Illinois Fishing Spots, Maps and Reports

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Types of Fish in Illinois

Bigmouth Buffalo
Black Bullhead
Blue Catfish
Bluegill
Bowfin
Bullhead
Channel Catfish
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon
Crappie
Drum
Flathead Catfish
Green Sunfish
Lake Trout
Largemouth Bass
Muskie
Northern Pike
Pink Salmon
Pumpkinseed
Rainbow Trout
Redear Sunfish
Rock Bass
Sauger
Saugeye
Smallmouth Bass
Striped Bass
Walleye
Warmouth
White Bass
Yellow Bass
Yellow Perch

Illinois is fast becoming one of the best mid-west states for fishermen. Whether you feel like something new or are intent on visiting every state, Illinois will not disappoint. By far its best attraction is bass, but it is a good location for walleye, bluegill, and others.

Bass are the main attraction for anglers in Illinois, although Illinois also has great allure for families. The state designates many lakes as family friendly lakes, such as Lake of the Woods, Newton Lake, and Cedar Lake. Coincidentally, most family friendly lakes are also great bass lakes.

Cedar Lake is one of the prime opportunities for bass fishing in Illinois. Not only is it the site of many tournaments, but as it sits within a national forest the scenery is beautiful. Kincaid Lake, also within the Shawnee National Park, is another good bass fishery. They are also hot spots for walleye and muskellunge.

Jacksonville Lake is an equally, if not more, popular choice for bass fishing even though the average largemouth size is larger in Cedar Lake. Its bass tournaments always fill up quickly. Jacksonville Lake is an excellent balance of quality without sacrificing on quantity.

More great bass fisheries include Spring Lake, which is good for catching big ones instead of ample catch opportunities. Lake of Egypt is a good choice too, and better yet it is a year round option where three pound bass are not uncommon. Newton Lake is another bass locale that is known for trophy largemouth over five pounds.

The bottom corner of Lake Michigan rests at the top of Illinois. Lake Michigan has excellent trout and salmon fishing, which are worth taking advantage of as you would be hard pressed to find either elsewhere in the state. The main run of coho salmon is in the spring, but expect to find whoppers into summer. Fishing for walleye and bass, particularly smallmouth, is also quite good in Lake Michigan.

Walleye fishing is a rewarding experience and Illinois has a healthy population of walleye. Shabbona Lake is one of the more popular walleye destinations, although Lake Clinton is also excellent. If you prefer denser trophy populations Pittsfield Lake is the best option as long as you can conform to its speed limit. Illinois walleye fishing is good in the cool winter months when little else is available.

Although not widely distributed, muskellunge are another option for anglers in Illinois. Shabbona provided the state record muskellunge which bypassed thirty-five pounds, earning the right to all itself the best muskellunge fishery in the state. Other good muskellunge lakes include Carlton and Clinton. Shelbyville has good muskellunge, especially around its dam waters, as well as black and white crappie, white bass, and walleye.

Regulations should be checked before you cast! Fishing licenses are required by all persons older than fifteen. Annual licenses are available for all persons, while only residents may buy lifetime licenses. Resident lifetime licenses are available for thirty times the present license fee. Vacationers may also opt for one and ten day fishing licenses. Residency is defined as inhabiting Illinois for a period of no less than thirty days. Veterans returning from service may qualify for half priced licenses, as do senior citizens. Licenses can be bought from statewide agencies and/or online, depending on which license. If you want to test the waters, remember the second weekend in June is usually Illinois’ free fishing weekend!
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Ash Lake


Ash Lake, just 5 miles from Pinckneyville, Illinois, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Ash Lake include Cutler, Campbell Hill and Willisville. If Ash Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Little Galum Creek, Goose Creek, Rocky Fork, Pipestone Creek, Chicken Creek, Brushy Fork, Panther Creek, William Creek, Youngs Creek and Walkers Creek.
Closest Cities : Pinckneyville 5miles, Cutler 7miles, Campbell Hill 8miles, Willisville 8miles, Vergennes 9miles


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Ash Lake


Ash Lake, just 5 miles from Bartelso, Illinois, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Ash Lake include Beckemeyer, Carlyle and Hoffman. If Ash Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Lost Creek, Little York Branch, Little Crooked Creek, Crooked Creek, Coon Creek, Prairie Creek, Prairie Branch, Beaver Creek, Buckingham Branch and Grand Point Creek.
Closest Cities : Bartelso 5miles, Beckemeyer 5miles, Carlyle 5miles, Hoffman 5miles, Huey 6miles


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Ashley Lake


Ashley Lake, just 1 miles from Ashley, Illinois, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Ashley Lake include Richview, Radom and Irvington. If Ashley Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Back Creek, Novak Creek, Sugar Creek, Snow Creek, Back Branch, Pierce Creek, Turkey Trail Creek, Hickory Creek, Sewer Creek and Grand Point Creek.
Closest Cities : Ashley 1miles, Richview 1miles, Radom 4miles, Irvington 6miles, Woodlawn 8miles


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Ashley Lake


Deer Park, Illinois is location on Ashley Lake. It's a great lake for both resident and visiting anglers to land a lunker! Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Ashley Lake include Lake Zurich, Kildeer and Barrington. If Ashley Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are North Flint Creek, Flint Creek, Cary Creek, Spring Creek, East Branch Poplar Creek, Indian Creek, Mutton Creek, Cotton Creek, Buffalo Creek and Crystal Lake Outlet.
Closest Cities : Deer Park 0miles, Lake Zurich 1miles, Kildeer 2miles, Barrington 2miles, North Barrington 3miles


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Askins Lake


Askins Lake, just 2 miles from Cowden, Illinois, is a great place for anglers to land that monster fish. Other near by cities where anglers can stop to get some food or get some bait near Askins Lake include Beecher City, Herrick and Shelbyville. If Askins Lake doesn't satisfy, there are also multiple rivers, creeks, and streams near by. Some of these are Howe Creek, Richland Creek, Brush Creek, Jordan Creek, Cary Branch, Karnes Branch, Fanny Branch, Petty Branch, Robinson Creek and Polecat Creek.
Closest Cities : Cowden 2miles, Beecher City 5miles, Herrick 9miles, Shelbyville 9miles, Stewardson 10miles


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