-- The cool/cold weather is here to stay along with hunting seasons
has made for only a couple reports from last Thursday through weekend.
Therefore, not much new to report again for the past week..
- There are a few looking forward to ice building later next month on some small lakes..?
- - With Lake Closures, Holidays and lack of current fishing reports,
we have pulling some sites until we again secure current reports next season..
-- There may still be some good days to get outdoors maybe next month.
* If your fishing for the year has ended, Here are tips for
Getting Gear Ready For Winter
BE AWARE that a few lakes have been drawn down for the winter..!
* Use Caution at the launches..
* Second Firearm Deer Season will be 12/1/2016 to 12/4/2016
and again you may find some lakes or lake access
CLOSED during this time..
** NOTE -- With waterfowl hunting seasons in for Illinois,
some lakes are CLOSED or Partially CLOSED to fishing.
-- Check below in reports for the Closure dates, with more info adding as provided to us..
-- Other Lakes not mentioned in reports below that will have Closures are:
- Rice Lake is CLOSED to fishing and will Re-Open at end of Duck & Goose season..
For State site Closures or partial Closures due to weather or hunting seasons,
IDNR Closures page for full list & more info as they update it.
* You should contact the lake or site directly for Closure updates and/or winter hours before going.
- - Notes Of Interest : -
* The 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..
- The U.S. Coast Guard has 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 :
"Perch on southern Lake Michigan and waiting on first ice"
- ILLINOIS RIVER
- - Near STARVED ROCK and South downstream: to Near HENRY :
- The River came up from recent rains/storms and is set to crest tomorrow (Thursday) near LaSalle,
just under flood stage, at just a little over 18 foot..
-- NOTE: The Illinois Valley Outdoors boat dealer in Spring Valley
has GONE OUT of BUSINESS and is CLOSED...!
* * This means finding a new place for your Bait & Tackle too..!
- LOCAL PONDS & STRIP MINE LAKES -
- Our friend Mark tells us "Fished Nov 23rd,
braved the cloudy, cool & misty rain
caught 21 bass, Biggest was 3.39 lbs mostly on
crankbaits in tree tops in 20 ft plus of water.
Also, went on Sat. 26th, was a little tougher.
Caught only 6 & lost 2 about 4 lbs each.
Top 4 had a combine weight of 20 lbs 11 oz !
A 6 lb 4 oz, 5 lb 8 oz, 5 lb 3 oz & 3 lb 12 oz.
A crankbait and jig were the baits of choice.
See his Sat. Video HERE
- 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/tips from Tom:
Winter angling on Norfork Lake can be one of the most productive periods of striper fishing.
Beginning in Mid-December through February the stripers will stick close to the old river channels near or mixed in with the shad schools.
The old river channels are the outlines of the Norfork Fork River and major creeks such as Big Creek and Bennett's Bayou before they were flooded and covered by the lake.
You will find the old river channels clearly marked on the better lake maps. Once the lake water gets colder, the shad will move into deeper water to find their comfort zone.
Sometimes that is depths of 40 feet, other times I have seen shad hover at 80 feet.
The stripers will stay with the shad schools the whole winter period.
The two most productive methods to catch stripers are live bait and spoons. Small jigging spoons, either 1/2 or 3/4 ounce are the artificial bait of choice although some specific swim baits can be productive also.
Shiner minnows and threadfin shad are the preferred live bait. Shiners approved for use by Arkansas Game and Fish in Norfork Lake are available at most better Norfork Lake bait and tackle shops.
Shad are not sold commercially. Shad used as bait in Norfork Lake must be caught in Norfork Lake by net. Wild bait from any other body of water is strictly prohibited by law.
This is to prevent the introduction of foreign or invasive species of plants, animals, and water life into Norfork Lake.
A good fish/depth finder is a must have for finding fish during this time of year. Good electronics will help you find the shad and stripers and keep you on them.
Begin by looking at the old river channel between the US62 and AR101 bridges and move towards the Howard’s Cove area. Somewhere in this area you will find the shad and stripers.
Float creek is one other area that will typically hold stripers. The great part of winter striper fishing is that the bite can last all day or begin mid-day. There is no time limit on when the stripers will bite.
