- Winter is back with Cold temps and maybe some snow over weekend.
And forecast is for fairly normal next week.
- The mild temps past week pretty much eliminated ice in much of Illinois.
For those wishing to fish, you will find Bluegills and Crappie in those same wintering areas
that you would ice fish.
It will take going north into Wisconsin to find good fishable ice.
Never take any unnecessary chances with safety, it´s not worth the risk.
* BE AWARE * Use Caution at the launches and Watch for
Ice on launch ramps during Cold Weather, Particularly in Mornings..
- There may still be a few good days for fishing yet.
- If you go out to take advantage of the cool days, Remember to take precautions, dress warm,
take extra clothes just in case, get some Hand Warmer and make sure to Wear your lifejacket too.
And keep your fishing gear, equipment and boat ready for storage till that first fishing day next spring.
Here are some tips for: GET FISHING GEAR & BOAT READY FOR WINTER & STORAGE
- We welcome any info or reports you wish to share with others in our updates..
- Check our site for other Fishing info and Events or just to get our Email..
And our ITEMS FOR SALE page
- If you are looking for Ice Fishing Gear or
a New Trolling motor or onboard Charger,
= let me know we will give you contact info.
* Again - THANKS To All Who Support our site and shared reports, stories and photos -
We Truly Appreciate them all.!!
** NOTE -- During late Fall & Winter seasons and with waterfowl hunting seasons for Illinois,
some lakes are CLOSED or Partially CLOSED to fishing (Check below in reports).
* CHECK OUR - ITEMS FOR SALE Page - For :
Fishing Gear & MISC -
- If you are looking for a New Trolling motor or onboard Charger,
= let me know we will give you contact info.
- - Notes Of Interest : -
- Wear Your Life Jacket: Life jackets save lives,
& IL law requires life jackets or life vests (personal floatation devices, PFDs)
for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft.
** For ILLINOIS
Boat REGISTRATION & SAFETY ACT INFORMATION
* 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.
- Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit their website links on the right.. ---------------------------------------------> > >
** NOTE -- During Winter season & with waterfowl (Duck & Goose) hunting seasons for Illinois,
some lakes are CLOSED or Partially CLOSED to fishing.
-- Check below in reports for the Closure dates, with more info adding as provided to us..
* AND as Duck Season has Ended in Central Zone, there are a couple sites Re-Opened.
For State site Closures or partial Closures due to weather or hunting seasons,
IDNR Closures page for full list & more info as they update it.
* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.
- - For Waterfowl Season DATES
RICE LAKE - This Area is CLOSED to Boat Fishing through Waterfowl Season
and will Re-Open at end of Central Duck & Goose season..
** Maybe outside our Central IL reporting area,
The Morrison-Rockwood´s State Park,
Lake Carlton boat ramp will be CLOSED for the 2018 season
for construction of a new ramp
and boat docks. They are sorry for the inconvenience. THANKS Mickey for sharing this.!
For - OTHER LAKE REPORTS Outside Illinois -
can be found at bottom of this page or Click HERE
* And Check Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters tips
-- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times : "Ice was going the wrong way but it appears to be likely to return toward more normal conditions for January;
that and perch fishing on the Chicago lakefront staying variable."
- ILLINOIS RIVER
- - Near Peru - Spring Valley and downstream:
- The River is slowly dropping but still up..
It may take tilll next week to get near normal
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close 6 Illinois River locks in 2020 for major repairs,
( Details & Webinar Video w/highlights presentation ) with navigation not affected.
ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
- - THIS AREA has Re-OPENED TO BOAT FISHING
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, (lakes to the East)
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 is a " No Wake " Lake
* * THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING
for the Season - And
will re-Open February 1st --
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
* Want to REMIND anglers of the Rules at Emiquon,
and Rule #10 = No live bait except worms.
- - Check their website for updated rules & permits required, or go to Official Site RULES file.
and Rule #6 = 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.
* 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.
** REMINDER : Fishing is ONLY Allowed from noon to sunset During
the Central zone waterfowl hunting season..
HEIDECKE LAKE - site office ph 815/942-6352
* * Lake is CLOSED to Fishing for the season till typically April 1st
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 Re-Open spring 2019.
For the complete Rules & Regs details, click HERE
LAKE EUREKA - This Lake is only 30 acres
- Eureka Lake is starting over with the restock of fish
PJ Star story
LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan -
LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and
LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- Crappie Guide Terry Davis says: "With the recent rains Lake Shelbyville has risen about 3-4 ft above normal pool. This also caused the water to become a little muddy. High and dirty water don’t make for the most ideal crappie fishing but we moved around enough until we found clearer water which helped improve the bite. December and January have been good prior to the rains and the lake will clear and level out soon enough.
We are booking trips already and have already had a handful of trips in January. Weather permitting we are ready to go."
or call Terry @ 309-212-6817 for more info.
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 LAKE is CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season,
and will Re-Open on February 1st. -
PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area - 217-452-7741
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
* Reminder of Partial Closures
during Waterfowl Season -
- from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th
Lake access is CLOSED until after 12:01 PM
on Wednesday & Saturday.
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..
- Over weekend Crappie were FAIR-GOOD at times on jigs around brush piles in 9-16 foot of water
- - The US Army Corps says:
"Please fish safely! Always wear your PFD when on the water!
