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 27, 2016



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.

No matter what reports state, you as an angler must still find the right cover & the fish.
Try to find these kinds of cover in lakes:
- Brush piles or cribs that can be found with a sonar unit or by scouting a lake by starting in 6-14 foot and move out.
- Fallen trees along the shore.
- Boat docks that provide cover and shade in summer months.
Mark or remember any spots you catch fish and Stay mobile, move around to increase your odds of finding and catching fish.

-- With the Extreme Hot weather late last week through weekend, there were very, very few anglers out.
Therefore, only a few new reports were sent or found during these Dogs Days of Summer..
- The Good news is our weekend is forecasted to be near normal and should be a Good time to get out..
- During these hot days, look for areas of cover and shade or deeper water structure to find fish.
- With more Hot weather expected for next week, Protect yourself from the sun and the heat, drink plenty of liquids.
- Be Safe & Get out to ENJOY some GOOD FISHING..!

** Be Sure to Check out all the Great fishing photos at times below,
and we So Much Enjoy getting the Kids Photos
  THANKS for sharing them, and for Taking The Kids Fishing.!

- AGAIN: With Summer weather here, Be Sure To Protect yourself from the sun and the heat, drink plenty of liquids.

And for those pesky Gnats and all biting insects = 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..!

- With this Hot weather, Night Fishing is a great way to escape the summer heat and crowds..

  - - Notes Of Interest : -
- IDNR Announces Summer Urban Fishing Clinics providing FREE instruction and Fun for Kids. Read this News Release for details, more info and locations.
- BULLFROG season is underway through August 31 Bullfrogs may be taken by hand, fishing pole and line fishing, landing net, bow & arrow or bow and spear or gig. You must have a sport fishing license is required and limits are 8 bullfrogs daily limit with 16 bullfrogs possession limit
- For list of ADA accessible Fishing sites Check IDNR Places To Fish page for locations.
- For Bank Fishing Opportunities in Illinois that are easily accessible, visit IDNR Bank Fishing page

NOTE: As of January 1st, 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 & approved by the Dept.

Non-motorized watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, or sail boards in Illinois, 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 each calendar year..

* The 2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available online at IDNR website
* We have listed a few in our area that we have found in the reports below, but you still need to check and read the signs posted at lakes to be sure..

- The U.S. Coast Guard has released 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..   ----------------------------------------------> >


Looking for a Boat, Trolling motor or Fishing Gear & more..
Check our FOR SALE - Classified ADS page.

- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream: to Near HENRY :
- The river is dropping and should be good for weekend

- Bass were FAIR on plastics, crankbaits and swimbaits along weed edges with some on topwater/frog in weed patches early in day
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies, crickets or part crawler around outer edge of shore weed cover, laydowns and in weed pockets
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on dip baits and liver with some on crawlers too with most early in day or at dusk

  -   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 Norfork Lake stripers continue their summer feeding pattern. Both live bait and trolling seems to work the best right now.
The trollers are mostly trolling between point 2 and the dam staying on the edge of the channel. One person said he had caught 13 one day.
Arkansas Fish & Game has requested that anybody who catches a legal striper should not be releasing them back into the lake. The warm water cause tremendous stress on the fish. They will look fine when released but later in the day they die according to fish studies of stripers released in hot water. Catch your limit then switch to another species or call it a day and head for the beach.
The stripers are still feeding in 35 to 50 foot of water before light, they then move off the points and suspend in or near the old river channel. Look for them off Thumb, Georges Cove, Koso, and the Dam area.
The lake is being maintained at the 553 level until the dam gate work is completed. We should continue to see excellent striper fishing well into the fall.
This past week the bigger stripers have started biting. Multiple days I have caught fish in the high teens up to the mid-20s. Now is the time to get out on the lake and catch your trophy.
A young couple from Michigan called and wanted to try their luck at catching some stripers. Caleb and Danielle never fished for stripers so as with most of my clients the trip was going to be an adventure. Caleb hooked a striper before light and we're on our way to catching a limit early. Sometimes what you think will happen never seems to work out that way. For some reason after Caleb caught the first striper he could not keep a striper on the line. He had four stripers hooked and lost every one of them. It was getting frustrating for everybody, but failure sometimes turns out to be a success.
Danielle caught a striper then another so we had three in the boat and should have been heading back to the marina if Caleb would have caught his. I moved out to the channel and it was now near 7 am and getting hot. Then magic happened. The rod went down and I gave it to Caleb and he fought it for a good 10 minutes and finally he landed the striper which weighted 23 lbs. The next minute the float went down and Danielle started fighting, and she landed a 21 lb striper. The bite slowed so I move to another spot and we caught number 6 quickly and was back at the marina by 8 am.
The moral is never give up just because you are having a bad day. You never know how it will turn out; Caleb´s failure to land those early stripers led him and Danielle to catch a fish of a life time.
Be sure to read our Summer Striper tactics, the article can be found on for everything Norfork Lake!
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 37 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at   or 870-421-1541 or on Facebook AND - Be sure to check out Tom´s Summer Striper Tactics article!
** 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)
* 2016 New Written Regs to clarify - Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . Protected Slot Length Limit with one fish greater than or equal to 18 inches and/or 2 fish less than 12 inches . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits along weed line,
- Bluegills were FAIR but small.
- Catfish have been FAIR on dip baits real early or late in day

