that is Easy
on the Nose,
and 2nd to None.

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Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club  On Rend Lake
Check with them for all your fishing or hunting outfitter
in the future !


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Fizards   Fish see it,
Smell it, Taste it,
Hear it and Feel it
Make your next bite an instinctive bite !

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Looking for a great getaway,
a piece of paradise at Kentucky Lake,
or a Great Business Opportunity to supplement your income while enjoying the outdoors and
excellent fishing;
Contact Jack & Jan at
High Ridge Resort


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Angling Adventures & Custom Rods

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contact Jonn Graham


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After a day on Lake
See Amy Morrison
For Hair appointment 309-369-7122

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3415 Meadow Ave
East Peoria, Illinois
& the Food is GREAT !

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  Holiday Inn Express, newest hotel in Le Roy, IL off I-74 between Bloomington & Champaign, only 17 minutes
from Clinton Lake.. Make your reservations today (309) 962-4439

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  Days Inn hotel in Le Roy, IL off I-74 between Bloomington & Champaign, only 17 minutes
from Clinton Lake.. Make your reservations today (309) 962-4700

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Red Head Barrels Handmade custom small oak barrels for aging

that make great gifts or to display in your home.