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 4, 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.!

-- We have had a lot of up & down weather including rains.
The cool down and rains did drop water temps some, but the warm summer like forecast should bring it back up and make fish more active in shallower waters..
- Hoping We All can Get out and ENJOY the Outdoors along with maybe some GOOD FISHING Soon..!

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

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 and 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 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 2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in PDF format on the IDNR website
where you can read or print you a copy that will be Effective: April 1st through March 31, 2017.
* * Be sure to read through to check your lakes as there are some changes to limits this year..!
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..

- Our friend Jonn Graham of CAMP SMALLMOUTH wants to remind us all that the annual stream smallmouth season is getting 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 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..   ----------------------------------------------> >


-- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times : Remember that Saturday is the last day to fish for perch in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan. Perch fishing in Illinois is closed from May 1-June 15.

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 had come up some but starting to drop again..
Have not heard much this week..
- Only few reports of WhiteBass remain FAIR-GOOD on spinners and blades around creeks..?

- Bass were FAIR past weekend on plastics, jigs, swimbaits and spinnerbaits
- Crappie were FAIR at times on jigs and/or minnows..

  - At NW Illinois streams the Smallmouth
  were spawning last week.
  Brad caught a few on articulated streamers
  and Released back..

  -   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 bite has slowed on Norfork Lake; the shad have completed their spawn and moved off the banks. There is still a topwater bite but over the last few days it seems the stripers are surfacing more infrequently on the points.
I fished the lower end of the lake off the points within site of the dam. It was a very active week for action. I had a least 50 strikes on my baits. It was fun to watch but most time the fish were not taking the bait just slapping at it until they killed it. We did catch fish each day but not the numbers we should have.
With the 3 1/2 inches of rain we have had the last few days I expect some of the stripers to run back up the creek. The stripers have not spawned yet so some of males are ripe while others are still firm. It should happen anytime.
I have had reports that some good size walleye are being caught at night. One friend caught three nice walleye and lost a 5 lb one at the boat. He was throwing a black and gold Rapala. He twitches it a few times then reel a couple of turns and do all over again. He also threw a small crankbait reeling reel slow. He was fishing the Big Creek area.
Some days it is very rewarding to take clients out and see their faces when they catch a bunch of stripers. Then you get the day nothing works. The weather is a big factor in the spring, a storm can change a whole pattern you been fishing in one night. One day you are a hero and the next a zero. That’s the life of a guide.
I took Shawn, Greg, & John Saturday morning after an all-night rain storm. We did not have a bite for the first 45 minutes then the fish became active. It was still slow but consistent, then in 1 hour we caught 6 stripers and finish with 9 fish in the last 1 1/2 hours. Everybody was very happy.
Saturday afternoon we had a major storm with hail and then 2 storms rolled in during that night and everything changed. I took my clients to the same spots and over 4 ½ hours we only had 4 bites. The fish were there but were totally shutdown. Needless to say my clients were not happy. They knew what I did the day before and wondering why we could not catch any, it was a long day.
The stripers along with the other large predator species have moved into their spring feed patterns with the air and water temperatures about normal.
Make your plans on the web with for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to check out the Spring Striper Tactics article!
- 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 Spring 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)
* Effective April 1, 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
- No updates for here.?

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.
* Effective April 1, 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-GOOD on plastics and crankbaits with a 3 1/2 pounder reported last week
- Bluegills were FAIR but small
- Catfish were FAIR on cut bait, liver and dip baits
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on minnows and some nice fish around 10 inch from around area of dam.

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
- No fishing reports this week..
* Notice : With the shutdown of Dickson Mounds Museum at this time, fishing and boating permits may be done at the launch..? Call (309) 547-2730.

* 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.
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit..
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 Fri - Sunday
Expanded Hours will begin Memorial Day Weekend - COMLARA PARK VISITOR CENTER (309)434-6770.
-- Report of finding water temps near 68 in late afternoon last week but little cooler recently.
- Bass are SLOW-FAIR on plastics and spinnerbaits
- Bluegills were FAIR in coves
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs and/or minnows
- Saugeye were FAIR-SLOW around points with most 13 inch fish with couple 17-18 inchers
  - Chris caught this 18 inch Saugeye
  on Mepps inline spinner last week
  Seemed to be schooled up & feeding heavily.
  And we hear several 12-14 inchers caught
  trolling in or near coves.