DAWSON LAKE - East of Bloomington Exit #149 on I-74, North 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.
* 2016 New Regs = Walleye, Sauger or Hybrid Walleye (Saugeye) of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit with no more than 1 Fish greater than or equal to 20 inches; 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, spinnerbaits and some topwater..
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD on wax worms and part crawler with many small fish
- Catfish were FAIRLY GOOD on dip bait, liver & crawlers along or near timber

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
- No New Reports from here..
* 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.
- -Some of the site rules are: - No live bait except worms; - No bank fishing is allowed;
- No gas motors (not even on the boat) including ice augers.
- Minors must be accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older and authorized by the minor´s parent or legal guardian.
- Boating and fishing are permitted between sunrise and sunset with additional restrictions applying:
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.
- - 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.
* 2016 New Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit..
-- BAIT SHOP & BOAT RENTAL Hours: Daily 6:00 am to 6:00 pm
- Bass were FAIR at times on plastics, and swimjigs off deep points, around deep timber and weed edge with a few on topwater real early in day.
- Bluegills were FAIR fish on wax worms and crickets around shore cover with shade.
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits along edge of deep breaks
- Crappie were SLOW with few on minnows over deeper cover

-- No New report from this week - this was from July 17th..
- Bass were SLOW-FAIR
- Bluegills were FAIR with many small
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits
- Hybrids were SLOW
- Only a few WhiteBass caught...

HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES - 2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N and then next right.)
-- The Wetlands Initiative says the 2016 fishing season
at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (Hennepin-Hopper) will be through Sept 5.
Mondays are CLOSED to Fishing Except for Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day..
There are (will be) several new rules & Regs for 2016 season you need to READ HERE
- No New Report for 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 and a 40hp limit and permit required.
* 2016 New Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit..
** The 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit did not make the Regs Booklet, but signs at Lake will display New Limits.

- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits around deeper parts of cover with a few on topwater early or late in day
- Bluegills remain FAIR on waxies and crickets around docks and seawalls
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits along/on breaks early or late in day.
- Crappie were little SLOW on minnows around deeper brush with few on trolled baits
* AND Good News For bait:  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24     is OPEN for the season..!

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.! (Remember - No Minnows fishing Allowed)
- - No New Reports from this past week
* For bait, Check  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24  ..!

LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan - LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- Crappie were FAIR on minnows fished over deep brush piles around 20 foot
- Not much reported on other fish, just somewhat SLOW..

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
- Matt tells us he and fishing buddy Johnny found water temps last Friday to be 80.2 on most of the lake. They caught a few dozen Bluegills and Bass. Bluegills were on nightcrawlers and red worms in the shallows. Bass were biting on 5 inch Black Senkos wacky rigged.
-- THANKS Matt for sharing this report..!

PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area -
  -- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
  - Bass remain FAIR around deep cover or outer weed edge
    with some on topwater frogs all early in mornings
  - Bluegills were FAIR on waxies and part crawler along shore weed pockets
  - Catfish were FAIR-SLOW this past weekend

** 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..!

- I fished with Guide Ric Barth over weekend and found Catfish to Fairly GOOD along channel edges and all were caught on Hoss´s Hawg Bait !
- 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
- - 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.
- Bass were somewhat FAIR but smaller fish this past week on plastics, crankbaits and swimbaits in bays early or later near area of dam and some on topwater in weeds or along weeds ..
- Bluegills were FAIR along weed edges or in weed pockets
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on liver, dip baits & leeches
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on minnows around deeper cover such as cribs
- Couple Hybrids reported recently.?
- Walleye were SLOW with few around rock piles on jigs with crawlers or leeches along weed edges and around/over rock piles

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)
- - No New Reports from here again this week.?


