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 Sept. 20, 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.

- Friday Sept. 22nd is first day of autumn already,
and we are seeing some leaves starting to change color.
But is summer trying to come back as it will be a Hot 90 ?
- There was very little reported this past week and not much changed..
-- Hope You can get OUT and ENJOY the Outdoors.

** NOTE -- During Upcoming Winter season & with waterfowl hunting seasons coming in
        for Illinois soon, 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,
  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.

    - - For Waterfowl Season DATES

- Consider hiring a local guide for a 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 & those listed in our reports below.

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

Oct. 7th - The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season Opens at nine select locations -AND-
Oct. 21st - The 2017 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season will open
at 54 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. Click HERE for details & lake locations..
- Disabled Outdoor Opportunities website   - And Accessible Fishing Areas in Illinois

- For Bank Fishing Opportunities in Illinois that are easily accessible,
  visit IDNR Bank Fishing page

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

* 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..   -----------------------------------------------> > >

* 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.

- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream:
- White Bass were FAIR-SLOW
- Sauger were SLOW-FAIR
- - Near PEORIA/PEKIN Area:
  - Sean tells us he caught this
  Big Flathead on a blade bait
  near Pekin a week ago.
  Did not weigh it..
  Took some pics & released it..!

- Rice Lake will CLOSE to fishing on OCT. 21st with Last Day of Fishing being Oct. 20th and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..

  -   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 from Tom:   - September begins the transition to fall on Norfork Lake. The first half of the month striper fishing will be good but the second half of the month fishing for stripers usually falls off until the weather turns colder and the water begins to cool.
The first half of September you still want to fish the points with long flats and river channels in waters that range from 70 to 100 feet. You will see the stripers on or very near the bottom.
We use 4 and 5 oz. barrel weights with leaders and put the bait on the bottom then raise it a foot so the stripers need very little movement to feed on the baits. Gizzard shad are the best baits because they will live longer than the threadfin shad.
Some of the best points will be along the dam buoys, Long Point, the river channel along the dam, and Dam Cove. One or more of these points will hold fish in September once you find the fish they will usually be there for a long period of time.
Striper fishing usually tails off in the second half of September because of the nature of Lake Norfork. Every year the lake warms up to 90 degrees and the oxygen level gets lower and lower and the thermocline continues to move deeper in the lake. Stripers require 6 parts per million of oxygen to stay active.
By the middle of September that level of oxygen is gone down substantially and stripers become dormant and just lay on the bottom not wanting to eat or move to conserve energy. Once the weather cools and the lake start to cool down the oxygen level will start going up but will not return to normal until the lake turns over.
The lake turnover is a process that begins at the head waters of Lake Norfork some 47 miles across the Missouri state line and moves down slowly to the dam.
The dam area is the last place the lake will turn over since it´s the deepest part of the lake. One way to beat this is start moving your fishing up the lake towards shallower waters.
Since Norfork Lake is actually a wide river, the oxygen level will increase as you move up the lake. We start testing the waters around the state line the second half of September and begin fishing there all of October and November. By far this is the best area to consistently catch limits of stripers during the latter part of the year. We will be fishing in waters no deeper than 35 feet. You will see lots of bait and stripers feeding heavy on this year´s hatch.
The bass will still be in their summer pattern. Early morning top water, then jigs, worms and spinner baits are your best baits.
There are also great night fishing throwing jigs, worms, and black or red 3/8 oz spinner baits. You can catch fish all over the main lake and creeks.
As the water begins to cool the crappie will start moving up and start their fall feed. Spider rigging is the most effective technique to catch them. Brushy Creek and Big Creek, Bennett´s Bayou, Red Bank, Calamity Beach, and Pigeon Creek, will be your best choices.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. The stripers are in their summer pattern now but the fall bite is coming up fast so start you’re planning for some great fall fishing. A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at for everything Norfork Lake! For a real outdoor adventure, you might consider a striper fishing trip combined with a hunt. Hunting season begins in the second half of September with the early season for Blue Wing Teal and Canadian Goose. Bow season for deer begins the last week of September so you can find lots of things to do before the fall fishing begins. It´s a blast!
- 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

ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
- - THIS AREA will CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake on Oct. 21st with Last Day of Boat Fishing being Oct. 20th during waterfowl season with bank fishing Only allowed.

