-- The spring weather we have all been waiting for is here with temps in 80s, clear skies and sunshine..
The forecast calls for conditions to be about the same through next week with some rain.
The warm-up and stable weather has caused fish to be active and in shallower waters..
Lots of Crappie and many Bluegills being caught last 5-6 days and Bass is picking too.
And we saw a lot of Carp rolling along shorelines spawning...
This should be a Good Fishing weekend..
- Be Safe & Get out to ENJOY the Outdoors along with some GOOD FISHING..!
With Summer like weather here, Be Sure To
Protect yourself from the sun and the heat, drink plenty of liquids.
And for those pesky Gnats and all biting insects = do as we do and not leave home or go out without a bottle or two of The Original Vanilla Bug Spray to repel those biting gnats, flies and mosquitoes..
Don´t subject yourself or your pet to unnecessary pest attacks!
To get your bottle now, visit www.vanillabugspray.com for locations or to order..
Get out and ENJOY..!..
- - Notes Of Interest : -
Looking for a Boat, Trolling motor or Fishing Gear & more..
May 21-27 - National Safe Boating Week. Boat operators & passengers are reminded to wear a life jacket whenever they are on the water in Illinois.
Life jackets save lives, & Illinois law requires that life jackets or life vests
(personal floatation devices, PFDs) be available for each person aboard a boat or other watercraft.
State law also requires that anyone under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket
while aboard any watercraft under 26 feet in length at all times the boat is underway,
unless they are below deck in an enclosed cabin or operating on private property.
Illinois law also requires persons of any age to wear a PFD while operating a personal watercraft.
- For list of ADA accessible Fishing sites
Check IDNR Places To Fish page for locations.
- For Bank Fishing Opportunities in Illinois that are easily accessible,
visit IDNR Bank Fishing page
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 & approved by the Dept.
Non-motorized watercraft, including canoes, kayaks, paddle boats, or sail boards in Illinois,
are no longer required to be titled/registered in Illinois, unless the vessels have a motor or sail.
Non-motorized watercraft owners are required to purchase an Illinois Water Usage Stamp for each calendar year..
- 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 these Full Details
* The New 2016 Illinois Fishing Information guide is available online
at IDNR website
* 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.
AS ALWAYS!.............HAIL TO THE SMALLIE"
- 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.. ----------------------------------------------> >
-- Dale Bowman reported in the Chicago Sun-Times :
Remember that Perch fishing in the Illinois waters of Lake Michigan is closed through June 15.
Check our FOR SALE - Classified ADS page.
- ILLINOIS RIVER
- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream: to Near HENRY :
- The River is dropping and should be good fishing this weekend,
but have not heard much on fishing this past week just couple WhiteBass reports and
Most reports were of shore anglers catching Catfish over weekend but slowing some as river level drops..
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs, and spinnerbaits with a few on topwater along weed edges
- Bluegills are GOOD on waxies or part crawler
- Catfish were FAIR recently
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on jigs and/or minnows..
- Terri and friend Laryssa
have been catching some Nice Bluegills
at Farmington Sportsmens club..
- 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:
Striper fishing on Norfork Lake is improving in spite the cold rainy weather we had all week. The north and northeast winds have moved the shad out of the back to the mouth of the creeks.
If you go into the creeks you will see clear water. All the stained water has been pushed out into the lake.
This has also cooled the creeks down. The main lake dropped from the 70 degrees to the mid-60s. We have caught limits of stripers on multiple days this week with the best days being sunny with a little wind. '
Stripers are still being caught all over the lake, look at Cranfield Island and surrounding points, Crystal Cove, Big Creek near Woods Point and Hand Cove, and the main lake points near the dam.
I am catching stripers in 60 foot of water with my lines set at 30 foot. In other areas stripers are being caught in 80 to 100 foot of water with lines set at 30 foot.
The stripers are now spawned out therefore they are very skinny. They have begun feeding on crawdads and shad and should gain weight quickly.
