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 25, 2015

Enjoy Spring !


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.!

-- What a difference a week makes.. Last week so nice to be out fishing but this week so Cold again with some freezing on Monday..
Most anglers are so ready to get out for Open Water fishing but this Cold weather may slow it up some for a few more days..
Most all lakes in Northern IL are open with a few exceptions in far north part..
- Some new reports   Check Back.. And please share any info or reports to get this season going...

  - - Notes Of Interest : -


* * The south roadway of Weldon Springs State Park from the main entrance to the school house, is CLOSED indefinitely (as of March 13th) due to large hole that has developed in the road. Weldon Springs is located in DeWitt County near Clinton.

* Due to road conditions, the road within the Mautino State Fish and Wildlife Area that is beyond Boss Lake has been Closed. Mautino SFWA is in Bureau County in northwest Illinois. For the same reason, vehicle access to Lock 21 and Locks 16 and 17 on the Hennepin Canal near Sheffield in Bureau County has been closed. Lock 6 remains closed.

March 21 - Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season begins at 9 sites (3 more this year). Anglers must have a fishing license and Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to going.
For more details and site locations - Click Here

April 1st - a New 2015 Illinois Fishing licenses is required. Be sure to get yours at IDNR site or call 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648) or other permit vendors.

- 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.

April 4 - Spring Trout Season gets under way at 5 a.m. on 46 ponds, lakes and streams throughout Illinois. There are 3 new/additional bodies of water to be stocked and open to rainbow trout fishing for spring of 2015, and three additional locations (total of 9) will be available for new Spring Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-only season that begins March 21st. All anglers must have a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to going.
For more details and site locations - Click Here

* There are several New Conservation Laws in 2015. Review the Full list HERE

- 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. Be aware to construction zones near the lock and dam and possible limited fishing access areas. The project is expected to be completed by November 2016.     More Details and Aerial


* NOTE -- The only remaining Lake Closures for the season is:
- Heidecke Lake that will Re-Open April 1st

* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.


  - Check our sponsors on the right for your baits, tackle, guide options and more.
Visit   their  website   links   on the right..   ------------------------------------> >


- The River has come down and clearing up some with Lots of boats on the river.
- Sauger were FAIR-GOOD with some nice prespawn females caught over weekend..
-- The Spring Valley Walleye Club will hold its inaugural Illinois River Walleye Classic this weekend at Barto Landing in Spring Valley. Bill Guerrini says "There are still spots remain for teams."
For details visit
  NOTE: Illinois Valley Outdoors (formerly Time on the Water Outdoors) in Spring Valley
    has partially Opened with bait and some tackle. And the phone number will be the same (815) 663-1000


  - Thomas says he has been Bass fishing some ponds
  and strip mines lakes around McClean County
  and has caught some 2 - 3 pound Bass (& lost a few)
  along with this Walleye.
  All on olive colored X-Rap jerkbait and/or
  KVD Square Bill crankbait in sexy shad
  and most caught around rocks.

- Our friend Bill in Florida was fishing 50 miles off shore last Friday with beautiful weather and Dead flat seas catching Amberjack (they call Reef Donkeys). Say a pretty unique thing happened when a dozen sea turtles came by with a Gull riding on the back of one of the big turtles.

  -   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 : This past week the mild weather continued, but without the strong south winds, the heavy rains muddied the creeks and stained the main lake and brought the lake level up enough to move a lot of the debris off the shore and into the lake. Because of a lack of strong current and wind, the debris is slowly making its way towards the dam, so be careful if you go out at night.
One tip for seeing debris is look for the seagulls. They will rest on floating logs. The gulls look like they are sitting on water but it will be a log just under the surface.
The lake temperature continues to hover around the low-40s, without the south winds and warm nights the temperature will stay in the 50s.
I continue to fish during the day without much luck, I have tried Bennett´s, Big Creek, the main lake, and Brushy Creek without catching a striper. Some big stripers were caught this past week during the day. One was 28 lbs and the other was over 30 lbs, but the bite is very inconsistent. Once we get a consistent warming trend with some strong south winds the striper bite will go crazy.
As I traveled the lake fishing and looking for shad I did notice that the Crappie fishing seems to have really turned on. I saw crappie caught in all the creeks, where the fish were beginning caught very shallow.
Also the White Bass and Walleye have started their run up in the lower creeks and then in Udall also.
The night bite continues to be strong. Stripers were caught in the upper, middle, and lower end of the lake. The best bite starts at dark and continues for at least three hours.
My son Sean and I went out a couple of times and our best night we hooked 9 and boated 7 in 2-½ hours. We were throwing Rouges to the shore and reeling back slowly.
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.
A good place to start is on the web at for everything Norfork Lake! The Norfork Lake level is closing in on its normal the winter/early spring pools of 553.75. The water visibility is stained in the creeks and off color in the main channels.
-Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 35 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
- Or read Tom´s Winter Striper Tactics

BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
- Crappie are little SLOW but should improve with warmer weather..
- Ron says Johnson Lake is producing Muskies on live baits

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.
- -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.
** 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.

* * Lake is CLOSED for the season --
- And will Re-Open for fishing April 1st -

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. READ STORY

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
- No Reports yet...
- UPDATE -* Mike´s Minnow Bucket will OPEN Bait Shop on Saturday April 4th weather permitting..!
You will find them 2.7 miles west of I-39 from 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)
- No Reports yet .?

