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 March 22, 2017

a SAFE & HAPPY Fishing Season..!


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.

-- With Spring here (the calendar says so) weather is more normal
- and the forecast for next 7 days looks fairly Good (maybe some rain).
- There is not much new to report on fishing as Weather has been a factor,
but feel this could change next week..
- Hope we All can Get out soon and ENJOY the Outdoors..!

** As we secure reports for other lakes, we will be adding them to our Reports.. - Check Back..

** NOTE -- There are just a couple Lakes still Closed for season..
-- They will be Opening soon - Check below in reports for those Closures and Re-Opening dates..

** NEW this year will be guided Catfish trips with Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service on Powerton Lake. I talked with Matt and he already has trips scheduled, so to book your Catfish catching trips for this year contact Matt by Calling 217-855-8406   or FB- * Tell him Larry told you to call..
* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.

  - - Notes Of Interest : -

- The 2017 Illinois Spring Trout Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season is underway at nine sites
But Be sure to Release any trout caught between March 18-31st.
AND Illinois Spring Trout Season Officially Opens April 1st at 52 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state.
Click HERE for a full list of sites and details.

- Our friend Jonn Graham of CAMP SMALLMOUTH wants to again remind us all that the annual stream smallmouth season is now 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 2017 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available online at IDNR website

- 2017 Illinois fishing, hunting & sportsman´s combo licenses are now available from DNR Direct license vendors,
online at IDNR website or by calling 1-888-673-7648.

* There are several New Illinois Laws for 2017,
Here are couple that pertain to Fishing:
- - No catch limits on private fish ponds Public Act 99-532, House Bill 5796
Illinois law limits the number of fish a person with a fishing license can legally catch in a 24 hour period.
House Bill 5796 creates an exception for people fishing on fish ponds located on their own private property.
- - Permitting bowfishing for catfish Public Act 99-867, House Bill 5788
Bowfishing is the practice of taking a fish with a spear or a bow and arrow. Existing Illinois law limited
the kinds of fish that can be taken through bowfishing. HB 5788 added catfish to the Fish Code list of fish
that can be taken with sharp weaponry.
* this one has caused some confusion & questions.
  Here is the IDNR answer to clear up * Bowfishing for Catfish *

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


- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream:
- The River is up slightly and water temps on weekend were still in low 40s
* At the MWC tourney over weekend the winning team had a 2-day total of 33.94 pounds
which included a couple Real Nice Walleye too.
Pulling 3-ways with live bait or stickbaits along edge of channel.

  -   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/tips from Tom:   What a week of swinging weather and fishing patterns. We stated off with snow and very cold weather and wound up sunny with 60 degrees. Fishing was outstanding all week without the sun being out. We caught over 55 plus stripers during that period.
On Friday my son and I caught 22 stripers and were excited to know the sun and warm weather was coming Saturday. I told my clients that fishing was outstanding when they came on board, boy was I wrong.
We were fishing near Fouts marina which is a narrow straight of water that does not have much room for heavy boat traffic. The sun came out and then the boats. We had a striper and bass tourney which caused heavy boating, the bass boats were flying up and down the lake and the striper guys were trolling.
The stripers have been shallow and all the traffic shut them down. I fished 5 1/2 hours and Sean fished 9 hours and between us we boated 4 stripers. Sean caught them all and I was skunked! Sunday we went to Big Creek trying to get out of the traffic and we both caught 1 striper apiece.
I expect the pattern will improve with less boat traffic and consistent weather. On a bright note the Walleye are hitting crankbaits up above Calamity Beach people are catching limits of walleye from shore in the evening.
I had a call about fishing Thursday from Mike who had his trip canceled in Tennessee. Mike and his sons Levi & Luke along with their friend Harlan were on their first-time striper fishing trip. They booked an eight hour trip. When we left the dock, it was cold, overcast, and windy. We made it to Fouts so I began my setup which is 10 baited rods; 2 planner boards, 2 floats, 2 free lines, and 4 downlines. We started off slow but our first fish was a double hitter. The young boys 11 & 12 were the first ones to catch a striper then the men took over and we kept this up for the next 6 1/2 hours.
We caught number 12 and the boys were cold so our trip was complete with their first limit of stripers. The boys had a trip they would soon not forget.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now. The stripers are in their spring migration and the bite is on.
A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at for everything Norfork Lake! For a real outdoor adventure, you might consider a striper fishing trip combined with a pheasant hunt. It's a blast!
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 36 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at   or 870-421-1541 or on Facebook
** 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

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
* 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.
- - 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.
- No Reports this week

* * THIS LAKE is CLOSED for Season..
-- Set to Re-Open on April 1st.

