Larry's Fishing Hole Fishing Reports

- We Wish You All SAFE & GOOD FISHING..!
We appreciate all who visit and read these reports.
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 accure.

- We welcome any fishing reports you wish to send us for sharing with other anglers -

UPDATED Aug. 27, 2014
- Clinton Lake Update on 29th
Thanks to all who read our reports; your support makes all the work worthwhile.
God willing we will try to keep these reports going to share with you again this year..!


- We appreciate those who have been sending us reports - THANKS .!
And we welcome any new reports others wish to share with other anglers and we really enjoy those photos too..

- This year again has been up and down for anglers with unstable or changing weather and early season high water with some flooding. All these conditions made fish difficult to pattern throughout much of the year but as anglers we had to adjust..
- With this Hot weather there have been very few out and very few reports..
- Hope You All can Get out and ENJOY the Outdoors along some GOOD FISHING..!

We find those pesky Gnats are still out and if you do too = 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..

- BULLFROG season ends Aug 31st

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

* New Bait & Tackle shop in Sterling - FISHEADS - behind Fineline Body Art at corner 3rd and Ave G
Owner Shannon says he has live bait and frozen for the Catfish anglers and more.
He also builds the SS Custom Fishing Rods (can find on FB) along with good supply of tackle.
If you are headed to the Rock River for some fishing, stop by FISHEADS or call 815-564-0406
-- If anyone stops by here, let me know what you think..


- Three New Laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2015 to help Improve Safety and Education in Illinois´ Waterways making outdoor recreation safe and enjoyable for everyone.
The three new laws expand boating safety education, improve safety and awareness of water skiers and tubers and increase penalties for those who operate watercraft under the influence.
Senate Bill 3434 allows for the seizure of a watercraft used in the commission of certain offenses related to operating under the influence. The new rules bring penalties for boating under the influence more in line with those for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Senate Bill 3433 requires all persons born after Jan. 1, 1998 to take and pass a boating safety course validated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and hold a valid boating safety certificate before they can operate a motorboat with an engine over 10 horsepower.
Senate Bill 2731, which mandates that the operator of any watercraft that is towing a person, such as a water skier or tuber, must display a bright orange flag measuring not less than 12 inches per side. The flag must be displayed from the time the person to be towed leaves the boat until that person returns to the boat at the conclusion of the activity.
So far in 2014, there have been 16 reported boating fatalities on Illinois waterways. Increased boating safety education and responsible boating practices may have prevented many of these fatalities.

- Construction to begin at Stratton Lock and Dam on the Fox River in McHenry County. The $16.7 million improvement project will install new dam gates and extend lock to reduce wait times for boat traffic. Lock construction will take place during the non-boating season, November 1 thru April 30. The Stratton lock will remain operational during the boating season, May 1 thru October 31. Boaters should be alert to the construction exclusion zones near the lock and dam to ensure the safety of boaters and construction crews. Limited fishing access will remain outside the construction fencing. The project is expected to be completed by November 2016.
More Details and Aerial


* One big thing to remember is no matter how bad the fishing may be for us anglers, those Bait Shop owners have tried to keep fresh baits for us all.
Please make sure to stop by those local (family run) bait shops for your bait, supplies and for current reports.
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.. ----------------> >


- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream :
- The river is up from heavy rains last week
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on cut baits and dip baits near creeks and along channel edge
- Other fish are little SLOW
* * The Starved Rock State Park boat ramp has re-Opened

- Bass were FAIR early and late in day along deep weed edges on plastics, crankbaits .
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies along weed edge..
- Catfish were FAIR on dip baits in evenings

  - Brandon tells us in East Central IL the Salt Fork & and Lil Vermillion Rivers have finally cleared up
  and the Smallmouth are going nuts. He & friends are catching them on buzzbaits, crankbaits
  and most crawdad plastics in deep holes (with couple Largemouth too).
  He feels all the rain really helped the river smallmouth as these fish are healthy and were released
    and says   - Please release the smallies..