  - Justin caught this 1 lb. 9 oz White Bass
  on a fuzzy grub last week
  casting in brush on upper end of Lake.

- Crappie were somewhat FAIR on minnows and/or jigs.
- Hybrids were FAIR on crankbaits along north side
- Walleye were FAIR at times on jig/minnows or crawlers and trolled crankbaits along break on north side
- Did read a blog of angler catching a couple nice Smallmouth..

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..
-- The Wetlands Initiative has announced the fishing season at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (Hennepin-Hopper) from May 15 to Sept 5.
Closed Mondays 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

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.
* Effective April 1, 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.

- - Water temps dropped early this week into low-mid 50s, but should warm up fast
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, swimbaits and spinners
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW and small
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW early this week on jigs and/or minnows around brush at or in coves in about 10 foot water.
* 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)
- Tyler caught this nice 19 inch Largemouth Bass and Bullhead while using a bass tube at Lake Eureka.
* For bait, Check  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24   that   OPENS for the season on April 9th..!

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 May 2nd : " The lake is coming up fast and this has brought the crappie shallow both in coves and on the main lake. Water temps are running in the mid to upper 60's and only the highest reaches of the lake is muddy especially the Kaskaskia side.
We have switched over to throwing a cork since the fish are so shallow and using a lively minnow under it. We are fishing from the bank out to about six-feet all over the lake. The coves mid lake to the south end are full of good fish. Just target stumps any kind of down tree or brush and beaver lodges if you can find them.
The rivers will be muddy so the walleye bite will slow this week but the good news is we are soon to have enough water to get them up on the flats.

  - Erik sent this photo of his buddy Joe
  with a nice almost 16 inch Crappie
  from their fishing a week ago when
  catching a limit was easy..

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
- No recent or New Reports from here..

PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area -
  -- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
  - Brad says Bass were around beds last week
  with some small Bass caught on watermelon grubs
  - Crappie are FAIR in the shallow coves

** 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..!

- Check with Todd Gessner Outdoors Guide Service on Rend Lake at 618-513-0520 for future fishing trips including Catfishing and make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastic worms, jigs/plastic and spinnerbaits around brush and along rocks
- Bluegills were reports as FAIR-GOOD on wax worms, crickets or part crawler along shore cover and near rock
- Catfish were Fairly GOOD on dip baits, leeches, nightcrawlers and large minnows around sub-dams, off flats and out from shoreline rock
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on jigs and/or minnows
- WhiteBass are FAIR on jigs/twisters and spinners
- - Read the latest Fishing Report from US Army Corps who says:
- - "Please fish safely! Always buckle up your life jacket on the water! "
- - The 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.
- Water temps were about mid 50s
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW in afternoons.
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW
- Crappie were FAIR and better on minnows with some on jigs/plastics with better fish deeper, - keep moving.
- A Muskie were FAIR-SLOW

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 shared this week


CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
  - Terry fished Clinton all weekend with great success.
  Had a double limit each day Friday-Sunday.
  They fished in anywhere from a foot of water
  to three feet using jigs and minnows under a cork.
  Sunday was especially good since they were able to
  pull a double limit of crappie off of one of their honey holes.

- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports and ALL your fishing needs - 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 May 2nd - 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, Weekends or weekdays. Call 217-855-8406 * Tell him Larry told you to call..

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.
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Regs = Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- - This is from last Friday:
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs and spinnerbaits with few also caught on minnows
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD over weekend on dip baits and few on crawlers
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD at times on minnows

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Catfish were FAIR on cut baits
- Crappie were FAIR with some really nice fish this past week on minnows and/or jigs
-- 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.
- Mostly reports of Catfish with a few nice Blues

POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
WINTER HOURS (through - April 30th): 8am - 4pm
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.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Red´s Bait and Tackle for current reports at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on most baits
- Crappie are FAIR on blue/white jigs near coves

- 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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contact Jonn Graham


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

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

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

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3415 Meadow Ave
East Peoria, Illinois
& the Food is GREAT !