Some days I go out at first light and fish all day. I have seen no activity until late in the day and other days I’ve had my limit by noon. Just stay close to the shad and you will catch a striper most days.
I fish using shiner minnows and threadfin shad. Downlines and weighted floats are my gear of choice. I run six downlines, each with 2 oz weights and 5 foot leaders. I will run two additional lines with floats on the outside of the spread.
These lines are set above the shad school. Stripers will come up through the shad column to take your bait. Always keep your live bait above the shad school.
Threadfin shad are and will always be the most productive method to catch winter stripers. Shiner minnows are also very effective. The best places to buy shiners are 101 Grocery & Bait and Hand Cove Resort Bait and Tackle Shop.
They both carry shiners most of the season. When the shad begin to school, look for bait fish balls and note the depth on your depth finder graph. Once again, a good depth finder will help you find the shad and the stripers.
They will be moving around so keep a watchful eye on the graph and stay close to the shad.
Spoon lures are very effective. The key is matching the size and color of your spoon to that of the shad bait fish. If the stripers are feeding on 1” and 2” shad, make sure your lure matches the size of the shad.
Jig your spoon through the shad schools for the best success. Always be ready for that top water bite to erupt too. Have a Super Spook Jr tied on and at the ready for when this happens.
As always, your most important piece of equipment is your PFD life preserver. Lake and weather conditions can change in a heartbeat during the winter months so it is best to be prepared with a high-quality PFD.
Wear it from the moment you launch until the boat is back on the trailer or in the stall. Fish safely so you can fish often!
The winter bite will start soon so make your plans on the web with www.FishNorfork.com for everything Norfork Lake!
- Tom Reynolds has fished Lake Norfork for over 36 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
ANDERSON LAKE - Site Office 309-759-4484
- - THIS AREA is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Main Lake
through Dec. 20th during waterfowl season with bank fishing Only allowed.
BANNER MARSH - 3 access points on Routes 24/9 3 mi. NE of Banner, with a 25HP limit. (309-647-9184)
** THIS AREA is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING --
AND BANK FISHING ONLY ALLOWED AFTER 1PM till Feb. 1st - -
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.
- - No New Report for here..
DOUBLE T STATE FISH and WILDLIFE AREA (3 miles northwest of Canton)
* * THIS LAKE IS CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season till Feb. 1st --
EMIQUON PRESERVE - Between Havana and Dickson Mounds Museum on IL Route 78
For more info and details on Emiquon, go to http://experienceemiquon.com
* *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.
* 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.
-- COMLARA PARK VISITOR CENTER (309)434-6770.
- BOAT RENTAL & BAIT SHOP are CLOSED FOR SEASON
- - A SOUTHERN PART OF EVERGREEN LAKE - AROUND DEER ISLAND and ALL OF SIX-MILE CREEK BAY IS CLOSED TO GAS MOTORS from Oct. 15th through JAN. 1st
to allow resting areas for migratory waterfowl. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO STILL RUN A TROLLING MOTOR IN THESE AREAS ONLY.-
HEIDECKE LAKE -
* * THIS LAKE is CLOSED for Season..
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..
LAKE STOREY - North of US 34, 1 mile on US 150 at north edge of Galesburg.
- -This Lake is City owned and only allows trolling motors
-- The Lake has been drawn down for winter - USE CAUTION at ramp..!
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
** THIS AREA is CLOSED TO FISHING for the Season --
reopens to fishing after central zone goose season ends, typically on February 1st each year.
PRAIRIE LAKE in Jim Edgar/ Panther Creek State F&W Area -
-- This is a " No Wake " Lake for motors over 10hp
* Reminder of Partial Closures
during Waterfowl Season -
- from Nov. 1st to Jan. 15th
Lake access is CLOSED until after 12:01 PM
on Wednesday & Saturday.