  -   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 :
" Norfork Lake is dropping but still in the normal pool range for the summer. The water temperature is in the low 80s. The water visibility is stained.
The stripers & hybrids are still feeding on crawdads & shad. The striper bite continues to be very early before 5am, the stripers are in 40 foot of water on the flats near the dam and mouths of creeks. Stripers are schooling near the dam area. At first light the stripers are moving deeper. Look for them in 40 to 100 foot of water at the 40 foot level. Live shad is still the most effective method to catch a striper, but stripers are being caught trolling using swim baits, umbrella and Alabama rigs. If you find a school of stripers drop a spoon, they will hit it if correctly presented to them. The stripers are starting to hit this years hatch of young gizzard shad, they are about 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inch. I now divide my poles with both sizes of shad. Sunday morning I sat next to some friends and watched them limit out using small shad. One boat caught 20 & 30 pound striper and the other a 20 pound striper so don´t be afraid to use small baits.
I have still started fishing at 4:45 am each morning. We have many bites before light but the catching is more difficult. The bite most often is a small hit and just a pull down. I continue to fish various spots close to the dam. Point 1, Barron, Dam Cove, Koso ( Front & Back), Thumb Point, & the Backbone. I took Harry Tater out and he had his limit before 7 am, it was a fast bite with lots of action. The method is down lines, 2 oz sinker, with 6 foot leader counted down to depth of the stripers.
Walleyes are beginning to bite on spoons and bottom bouncers with nightcrawlers in 30 to 50 foot of water near the dam on the slopping flats. "
-- Also check out Tom´s Blog for Summer Striper Tactics on June 27th post.

BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
- Not much Reported this week..?
- Few Bluegills and some Catfish on crawlers, dip bait and shrimp.

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.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics and spinnerbaits along deep outer weed edge.
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW this week.?
- Crappie are SLOW and small on minnows in 10 - 14 foot water.
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on dip baits, liver and crawlers along outer deep edges of weeds.

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
- Late last week the Bass were FAIR on buzzbaits, crankbaits and small spinners.

Mike Conlin (Retired-Illinois DNR Fisheries Chief) has started an online petition to
"Stop The Proposed Project Endangering Emiquon Preserve".

Mike urges us all to read and signing the petition.   It is very easy to do..
.. just Click on this Link to view the petition and sign on to support this effort.
* 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
during waterfowl hunting season when fishing is allowed only between Noon and sunset.
- * NO boating, fishing or ice skating access before 12:00 pm during waterfowl hunting season & 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.
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, and crankbaits along deep weed edges and timber on points
- Bluegills somewhat FAIR on waxies and crickets.
- Catfish were FAIR on cut baits, liver and dip baits
- Crappie were SLOW and scattered out deeper.
* The Bait Shop & Boat Rental are Open 7 days/week from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. NOTE - During the weekdays staff is not present, please press buzzer on the front of the building for assistance.
The Bait Shop will close October 13th, and the Boat Rental will close October 6th for the season.
For details check

-- Lake Hours are daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
- Bass were SLOW
- Catfish are FAIR on cut baits and dip baits
- Walleye were SLOW
- - Short Video from Captain Bob Santangelo

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.
- Bass are FAIR-SLOW along deep weed edges or deep ends of laydowns along bluff on plastics, jigs and crankbaits
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW and small on waxies and crickets
- Catfish were FAIR over weekend on cut baits, liver and Hoss´s Hawg Bait
- Crappie were SLOW

We have had anglers Give shout outs to Mike´s Minnow Bucket again this year for ´Premium´ minnows. Great bait, even better than last year, nice new sign too. Note: Don´t worry if the garage doors are down, he´s just trying to keep the morning sun off the bait tanks.
*- For Bait if you come to lake from the north, stop by Mike´s Minnow Bucket 2.7 miles west of I-39 from El Paso on US 24.
Hours are opening at 3:00pm Mon - Thur and All Day Fri, Sat & Sun. with A Great supply of Good minnow, worms and more. This is also where you can get Hoss´s Hawg Bait, call Mike at 309-303-2375 and he will be there for you..

LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan - LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951. *On June 5th the IDNR stocked 255,978 sauger into Lake Shelbyville from the nursery pond adjacent to the lake. It is hoped that a self-sustaining sauger fishery can be created for this lake.
And some 111,000 walleye fingerlings were also stocked by DNR hatcheries in May.

