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 May 24, 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.

-- We feel like we were back in April with all this rain and the windy conditions..
Lake levels are high & the rivers started coming down a week ago but this rain has kept some ares still at or near flood stage.. but levels coming down..
- There were anglers out but many kept off water by rains and winds.
- The forecast is for better weather for Holiday weekend and more normal conditions next week,
AND should make for some GOOD FISHING..!
- Be Safe, ENJOY the Memorial Day Weekend and Get out to ENJOY the Outdoors along some GOOD FISHING..!

    ** Give yourself the gift of time outdoors this year. **

- 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 : -

* We want to remind Illinois boat owners to check your three-year boat registration/decal and renew your registration if it expires on June 30, 2017. Renewing watercraft registration by calling 1-866-867-3542 or go online to the IDNR website at
NOTE: Non-motorized watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, or sail boards, are no longer required to be titled/registered in Illinois, unless the vessels have a motor or sail. Non-motorized watercraft owners are required to purchase an Illinois Water Usage Stamp for $6.00 per calendar year valid through December 31st each year (for each of their first three vessels, and $3.00 each for any additional vessels). An agent fee of $0.50 is charged per vessel and Water Usage Stamps are available over-the-counter from IDNR license and permit vendors listed at

- 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..   -----------------------------------------------> > >


-- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times : He wants to Remind all that Perch fishing is closed in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan through June 15th.

- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream:
- The River at LaSalle was slowly dropped and was just about 1 foot below flood stage on Tuesday
  but recent rains have stopped that for now.?
And at Peoria it is still about 1/2 foot above Flood Stage

  -   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:   - The rain has stopped, Norfork Lake has stabilized and the fishing has improved. The threadfin shad spawned this past week and the stripers & bass were in the brush chasing the baits.
We saw lots of fish being caught early in the week but the water has warmed up and some the stripers are moving back to deeper water. I have not seen the top water action I expected. Usually when the shad get in the brush the top water action heats up but not this year yet.
The lake is starting clear up. The back of Bennett´s Bayou is now clear and the main channel from Robinson Point to the dam has cleared significantly. It should be several more weeks before we see blue water on the lower end of the lake.
The Corps has scheduled May 20th as Lake Norfork clean-up they are asking for your help in moving debris to the boat ramps for pickup and are also providing garbage bags in designated areas for drop off, so if you have some free time come on out and help make Norfork Lake beautiful again.
As for fishing, don´t let the high water turn you off. Now is the time to come fish Norfork.
I received a request from Robert about taking his daughter Amy fishing on Mother´s Day. It seems that Robert´s wife request for her Mother´s day present was being home staying in bed. I said sure but our wires got crossed and we got a late start. I had pre-fished the day before on a main lake points and caught stripers as fast as I could get a line in the water. I was expecting the same the next morning but a late start and heavy fog changed the conditions. Miss Amy did catch her first two stripers but the action slowed and we only had a few more bites but no more stripers. However, it was a fun father/daughter morning and seeing the expression on Miss Amy´s face said it all.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. The striper bite is on.
A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at for everything Norfork Lake!
- 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.
 - The Moraine View Restaurant & Kayak Rental is now open for bait, soft drinks, kayak and boat rental. May 27th will be a grand opening of the full menu restaurant with daily hours 7am to 7pm & new phone number 866-724-6398
- Carp were still said to be GOOD late last week.
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD at start of weekend on jigs and/or minnows..
- Saugeye were FAIR-GOOD last Friday on jig/minnow and most were small fish with few 14 inch
  - Kyle tells us he & his Dad went fishing Saturday night
  and he caught 2 Bass. One was 14 inches,
  the other was 14.5 inches. Caught them
  on the edge of weed beds with a chatterbait.

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.

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 Hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm   Monday - Thursday  and  6:00 am to 4:00 pm Fri - Sunday
BOAT RENTAL Hours: 6:00 am to 4:00 pm Friday - Sunday ONLY
Expanded Hours will begin Memorial Day Weekend - COMLARA PARK VISITOR CENTER (309)434-6770.

