- * New 2018 Fishing Licenses are required by April 1st
New licenses are available from DNR Direct license vendors or
online at www.dnr.illinois.gov
- March 24 - Illinois Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season Opens at Nine Sites
- April 7 - Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Officially Opens
at 54 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
You must have a fishing license and a Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces.
The daily catch limit for each angler is 5 trout.
Use light gear, 6-pound line, a split shot with a small bait hook or small ice jigs with small baits such as wax worms, a piece of worm PowerBait, prepared trout baits, cheese, kernels corn or red worms under tiny floats.
Also can try a small spinners, Roostertails or trolled small crankbaits.
* For a Full List of Sites and Details Visit :
- 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.
AS ALWAYS!.............HAIL TO THE SMALLIE"
* The New 2018 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in PDF format
on the IDNR website .
Regulations in this guide are effective from April 1, 2018
through March 31, 2019.
* * There are some NEW LIMIT REGS Effective April 1st 2018,
CHECK Below for a few Central IL Lakes. * *
- For Bank Fishing Opportunities in Illinois that are easily accessible,
visit IDNR Bank Fishing page
- 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!
- 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.
- ILLINOIS RIVER
* The River is still up a little near Spring Valley
and about 2 foot below Flood Stage today at Peoria and Slowly dropping ..!
- Sauger are somewhat FAIR on 3-ways with live bait, pulling crankbaits and jiggin minnows.
Fish were reported as little scattered over weekend with most in 14 - 18 foot of water but couple in 6 - 9
Most reports were from the 39 bridge down to south of Spring Valley.
- Read a couple blog reports that the DNR was out Saturday checking license and all safety items..
For - OTHER LAKE REPORTS Outside Illinois -
can be found at bottom of this page or Click HERE
ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
* Effective April 1st 2018 New Large or Smallmouth Bass Limit Regs = 6 Fish Daily Harvest Limit of 12 inch Minimum Length Limit..
BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner,
with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
- Ryan tells us there were lots of boats out on Sunday
and Water temps ranged between 44-49 degrees.
Fishing out of his kayak he hooked a nice musky
on 4lb line/ ultralight while crappie fishing.
It looked like about a 10 - 12 pounder
and too big to net..
Crappie fishing was slow, only caught 5-6 small
black crappie in 10-14ft of water.
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
* A LAKE ACCESS PERMIT is required for boating and fishing Each Year - Free &
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 website for updated rules & permits required, 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.
-- BOAT RENTAL and BAIT SHOP Set to OPEN APRIL 7th on WEEKENDS ONLY .!
- Water temps over weekend were 43 - 44 and fishing was SLOW
HEIDECKE LAKE -
* Lake is set to Re-Open April 1st 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.. and will be Open on May 15th through September 3rd this year.
Lakes are Closed on Mondays except Memorial Day and Labor Day. All you need to fish is
a state license and one of their permits, which you can fill out on-site and lasts all season.
They have updated their rules and catch limits this year, on the advice of the IDNR.
For the complete Rules & Regs details, click HERE
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..
- Crappie still FAIR mostly on jigs around brush (should improve soon)
- US Army Corps says: "Please fish safely! Always buckle up your life jacket on the water !"
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)
* Effective April 1st 2018 New Large or Smallmouth Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
with Protected Slot Length Limit; 12-18 inches..
* Effective April 1st 2018 New White, Black, or Hybrid Limit Regs = 25 Fish Daily Harvest Limit with no more
than 10 Fish greater than or equal to 10 inches..
- Report from weekend says: Water temps were in mid 40s but clear with fishing SLOW-FAIR
- - - - 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
* Effective April 1st 2018 New Large or Smallmouth Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
of 18 inch Minimum Length Limit..
-- Hours: Through - April 15: 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM
-- Hours: April 16 - Oct. 31: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
* check with site Office 618-785-2555 as these times may change.!
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
-- Daily Hours are 6 am - sunset
- - Water temps reported near cool side in low 60s
- Bass were just FAIR on plastics with few on spinners and crankbaits around rocks and grass edges
- Catfish were FAIR from shore or boat but still most are small
- Hybrids were somewhat FAIR at times with a blogger reporting a 22 incher
CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
Check with Ol´ Joe for latest Fishing Reports
Also: Joe is trying very hard to sell his business in 2018, so if anyone is interested,
please call him 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
- Crappie Guide Terry Davis report from weekend: "We have been focusing on 10ft of water or
deeper lately. We have been able to find fish shallower at times but need more consistent warm nights
before they really start to get into the shallower water in numbers. We have been using a combination
of jigs and minnows. Seems like it changes from day to day on what works better.
Catching a lot of fish during our trips and some better fish have been showing up.
* With the warm water area Opening soon, Guide Matt Lamb of
Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service
is booking Catfish trips - contact Matt at 217-855-8406
or FB- https://www.facebook.com/Clintonlakecatfishguideservice
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..! BigRedsBait.com
LaSALLE LAKE -
- Lake is Open Daily to fishing 6 am - sunset..
* Reminder or boaters, the new wind velocity rule of 12 mph will cause the ramps to be CLOSED.
With the windy days we have - it would be a good idea to
Call ahead at (815) 357-1608 to enquire on openings.
- Catfish were FAIR with few nice Blues and a report of a Big Blue.?
- Hybrids were FAIR-GOOD
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- Lake is Open Daily with Hours through April 8am - 4pm
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.
With the Entire Sangchris Lake now Open for the season, this would be a Good time to contact
Jason of Hill´s Guide Service
217-855-2692 - or facebook.com/hillsguideservice
- 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: - (March 19th)
This week´s word on Norfork Lake is inconsistent. You can catch stripers one day and then the day next nothing or just a few.
On Wednesday we went to Bennett´s Bayou to pre-fish for my next day´s trip.
We had doubles and caught several limits in over an hour. The next day we had a debris line and the stripers
had moved. We did catch 1 limit but it was very slow and it took all morning to do that.
The next day my son went down to Big Creek and in a little over and hour he caught 15 stripers.
Both of us went there Saturday thinking it would be a great day. We had heavy fog and lots of boat traffic.
I only caught 1 keeper and he caught 2.
Saturdays are hard on the fish, everybody wants to get on the lake and fish but the traffic really spooks
the shallow water fish and will move them off their spot and then it´s hard to find them.
Sunday I went back to Bennett´s and started up shallow with no bites then moved out on the flat
and again no bites. I saw one of my clients on the east side of the flat and told him to move over to this
other flat where I was heading. Before I knew it, he had a double on and caught 3 fish before I had a bite.
He was using shiners and I was using shad. We then missed 1 and loss a good one after a short fight.
We did end up catching a 8 and 11 lb striper before we quit. My client caught 5 and lost 5 more.
The best method was a split shot and a hook with about 50 feet of line out. It is simple
and very effective since the fish are relating to the bottom instead of high in the water column.
Once the winds shift around to the south and we get some warmer nights Norfork Lake will really turn
on for all species.
Lots of largemouth bass are being caught on crankbaits and spinner baits and the crappie are also biting.
The walleye are spawning up near Udall and the bite is good. Everything will bite better with warmer water
and weather. The best place to find fish is Bennett´s Bayou, there is lots of bait in the area much more
than Big Creek, as we say find the bait and you will find the fish.
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 contact him for your next fishing trip.!
- Read about our Outdoor Writers/Broadcasters Visit a few years ago at
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