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 July 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.

-- This hot and dry weather has slowed fishing..
And the heavy rains in Northern IL had raised levels in their rivers and streams over weekend.
- Not a Lot reported this week.?
- Be Safe and Get out to ENJOY the Outdoors along some GOOD FISHING..!

- During these Hot weather days, Protect yourself from the sun and the heat, drink plenty of liquids.
  And, look for areas of cover and shade or deeper water structure to find fish.

- 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 (on right) & those listed in our reports below.

    ** Give yourself the gift of time outdoors this year. **
* Let the Best sound on the water this year be "Daddy, Mommy (Grandpa, Grandma) I caught one"
And it may take more than just one afternoon..

- For those pesky Gnats and all biting insects that are out already, do as we do and not leave home or go out
without a bottle or two of The Original Vanilla Bug Spray to repel those biting gnats, flies and mosquitoes..
Don´t subject yourself or your pet to unnecessary pest attacks! To get your bottle now,
  visit for locations or to order..
    Get out and ENJOY..!

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

- BULLFROG season runs through Oct. 15th Bullfrogs ONLY may be taken by hand, hook and line, landing net, bow & arrow and spear or gig and - Common snapping turtles may also be taken during this time by hand, hook and line or bow & arrow except in southern most counties. A sport fishing license is required; Limits of 8 bullfrogs daily with 16 bullfrogs possession limit and daily harvest limit for common snapping turtles is 2 with a possession limit of 4. * Common snapping turtles and bullfrogs may not be taken by bowfishing tournament participants * We Recommend you read full Regulations for more details and or exceptions.!
- 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..   -----------------------------------------------> > >

** For guided Catfish trips on Powerton, Clinton, Sangchris, and Shelbyville Lakes you can
  contact  Jason of Hill´s Guide Service
  217-855-2692   - or

- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream:
-- River levels were up over weekend but is slowly dropping

  -   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:   - Striper fishing continues to be outstanding Norfork Lake. I cannot remember when the fishing has been this good. My son and I have been bringing in limits of stripers everyday we have fished for the last three weeks.
Because of the warm water striper fishing is strictly catch and keep so we only fish until we can a limit and then go home. Arkansas Fish & Game has requested that all persons fishing on Norfork keep all legal stripers and quit when you catch your limit.
The basic fishing rig has not changed a 3 or 4oz weight with a short leader and putting the bait on the bottom then bringing it up about a foot and keep it there as we move around. The stripers are still concentrated around the dam area the best places are Dam Cove, Koso, Thumb, Point 1, and the Hudson area.
There has been some topwater action in Hand Cove as of late, usually in the early evening. Trolling and spooning is also producing some fish but not the numbers the live bait is. This action should continue into August.
My son took Mike his grandson Cody and Cody´s friend Braxton out for a fast action striper trip. I took Mike and Cody out last year and we had a great time and caught our limit. Cody did a great job last year in fighting a striper.
As it has been, the action starts early and is pretty steady the whole time. Right now, we are using 6 downlines and there have been times where 4 and 5 rods are hit at the same time. Its total chaos but a lot of fun. Right before they were finishing up on their limits Cody´s rod went down and the fight was on since Cody knew how to fight the fish from last year he handled the fish with ease. When they got it in, it weighted 30 lbs. You could not have a bigger smile on a boy’s face as was on Cody’s. What a way to end their fishing trip then he will have a wall mount he will have for a lifetime.
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 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

- Jack tells us he fished Main access area on Saturday and caught 4 Bass & one Crappie, all on soft plastics relating to weeds.

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.
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD with more small fish recently on wax worms, part crawler and red worms
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on crawlers or dip baits with early or late in day best.
-- No other fish reported..

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.
- Jack tells us over weekend fishing was SLOW with couple Drum and small Bass. There were many balls or schools of Shad and the big, iridescent Japanese beetles were all over the lake, a big nuisance.

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 Hours: 6:00 am to 6:00 pm Daily
NOTE - During the weekdays staff is not present, please press buzzer on the front of the building for assistance or call the Visitor Center at (309) 434-6770.
-- Not much reported from here recently..
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, spinners and crankbaits along weed edges, off points and around deep ends of timber
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on minnows around or over brush with few trolling small crankbaits
- WhiteBass were FAIR on drifted jig/twisters or trolling small crankbaits


- - Lake is OPEN daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
-- No New Reports

  2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N & then next right.
** LAKES Will Remain Open through Labor Day, Sept. 4th but
  * 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

- - Not Much From Here Recently.?
- Bass were FAIR on plastics & crankbaits along deep ends of timber and few on topwater baits early in day
- Bluegills are FAIR wax worms and small jig/nibbles along seawalls & near the docks
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR on drifting jigs/minnows and some trolling cranks in 14 - 20 foot water..

