- The IDNR Division of Fisheries has NEW regulations Now in effect for 2015
on 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 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
* The New 2015-2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available in PDF format
on the IDNR website where
you can read or print you a copy.
- Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit their website links on the right.. ----------------------------------------------> >
- ILLINOIS RIVER
- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream: to about HENNEPIN :
-- The River is slowly dropping and July 23rd was about 3 feet above flood stage near LaSalle/Peru,
and may drop at or below flood stage by early next week.
- At Peoria it was about 5 feet above flood stage there and could drop below flood stage by next weekend.?
* Here is a good page to check for river levels http://mvs-wc.mvs.usace.army.mil/dresriv.html
ALSO - Please check this Updated List
for state site closures due to flooding and more in your area.
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- Bass were FAIR around and along submerged weed edges with plastics, crankbaits and topwater early or late
And if there is a shore weed mat, be sure to check it out during high sun.
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD around weed edges and weed pockets.
- Catfish have been GOOD on Hoss´s Hawg Bait dip baits and some on crawlers fished under bobbers
- 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 rain has stopped but Norfork Lake will continued to rise and will crest at 572 which is 15 foot over summer pool.
We should see some reduction in the lake level starting soon. The Corps cannot lower the lake until Bull Shoals Lake gets under control
with all the water they are holding in it.
Striper fishing continues to be outstanding with multiple limits being caught. I have noticed that other guides are now fishing the lower end this year near the dam.
This tells me the bite on Robinson Point has slowed and the stripers are beginning their annual migration towards the dam.
High water is usually a problem in August for stripers. The lake is normally high in April and May and by August the lake heat causes lower oxygen levels that stresses the stripers.
This year with high water so late in the season the oxygen level remains good. The stripers are fighting very hard all the way to the boat. I have never seen stripers fight this hard this time of year.
Every year I take out a family for their annual striper trip, Glenn, Brenda, Max, and Jake. This time it was the boys against their parents in their first ever fishing contest. It was no contest, the boys won 5 to 0.
I had been catching limits of stripers each day up to their outing but it was a slow day as we had bites with missing a few early then it slowed down. Both boys caught a striper and missed one.
Then I hooked a good one and Jake took the pole. I helped him fight the fish, it took 15 minutes to land the striper but it was worth it. Jake had a 25 lb striper, something he will remember the rest of his life.
His parents agreed to have it mounted so the memories will continue every time they look at the fish.
Max got in on the action next when his pole went down and he landed a fat 14 lb striper by himself. All his parents could do was watch and be very proud of their boys. We had a lot of fun and made happy memories.
The early morning and late evening bass bite is very good right now. You need to work the shorelines to be successful. The Big Creek arm has really been producing as of late.
The crappie bite is pretty good in the back of the creeks that are still flowing with fresh runoff water.
Overall, the white bass are slow, but when they hit, they hit hard and fast.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out and start making plans now.
August and early September will be strong months for striper fishing. You should expect to catch multiple stripers each day you fish in these months.
A good tool to use to make your plans with is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina;
you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com 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
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.
* NEW limit Reg for Large or Smallmouth Bass . . 3 Fish Daily Creel Limit . . Protected Length Limit; 2 Fish less than 15 inch
and 1 Fish 15 inch or larger. Also Bluegill or Redear Sunfish . . Protected Length Limit; 20 Fish (either singly or in aggregate)
Daily Creel Limit, of which only 5 fish can be 8 inch or larger
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, crankbaits along outer weed edge or around deeper parts of timber
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies, crickets and red worms along weed edges.
- Catfish were FAIR on dip baits, crawlers and few on cut bait in late evenings along weed edge
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR but small on jigs and/or minnows over deeper brush.
- Walleye were SLOW-FAIR on jigs with minnows & some crawlers along channel
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.
* * The NEW limit Reg for Saugeye is 18 inch Minimum Length Limit and 3 Fish Daily Creel Limit
Bait Shop & Boat Rental hours: 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. seven days/week
- Bass are FAIR on plastics, crankbaits and chatterbaits around deep water points and topwater baits early or late in the day along outer weed edge and around timber.
- Bluegills were FAIR along shore weed edges on wax worms and crickets
- Catfish are FAIR on most baits at mouth of coves
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR on drifting jigs and/or minnows around or over deeper brush and deep weed edge with some on trolled crankbaits.
- Saugeye were SLOW on jig/crawler or minnow along breaks
HEIDECKE LAKE -
- - Lake Open daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
- Only a couple reports saying: - Fishing is little Slow for most fish.?
HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES - 2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N and then next right.)
* Hennepin & Hopper Lakes continue to be Closed to all public sport fishing,
while the Wetlands Initiative and the (IDNR) monitor efforts to remove invasive common carp from the lakes. --
* NEWS Still says
* Fishing could return to Hennepin & Hopper Lakes sometime this 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.
* NEW limit Reg for 2015 is White, Black or Hybrid Crappie . . 15 Fish Daily Creel Limit
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, swim jigs and spinnerbaits along outer weed edges and near deep ends on timber
- Bluegills are FAIR with small fish around weed edges and sea walls
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on most baits with dip baits for numbers, try along deep weed edges in late evenings.
- Crappie were FAIR around deep cover or on trolled crankbaits in about 15 - 17 foot water.
- Hybrids were FAIR-SLOW on crankbaits and few on top water late in evening (watch for surface action).
- Walleye have been SLOW
* For bait check out Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop ..!
2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24
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)
- Fishing has been a little Slow at times with Catfish somewhat FAIR and Bluegills FAIR-SLOW and small
- Erik says he decided to take the family out
to Lake Eureka for a picnic after work and
caught this nice Bass on the last cast on a chatterbait.
