The weekend of Dec. 3-6, 2015 is the 2nd Illinois Firearm Deer Season
when all hunters and trappers are required to wear a blaze orange cap
and upper outer garment while they are in the field during this time.
Even though we (fishermen or land owners) may not be required by law to wear blaze orange,
it is a Good idea to do so if you will be out in the woods and fields.
Blaze orange is a STOP sign that will keep someone from shooting in your direction.
NOTE: Beginning on January 1, 2016, No person born on or after January 1, 1998,
unless exempted by subsection (i),
shall operate a motorboat with over 10 horse power unless that person has a valid
Boating Safety Certificate issued by
the Dept of Natural Resources or an entity or organization recognized and approved by the Dept.
- The IDNR Division of Fisheries has NEW regulations Now in effect for
the harvest of Flathead Catfish due to concerns about the overharvest of this large fish species.
Read the Press Release and Full Details HERE
* The New 2015-2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available in PDF format
on the IDNR website where
you can read or print you a copy.
- Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit their website links on the right.. ----------------------------------------------> >
- ILLINOIS RIVER
- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream: to Near HENRY :
- River levels are up from snow melt and forecast for more rains could mean not fishable for awhile.?.
-- Dale Bowman reported today in the Chicago Sun-Times (in part):
"Perch fishing sets up on the South Side of Chicago "
- 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 :
Norfork Lake went through a lot of changes this past week. We had over 4 inches of rain that raised the lake about 5 feet above normal pool.
The cold weather and water rise has changed the whole striper pattern. The stripers are now feeding in the Blue Lady area
in the 50’ foot range along the channel heading towards Crystal Cove. They are also in Float and Panther Creeks.
Again, stay in the 40 to 50 foot range with your baits set at 35 foot, also set out a free line with just a split shot 50 foot
behind your boat.
There are very large bait balls all the way up to Fout Boat dock. For all you live bait users the shiner bite has started.
Shad is still working well but shiners were catching stripers the whole weekend.
I was scheduled to take Steve out along with his father and friend. The wind was blowing 20 miles an hour before light
along with light rain. Steve is a good striper fisherman and had caught a 25 lb striper the day before using shiners
in Crystal Cove.
(On a side note about being a guide, I have many people say they would love to be a guide, all we do is hunt & fish.
What they do not see is the hours before we go out I spend anywhere from 2 to 6 hours each day catching shad for bait
no matter what the weather is.)
While I was waiting for Steve I had my engine running when it starting beeping. I shut it off and checked
the owner´s manual which is not much help and checked the oil and everything was good.
The beep went away when I put it in gear but I was not taking a chance. I had to cancel my trip and throw away shad
I spent 3 hours catching. I want to thank Steve for taking me back to my truck to get my trailer.
Steve also towed my boat up the hill at Teal Point since my vehicle could not do it. I am blessed to have such great clients.
Now I can only hope it is not a big problem with the engine.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now.
Winter is almost here and it’s a wonderful time to be on the lake. The stripers will begin their winter feed patterns along with the other predator species.
A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
By the way, did you know Norfork Lake offers thousands of acres of huntable land to the public?
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 36 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina;
you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com 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 IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake
through Dec. 22nd 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,
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 LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the season and remains Closed till February 1st --
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to http://experienceemiquon.com
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.
* Additional : With the shutdown of Dickson Mounds Museum at this time, fishing and boating permits will be done at the launch, Call (309) 547-2730.
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 and BOAT RENTAL IS CLOSED FOR SEASON
- - 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 IN THESE AREAS ONLY.-
- - Also, the ENTIRE lake and park, with the exception of campground Sites 1-33, is CLOSED to general use Dec. 3-6th
for the Firearm Deer Management Program. ONLY VALID SPECIAL HUNT PERMIT HOLDERS AND PARK STAFF WILL BE ALLOWED INTO HUNTING AREAS. Violators are subject to a Class B Misdemeanor arrest.