* 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.!
- No New Reports
* 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.
-- Lake continues dropping and was only about 3 1/2 feet above summer pool this morning..
- Bass were somewhat FAIR late last week on plastics and topwater early & late in day
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD recently on most baits and best around holes
- Crappie were just FAIR drifting minnows over deep brush or timber and some around bridges
- Walleye/Sauger were FAIR-SLOW
- No reports on White Bass recently.?

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 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-GOOD on plastics, spinners, crankbaits (and some on topwater early in day) in or along weeds and near area of dam
- Bluegills were FAIR along shoreline cover with some good size too.
- Catfish were GOOD on most baits..
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW around cribs
- Walleye are FAIR-SLOW along or near road bed and along breaks


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

-- Late last week water temps in the hot water area were in 90s and mid 80s on cool end..
- Bluegill were FAIR on wax worms along the weed lines and around docks
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on crawlers, shad, shrimp, liver and dip baits
- White Bass are FAIR-GOOD on jig with minnows &/or twisters and bladebaits - watch for surface action on main lake
- Walleyes were FAIR-SLOW along deeper breaks on jigs & crawlers, leeches or minnows.

 - Crappie Guide Terry Davis tells us:
  "Cody and I enjoyed a good day of crappie fishing
  on Clinton over the weekend. We found fish
  anywhere from 9ft to 20ft of water. The key right
  now is move, move, move. We aren´t having any
  trouble catching fish just some spots are holding
  bigger fish while others are loaded with short fish.
  Over my last few trips we have easily caught over
  100 fish each time out so it´s a lot of action & fun.
  The crappie are full of Shad so any baits resembling
  a Shad or live minnows is going to be effective.
 Stop by Ol Joe´s to pick up your minnows or to grab a
 pack of Bobby Garland Baby Shad before hitting lake"

    or call Terry @ 309-212-6817 for more details.


  - Jason Hill of Hill´s Guide Service says "Catfishing on Clinton is Hot right now.   Most consistant
  action of the year right now.!"   Contact Jason for trips on Powerton, Clinton, Sangchris,
  and Shelbyville Lakes.   217-855-2692   - or -

- 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 Rt 185, site office 217-537-3351.
-- There is a 25hp motor limit.
Water temps over weekend averaged in mid 80s
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD on crickets and wax worms.
- Catfish were GOOD on dip baits, cut baits & crawlers
- Crappie are SLOW
- No Word on Bass this week..

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
-- Not much reported from here recently..
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, crankbaits and few on topwater early in day.
- Catfish were FAIR mostly on shad and dip baits early or late in day.
- Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle tells us there have not been
many anglers out with this Heat, but the White Bass remain FAIR

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

 --- 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
** 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.
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastics
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on crawlers and dip baits

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

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.
-- Not much reported from here with the Heat recently..
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW and best in mornings on plastics, crankbaits and topwater along weed edge and ends of timber
- Bluegills are FAIR on wax worms and part crawler along shore are cover
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits
- Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle tells us, Crappie were SLOW-FAIR on minnows fished around Deep cover and along Deep breaks.
--- 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.

[ HOME ]

Fishing Reports
Sponsored by
Be Sure to Visit Them
They Make This Page Possible


Hoss's Hawg Bait
  Hoss's Hawg Bait

  The Dip Bait that is Easy
  on the Nose,
  and 2nd to None.

  - - - - - - - - - - -

    * Hill´s Guide Service
Catfish trips in central Illinois
on Powerton, Clinton, Sangchris
  & Shelbyville Lakes
  - Contact Jason today for that fish of a lifetime..
 or - Facebook -
* Check Lake Reports for
    his latest Trips

  - - - - - - - - - - -
Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club  At 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 !

  - - - - - - - - - - -
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

  - - - - - - - - - - -


  - - - - - - - - - - -


- - - - - - - - - - -

 YOUR Boating Headquarters 

- - - - - - - - - - -


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