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 April 19, 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.

-- The warm weather made many spending time outdoors and fishing this past week,
However, Windy conditions made for some tough fishing though.
- The flooded rivers are dropping and may be back to or near normal levels next week.
- The forecast is for a cool down Thurs. - Sat. but again warming-up early next week..
- Hope You can Get out and ENJOY the Outdoors along some GOOD FISHING..!

** As we secure reports for other lakes, we will be adding them to our Reports.. - Check Back..

** NEW this year will be guided Catfish trips with Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service on Powerton Lake. We will be fishing with Matt this spring and you too may wish to book your Catfish catching trips for this year, just contact Matt by Calling 217-855-8406   or FB- * Tell him Larry told you to call..
--- Also, you may want to consider booking a Catfishing trip at Clinton Lake with Matt too..

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

- * New 2017 Fishing Licenses are required.
  2017 licenses are available from DNR Direct license vendors or online at

- The 2017 Illinois Spring Trout Season is into its 3rd week at 52 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
Click HERE for a full list of sites and details.

- Our friend Jonn Graham of CAMP SMALLMOUTH wants to again remind us all that the annual stream smallmouth season is now underway. The law states that from April 1 to June 15 all stream smallmouth must be immediately released. This law pertains to all moving bodies of water with the exception of the Mississippi, Wabash, Ohio, and Illinois Rivers. This regulation was enacted years ago by the joint efforts of the Illinois DNR and the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance.
Of course, the law is driven by the fact that the above dates are the time period when most stream smallies spawn. Immediate release provides the best chance for the future of the fishery here in IL.
Jonn says "Spread the word to friends and any other anglers you see out on the water. Many anglers who do not chase smallies regularly often do not know about the regulation. Education is the key.

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


- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream:
- The River has just dropped couple inches below flood stage today near LaSalle..
- In Peoria area should get down just below flood level late on 21st..

  -   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
* Read Tom´s April 2017 Fishing Forecast for Norfork Lake
- Here is latest Report from Tom:   - Spring has sprung on Lake Norfork the water temperature has reached the desired degree for the crappie to hit the banks and begin their spawn. Stripers, hybrids, and bass are hitting on top water baits all over the lake. Walleye are being caught at night on Rouges on slopping points. The treadfin shad have begun their spawn which triggers the other fish to go on a feeding binge. The next couple of weeks should see lots of fish being caught.
My son caught a 34 lb striper and another guide caught a 30 lb striper so the big fish are also moving into the shallows to feed. Now is the time to get on the lake either with your boat or hire a guide to get on some of this great activity.
I took Brian and Gerald out for their annual two-day striper trips. Gerald has been fishing Lake Norfork for over 30 years and loves catching stripers. Fishing was slow for me before they arrived but with all the shad movement I knew she should have a great time. I went to one of my spring go to places and sure enough the stripers were in their feeding mood. We hooked 9 stripers but only boated 4 the first day.
The boys were scheduled to trout fish the next day so we planned on striper fishing the following day. They were on their game that day and we had our limit in 1 hour.
We then went out on the main lake to try and catch a big fish. We had one taker but it released the bait before we could set the hook. Overall, they had a great father and son fishing outing.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. The stripers are in their spring migration and the bite is on.
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 pheasant hunt. 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

BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
* 2017 New Written Regs to clarify - Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . Protected Slot Length Limit; 12-18 inches
. . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit

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.
  - Matthew says "Fished on windy Saturday afternoon and caught a couple of Bass on Strike King
  Red Eye shad in crawdad color. The two biggest bass were a 1 lbs 7 oz and 3 lbs. As soon as the
  sun started going down and the wind died down a little, started fishing for Crappie with a Luck E Strike
  grub in Chartreuse, and ended up catching 3 Saugeye instead. Biggest Saugeye was 2 lbs, others were
  about 10 inches long. All fish caught along the banks in 2 to 5 ft of water. Water was clear to stained.

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.
- Our friend Jack tells us : The parking lot was full to the max when I got to the lake on Monday, Water level seemed up some, the windy conditions made fish little tough and stained the lake. The weeds are down right now in many areas and fishing a swimbait, caught a 12 inch Crappie. Switching to a small crappie jig with a plastic body and half a crawler caught two more 11 inch Crappie. Ended the day throwing the swimbait again & caught one 16 inch Bass.
- Talked to couple other angler who caught several nice bluegills, few Catfish, a Bass, dog fish and sheeps head..

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.
- Bass were FAIR on swimbaits, spinners and plastics at or in coves with several 12 - 16 inch fish and a couple nice fish too.
- White Bass were somewhat FAIR at times but most so far were small fish

  - Guide Paul Center had this to report from
  Tuesday evening: Crappie are FAIR-GOOD
  on small jigs black/white and black/chartreuse,
  mostly out of 6-10 foot water and look to be pre-spawn
  as males starting to show some darker coloring.
  As water warms, things will heat up..