You could find yourself in the water unexpectedly with little advance warning."
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 ALL DAY ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at
north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats --
and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day..
WILDLIFE PRAIRIE PARK LAKES -
Fishing is open during Park hours that opens at 9am every day. Call (309) 676-0998 for details
-- Anglers will enter and exit the park like all other visitors. A general admission fee is charged
at the main gate or yearly membership privileges are applicable.
-- Fishing in all these lakes will be from shore, belly boats, or portable boats.
ONLY electric motors are allowed.
-- IDNR Statewide sport fishing regulations will be in effect and enforced.
* For More Rules, Regs and fishing lakes map,
- - - - CENTRAL ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
BALDWIN LAKE - Just north of Baldwin off Route 154. - site Office 618-785-2555
--- There is a 50hp motor limit
* A SOUTHERN PORTION OF LAKE is CLOSED During Waterfowl Season
till Feb. 1st
-- Hours may vary during winter.?
* Check with site Office 618-785-2555 as these times may change.!
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
-- Daily Hours are 6 am - sunset
** 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
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge
is CLOSED and remains Closed typically until April 1st ..?
- Crappie Guide Terry Davis tells us: "We took
advantage of the warm weather and had a good
day on Clinton. The bite was good Sunday. We
caught several corking and vertical jigging. Our
bait of choice was Bobby Garland Baby Shad in the Outlaw color.
We got into some better quality fish as well which was exciting to see.
We are booking trips already and have already had a handful of trips in January.
Weather permitting we are ready to go."
or call Terry @ 309-212-6817 for more info.
- Check with Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest Fishing Reports and ALL your fishing needs..!
Also: Joe is trying very hard to sell his business, so if anyone is interested,
please call him at 217-935-6244. * * Health issues is reason & Joe is trying to keep shop OPEN as long as he can take it.!
- He is offering a Great Deal on this shop, property and Includes his Huge inventory..!
-- Turn-Key operation, 1 1/2 acres Bait Shop is only 6 years old and another building next door.
COFFEEN LAKE - SE of Hillsboro off Rt 127 or south of Coffeen off Rte 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
through Jan. 31st
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go to east.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle for your bait and current reports
2193 Stevenson Dr in Springfield 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 -
** THIS 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 Zone Waterfowl Season for 2018: Nov. 22 - Jan. 31
- Bass were reported as just FAIR mostly on spinnerbaits in areas with water temps around 60
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
* LAKE is OPEN to SHORE FISHING ONLY - Normally Winter Hours are: 8am - 4pm
- HOWEVER, Lake Will Remain CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING Until 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.
- - 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 IS CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic
through Jan. 31, 2018
(during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
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 pm 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 an Awesome fishing trip (we highly recommend),
check Tom Reynolds of STR Outfitters at www.stroutfitters.com
- Here is latest Report from Tom:
The Norfork Lake winter striper bite is great if you can find the shad, otherwise its slow.
I fished Float creek Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday and caught stripers each trip but only 1 time did I catch a limit.
There is limited bait holding in Float but there seems to be stripers in the 50 to 60 foot of water.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, we caught all our fish from 49 to 58 feet, the stripers were holding on the bottom but they were
not very aggressive. On Saturday we caught only 3 and they were in water depths 60 to 70 feet and our lines were set at 54 feet.
I never marked any fish but we caught 3 using 6 inch gizzard shad. My clients were a father and 2 boys from Florida and never caught stripers.
Each caught 1 fish so they were pleased. I was not since I expect to catch a limit each time out.
On Saturday one of my clients fished Big Creek and caught 1 striper. He then trailered his boat up to 101 area
and caught 2 more. There seems to be more bait and stripers being caught around the Blue Lady area from the mouth of 101 cove
up towards Crystal Cove. Right now, I would look for the bait and not worry about the stripers since the fish are following
the bait they will show up.
The stripers will be in large schools along with the white bass. Shad, shiners and spoons are the best baits.
Since they are now schooled up, using those baits expect the action can be very fast.
Trolling will produce fish but since you are moving, you are not staying on the schools long enough to catch many.
Even though its cold, winter striper fishing is one of the best times to catch lots of fish and have the lake to yourself.
The good part of winter striper fishing is the fish will stay in this pattern for the next several months so there should
be not a lot of traveling looking for fish. When you find big balls of shad, the stripers will be close by.
The stripers will move to the channel towards Crystal Cove and stay on the big flat and channel near Howard Cove
and Blue Lady. Float Creek will begin to hold fish as the water turns colder. Stripers tend to congregate near and in
the four corners area of 5A.
We are using shad but shiners will be an effective substitute to shad. The best method is downlines set off the bottom
about 2 feet. I also had 1 rod set about 20 feet down to catch the roving hybrids that are in the higher water column.
Float and Panther Creeks should also hold stripers plus Big Creek. Follow the same pattern,
find the shad and the stripers are nearby.
- Tom & Sean Reynolds have fished Lake Norfork for over 52 years and they guide out of Tracy Ferry Marina.
Tracy Ferry Marina is the only marina on Norfork Lake that has 24 fuel. You can get gas anytime using your credit card.
You can reach Tom at www.stroutfitters.com ,
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 some years ago at
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