- Here is report from Guide Steve Welch for Aug 25 - 31st: " The water temps have went up some into the 81-83 range and the color remains very clear.
The Crappie fishing remains about the same very good with the mid lake to south end producing the best. On main lake channel banks out on the end of down trees in at least 15-30 feet fishing a slip bobber rig and lively minnow set at 12-15 feet even with branches on the down trees. This has been my pattern for two months and will be the same for another three weeks or so. Once the water temps start to fall things will change as the bait will move into the coves.
We have been fishing for White Bass once we get our limit of crappie and doing very well on points and channel banks. I use my side imaging to scan these areas and I am looking for anything I see that is about fifteen-feet down on the drop and then extends at that depth some forty feet straight off the drop into the middle of the channel. Plus I am looking on my side imaging for the exact size of white dots. The bigger dots are all Buffalo and we have been catching them as well since they are mixed in with the white bass.
To catch the white bass and buffalo we are using a 3/4oz. Bomber Slab Spoon with one of Andy Roberts hand tied flies about a foot above the spoon. We get several doubles on the white bass doing this by just holding your rod once you get one and then in about ten seconds you will have a second. These are really big white bass that live their entire lives in deep water and all of them are pushing two-pounds or better. I am dropping the spoon right in the middle of the suspended school of whites and jigging it up and down watching for them to pick it up on the drop.
Just on Sunday we caught about forty whites and our limits of crappie and about twenty buffalo from twenty to forty pounds.
I still have plenty of open dates including September 4th and also September 8, 9, 17, 26 "

McMASTER LAKE at - SNAKEDEN HOLLOW - - NW of Peoria, just 1 1/2 miles East of Victoria South off IL Route 167, there is a 10HP limit. 309-879-2607
** The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria, 2 blocks south of U.S. 167 on Union St. has live bait & tackle open from an just before sunrise till 7 - 8pm, 7 days a week!! Stop in and tell Duane & Becky we said HI, or give them a call at 309-879-2401
- Bass were FAIR in evenings on plastics, swimbaits and spinner along weed edges
- Bluegills are FAIR but more small fish this week in most lakes on crickets and wax worms along weed edges
- Catfish were FAIR on cut baits, dip baits and crawlers in evenings
- Crappie were SLOW this week
-- Check with them at The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria for Bait & current reports and info on Fishing in the area as well as the new lakes.

- Have not heard much from here during this week of Hot weather only
a few Crappie caught that seem to really be scattered throughout lake
but the Catfish remain Fairly GOOD on dip bait (Hoss´s Hawg Bait), leeches, big minnows and crawlers
- Check with Todd Gessner Outdoors Guide Service on Rend Lake at 618-513-0520 for future fishing trips and make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club and they have a bait shop too..
* Gun Creek Bait & Tackle where You can get your jar or bucket of Hoss´s Hawg Bait...!
And to get your bottle or two of The Original Vanilla Bug Spray to repel those biting gnats, flies and mosquitoes..
- - Here is this week's Fishing Report from US Army Corps - Please fish safely! Always wear your life jacket on the water! Rend Lake Project Office/Visitor Center at 618-724-2493

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Rend Lake has partnered with the Rend Lake Lunker Busters and Mt. Vernon Winnelson Company, to provide collection stations for recycling monofilament fishing line. Monofilament fishing line can be damaging to our environment and harmful to wildlife and visitors when not disposed of properly. Each year hundreds of animals are entangled in discarded fishing line. In addition, the improperly discarded fishing line causes damage to boat motors and can even entangle swimmers and divers. The recycling containers for monofilament line are provided at various locations around Rend Lake at many boat ramps. While at the lake, visitors are asked to place all used fishing line in the newly placed recycle containers but please do not place cans, bottles, or other trash in these special fishing line recycling bins. All used line that is collected will be sent to a manufacturer in Iowa where it will be made into fish habitat structures. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers encourages all visitors to pitch in to make Rend Lake a safer and more beautiful place to recreate. 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 April thru October 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Bass were FAIR on plastics along deep weed edges and some on topwater early in morning.
- Bluegills were FAIR.
- Catfish are FAIR on dip bait and liver.
- Crappie were little SLOW this week.
- Hybrid Stripers were SLOW
- Muskie have SLOWED this week on bucktails
- Walleye were SLOW-FAIR near the deep trees