- - Lake is OPEN for Season daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
- Only report we got was of a Nice Muskie caught

  2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N & then next right.
* * LAKES will Re-OPEN for the Season on May 16th.. & Remain Open through Labor Day, Sept. 4th
  * Lakes are CLOSED to Fishing on Mondays Except Labor Day.
  For the complete Rules & Regs details, click HERE

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-SLOW on jigs, plastics and crankbaits
- Guide Paul Center tells us: Crappie are FAIR on jigs with most in 6 - 10 foot water early in week - but this may change..
* Good News For bait:  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   is for the season..!
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.
- Crappie are FAIR-GOOD on jigs and/or minnows around or over brush with some shallower this week.
- Not else shared this week

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.

- 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
-- Water temps on weekend were about 62 couple days ago and heard maybe 66 late yesterday..?
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastic, swimbaits, spinnerbaits and jigs around areas of rock, in bays near cover
- Bluegills are FAIR on small jigs and/or wax worms near shoreline cover and rocks
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on jigs near cover with many in shallower even some in buck brush
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD large minnows, leeches, Hoss´s Hawg Bait, nightcrawlers off flats along breaks
- White Bass were FAIR on jigs/twisters and in-line spinners

- - 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 April thru October 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
- Fishing was little tough at times during windy conditions with water temps in mid-50s..
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, swimjigs and crankbaits near area of dam and in bays
- Blegills were FAIR on wax worms with couple on small jigs
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs and/or minnows around brush and cribs with few more shallow recently

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)
- Not much Reported this week.?
- Bass were FAIR over weekend on plastic and swimjigs along weeds.
- Bluegills are somewhat FAIR along weed edge near south end


CARLYLE LAKE - Reports from weekend...
- Bass were little SLOW late last week
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies along weeds
- Catfish were FAIR on cut baits, crawlers with couple on dip baits
- Crappie were FAIR at times on jigs and/or minnows around brush with some in shallow
- WhiteBass were FAIR-GOOD at start of weekend on jigs with twisters or minnows and small spinners.


-- Daily Hours will be 6 am - 7:30 pm from April 17 - May 14
--- Water temps over weekend were in mid-70s at north ramp.
-- Wind was a issue, but:
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD over weekend on plastics, jigs & just couple on crankbaits along weed edges or in pockets and on points
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on most baits and best in south part of lake

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

- Report says Hybrids were FAIR-GOOD over weekend in spillway area on jigs/swimbaits

 - Guide Terry Davis tells us: "My clients and I enjoyed some great crappie fishing over the weekend.
  Willis, Brock and Bill put the hurt on them and we had a 4-man limit by 11 am Monday.
  Landon caught his first and biggest crappie and I´d say he is hooked at just 7 years old.
  As expected the warmer days and nights fired those crappie back up. Our best baits were pink 1/16 oz jig heads
  with chartreuse bobby garland baby shad or chartreuse 1/16 oz jig head with hot pink bobby garland baby shad.
  Pink and chartreuse in any combination is great for springtime crappie fishing. "
    Check out  or  call 309-212-6817 for details.

** With the warm water area Open, we recommend you Contact Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service to book a   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..

- 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..!
As of April 17th - The dock at West Side boat access remains Closed pending repairs.
* 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 Rt 185, site office 217-537-3351.
-- There is a 25hp motor limit.
  - Our friend Ken tells us: "Coffeen Lake is at full pool.
 Main lake water temps were in low 70s and mostly clear.
  The hot water arm was dingy and in the low 80s.
  Bass fishing was FAIR to GOOD. Most bass
  were caught on soft plastic lizards and ned rigs.
  A few fish were observed on the spawning beds.
  Several Catfishermen reported GOOD catches."

    - Ken also shared the 2-photos below his fishing buddy Scott took of
      three young fox kits playing outside their den and a mother goose sitting on her nest.
    This proves that Fishing is also Enjoying & Experiencing all of the Wonderful Outdoors.!

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.

 --- 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 ..!

Daily Hours reportedly will be 6 a.m. - sunset
- The wind has been a factor here..
- Only report we have is Catfish were FAIR and few nice fish for shore anglers on cut baits with a couple Blues too.
** 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.

NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
-- Very little shared from here..
- Bass were FAIRLY GOOD over weekend on plastics and crankbaits
- Catfish were GOOD at times on most baits
- Crappie were FAIR on minnows

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
    SUMMER HOURS (May 1st - Sept. 30th): 6am-8pm
** NEW this year will be guided Catfish trips with Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service on Powerton Lake. 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.
- Bass were FAIR on swimbaits, spinners and crankbaits
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on most baits but cut baits working well at month of coves
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs and/or minnows up in north part of warm arm into main lake past north ramp
--- 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
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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 !


  - - - - - - - - - - -
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


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

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 YOUR Boating Headquarters 

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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

- - - - - - - - - - -

  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