CARLYLE LAKE - Reports from July 22nd...
- Bass were SLOW-FAIR mostly on plastics
- Bluegills were FAIR but mostly small fish on waxies
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on cut baits and dip baits
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR on minnows fished around deep cover.
- WhiteBass have been FAIR on jigs/twisters and in-line spinners early & late in day


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 little SLOW this past week on plastics & jigs fished deeper.
- Bluegills remain somewhat SLOW on waxies or crickets.
- Catfish were FAIR on liver and dip baits with most out in deeper water
- Crappie were SLOW

- Daily Hours are 6 a.m. - sunset
-- No New reports for here..

-- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times : Apparently no significant fish kill, but water is hotter than 100 in spots.

CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
-- Water temps ranged from low 90s to mid-80s and there were several boats on lake over weekend
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD on wax worm and red worms along deeper weed edges or pockets and best in cooler part of lake
- Catfish were GOOD on most baits with meaty baits best in most of lake with few nice fish near warm water area
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR on minnows fished near deep brush
- Walleye were FAIR-SLOW late last week along deeper breaks on crawler rigs and/or minnows
- WhiteBass were just FAIR recently on jig/twisters and some on in-line spinners. Watch for schools of shad busting surface and the sea gulls
-- No Word on Bass..?
- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports and ALL your fishing needs (Including Fishing Licenses)- now Open 7 days a week 5 - 5.
* 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 July 25th - The dock at West Side boat access was still Closed pending repairs.
-- Contact Matt of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service to book trips through September with night or day trips available on Weekends. Call 217-855-8406 * Tell him Larry told you to call..
* A Great place to stay while at Clinton Lake is the Holiday Inn Express hotel,
  the newest hotel in Le Roy, IL   Just off I-74 between Bloomington and Champaign,
  only 17 minutes from Clinton Lake. Make your reservations today (309) 962-4439

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.
* 2016 New Regs = Large or Smallmouth Bass.. 15 inch Minimum Length Limit.. 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on a various plastics.
- Catfish were FAIR on dip baits and nightcrawlers and better near area of the dam.

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
-- Not much fishing activity here during those extreme Hot days..
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW this past week on plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits
- Catfish were FAIR on cut baits, liver and dip bait early in day or at dusk
-- 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 ..!

And 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.
There is a wind warning system at LaSalle Lake, located on the tip of the internal dike that extends from the west shore. When the light of the wind warning system is flashing, no boats are to be launched and boats on the lake should find calm water and get off the lake when safe to do so.

-- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times : Apparently no significant fish kills, but water is mid-90s and hotter.

NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
-- Not much Reported from July 22nd
- Bass were just FAIR on plastics, jigs & some on topwater early or late in day.
- Bluegills were somewhat FAIR
- Catfish were FAIR mostly on dip baits and best early in day

POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
SUMMER HOURS through 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.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Red´s Bait and Tackle for current reports at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..
-- Not much new reported from this past weekend
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastic, swimbaits and crankbaits around timber cover or weeds and off points with some better fish in cooler parts of lake
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits

- 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 at Kentucky Lake.

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Angling Adventures & Custom Rods

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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


- - - - - - - - - - -
Hoss's Hawg Bait Hoss's Hawg Bait
The Dip Bait that is Easy
on the Nose,
and 2nd to None.

  - - - - - - - - - - -
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 !

  - - - - - - - - - - -
  All Things Muskie

- - - - - - - - - - -
contact Jonn Graham


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

  - - - - - - - - - - -


  - - - - - - - - - - -
Coon Creek Rv Park & Lodge Coon Creek Rv Park & Lodge

- - - - - - - - - - -

Plattner´s Ghost Hollow Lodge

only 5-miles to JEPC Park
Contact Them for Directions !

- - - - - - - - - - -


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

  - - - - - - - - - - -
Visit Uftring Weston Chevy Cadillac in Peoria
to find the perfect Chevy Truck for your next outdoor adventure that can handle your gear and friends.

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Red Head Barrels Handmade custom small oak barrels for aging that make great gifts or to display in your home.