-- We had some Nice days of weather and fishing late last week into the weekend, however a cold front
came through and now cold nights are preventing some fish from making the move in.
This Cooler weather will put fish in a holding pattern till mild spring temps return again,
which may take a few days..
- - Notes Of Interest : -
- Our friend Jonn Graham of CAMP SMALLMOUTH wants to 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.
AS ALWAYS….............HAIL TO THE SMALLIE"
* The New 2015-2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in Final PDF format
on the IDNR website where
you can read or print you a copy.
Noteworthy for Central Illinois is the change in
Saugeye limit on Evergreen Lake
& Crappie limit on Lake Bloomington & Bluegill limits on Dawson Lake
- 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 :
- Sauger were somewhat FAIR on crankbaits and a few pulling floaters along flats.
- WhiteBass were improving on bladebaits, jig/twisters and spinners at bridges, near the
Vermilion and at creeks.
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- Bass on plastics & spinners and Crappie on jigs and/or minnows being caught on local ponds and lakes.
- Jacob had a Good day
Bass fishing at Gladstone Lake.
- Erik says "Fishing was hot Sunday!"
He was looking for mushrooms in morning with no luck.
Decided to fish a small private pond in Central IL
and ended up catching several Bass with a buddy.
All caught on wacky rigged senkos and tubes.
- Mitch says while they were at
Lake of the Ozarks last week the Catfish were Good
but the Crappie were little Slow.
He sent this photo of their grandson Kane
who had some good luck fishing.
- 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 striper bite continues all over Norfork Lake. The water has cleared on the main lake but the creeks remain stained and are the warmest water on the lake.
Some stripers have moved up Bennett’s arm, Big Creek, and Brushy Creek, but a large number of stripers are being caught off the main lake points.
There is a strong topwater bite in the Cranfield area and the Big Creek arm.
The water temperature has gone up to the high 60s and the creeks are in the low 70s.
I took Clayton and Dave out for their first striper trip. We were fishing Big Creek and the bite started right away.
Clayton caught a fat 15 lb striper and then it was Dave’s turn. They took turns catching striper for over 3 hours. We caught 10 and kept 5. We had to cut our trip short due an approaching heavy rain storm.
The crappie bite has started; however, the weather this past week continues to wreck havoc. Get a warm two days with a south wind and the crappies move into the shallows then a cold front comes and they move out.
Just stay with it and you will catch crappies.
The bass are starting to make their beds so it will not be long before they begin to spawn.
For you out of area folks, you might want to get your calendars out a start making plans now. April looks like it is going to be a great month to catch stripers.
You crappie folks should keep a close eye on current Norfork Lake conditions also as Crappie time will begin soon is on the web at www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
The Norfork Lake level is higher than its normal mid-summer pool of 556.75 but has dropped 3 1/2 foot this past two weeks.
The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels. These make for excellent fishing conditions.
- 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
BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on jigs and/or minnows
- Larissa caught this
46 inch Muskie Friday
on a crappie jig n night crawler
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 effective April, 1 2015 are 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-GOOD over weekend on plastics, crankbaits, and swim jigs but again have Slowed a little with cool down
- Austin says Crappie were GOOD mostly on chartreuse and pink and white jigs around the docks..
- No reports on other fish
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to http://experienceemiquon.com
* 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.
- Crappie are somewhat FAIR but little scattered on jigs and/or minnows.
- Saugeye remained a little SLOW
- Muskie were SLOW-FAIR over weekend
- White Bass were FAIR on jigs/twisters and jigs/minnows
- Kevin caught a few White bass about 16 inches
over weekend and this Muskie..
All were caught on a 3 inch rattling crankbait..
"It isn´t Canada, but it definitely got my blood pumping
for my scheduled trip in June to the Northwoods."
** NEW limit Reg for 2015 is Saugeye . . 18 inch Minimum Length Limit and 3 Fish Daily Creel Limit
* * The road going over the Evergreen Lake Spillway is CLOSED for bridge replacement/repairs.
The road closure will be in effect until May 15, 2015.
Bait Shop hours: Monday - Thursday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. & Friday - Sunday from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Boat Rental hours: Open ONLY Friday - Sunday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Expanded Hours Beginning Memorial Day Weekend!
HEIDECKE LAKE -
- - Lake Open daily until sunset; launch opens at 6am, shore-fishing at 6:30am.
-- Reports from weekend of water temps around 59 - 62 with lots of boats on the water.
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on jigs and/or minnows
- Hybrids were FAIR-SLOW and the few fish caught were nice ones including a 21 incher on a crankbait
- Reports of a 39 1/2 inch Muskie caught over weekend
- Walleye were SLOW-FAIR with a 23 incher reports caught on crankbait along rocks
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. --
* LATEST NEWS
* 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
- Paul tells us the Crappie were somewhat FAIR mostly small fish recently and they are still little scattered..