  2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N & then next right.
* * LAKES are CLOSED for the Season till sometime during Summer 2017.. Check Back.

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 with a 40hp limit and Permit Required.
* 2017 New Fish Limit Regs =   Striped, White, or Hybrid Striped Bass . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit,
  with no more than 3 Fish greater than or equal to 17 inches
Walleye . . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit

* Good News For bait:  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso, IL on US 24     plans to OPEN on April 1st for the season..!

- 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
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD still over weekend on jigs in 10-14 foot water around stake beds and brush with water temps in mid 40s
- - The US Army Corps wants to Reminds us all:
- - "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.
-- Not much reported recently with water temps about 40 on Sunday..
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR at times over weekend with some deep near deep trees or few around brush near NMZ and couple Bluegills


-- Daily Hours will be 6 am - 7 pm till April 13
- Bass were FAIR over weekend in mostly on crankbaits along shoreline rocks or weeds

CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
* 2017 New Fish Limit Regs =   Walleye . . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit
Blue or Channel Catfish . . . 10 Fish Daily Harvest Limit, singly or in the aggregate

  - Josh shared this from Monday:
  while jigging for crappie with light tackle
  under a tree at Clinton from boat
  caught & fought this hog for 15 minutes.
  His Report: Crappie were decent today,
  not as good as 2 weeks ago though,
  water got pretty calm.

  - Rick told us on Sunday he caught
  some nice crappies from Clinton Lake.

  - Guide Terry Davis tells us: "Crappie fishing
  is fun and fast at times right now.
  I had 3 guys plus myself in the boat and
  we could barely keep a rod in the water.
  Main technique right now has been
  jigging 10-12 ft down. We used Bobby Garland´s
  white and chartreuse Slab Slay´r.
  Still doing a little bit of corking 2 to 3 ft deep
  which is starting to pick up again. Warm weather
  is here and the fishing is only getting better.
  Weekends are filling fast,
    still have weekday availability."
 Check out  or  call 309-212-6817 for details.

- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports and ALL your fishing needs
* 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..!
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 will re-open on MARCH 31st...
As of March 3rd - The dock at West Side boat access remains Closed pending repairs.
* Places to stay while at Clinton Lake are - the Holiday Inn Express hotel, the newest hotel in Le Roy, IL  
AND - Days Inn in Le Roy, IL   both Just off I-74 between Bloomington and Champaign,
  only 17 minutes from Clinton Lake. Make your reservations today (309) 962-4439 or (309) 962-4700

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
  - Trevor at Big Reds Bait and Tackle
  shared this photo of Calvin with
  a Nice Male Crappie and looking at this,
  I would say Spawning is on that fish´s mind..

  - Guide Reagan Smith had this report:
  "Fishing has continued to be successful.
  We had a good day out on Tuesday,
  I switched up what we have been using lately
  went from 1.75 inch sliders to 3 inch sliders
 to try and target the bigger fish. As a result
 we did catch bigger yellow bass as well as
 a few bigger white bass. The Northwest winds
 have pushed the hot water out of hot ditch.
 I fished between 8-17ft & was catching them
 on both size of sliders & 1/4 oz Krazy Blades.
 Water temps are ranging from 49-61 degrees
 depending where you are at on lake.
  Good Luck out on the water!"

  -- 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 ..!

Daily Hours reportedly will be 6 a.m. - sunset
- Catfish were FAIR for shore anglers
- Reports of BlueCats FAIR and few Hybrids but the weather & wind was factor..
** 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.
Orange windsocks are located on interior dikes throughout the lake. When the windsocks are erect, wind speeds are 14 mph or above and no boats are to be launched; boats on the lake should find calm water and get off the lake when safe to do so.

POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
-- WINTER HOURS (Through April 30th) will be: 8am - 4pm
-- No new reports..
** NEW this year will be guided Catfish trips with Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service on Powerton Lake. I talked with Matt and he already has trips scheduled, so to book your Catfish catching trips for this year contact Matt by Calling 217-855-8406   or FB- * Tell him Larry told you to call..

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..

- 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 a few years ago at Kentucky Lake.

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Hoss's Hawg Bait Hoss's Hawg Bait
The Dip Bait that is Easy
on the Nose,
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  - - - - - - - - - - -
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 !

  - - - - - - - - - - -
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


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Angling Adventures & Custom Rods

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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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 YOUR Boating Headquarters 

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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