ARGYLE LAKE - In Argyle State Park SW of Macomb off US 136 309-776-3422
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for those with motors over 10hp.
* * This is one of the sites stocked for Fall Trout Fishing Season

BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
** THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING Oct. 18th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 17th)
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 - -

DAWSON LAKE - East of Bloomington Exit #149 on I-74, North (right) through LeRoy 4-miles on CH21 then East at Moraine View State Park sign.
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for those with motors over 10hp.
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits
- Bluegills were FAIR with mostly small fish
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on liver and some on dip baits with mornings and evening best recently.

DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake
* * THIS LAKE Will CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season on Oct. 1st with Last Day to Fish being Sept 30th and remains CLOSED till Feb. 1st --

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.
** 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 site 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.
  Bait Shop: 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. 7 Days/Week
  Boat Rental: 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. SAT. & SUN. ONLY


NOTE - When staff is not present at bait shop, please press buzzer on the front of the building for assistance or call the Visitor Center at (309) 434-6770.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs & spinnerbaits
- Bluegills FAIR on waxes or red worms along weed edges and shore area timber
- Crappie are FAIR-SLOW on jig and/or minnows
- White Bass are FAIR on jig/twisters, inline spinners and small crankbaits

 With Fall & Good Fishing is near, Contact Paul Center of Angling Adventures
  at (309) 454-8942   for your Guided Fishing trip on Evergreen Lake or Lake Bloomington..


- - Lake is OPEN daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
- Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times tells us:
* Last day of Fishing is Oct. 10th than lake will CLOSE for the season..
** NOTE: Heidecke Lake bank fishing is closed until further notice; due to an incident over weekend that damaged a section of fence and the gate. However, the boat launch is still open. Please note that it is bank fishing only that is closed while repairs are being made. The IDNR mentioned : Milliken Lake at Des Plaines SFWA in Wilmington is the closest lake for bank fishing opportunities.

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

LAKE BLOOMINGTON - North of Bloomington to Exit #8 on I-39, and East for 3 1/2-miles.
---This Lake does have a BOATING FEE with a 40hp limit and Permit Required.
* 2017 New Fish Limit Regs =   Striped, White, or Hybrid Striped Bass . . . .
  10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit, with no more than 3 Fish greater than or equal to 17 inches
Walleye . . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit

- Bass were FAIR at times on plastics, crankbaits and jigs
- Bluegills are FAIR but small on waxies or nibbles
- Catfish are FAIR on cut baits with some on dip baits.
- White Bass were FAIR but also reported as Slower at times..?

* For a guide trip on Lake Bloomington or Evergreen Lake yet this year, contact Paul Center of
  Angling Adventures at 309-454-8942

* Good News For bait:  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   is OPEN for the season..!
*Check with them for latest reports they may have   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso, IL on US 24  

LAKE EUREKA - This Lake is only 30 acres, and is a good place for the family and kids, a lake where the whole shore line can be fished, there is a boat ramp and ONLY trolling motor use is allowed and if boat has a Motor on it, you must have a City Motor Permit but still May Not start it for any reason.!
* For bait, Check  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop 2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso, IL on US 24.!

LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan - LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits in coves around cover and ares of rip-rap.
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on dip baits, liver and cut baits (& bluegill)
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs and/or minnows over and around brush 7 - 11 foot with few shallower
- White Bass were FAIR-GOOD on 2 jig rigs, bladebaits, jig/twisters or spinners on wind blow flats

** For guided Catfish trips on Lake Shelbyville you can contact Jason of Hill´s Guide Service
  217-855-2692   - or

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
* 2017 New Fish Limit Regs (All Lakes) =   Large or Smallmouth Bass . .
 . Protected Slot Length Limit; 14-18 inches   .. 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
And New this year At Lake McMaster: Anglers are allowed 1 Muskie per day of either 36-42" in length or over 48".
This Slot Limit will allow the angler to Harvest a 36-42" Muskie.
** THIS AREA WILL CLOSE TO FISHING for the Season Oct. 16th with Last Day of Fishing being Oct. 15th --
And reopens to fishing after central zone goose season ends, typically on February 1st each year.

