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 April 21, 2016
- Next Update will be April 30th



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.!

-- This past week was so great to be out fishing, but the fish did not seem to get the message..
Most anglers, including ourselves, did not catch many good fish with some even vary few small fish over weekend.
However, some fish may have started moving up as past two days there were some more Crappie reported along with few Bass and some Bluegills too..
- The water temps were still in low - mid 50s and if we continue to have more stable weather conditons,
fishing should improve soon..
- Forecast shows little cool down to more normal weather for next week or so & couple warmer days.
- Hoping We All can Get out and ENJOY the Outdoors along with maybe some GOOD FISHING Soon..!

- - As we secure current reports for lakes this season, we will add them to our reports..

  - - Notes Of Interest : -
* Reminder - 2016 Fishing Licenses required
- Your Fishing License helps Support Conservation

NOTE: As of January 1st, No person born on or after January 1, 1998, unless exempted by subsection (i),
shall operate a motorboat with over 10 horse power unless that person has a valid Boating Safety Certificate issued by
the Dept of Natural Resources or an entity or organization recognized and approved by the Dept.

- The IDNR Division of Fisheries has NEW regulations Now in effect for 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 New 2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is now available in PDF format on the IDNR website
where you can read or print you a copy that will be Effective: April 1st through March 31, 2017.
* * Be sure to read through to check your lakes as there are some changes to limits this year..!
We have listed a few in our area that we have found in the reports below, but you still need to check and read the signs posted at lakes to be sure..

- Our friend Jonn Graham of CAMP SMALLMOUTH wants to remind us all that the annual stream smallmouth season is getting 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 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


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


Looking for a Boat, Trolling motor or Fishing Gear & more..
Check our FOR SALE - Classified ADS page.

- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream: to Near HENRY :
- The River has come down to nearly normal, was still little dirty past weekend but should clear soon..
- Mostly just talk on WhiteBass near Vermillion with some along areas with rock..

- Bass were little SLOW past week on jig/plastic, swimbaits and small spinners
- Crappie were also a little SLOW but a few in afternoons..

  -   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 week fishing on Norfork Lake improved every day until Friday when we had a strong east wind. I had been catching stripers consistently every day until then. Saturday was the turning point. The wind switched to the southeast, the air temperature warmed up, and the big fish decided to eat. All of my friends and fishing guides caught fish with three of the fish in the high teens.
All the signs are pointing to a great fishing experience the next two weeks. The rain may slow it down some but I expect these two weeks will the apex of our spring fishing. The shad, both gizzard and threadfin, are moving to the banks to spawn and the stripers are following.
I have been fishing over brush piles in the Big Creek area and the fish are exploding on the baits. It is a lot of fun just to watch a big striper swirl on a bait then blow it out of water.
The next best place to fish is the windy points. The stripers are feeding right on the banks chasing bait.
Now is the time to hit the water or hire a guide to take you out. I expect to see a lot of 20 pound plus fish to be caught.
I took Donna and John for a two day striper special. The first day we only caught 3 but two were 15 and 18 lbs. The next day we limited out by 7:45 am but keep throwing back number 6 hoping that we could catch a bigger one. We had multiple chances, we hooked one that came off and broke off 2 more. But in 2 days of morning fishing we had at least 20 strikes on big baits. Unfortunately the fish kept missing the baits but it was quite the show.
Greg at Hand Cove Resort reports a large amount of crappie in the Big Creek area past Woods Point, about 1/2 the way into Brushy Creek, and into Shoal Creek. He said the Arkansas Game and Fish sampled the area last week and also found an incredible amount of bass in the area.
The predator populations in very thick in the south end of Norfork Lake and into the Big Creek arm. The best performing artificial striper bait seems to be Smithwick's Perfect 10 Rogue. Jewel has come out with a new feather bait looks good for trolling.
Hand Cove Resort also has good size shiners in stock right now too. The stripers along with the other large predator species have moved into their spring feed patterns with the air and water temperatures about normal.
Make your plans on the web with for everything Norfork Lake! Be sure to check out the Spring Striper Tactics article!
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 37 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina; you can reach him at   or 870-421-1541 or on Facebook AND - Be sure to check out Tom´s Spring Striper Tactics article!
** 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)
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Written Regs to clarify - Large or Smallmouth Bass . . . Protected Slot Length Limit with one fish greater than or equal to 18 inches and/or 2 fish less than 12 inches . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- No New Reports from 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.
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for those with motors over 10hp.
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Regs = Walleye, Sauger or Hybrid Walleye (Saugeye) of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit with no more than 1 Fish greater than or equal to 20 inches; 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- Bryant sent this report for Sat., Sun. & Mon. :
"Bass are holding around 5 feet next to spawning grounds, a very light bite to get them to hit but did well with a shaky head worm.
Saugeye are sitting 7-12 feet next to flats. When the wind picked up they tended to be shallower towards the flats. I did well for numbers of non-keepers vertical jigging a small fluke plastic. All keepers were caught on a large minnow on a lindy rig."

EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to
- No fishing reports this week..
* Notice : With the shutdown of Dickson Mounds Museum at this time, fishing and boating permits may be done at the launch..? Call (309) 547-2730.

* 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.
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit..
BAIT SHOP Hours: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm   Monday - Thursday  and  6:00 am to 4:00 pm Fri - Sunday
BOAT RENTAL Hours: 6:00 am to 4:00 pm Fri - Sunday
Expanded Hours will begin Memorial Day Weekend - COMLARA PARK VISITOR CENTER (309)434-6770.
- Bass were SLOW with a few small fish
- Some small Bluegills caught over weekend around timber
- Crappie remain SLOW-FAIR on jigs around cover in 8 - 12 foot
  - Tom tells us he fished on Friday and
  caught this 40 inch fat Muskie.
  It was the only fish he saw that day
  but a catch like that was well worth the trip.

- Ed says last Friday there were lots of boats out with lake temps between 48 - 52 in late morning
And fishing was little SLOW, trolled crankbaits 2 hours with no hits
Crappie were SLOW with a few and one 15 inch fish caught.
- Few Hybrids caught over weekend on crankbaits with a 10 pounder
One Smallmouth caught just outside the ramp area.
- Walleye have improved recently but is on and/or off too.. Try on jig/minnows or slow pulling crawlers
  - Matt sent us this photo of the
  Heidicke Lake Hybrid Striper he caught.

HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES - 2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N and then next right.)
* * Lakes are CLOSED for the season..
-- The Wetlands Initiative has announced the fishing season at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (Hennepin-Hopper) from May 15 to Sept 5.
Closed Mondays Except for Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day
There are (will be) several new rules & Regs for 2016 season you need to READ HERE

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.
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Bass Limit Regs = 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit of 15 inch Minimum Length Limit..
** The 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit did not make the Regs Booklet, but signs at Lake will display New Limits.

- Bass were SLOW-FAIR over weekend on plastics and slow fished small spinners also heard of couple caught on minnows by Crappie anglers
- Bluegills were little SLOW
- Crappie were SLOW-FAIR on jigs with tubes or minnows around outer edges of brush.
* AND some Good News For bait:  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24     is OPEN for the season..!

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 New Reports from here..
* For bait, Check  * Mike´s Minnow Bucket Bait Shop   2.7 miles west of I-39 in El Paso on US 24   that   OPENS for the season on April 9th..!

LAKE SHELBYVILLE - Between Shelbyville and Sullivan - LAKE INFO LINE (217) 774-2020 and LAKE PROJECT OFFICE (217) 774-3951.
- Report says Crappie were FAIR around deep water areas over weekend on minnows..?

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
- No New Reports from here..

PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area -
  -- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
  - Bass were somewhat FAIR over weekend
  - Crappie are FAIR-SLOW

** If you are looking for a Great new place to stay while fishing or hunting at JEPC Park,
We recommend you check Plattner´s Ghost Hollow Lodge only 5 miles from the park, by
calling 217-458-2526 or 217-971-5256 or Click their logo on bottom right Sponsors section of this page
to Find Them on Facebook Make Sure to Contact Them for Directions ! - Tell them Larry sent you..!