I took Eric and his dad Don out for Don´s first time fishing for stripers. It was overcast with a slight drizzle.
We were fishing the Crystal Cove area and the fish were dormant for the first 45 minutes then the bite started. We were catching multiple stripers, all I was doing was landing and baiting hooks.
At one point we had three on the floor and one on the line.
At the end of the morning we hooked and landed 10 stripers and hybrids, they kept their limit of 6.
Don´s experience was one he will not forget.
If you have not had that excitement of catching stripers the summer season is heating up, one unique thing about Norfork is the warmer the weather the better the striper fishing gets.
The summer bite will be on soon as the water warms up so make your plans on the web with www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
Be sure to read our Summer Striper tactics, the article can be found on the same website.
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 37 years and guides out of Tracy Ferry Marina;
you can reach him at www.stroutfitters.com 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
- Jack says Bass were somewhat FAIR on plastics, and spinnerbaits along weed edges or timber cover with one of his fish being a 19 incher.
- Bluegills are FAIR along shore weeds and timber or brush on waxies or small jigs
- Crappie are FAIR on jigs but recently on minnows around timber or brush and outer weed edges
- Our Good Friend - Jonn Graham
of CAMP SMALLMOUTH
caught this Muskie on a Fly Rod
Sunday at Banner
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
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, spinners and crankbaits and some topwater
- Bluegills were GOOD on waxies and red worms
- Catfish were FAIR on cut bait, crawlers, liver and dip baits
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on minnows with some 10 inch fish.
- Walleye SLOW-FAIR on jig/minnow
DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake
- From State Route 78 in Canton, turn West on Vine Street (County Hwy. 21)
go 3 miles turn right following County Hwy. 21 for 1-mile to cross-road (Cypress Rd.) and turn left (west), Lake is approx. 3/4 mile on right.
- Jack tells us he Crappie fished lake for 1st on Monday and caught plenty but all were runts and biggest one was 7.5 inches long.
Some bit on a marabou jig/minnow but most came on a slip bobber rig with only a gold hook and minnow.
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to http://experienceemiquon.com
- Jack tells us his friend Dave late last week found:
Bass to be just FAIR with a 18 inch fish
Bluegills were FAIR and Crappie were little SLOW for him & fishing buddy..
* 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 FAIR on plastics, jigs, crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits
- Bluegills were GOOD on small jigs along shorelines in coves
- Catfish were FAIR-SLOW and should improve
- Crappie were FAIR-GOOD on jigs in shallow areas, weeds and/or timber with some on minnows
- Saugeye were FAIR on jigs with most all small fish
- Stefan says Saturday evening was
1st time out in the boat this year
Weather was wonderful
and we had a blast.
Crappies were biting
with couple of these doubles.
Crappie were in shallow,
caught on minnows.
* June 4 - Evergreen Main launch & Partial Lake CLOSED til 1 PM
June 4th for the Tri Shark Triathlon - - Boaters MUST use West Launch
HEIDECKE LAKE -
- Bass were just FAIR
- Catfish were FAIR on most baits
- Crappie were little SLOW
- Hybrids were SLOW-FAIR with report of a 21 incher..
- White Bass & Yellow Bass were FAIR
- Walleye were little SLOW recently on crawlers rigs
HENNEPIN-HOPPER LAKES - 2 miles South of Hennepin off IL Route 26, turn West on Road 810N and then next right.)
* * Lakes are CLOSED till May 15th..
-- The Wetlands Initiative says the 2016 fishing season
at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge (Hennepin-Hopper) will be through 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
- No New Reports from this past week..?
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 are FAIR on plastics, crankbaits, chatterbaits and spinnerbaits
- Bluegills were FAIR-GOOD on waxies and small jigs
- Catfish were FAIR at times out from mouth of coves on most baits.
- Crappie were FAIR on jigs and/or minnows
* AND 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 this past week
* For bait, Check * 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 May 23rd :
" The water temps are running 65-68 and the lake is at summer pool and very clear throughout.