- 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

- - This Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.
- - - Park hours thru October 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, spinners along weed edges
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies along weed edges
- Catfish were FAIR on crawlers, leeches and chicken liver..
- Crappie were FAIR around cribs and trees

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 WILL BE CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Hunting Area ON OCT. 21st with Last Day to Boat Fish being Oct. 20th -- 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..


BALDWIN LAKE - Just north of Baldwin off Route 154. - site Office 618-785-2555
--- There is a 50hp motor limit
-- Hours April 16 - Oct 31: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
A SOUTHERN PORTION OF LAKE Is CLOSED During Waterfowl Season from Nov 1st till Feb. 1st

-- Daily Hours will be 6 am - 7:00 pm through Sept. 24th;
& from Sept. 25-Oct. 7, close is 6:30 p.m.
- Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times tells us:
* Last day of Fishing is Oct. 17th than lake will CLOSE 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

- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs and crankbaits around timber cover and near rip-rap
- Bluegill were FAIR-GOOD on wax worms and red worms along shore area edges
- Catfish were Fairly GOOD on mostly shad, shrimp & cut baits
- Crappie were FAIR on jig/minnows and some on jigs
- White Bass are just FAIR on jig/twisters and flashy bladebaits - watch for shad on surface
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge will CLOSE on October 10th and remains Closed typically until April 1st (but due to weekend, could be March 30th in 2018.?)...

- 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..!

* Places to stay while at Clinton Lake - 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 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.
- Bass were just FAIR on plastics, swimjigs & crankbaits
- Catfish were Fairly GOOD on most baits
- White Bass were FAIR on KRAZY BLADES and jig/twisters

 --- 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..!
** AND a side NOTE: Big Reds Bait and Tackle now has The Original Vanilla Bug Spray to repel those biting gnats, flies and mosquitoes..

Daily Hours reportedly will be 6 a.m. - sunset
** All fishermen must be off the lake by closing time each day. Hours may be adjusted due to staffing issues, so visitors should call ahead 815-357-1608 to confirm operating hours.
Visitors should adhere to all rules, regulations and direction from staff.
Orange windsocks are located on interior dikes throughout the lake. When the windsocks are erect, wind speeds are 14 mph or above and no boats are to be launched; boats on the lake should find calm water and get off the lake when safe to do so.
- Dale Bowman of the Chicago Sun-Times tells us:
* Last day of Fishing is Oct. 15th than lake will CLOSE for the season..

POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
--   SUMMER HOURS (May 1st - Sept. 30th): 6am-8pm
--  WINTER HOURS (Oct 1st Through April 30th) will be: 8am - 4pm
- - THIS LAKE WILL CLOSE TO BOAT FISHING ON OCT. 21st (Last day for Boat fishing is Oct. 20th) and CLOSES TO SHORE FISHING and ALL FISHING ON OCT. 28th (Last day for Shore fishing is Oct. 27th) - -

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.
- Bluegills were FAIR in northern part of lake around shore area timber and weeds
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on cut baits, liver and few on di baits
- Crappie are FAIR on jigs and/or minnows..
* * THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic effective Oct. 18th (last day to boat fish will be Oct. 17th) through Jan. 31, 2018 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).

--- 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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    * Hill´s Guide Service
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  - Contact Jason today for that fish of a lifetime..
 or - Facebook -
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Check with them for all your fishing or hunting outfitter
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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


  - - - - - - - - - - -

Angling Adventures & Custom Rods
Guided Fishing Trips
with Paul Center
(309) 454-8942

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
contact Jonn Graham


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

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 YOUR Boating Headquarters 

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

- - - - - - - - - - -

  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

- - - - - - - - - - -

  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