- Bass were FAIR
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD on wax worms or nibbles
- Crappie are just FAIR and scattered from 6 - 12 foot
- Saugeye were FAIR on jig/minnow or crawler.
- WhiteBass are FAIR at times on jigs/minnows or twister
- Reports that Carp were real active in shallow areas over weekend

  Contact Paul 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.
- Crappie were FAIR
- Hybrids were FAIR on Rat-L-Traps
- Walleye were FAIR-GOOD on live bait rigs and couple on crankbaits along breaks near deep water
- Reports of a couple Smallmouth Bass caught too

  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

- Bass were FAIR on plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Bluegills are FAIR-GOOD on wax worms or nibbles but most were small over weekend
- Crappie are FAIR on jigs and/or minnows ..
  - Paul Center says he took Chelsea out fishing
  Saturday night and she caught this
  Nice 25 inch Hybrid on a 7´ St. Croix ML rod
  with 6# P-line on a Manns - 10+ crankbait
  trolled off a main lake ledge..

* Good News For bait:  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   is OPEN 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.
-- Lake is back up to about 12+ feet above pool after recent rains..
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs large minnows in coves along shore flooded weeds.

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.
 - Justin caught this 45 inch Muskie Monday
  Slow rolling a deep weedbed with
  large single colorado spinnerbait,
  and released it to catch again.!

- 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..
-- Lake is still above pool..
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on jigs, spinnerbaits & minnow baits around cover in coves and rocks
- Bluegills are FAIR on small jigs with nibbles, wax worms and crickets in coves, along rocks and in Sailboat Harbor
- Crappie remained Fairly GOOD over weekend on jigs and/or minnows near shore brush with some out near brush along breaks
- Catfish were GOOD on Hoss´s Hawg Bait, nightcrawlers & leeches off flats along breaks, near channels edges
- White Bass were reported to be FAIR

- - 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 and at times Fairly GOOD on some plastics, swimbaits, spinnerbaits and small crankbaits
- Bluegills were FAIR on small jigs and gulp
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits with few nice fish too.
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on jigs and/or minnow under bobber
- Muskie were SLOW-FAIR on bucktails.
- Walleye are SLOW


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
- Bass were FAIR on spinnerbaits
- Bluegills were FAIR on wax worms over weekend
- Catfish were FAIR on cut baits and some on dip baits
- Crappie remain a little SLOW.

-- Daily Hours will be 6 am - 8:00 pm through June 11 th
- - Water is stained with temps down some 65 -72 as the plant shut down
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD over weekend on plastics and crankbaits and couple on topwater
- Catfish are FAIR on most baits

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

 - Guide Terry Davis shared this: "Mic and Jodi enjoyed a good day of Crappie fishing. We caught fish
  anywhere from 2 to 12 ft. All techniques are working right now, casting, bobber and jigging.
  The Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Outlaw Special has out fished every color when vertical jigging.
  We also seem to be experiencing a second wave of spawners so the crappie fishing
  should remain good for a little while longer.   Stop by Ol Joe's to stock up on Bobby Garland
    products and to pick up minnows before heading to the lake."
  Visit  or call Terry @ 309-212-6817 for more details.

** For Catfish, we recommend you Contact Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service to book a   Catfish catching trips this year.
  Call Matt @ 217-855-8406   or   on FB   Clintonlakecatfishguideservice
   * 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 May 11th - 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.
- Water temps were in mid 80s near hot water arm and little clearer at start of weekend.
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastics and some caught on minnows.
- Catfish were GOOD on dip baits, minnows and crawlers.
- Crappie were little SLOW

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Bass were somewhat FAIR on plastics, jigs and swimbaits
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on most baits.
- Crappie were just FAIR on jigs and/or minnows
- White Bass are FAIR-SLOW on jigs/twisters or inline spinners

** 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
-- Not much from here due to the winds.
- Just few Shore anglers found Catfish to be FAIR-GOOD
** 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.
-- Rains have lake level up..
- Bass were FAIR on spinners and crankbaits with couple on topwater baits
- Bluegills were FAIR
- Catfish were FAIR on crawlers and dip baits
- Crappie were little SLOW

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
** 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 around shore timber or weed edges on plastics, spinerbaits and swimbaits
- Bluegills are FAIR-GOOD along shore area weeds and laydowns
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits
--- 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
on the Nose,
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  - - - - - - - - - - -
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 309-369-7122

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 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