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 Oct. 22, 2014
- Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle at Clinton Lake is also carrying Crossbows and Tree Stands
as well as some bow supplies -

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 cool weather and wind kept fishing activity down again, with only a few out for the Fall Trout season opener Saturday.
However, looking at weekend forecast of 70 degree days, it will be a Great time to get out & FISH..
-The cold overnight temps have cooled down water temps more. Many fish are setting up in their fall patterns and will be feeding up for winter.
- With Fall here, many have put up fishing gear and getting ready for hunting but for us fall means great fishing.
-- Fewer reports and the lake Closures taking place will mean that as we start losing current reports for some lakes, we will drop them from our reports till next spring..
- The fall colors and the warm-up coming will make this a prime time to get outside and make some memories.
- Hope You All can Get out and ENJOY the Outdoors along some GOOD FISHING..!

- One other pesky thing happening now is the leaves and stuff on the water that gets on your line.. We learned a good trick several years ago while trolling, it was to keep your rod tip underwater so the stuff does not get on your line.. I tried it over the weekend by casting and putting the rod tip in the water and reeling - Cool - No cotton on line..!

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

- 2014 Illinois Fall Trout fishing season is underway as of Oct 18th at 50 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state. New this fall is catch-and-release fly fishing at a handful of sites that began Oct. 4th. Visit this IDNR Web Page for full details and site locations..
Anglers 16 and older must have a valid Illinois fishing license and an inland-trout stamp. There is a daily limit of 5 Trout per angler.

Be aware that some lakes have been or will be drawn down for the winter..!


- 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.
During fishing & boating season in 2014, there had 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. Boaters should be alert to the construction exclusion zones near the lock and dam and of the limited fishing access that 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 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.
AND another prime example of what I am saying was highlighted when Duane & Becky of The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria CLOSED their Bait Shop due to lack of fishing traffic and/or business.
  This closing is Sad and we all will miss them..!


** NOTE -- With waterfowl hunting seasons coming in mid-Oct., there are many lakes that will Close
or Partially Close to fishing.
* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.

--Check below in reports for the Closure dates that have been provided to us,
that also include other special hunt date closures, etc..

-- Other Lakes not mentioned in reports below that will have Closures are:
- Rice Lake is CLOSED to boat fishing as of Oct. 1st and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..
  - Prairie Lake in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area
  also has Closures during waterfowl hunting season
  listed in upper right of sign at lake..


  - 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 :
Snagging for chinook and coho salmon only is permitted from some Lake Michigan shoreline areas from October 1 through December 31; however there are some limitations
* Read his full story on REGS....

- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream :
- Sauger were reported as FAIR on crankbaits or some on 3-way with floaters and minnow near creek areas and/or sand flats.
- WhiteBass were a little SLOW at times and should improve soon..

- Bass were FAIR around timber on plastics, crankbaits and a couple reported on topwater during last warm up.
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies and tight along remaining shoreline weed edge..
- Crappie were FAIR and improving on jigs and minnows near brush...

  - Cameron and his fishing buddy Curtis each
  caught a limit of Trout in about an hour and half
  on opening morning of fall trout season
  at Clear lake in Kickapoo in Danville.
  Most all on a small spinner bait and
  a couple on Salmon eggs by Powerbait.

  - Our friend Bill was fishing day 2 of a Redfish rodeo
  and his only keeper was a 20 inch Black Drum (center).
  His friends Harry & Lois each caught a 27 inch Redfish.

  -   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 level has stabilized and is 1 1/2 feet below normal fall pool. The water temperature ranges from the mid to low 60s and is dropping. The water visibility is stained.
The stripers are very active right now. You can find top water action near Robinson Point and Cranfield Island. Stripers are now schooling all over the lake. You can find them along the bluff walls, flats and river channels in water ranging from 45 to 100 feet. The stripers are holding at 38 to 55 feet with some deeper fish at 60 feet. Spoons and shad are working the best.
In the mid lake areas look for stripers on Robinson Point, in Float Creek, Panther Bay, and Fall Creek areas. I fished the Robinson Point area along a bluff wall. We were over schools of stripers and hybrids for over 2 1/2 hours.
I took Dan Marker and his son Ben out for their first striper trip. I started with over 70 threadfin shad for bait and when we stopped fishing I had only 4 threadfin left. We had over 50 bites and caught at least 20 hybrids & stripers. Most of the fish were of smaller size but we did manage to keep 5. We hooked, caught, and missed fish all morning long.
Now is an excellent time to get on the Norfork Lake. The stripers, bass, crappies, and other species will be very active for the next several weeks. With the water cooling down the crappie have moved to the shallows in the brush, look for them in Bennett’s Bayou, Pigeon Creek, Big & Brushy Creeks, and Red Bank. "
** Reading these reports may be hard to know the time & 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

ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
- - THIS AREA IS CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake for season with bank fishing Only allowed.

ARGYLE LAKE - In Argyle State Park SW of Macomb off US 136 309-776-3422
-- This is one of the sites stocked for Fall Trout Fishing Season As you can see below.
  - Our friend John caught his limit
  of Trout over weekend at Argyle
  trolling crankbaits.
  John also tells us the lake
  may not be drawn down this year..?

BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)

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 crankbaits around timber
- Cameron and his fishing buddy Curtis tell us last weekend the Crappie were little SLOW jigs and minnows.
However, they say the Catfish were GOOD with both of them catching their 6 fish limit all on nightcrawlers and beejays dip bait.

DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
* * THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the season --

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
- No 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
during waterfowl hunting season when fishing is allowed only between Noon and sunset.
** During the Central zone waterfowl season, Fishing is ONLY Allowed in Afternoons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
- * 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 or crankbaits off points around timber.
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR on minnows around brush
- Muskie were SLOW-FAIR over weekend with couple 34ish inch fish and a few follows on cranks
- No Word on Saugeye this week.?
* The Bait Shop is CLOSED for the season..
- - Also, the ENTIRE lake and park, with the exception of the campground, is CLOSED to general use Nov. 21-23rd and Dec. 4-7th for the Deer Management Program.

-- Lake Hours are daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
* * Lake is CLOSED for the season --

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 were FAIR off points and ends of timber or along remaining weeds on plastics, jigs and crankbaits
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR with several small fish on jigs/minnows over and around brush.
- Hybrids are FAIR-SLOW in mid-lake on crankbaits or jig/big twisters (watch for surface feeding).
- UPDATE -* Mike´s Minnow Bucket has moved his CLOSING date for the season up till weather turns Bad..!
Until then, check them out 2.7 miles west of I-39 from El Paso on US 24 with fall Hours opening at 3:00pm Mon - Thur and All Day Fri, Sat & Sun.

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 for thur Oct. 20th: " The rain never stopped last week and this brought the surface temps down to 64 and scattered the crappie. Now I can catch a dozen small fish to every good one on main lake brush and the same in coves. So getting our three person limit was tough last week. We need the sun to shine so light can penetrate for better visibility for the crappie.
The best news I have is that some good fish are showing up on the north end right up on the bank. We are throwing a slip bobber with a lively big minnow under it or a 3/32oz. Deep Ledge Jig and tube. We are also getting some huge white bass doing this as they have moved very shallow as well. This bite has been better in the afternoon so we are still going south and working main lake piles and some coves then working our way back for the afternoon bite to find some big fish.
The main lake brush we are using is down trees and brush in 12-20 foot. Then it is the coves we are using around brush in about 8-10 feet.
We need the water temps to go below 60 and then the crappie will start to move into the ten-foot brush up on the north end and remain there until December. We can then vertical jig for them and get right over them. This is some of the best fishing of the year and I still have plenty of those openings left for that very good November bite. Just go to my website at www.LakeShelbyvilleGuide.Com and check for availability on front page.
I am going to be guiding down on Kentucky Lake from Oct 20th so there will be no fishing report from Shelbyville until November 10th. "

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
** THIS AREA IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season --   And reopens to fishing after central zone goose season ends, typically on February 1st each year.
** The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria has CLOSED due to lack of fishing traffic and/or business.
THIS IS SAD as Duane & Becky of The Depot Bait and Tackle Store in Victoria was our best resource for reports & info.! And is why we say we all need to support our local family run bait shops..

- 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 -
They also say "Please fish safely! Always wear your life jacket on the water! "
  - 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
  at various locations around Lake.
  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 floating Rapala and some on live baits too over and around the weed beds.
- Crappie were FAIR near bottom around cribs on minnows with most just under 9 inch with some good ones too including a 12 incher
- Hybrids were FAIR-SLOW
- Muskie were SLOW-FAIR with a fat 42 inch fish over weekend.

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 ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats --


** Lake is CLOSED for the season --

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 from weekend.. "
The Crappie bite is ON at Clinton with lots of undersize fish being caught which is a good sign for future years as well as nice limits of crappie in the 10 inch plus range.
Lots of White bass action as well
Lots of Catfish of good size being caught using meaty baits.
Bass being caught on plastics & spinners and reports of couple Walleye too.
Be Safe & Enjoy.!"
With winter approaching their hours will remain the same thru Thanksgiving. At that time we will only be open MORNING hours until March 1..
-- Ol´ Joe´s is also carrying Crossbows and Tree Stands as well as some bow supplies.. Check them out..!
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges is CLOSED FROM OCT. 10th through MARCH 31st to protect fish and wildlife...
* 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.
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastics, spinners and crankbaits.
- Bluegills were FAIR small jigs with some on small minnows too
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on dip baits, shrimp and shad
- Crappie were FAIR at times on minnows.
* During the Central Zone waterfowl season: No fishing north of the railroad tracks (upper pool) until after 1pm daily.
AND - The Entire site/ Lake will be CLOSED to all activities during the first and second deer firearms seasons. No fishing is allowed Nov. 21-23rd and Dec. 4-7th.

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle tells us Crappie are FAIR-GOOD mostly on minnows with some on jigs
He also say WhiteBass were FAIR on jigs/twister (& some with minnows) and spinners, watch for surface feeding...
- Catfish remain somewhat FAIR
-- 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

* * Lake is CLOSED for the season --

NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
- Bass were FAIR over weekend mostly on crankbaits and jigs on points and around timber with a couple on topwater too.
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.
Also, the Entire Lake is CLOSED to fishing during the two regular gun deer seasons, Nov. 21-23rd and Dec. 4-7th.

POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
--   WINTER HOURS: 8am - 4pm

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.
- Crappie were FAIR but mostly small fish on jig and minnows around ends of laydowns
- No other Reports from here..
-- Check with Trevor at Big Reds 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 ARE CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic effective Oct. 15th through Jan. 31, 2015 (during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only). And the Entire Lake will be CLOSED Nov. 21-23rd and Dec. 4-7th due to firearm deer hunting on adjacent properties. 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 p.m. Monday through Friday.

- 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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