- No other reports.?
* Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop is OPEN..!
You will find them 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)
* Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop is OPEN..!
- Bass were FAIR with most small but a couple nice fish too on spinners, jigs and plastics
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR but small on jigs.
You will find them 2.7 miles west of I-39 from 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 for week of April 20th : "
Wow is the word for crappie fishermen on Shelbyville this week. Water
temps have pushed up to 59-65 and the crappie have moved in to the banks.
It does not matter what pattern you like to fish. Deep or shallow they are just plain biting.
The last couple of days I have only put in three gallons of gas for a whole days guide trip.
We have caught close to three limits off just one brush pile.
The north end has cleared back up and producing fish around Wilborn and
the south end has the fish pushing back into coves and setting up on anything shallow.
We have been fishing both minnows and jigs under a cork over brush that almost reaches the surface.
We are setting the corks at 18-24 inches and the crappie are coming up to hit it.
We have been using a Brush Pile Hammer in white and chartreuse on sunny
days and orange and chartreuse on cloudy days. Fishing this under a cork
on shallow spots and tight lining it on deeper ones. We are putting them
on one of my 3/32oz Deep Ledge Jigs.
We are also using a slip bobber with a lively minnow under it and you
better buy a bunch when you are at Chip´s because we have been going
through 8-10 dozen a day for my clients and I am not using them since I
like to tag team each brush pile.
This week we have cooler temps pushing in so watch the temps to drop
somewhat but the crappie are committed now so should not be a problem.
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
- Bass were FAIR over weekend before the cool down..
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on jigs and/or minnows around brush.
- Muskie were somewhat active recently
REND LAKE -
- Lake level remains up
- Bass were FAIR before this cool down on jigs, spinners and some on crankbaits
- Crappie remain FAIR around or in bushes on minnows and/or jigs
- 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
- - Here is this week's Fishing Report from US Army Corps -
The US Army Corps says "Please fish safely! Always buckle up 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.
SHABBONA LAKE -
- - This Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.
- - - Park hours April thru October 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD with a 5+ pound and 6+ pound Bass along with some nice Smallies too this past week
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD over weekend on jig and/or minnows
- Muskie were active with a 36 incher over weekend and a 45 incher by young girl fishing with her dad.
- Walleye are FAIR-SLOW with a 21 inch fish caught last Thur.
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)
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastics, jigs and some on spinners.
- Catfish were FAIR-SLOW on cutbaits and dip bait
- Crappie were FAIR with more small fish this week on minnows.
- Muskie were somewhat active but little SLOW at times on spinners and cranks
- - - - 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 somewhat FAIR on plastics, crankbaits and swimjigs around timber.
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs and/or minnows around 54 bridge and along Mascoutin area..
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on most baits and even a 8 pounder on minnows
Ol´ Joe´s had this to share this week:
Water temps remain from around mid-50s on NW end to mid or upper 70s on East side
Fishing is FAIR-GOOD for most fish and Mid-week seems to be best for less boat traffic and fishing pressure.
* April 25th starts the New Clinton Cats Tournament Series on Clinton Lake at Marina with fishing times from 6pm to 1 am. Sign up at 5.
Entry fee is $100.00 per boat - 100% payback - 6 live fish with the big fish included in 6.
2 people per boat.. Launch fees have to be paid by fishermen.. For more info contact Matt Lamb 217-855-8406
Check our Tournaments Page for other dates
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.
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs with some on chatterbaits
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on most baits
- Crappie are FAIR-SLOW this week on jigs and minnows
-- 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
LaSALLE LAKE -
Lake is open with Daily Hours of 6 a.m. - sunset 7-days a week.
** 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 to (815) 795-2448 to confirm operating hours.
* Visitors are also reminded that LaSalle Lake is a perched lake
and can become turbulent during windy or inclement weather.
When the light of the wind warning system is flashing,
no boats are to be launched and boats on the lake should seek shelter.
-- Water temps in much of the lake was reported in low to high 80s
- Bass were just FAIR at times with many small fish mostly on slower fished baits
and a few Smallmouth reported in mornings with a couple nice fish too
- Blue Cats were FAIR with more small fish this week
- Catfish were FAIR with many small fish on cut baits and liver with a couple 4 - 5 pounders
- Hybrids were little SLOW this week
- Report of a shore angler catching a walleye..
NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
-- Not a lot reported or shared from here..
- Bass remain FAIR with some nice fish on jig/plastics, soft jerkbaits and plastic worms
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.
- Bass were FAIR on jigs, spinners and plastics
- Catfish are FAIR-GOOD on most baits
- Crappie are FAIR-SLOW on jigs and minnows
-- 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 Kentucky Lake
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