* However, fishermen are allowed to fish at Campground Cove, Jone´s Pond, and at the Pumphouse.
HEIDECKE LAKE -
* Lake is CLOSED to Fishing for the season till April 1st, 2016 --
HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES - 2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N and then next right.)
* * Lakes are CLOSED for the season..
And will Re-open to fishing in 2016.
There are several new rules & Regs for next season you need to
LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan -
LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- Here is report from Guide Steve Welch on Nov. 16th :
" The wind has torn up the lake these past few days and the water temps
have fallen to 51 on the north end and 55 on the south. We are still
catching plenty of crappie on both ends of the lake. The south end is so
full of 9 1/2 inch fish you need to catch about ten before you get a
good one. The fish catching on the south end is unbelievable by days end
you will have over 100 in the boat.
We are concentrating more on the north end since you can catch bigger fish.
I even saw a 14-inch big white crappie this past week so they do exist.
The action on the north end is slower than the south end but at the end of the day
you have bigger fish.
I am using my 3/16oz. Deep Ledge Jig black with a chartreuse Bobby Garland
or a white jig with a clear or light blue Wally Marshall Shadpole.
On the south end I am using my lighter 3/32oz. jig and jig it
up and down about three-feet to get a reaction strike.
The bigger crappie will start to show up these next couple weeks as the water cools.
This week is bringing rain and overcast so the north end shallow fish is where you need to be.
We are catching them about 10 feet down in brush and on ends of down trees.
I still have the first half of December
open and each year I have guided my biggest fish of the year has come in
December. We bring along a propane heater for your hands so it isn´t that cold.
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 till Feb. 1st--
PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area -
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
- No New Reports
* Reminder of Partial Closures during Waterfowl Season
** If you are looking for a Great new place to stay while fishing or hunting at JEPC Park,
We recommend you check Plattner´s Ghost Hollow Lodge only 5 miles from the park, by
calling 217-458-2526 or 217-971-5256 or Click their logo on bottom right Sponsors section of this page
to Find Them on Facebook
Make Sure to Contact Them for Directions ! - Tell them Larry sent you..!
REND LAKE -
- Check with Todd Gessner Outdoors Guide Service on Rend Lake at 618-513-0520 for future fishing trips
and make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club
- - The US Army Corps 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.
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 ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch
and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats --
- - - - SOME ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
* * This Lake is CLOSED for the season..
CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
A PORTION OF LAKE FROM ABOUT IP POINT UP TO 54 BRIDGE IS CLOSED
- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports
and ALL your fishing needs
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges
is CLOSED FROM OCT. 10th through MARCH 31st to protect fish and wildlife...
COFFEEN LAKE - Southeast of Hillsboro off Rt 127 or south of Coffeen off Rt 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.
AND - The Entire site/ Lake will be CLOSED to fishing & all activities during deer firearms seasons
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 for White Bass ..!
LaSALLE LAKE -
Lake is open with Daily Hours of 6 a.m. - sunset 7-days a week.
** 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: Nov. 14 – Jan. 31
Also, the Entire lake is Closed to fishing during the two regular gun deer seasons, Dec. 3-6th.
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- - THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING and SHORE FISHING or ALL FISHING
and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 21st 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.
-Fishing in the hot arm early this week water temps were in 60s
- Bass were FAIR with plastics and crankbaits on drop offs and points.
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR
-- Check with Trevor at Big Red´s Bait and Tackle for current reports
at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..
* * THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic
through Jan. 31, 2016 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
And the Entire lake will be CLOSED Dec. 3-6th due to firearm deer hunting
on adjacent properties.
The exception will be for hunting programs with restricted usage during this time period.
For more info, contact site office at 217/498-9208 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- 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 www.stroutfitters.com
--- View STR Outfitters Facebook page click here
for real time up to date each day or read Tom´s fishing blog here at http://stroutfitters.blogspot.com
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 at
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