- Check with Todd Gessner Outdoors Guide Service on Rend Lake at 618-513-0520 for future fishing trips including Catfishing and make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club
-- Lake still up some but dropped couple inches recently
- Bass were FAIR on plastic, jigs and spinnerbaits around cover in coves and around rock and bridges
- Bluegills have improved recently
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits
- Crappie are FAIRLY GOOD on tube jigs and/or minnows along breaks out from shore with some in shallow brush 2-3 foot.
- - Read the latest Fishing Report from US Army Corps who says:
- - "Please fish safely! Always buckle up your life jacket on the water! "
- - The US Army Corps who says "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.
- Water temps were around 60
- saw a photo of a 2.85 Bass caught Tuesday
- Only a few Bluegills from weekend
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR and scattered at varying depths yet with some on Sunday near No-Motor Zone - most on minnows
- Over weekend reports of some small Smallmouth on or around rock piles at roadbed
and also hear there were couple better fish on Tuesday.?
- There is word of a 36 & maybe a 44 inch Muskie caught over weekend on bucktails

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)
- Not much reported or shared, but - South Lake:
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW on plastics, swim jigs, chatterbait and spinners along weed edges
- Some Bluegill around weed lines.


BALDWIN LAKE - Just north of Baldwin off Route 154. - site Office 618-785-2555
--- There is a 50hp motor limit
-- Hours April 16 - Oct 31: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
- Bass were FAIR-SLOW recently on crankbaits and spinners.
- Bluegills FAIR but small on waxies.
- Catfish were FAIR cut baits more in northern part of lake
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR at times on minnows

- Daily Hours are 6 a.m. - sunset
- Bass FAIR-SLOW on plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Few Catfish reported..

CLINTON LAKE - Three miles east of Clinton off Route 10 or 54 Ph 217/935-8722.
- Bass were little Slow over weekend..
- Crappie were FAIR at times and little scattered this past week..
- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports and ALL your fishing needs - now Open 7 days a week 5 - 5.
* 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..!
As of April 15th - The dock at West Side boat access was still Closed pending repairs.
-- Check with Matt of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service now booking trips for April through September with night or day trips available, Weekends or weekdays. Call 217-855-8406 * Tell him Larry told you to call..

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.
* Effective April 1, 2016 New Regs = Large or Smallmouth Bass. . . 15 inch Minimum Length Limit . . 3 Fish Daily Harvest Limit
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs and spinnerbaits
- Couple reports of Catfish over weekend
- Crappie were FAIR and at times GOOD on minnows

LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Catfish were FAIR over weekend on cut baits and big minnows
- Crappie were FAIR this past week on minnows and/or jigs
-- 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 ..!

And Daily Hours reportedly will be 6 a.m. - sunset
-- Water temps were said to range from mid 60s to 90
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD with several smaller fish on cut baits
- Few Hybrids were also reported in areas with low - mid 70s
** 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.
There is a wind warning system at LaSalle Lake, located on the tip of the internal dike that extends from the west shore. When the light of the wind warning system is flashing, no boats are to be launched and boats on the lake should find calm water and get off the lake when safe to do so.

NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
-- Very little talked about or shared from here..
- But did hear that rains had stained up lake some
Bass were FAIR-GOOD last week but lake was stained.
and Crappie were FAIR-GOOD

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.
-- Check with Trevor at Big Red´s Bait and Tackle for current reports at 2193 Stevenson Drive in Springfield on your way to lake..
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Catfish were FAIR with several small fish on most baits
- Crappie are FAIR with on jigs and/or minnows

- 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 at Kentucky Lake.

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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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Coon Creek Rv Park & Lodge Coon Creek Rv Park & Lodge

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only 5-miles to JEPC Park
Contact Them for Directions !

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East Peoria, Illinois
& the Food is GREAT !