  Signs posting
  City Ordinances
  and Regulations
  for Lake Eureka

- UPDATE -* Mike´s Minnow Bucket will OPEN Bait Shop on Saturday April 4th weather permitting..!
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 March 22-29 : " Lake Shelbyville is up 2 1/2 feet from winter pool and very stained from all the run-off. The water temps on the north end have already bounced up to 48 degrees from being frozen just six days prior. This due to the stained water warming much quicker than clear water.
With the water temps and the lake rising and all the dead shad that were trapped in the ice, this has brought the crappie shallow and we are doing very well fishing about a foot to six-feet deep.
The colors on the north end we are using are your darker colors with chartreuse and some other dark color like red or black. We are using my 3/32 oz. Deep Ledge Jig and shad body bait and fishing it very slow along any timber or rocks.
The south end is totally different. The clear water is only 40 degrees and the fish are still hiding where they did all winter. That is out on old river channel banks and on points leading into spawn coves. They are near any big brush pile suspended down about 12-15 feet in at least 20 feet of water. These are huge schools and you can get twenty to thirty or more from a school in no time. Lots of fun with the action. In that clear water we are using shad imitating colors like pearl or smoke color when the sun is out but darker colors when it is cloudy. Down there we are using my 1/4 oz. Deep Ledge Jig and swimming it back and forth over the top of this deep structure.
The Corp will be pulling lake back to winter pool soon so this stable bite on the south end is where you want to be then but for now take advantage of the shallow fish on the north end. They are the bigger white crappie that this lake has to offer.
Crappie is all I am fishing for right now so no report on walleye or white bass yet. "

- Lake is up and Crappie were somewhat FAIR and should improve with a warm up 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
The US Army Corps says "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.
- Reports on Friday March 27th was that all ice is off lake..!
- Lakeside Bait and Tackle is Open for the season.

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)
- Catfish are somewhat FAIR on cutbaits
- Crappie were FAIR on minnows near pike hole.
- Some reportedly Pike and Muskie being caught on large minnows, large golden roaches and large suckers.

WELDON SPRINGS LAKE - Lake is located southeast of Clinton in Dewitt County south of Illinois Rte 10 and east of Illinois Rte 51
* * The south roadway of Weldon Springs State Park from the main entrance to the school house, is CLOSED indefinitely (as of March 13th) due to large hole that has developed in the road. Weldon Springs is located in DeWitt County near Clinton.


* NEW limit Reg effective April, 1 2015 on Bass for a Daily Creel Limit of three 15 inches Minimum Length Limit.
-- Water temps over weekend were reported to be around 76 - 80 near south ramp
- Bass were FAIR but mostly small on crankbaits and jigs/plastics
- Catfish were FAIR-SLOW with mostly small fishing over weekend
- A few Hybrids reported on spinners..

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.
-- No bowfishing allowed in spillway which is considered a developed recreational area.
  - Darren tells us
  " Snuck out for a couple of hours last Wednesday
  4 White Bass and 1 Largemouth
  at DeWitt bridge on a spoon.
  Sure was good to get out and wet a line! "
  - And man do we all agree..!

Ol´ Joe´s has this report late March 25th:
Even during this crazy weather the fish are biting at Clinton regardless of the outside weather conditions.
Crappie are on pre-spawn pattern in the near 70 degree water at DeWitt bridge.
Lots of White bass action also and still a few walleye too, all on MINNOWS !!
Our favorite catfish are being caught on night crawlers, shrimp and even cheese baits.
My advice is come early !! We open at 5am and are ready with all your favorite baits and jigs, as well as a full license service. Remember to get your 2015 Fishing License by April 1st.
* Also Ol´ Joe says " We May Not be having any catfish tournaments this year, but check back for sure..?
And if so, I would like to THANK all of my catfishermen that have fished with me the last 15-20 years. Now come go fishing !!! Ol´ Joe´s is now open 7 days a week from 5am -5pm and the business is For Sale. Have a nice week, and thanks.. Ol´ Joe"
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake between the DeWitt (CH14) and the 48 bridges remains CLOSED through MARCH 31st to protect fish and wildlife.. It will Re-OPEN April 1st..

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
-- 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 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.
-- Bass were FAIR-GOOD with a few real nice fish on crankbaits and spinnerbaits
and a couple Smallmouth too
- Bluegills were somewhat FAIR last weekend on waxies
- Catfish were FAIR for shore anglers fishing liver most small with some nice Blues too
- Hybrids were FAIR on crankbaits and spinners and shore anglers catching several Hybrids too
- And Eric tells us he and fishing buddies caught their 3-man limit of Saugeye over weekend
  - Here is that 20 pound 34 inch Blue Catfish
  we mentioned caught on
  opening day by Michael

NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW with a few nice fish caught on jig/plastics

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
- Ron of J & R Riverside Bait & Tackle tells us they weighed a 38 pound Blue caught on shrimp little over a week ago.

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.
* Word from the IDNR: All campgrounds and access areas, including the fish cleaning station will open April 1st.
- Bass were FAIR on swimbaits, crankbaits and plastics around laydowns or stumps
- Catfish are FAIR but mostly smaller fish
- Crappie were FAIR at times on jig/minnows with a few nice fish on jigs/plastics
-- 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
--- 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 fall 2013..

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