This was his only bite of the evening.
* For bait check out Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop ..!
2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24
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 July 20th : "
The lake has bounced all over the place this past week and currently we
are still at ten-feet over summer pool. The Corp is pulling it pretty
hard and this week we should start to see it go down about four-inches a day.
The heat has also hit us this past week and the water temps went
from 77 up to 85. It is supposed to cool down some this week so it should return to that high 70 range.
I have seen a slight thermocline forming at 18 feet so this will
concentrate the fish more at the 15-17 feet range. This will help us
since the fish will all move out to those depths. The larger white crappie have showed up
this past week and I have seen several in the 13 to 14-inch range which are nice fat crappie.
They are really bulging with shad and even their mouths are red from gorging so much.
We are still using a slip bobber and minnow and fishing them right down
in the top two-feet of the brush in the 15-17 feet range. Bottom depth of the spot means nothing;
you need the top part of the brush right at the thermocline. Have plenty of healthy bait with you
as we typically use 12-15 dozen or more every day. That alone should tell you we are catching a ton of fish.
Once this thermocline really gets thick and August is usually the best summer month
for crappie that bunch up on brush and I have had many a guide trip that we pulled over 40 nice crappie
from just one spot.
My website has all my open dates on it and like I said it is August the
last few years that we have just torn up the crappie.
No report on white bass since we are concentrating on the crappie now
since they are RED HOT!!!! and will be for the remainder of the summer.
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
- Bass were FAIR at times recently mostly on plastics along weeds or timber.
- Not heard Any other reports
REND LAKE -
- Lake level is still up but fishing is FAIR-GOOD with water temps over weekend in upper 70s.
- Bass are FAIR on plastics, spinners and topwater with a few on jigs too around brush or timber cover,
around bridges and along the rocks.
- Bluegills are FAIR on crickets, part crawler or wax worms with some caught from shore in Sailboat Harbor
- Crappie are FAIR on jigs/pink and white tubes or minnows
- Catfish remain Fairly GOOD on dipbaits ( Hoss´s Hawg Bait) out near channel and leeches drifted along flats
- 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
- - Read the latest Fishing Report from US Army Corps who says
"Please fish safely! Always buckle up your life jacket on the water! "
And Please recycle your monofilament fishing line at collection stations
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.
SHABBONA LAKE -
- - This Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.
- - - Park hours April thru October 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Bass were FAIR and little better at times on plastic, crankbaits and topwater baits along weed edges or in weeds
- Bluegills were just FAIR near shore weed edges.
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW but at times are FAIR on minnows over cribs and deep trees
- Hybrids are real active late in evenings busting shad on surface
- Walleye were somewhat FAIR on crawler rigs and leeches fished in 9 - 11 foot water with a 25 incher reported..
WILDLIFE PRAIRIE PARK LAKES-
Call (309) 676-0998 for details, including rules and regulations.
- RULES and/or REGS For Fishing: (While park is Open for season)
-- 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.
No boat ramps or road access will be available for trailer launching. ONLY electric motors are allowed.
-- Statewide sport fishing regulations will be in effect and enforced.
Valid Illinois fishing license is required for those age 16 years and older.
East Side at Park:
Daily 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
- Lakes open to the public are Deep Lake, Caboose Lake, Beaver Lake, and Horseshoe Lake.
West Side lake:
Daily Sunrise - Sunset
- Lake open to the public is Taylor Lake, located on the west side of WPSP property
- - No New Reports from here.?
- - - - SOME ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
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
--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.
-- No bowfishing allowed in spillway which is considered a developed recreational area.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, swimbaits and crankbaits along weed edges and timber of points
- Bluegills are FAIR on wax worms and redworms along shore cover in coves and around docks.
- Catfish remain FAIR-GOOD on cut baits, night crawlers, liver and dip baits with late evenings best.
- Crappie were little SLOW recently on jigs and minnows in 14-18 foot water over brush
- Walleye were SLOW
- WhiteBass are FAIR on bladebaits and jig/twisters early or late
- Stripers are SLOW in lake but Below spillway has been FAIR on topwater baits
- Bridge Construction near
the Clinton Lake State Recreation Area main park entrance has a detour
of South bound traffic on County Hwy 14 (in DeWitt, IL) through Friday, July 31st
Detour signs will direct all park users to access the park from State Route 10 .
- - Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle is open at 5am with all your favorite baits and jigs, as well as a full license service
and carries full lineup of BrushPile Jigs.. Check them out and get the latest fishing reports.
- And Ol´ Joe says the Bait Shop is FOR SALE..!
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.
--- Report from weekend:
- - Water temps were about 84-87 degrees in the main lake and slight stain.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, crankbait with a few on topwater baits.
- Catfish were Fairly GOOD on dip baits, cut shad, shrimp and some on crawlers
- Crappie are SLOW
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, chatterbaits and crankbaits with a few on topwater early and late
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on most baits
- Crappie were SLOW
-- 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.
-- Not much reported this past week but says lake was stained over weekend
- Bass were FAIR on plastics and crankbaits fished deeper or early and late in day
- Bluegills were FAIR at times along weed edge
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on liver, cut baits and dip baits
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.
-- Not much reported - little change
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, crankbaits and swimbaits around timber and outer weed edges
- Bluegill were FAIR along shore weeds edges
- Catfish were FAIR and most are small on cut baits, dip baits and shrimp
- Crappie were SLOW
-- 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 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 www.stroutfitters.com
--- View STR Outfitters Facebook page click here
for real time up to date each day or read Tom´s fishing blog here at http://stroutfitters.blogspot.com
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
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