- Still some up & down weather with Cold & Windy conditions..
- Not much at all reported with the Winter weather..
-- Be Safe if you go out to Enjoy the Outdoors.
BE AWARE * Use Caution at launches
& Watch for Ice on ramps on mornings during Cold Weather.
- With freezing temps here and if your fishing for the year has ended,
here are some tips Getting Gear Ready For Winter . But if not,
there may still be a few more good days of fishing, just take precautions for cold temps.
** NOTE -- During Winter season & with waterfowl hunting seasons for Illinois,
some lakes will be CLOSED or Partially CLOSED to fishing.
-- Check below in reports for the Closure dates, with more info adding as provided to us..
For State site Closures or partial Closures due to weather or hunting seasons,
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.
- - For Waterfowl Season DATES
- Consider hiring a local guide for a fall fish catching day out. They will not only provide good info
but you will learn some useful fish catching techniques.
Check with the Guides that sponsor this page & listed in our reports below.
- - Notes Of Interest : -
- Fishing tournament organizers can now apply for 2018 Illinois tournament permits.
- The IDNR is asking for your help to gain important information about Muskies caught in Illinois waters by reporting them via
Muskie Creel Survey Report Card
The information gained from anglers is invaluable. This survey is jointly sponsored by the Illini Muskies Alliance and the IDNR. Completing this form as soon as you can after your catch is much appreciated!
* The 2017 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available online
at IDNR website
- and is effective till March 31, 2018
- 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.. -----------------------------------------------> > >
* One big thing to remember is no matter how fishing may be for us anglers,
those Bait Shop owners have worked hard to keep the best fresh baits for us all to catch fish.
Please make sure to stop by and support those local (family run) bait shops for your bait, supplies and
for current reports and/or tips. This will help to assure they make enough to stay in business and
will be there for all us anglers when we need bait.
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- - Our friend Mark tell us:
"Couple weeks ago fishing was pretty good to me with
about a dozen fish and a couple of good ones over 5 lbs.
The following weekend was a little slow with only 1 over
3 lbs. Water temps was around 45 degrees
and water clarity 4 to 5 feet."
- OTHER LAKES & RIVERS in Illinois -
- Rice Lake is CLOSED to fishing and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
For - OTHER LAKE REPORTS outside Illinois -
they can be found at bottom of this page or Click HERE
ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
- - THIS AREA is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake
during waterfowl season with bank fishing Only allowed.
BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
** THIS AREA is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING..!
AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM but NO FISHING ALLOWED in EAST POINT ACCESS AREA, (lakes to the East)
which is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING to provide a GOOSE REFUGE AREA during season till Feb. 1st - -
DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake
* * THIS LAKE is CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season and remains CLOSED till Feb. 1st --
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
* New gates at Emiquon further science of floodplain restoration Read this
PJStar article with photos..
* 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.
** REMINDER : Fishing is ONLY Allowed from noon to sunset During the Central zone waterfowl hunting season..
No boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl hunting season. Lake users should be aware that hunting might occur on the Preserve other times as well.
- - Check their website for updated rules or go to Official Site RULES file.
EVERGREEN LAKE - North of Bloomington to Exit #8 on I-39, and West just over 1-mile and turn left (south) at sign.
* This Lake has BOATING FEES and Evergreen Lake remains a 10 hp (or less) lake.
- - A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE - AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st
to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR ONLY IN THESE AREAS.
HEIDECKE LAKE -
* Lake is CLOSED for the season..
HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES -
2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N & then next right.
* * Lakes are CLOSED for season..
LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan -
LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- Crappie Guide Terry Davis says: "Had another good day
on the water with Brent. It was pretty cold but we got on the
fish quick and were able to get our limit in a couple hours
and back to the trucks to get warm. Water temps are holding
right around 40 degrees. The fish are still pretty aggressive
as most of them that we brought into the boat you couldn´t
see the jig so they were really wanting it.
Call 309-212-6817 for more info.
McMASTER LAKE at - SNAKEDEN HOLLOW - - NW of Peoria, just 1 1/2 miles East of Victoria South off IL Route 167,
and there is a 10HP limit. 309-879-2607
** THIS AREA is CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season --
And reopens to fishing after central zone goose season ends, typically on February 1st each year.
PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area - 217-452-7741
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
* Reminder of Partial Closures
during Waterfowl Season -
- from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th
Lake access is CLOSED until after 12:01 PM
on Wednesday & Saturday.
REND LAKE -
- 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 and ask about guided fishing too..