I have spent most of last week catching a ton of white bass. We are averaging about 150 a day.
Pulling spinners on bottom bouncers tipped with a minnow. We use these to travel the drop-offs until you come into contact with a big school.
We then throw out a marker buoy and run back and forth through them with the bottom bouncers and spinners or set back
and fish them with my Candystripers by casting down the drop and popping it off bottom as you bring it up the drop. You cannot keep them off it.
The crappie are biting very well too on main lake brush on the south end.
We are using a slip bobber and minnow set at 8-10 foot. Tossing a buoy up on top the brush then get back, cast the slip bobber and let the wind drift it across it.
Sunday the 22nd we had our four man limit of 60 before noon. Full sun is preferred so they will suspend up on top the deep brush.
- This Derek Evans and his son Cole
and this trip was his 13th B-day present.
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
- Still 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
- Kevin tells us they caught several
Bass over weekend with most 2-3 pounders
and Devin caught this Muskie
all on shallow crankbaits & plastic worms
The spawn is on for the Bluegills
and maybe some Bass...
** 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..!
REND LAKE -
- 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
- Bass remain FAIR-GOOD on plastics, jigs/dark plastic and spinnerbaits around timber in bays/coves
- Bluegills are GOOD on crickets, wax worms and small jigs along shore cover or rocks
- Catfish are GOOD on Hoss´s Hawg Bait dip baits, leeches and nightcrawlers near channel and out from shoreline rock
with some around sub-dams
- Crappie were Fairly GOOD on jigs and/or minnows with some fish being caught out in deeper water (12-15 foot) brush too
- - Here is latest Fishing Report from 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.
SHABBONA LAKE -
- - This Lake has a 10-horsepower limit.
- Water temps were in low 60s over weekend
- Bass were FAIR on plastics and spinners and better with cloud cover...
- Bluegills were FAIR
- Crappie were FAIR over weekend and will improve
- Walleye were SLOW-FAIR on recently on crawlers
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)
- No New reports from past week
- - - - SOME ILLINOIS POWER PLANT LAKES - - - -
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 on crankbaits and spinnerbaits.
- Bluegills were FAIR on waxies or part crawler.
- Catfish were FAIR cut baits with a few on dip baits
- Crappie were FAIR late last week but has SLOWed some recently on jigs and/or minnows
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
-- Lake level was up some and little stained
- No new reports on Bass for this past week.?
- Catfish were GOOD on most baits and maybe near or in spawn in part of lake
- Crappie were FAIR on minnows
- WhiteBass were FAIR jig/twisters or spinners near areas of rock and watch for gulls.
-- Below spillway anglers caught a few Striper and a couple Walleye recently
- 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 May 18th - The dock at West Side boat access was still Closed pending repairs.
-- Contact Matt of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service to book trips
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-GOOD on plastics, crankbaits and spinnerbaits..
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on dip baits and crawlers with few on minnows
- Crappie were little SLOW
LAKE of EGYPT - About 8 miles south of Marion east of Route 37.
- Bass were FAIR on plastics, jigs and spinners with few on topwater lures too
- Crappie are FAIR-GOOD on minnows around deep brush or weeds
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-GOOD on cut baits and dip bait
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on minnows
- WhiteBass were FAIR-SLOW this past weekend - watch for surface feeding action
-- 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 ..! BigRedsBait.com
LaSALLE LAKE -
And Daily Hours reportedly will be 6 a.m. - sunset
** 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.
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD for shore anglers on most baits and lots of small fish with just a few Blues caught
NEWTON LAKE - 16-17 miles southeast of Effingham off Route 33.
-- Very little shared from here..
- Bass were FAIR-GOOD on plastics, jigs & spinnerbaits.
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on crawlers and dip baits
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
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, crankbaits and spinnerbaits
- Catfish were FAIR-GOOD on most baits
- Crappie were FAIR-SLOW on minnows around deep cover
- 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 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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