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 Reports -
- Received email from angler who says "Aug. 16th I was fishing the south end of Spring Lake and witnessed a large fish kill. (Wondered if due to weed control on the lake) The hundreds of fish I saw were crappies ranging 9 - 10 inch. "
Stop by Larry´s Restaurant & Family Bar at south end for their Awesome homemade tenderloins along with current reports.
-- Check with J & R Riverside Bait & Tackle in Pekin on your way for bait and latest reports.


CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
--A NO-WAKE speed limit is in effect from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise at Clinton Lake. Signs should be posted at the lake for reminders and a Violation will lead to a $75 ticket.
* Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle on Rt. 54 in DeWitt is Open from 5am - 5pm 7 days a week for ALL your fishing needs and full line license service.
- We can highly recommend you stop by or call Joe at 217-935-6244.
** Also, this is the place to get your   FIZARDS  .!
- Ol´ Joe´s report for Aug. 29th.. "
Catfish are GOOD on shad, shrimp, livers, night crawlers, and cheese near hot water area and the flats areas.
White Bass are FAIR-GOOD and seem to be all over lake from North fork to Parnell area with the bridges best being caught on small white or chrome spinner baits and some smaller crank baits work ing too.
Largemouth Bass are FAIR on rubber worms,spinner baits and some crank baits fished in the coves and on points.
Crappie starting to be caught in some of the coves and rip rap areas in 5 - 8 feet of water on minnows.
Some smaller Bluegills still being caught in bank areas on red worms and wax worms.
Also some nice size Stripers reported.
Hot and rainy make for some ideal fishing conditions [for the fish] Hope everyone has a nice Labor Day..
Be Safe & Enjoy.!"
-- Ol´ Joe´s Clinton Lake Catfish tournament next date is Sept. 6th at Weldon ramp from 6pm - 12pm.
* Read a post few weeks ago where an angler had this to Share : "Shout-Out to Ol´ Joe´s Bait shop in Dewitt for the great info and bait. Any questions about the lake, ask them. They will put you on the fish for sure.! "
Check with Joe for latest update and Ol´ Joe says "Be Safe & Enjoy !" ..

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.
- Main lake water temps are in 90s and near 100 in the hot-water arm with most of lake fairly clear..
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD over weekend (but have Slowed today) on most lures, minnows and nightcrawlers
- Bluegills are FAIR but SLOW at times on minnows and part nightcrawlers.
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on dip bait, nightcrawlers and shrimp

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, spinners and crankbaits.
- Bluegills were SLOW-FAIR and small on waxies.
- Catfish are FAIR on most baits.
- WhiteBass were little SLOW on jig/twisters and bladebaits
-- 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

NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
-- This Report by the Newton Lake State Fish & Wildlife Area:
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, buzzbaits and deep crankbaits in coves with some on topwater in early mornings.
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW and still mostly small fish on wax worms and red worms
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on crawlers, cut shad and shrimp (saw blog of angler using hot dogs) near dam

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   WINTER HOURS (Oct. 1st - April 30th): 8am - 4pm
* Check with at J & R Riverside Bait & Tackle in Pekin (309) 347-3793 on your way for bait and latest reports or his full line of tackle, Baits and some tips.. Tell them Larry sent you..!

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 somewhat FAIR over weekend but may have Slowed some recently on plastics, jig/plastics or crankbaits along outer deeper weedlines or near deep timber.
- Bluegills were FAIR-SLOW and small along weed edges on waxies and crickets.
- Catfish were FAIR but smaller fish this week on cut baits, crawlers and dip bait.
* The West Boat ramp remains Closed as of Aug 26th; construction has resumed with a completion date (hopefully) sometime in mid Sept. AND - Beginning August 25th, the road leading to as well as the parking lot for the West Boat ramp will be closed for approximately 10 days so that the project can be completed.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds 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 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 last fall..

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