REND LAKE -
- While planning to make a Fishing trip to Rend Lake,
make sure to look into a stay at the new Gun Creek Fin, Fur & Feathers Sportsmens Club
- - 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
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)
**THIS AREA is CLOSED TO BOAT FISHING in Waterfowl Hunting Area through Waterfowl Hunting Season
-- with BANK FISHING ALLOWED ONLY AFTER 1pm--
- AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN TO BOATS ARE NORTH OF MAPLE ISLAND with ramp at north end at the Sky Ranch Road launch and IN PIKE HOLE with carry in boats --
and Shore Fishing is allowed in entire lake after 1pm in Hunting areas or at boat ramps all day..
- - - - 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
---Winter Hours 8 am - 4 pm through Feb. 15th
This Report is from last Fri & Sat :
- Bass have SLOWED a little recently (FAIR-SLOW)..?
- Few Catfish caught on minnows
- Crappie were FAIR
A SOUTHERN PORTION OF LAKE Is CLOSED During Waterfowl Season from Nov 1st till Feb. 1st
BRAIDWOOD LAKE -
** This Lake is CLOSED for the season
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
- No new reports other than Crappie remain FAIR-GOOD on jigs - see Guide Terry´s report below
- Guide Terry Davis tells us:
"Water temps are now into the low 50s
and the late fall//early winter bite is here.
Casting slider grubs and using a slab buster
pink/chartreuse or white under cork is my go to.
Fish were a little spread out last time and
we caught fish anywhere from 10ft to 2ft of water.
The bite should continue to be good for a while now.
Still booking trips through December."
* You may wish to contact Terry (Check below)
- Check with Joe of Ol´ Joe´s Bait and Tackle for latest reports
and ALL your fishing needs (Including Fishing Licenses)- 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..!
REMEMBER an easterly area of Clinton Lake (The Waterfowl Refuge Area) between the DeWitt Bridge East (CH14) and the Rt. 48 Bridge
is CLOSED and will re-open on MARCH 31st...
As of Nov. 21st - The dock at West Side boat access was still Closed pending repairs.
-- Contact Terry of Feel the Thump Guide Service, at 309-212-6817 to book Crappie fishing trip
on Clinton Lake or email Terry Davis email@example.com * Tell him Larry told you
-- Keep in mind to Contact Matt Lamb of Clinton Lake Catfish Guide Service to book Catfish catching trips for next year
with night or day trips available on Weekends. Call 217-855-8406 or FB- https://www.facebook.com/Clintonlakecatfishguideservice
* Tell him Larry told you to call..
* Places to stay while at Clinton Lake are - the Holiday Inn Express hotel,
the newest hotel in Le Roy, IL
AND - Days Inn in Le Roy, IL both Just off I-74 between Bloomington and Champaign,
only 17 minutes from Clinton Lake. Make your reservations today (309) 962-4439 or (309) 962-4700
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.
- Our friend Ken sent this report:
"Lake is at full pool with mostly clear water.
Water temps ranged from low to mid 60s in the main lake
to mid 70s in the hot water arm.
Bass fishing was FAIR on Live Target and Bomber crankbaits.
Most bass were caught in the hot water arm.
No report on other species.
* The lake will be Closed
for the upcoming weekend deer season."
THANKS Ken for sharing .!
* During the Central Zone waterfowl season: No fishing north of the railroad tracks (upper pool) until after 1pm daily: Oct. 22nd
through Jan. 31st
LAKE SPRINGFIELD - At Springfield off I-55 Exit 94 and go the east.
- Not much from here for this week.
-- 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 -
** This Lake is CLOSED for the season
POWERTON LAKE - One mile south of Pekin off Route 29 along Manito Blacktop.
---- site Office 309-968-7135
- - THIS LAKE is CLOSED TO All FISHING
and REOPENS TO SHORE FISHING ONLY ON DEC. 19th
- - And NO BOAT FISHING till FEB. 15th - -
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..
- Not much from here this week.
- Crappie were somewhat FAIR on minnows and/or jigs around brush at coves with some around areas of rock..
* * THE WEST and EAST ARMS OF LAKE and Small AREA NEAR DAM are CLOSED DURING WATERFOWL SEASON to boat traffic
effective Oct. 12th through Jan. 31, 2016
(during this time fishing boat traffic is permitted in the center hot arm only).
- 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 a few years ago at
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