- - Here is latest Fishing Report from US Army Corps who says:
- - "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
SHABBONA LAKE -
- - This Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.
- - - Park hours November thru January 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
- Read a blog saying there is skim ice in the bays....
SPRING LAKE (South & North) - Just south of Pekin off Manito Blacktop, 5 miles northwest of Manito,
and there is a 25HP limit. (309-968-7135)
**THIS AREA is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area
-- with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm--
- AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ALL DAY ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at
north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats --
and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day..
- Our friend Dustin tells us his last trip to Spring Lake
with the flyrod before they closed for
the waterfowl season, he caught this Tiger Muskie..
Any thoughts on how a tiger got dumped into the lake?
- - - - SOME ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
BALDWIN LAKE - Just north of Baldwin off Route 154. - site Office 618-785-2555
--- There is a 50hp motor limit
-- Winter Hours 8 am - 4 pm through Feb. 15th
-- Hours: February 16 - April 15: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
** Closed Christmas and New Year's Day * check with site Office 618-785-2555
A SOUTHERN PORTION OF LAKE Is CLOSED During Waterfowl Season from Nov 1st till Feb. 1st
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
-- Daily Hours will be 6 am - 6:30 p.m.
* 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
Ol´ Joe tells us: "Lake Clinton is on the bite. With the coming cold weather and the dropping water temps, the Crappie and White Bass bite has been super. To give you an example the water temp at DeWitt Bridge is in the low 50s and at Route 54 bridge it is in the low 40s. Great bites at both places and with warmer weather coming next week, it should be at its best."
Also: "Am trying very hard to sell my business in 2018, so if anyone is interested,
please call me at 217-935-6244. Health, main reason."
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge
is CLOSED for season and remains Closed typically until April 1st (but due to weekend, could be March 30th in 2018.?)...
A PORTION OF LAKE FROM ABOUT IP POINT UP TO 54 BRIDGE IS CLOSED
COFFEEN LAKE - SE of Hillsboro off Rt 127 or south of Coffeen off Rte 185, site office 217-537-3351.
-- There is a 25hp motor limit.
* During the Central Zone waterfowl season: No fishing north of the railroad tracks (upper pool) until after 1pm daily through Jan. 31st
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD over weekend with a couple really nice fish caught..
--- 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..! BigRedsBait.com
LaSALLE LAKE -
* This Lake is CLOSED for the season..
NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
As written in the fishing regs booklet :** The cold arm of Newton Lake shall be CLOSED daily
from one-half hour before sunrise until 1:00 pm to all fishing and boat traffic except for legal waterfowl hunters
during waterfowl season commencing with regular duck season through the close of the Canada goose and regular duck season.
* For here - Regular South Waterfowl Season for 2017: Nov. 23 - Jan. 31
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- - THIS LAKE is CLOSED TO ALL FISHING - -
and set to REOPEN TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 26th AND NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th - -
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.
* * THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic
effective Oct. 18th through Jan. 31, 2018
(during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
- 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 an Awesome fishing trip (we highly recommend),
check Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters at www.stroutfitters.com
- Here is latest Report from Tom: -
The striper bite on Norfork Lake is very good right now. The stripers are feeding on flats in the 30 to 40 foot range. There are large schools of shad roaming the flats and the stripers are cruising within the shad.
I pre-fished Friday (Dec. 8th) on the flat near 6B using small shad and at one time had 5 stripers on the lines. We managed to catch all of them and for the next hour we landed 8 more. The wind was blowing hard so I quit.
Stripers are also being caught near Blue Lady. The best bait to catch stripers are shad, shiners, and spoons. Find the bait and the stripers, hybrids, and white bass will be feeding on them.
As the weather turns colder in December the stripers will move to their winter feeding grounds. The best places to find them is Float Creek, 101 Area, Bidwell Point, the flat above the 101 bridge, and the channel between the 62 and 101 bridge. The bait will settle in depth ranges from 40 to 80 feet but most of the time the range will be about 40 feet.
You should see large bait balls with stripers on top and inside the balls. Set your bait right above the shad since most of the fish are staying inside the bait balls then coming up in big bunches to feed. Small shad works great but large shiners and spoons will also work now and thorough to spring.
Tom & Sean Reynolds have fished Lake Norfork for over 51 years and they guide out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com , 870-421-1541
or on Facebook
We have fished with Tom a couple times and would highly recommend you caontact him for your next fishing trip.!
- Read about our Outdoor Writers/Broadcasters Visit a few years ago at
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