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Fishing Carlyle Lake

AKA: Carlyle Reservoir, Lake Carlyle

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

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Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and white bass at Carlyle Lake in Illinois.

Carlyle Lake, IL

Located in the south-central part of the state, Carlyle Lake is a 26,000-acre lake offering some of the best catfish fishing in the state. Additionally, there is decent fishing for crappie, white bass, sunfish, bluegill and bass.

Lake Video

Carlyle Lake in Illinois is a premier fishing destination known for its diverse fishery and abundant populations of popular sportfish. The lake spans over 26,000 acres and offers a wide range of fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. One of the most sought-after species at Carlyle Lake is largemouth bass which is present in good numbers. Bass fishing enthusiasts can explore the lake's varied structure, including submerged brush piles, weed beds, and rocky points, in search of trophy-sized fish.

Another popular species at Carlyle Lake is white bass, known for their aggressive feeding habits and hard-fighting nature. During the spring spawning season, large schools of white bass move into the lake's tributaries and provide anglers with fast-paced action. Catfish are also plentiful in Carlyle Lake, with channel catfish and flathead catfish being the primary species targeted by anglers. Catfish can be caught using various techniques such as bottom fishing, drift fishing, or targeting submerged structures.

Crappie and sunfish are abundant in Carlyle Lake and offer excellent opportunities for panfish enthusiasts. The lake's extensive shoreline, coves, and submerged structures provide ideal habitat for crappie and sunfish to thrive. Anglers can target these species using light tackle and various presentations, such as jigs, live bait, or small spinners.

The best time to fish at Carlyle Lake depends on the target species. Bass fishing is typically productive in the spring and fall when water temperatures are optimal for feeding activity. White bass fishing can be excellent during the spring spawning run and again in the fall as they feed heavily before winter. Catfish are known to be active throughout the year, with summer nights being particularly productive. Crappie and sunfish fishing is often best in the spring and early summer when these species move shallow to spawn.

Before heading out to Carlyle Lake, anglers should ensure they have the appropriate fishing licenses and adhere to the state fishing regulations. Checking local fishing reports and consulting with local bait shops can provide valuable information on current fishing conditions and techniques. Whether you're targeting bass, white bass, catfish, crappie, or sunfish, Carlyle Lake offers a rewarding fishing experience in the heart of Illinois.

There is well over 80 miles of shoreline to explore and wet a line. At West Access Marina, as well as other spots around the lake, there is availability of shoreline for those who wish to fish from the bank. Some shoreline brush and rocky points are great places to cast when the fish are shallow in spring and fall. In summer and winter the bait, followed by the fish, move to deeper water for comfort and hang around river channels, ledges, points, hunts and deeper timber. Multiple boat launch ramps, located around the lake to facilitate boat launching. Pleasure boats, pontoons, ski boats, runabouts, bass boats and a wide variety of other fishing boats are popular here. Canoes and kayaks are an ideal craft for accessing the shallows in the upper reaches of the lake. Lodging, restaurants, stores, camping facilities and RV Parks surround the lake to enhance your visit to this enjoyable fishing destination.

Fishing Boats For Rent In IL

Primary fish species residing in Carlyle Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Flathead catfish Black crappie White crappie Bluegill Redear Sunfish White Bass

Carlyle Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: YES
Convenience Store: YES
Bait & Tackle: YES
Restaurant: YES

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to the exceptional fishing opportunities, Carlyle Lake offers excellent boating and camping facilities. Anglers can bring their boats and explore the expansive lake while enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding area. The lake has numerous boat ramps, marinas, and fishing piers to accommodate boaters and anglers. Camping is also available at Carlyle Lake, allowing anglers to extend their fishing trips and enjoy the serene natural setting.

Fishing Boat Rentals

Carlyle West Access Marina
Rentals: Kayaks
618 594-2461

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Boulder Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off Boulder Marina Road, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Coles Creek Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, east side, off County Road 1620 N, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.

Hazel State Park Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Hazel State Park Road, this is a five-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking

Hide A Way Campground Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Keyesport Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Keyesport Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, west side, off Republican Street, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking

Patoka Access Boat Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, off County Road 175 N, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with paved parking.

Tamalco Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northwest section of the lake, off Tamalco Road, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

West Access Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest corner of the lake, off William Road, this is a four-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and paved parking.


Boulder Access Marina
26000 County Rd 1850 N
Shattuc, IL 62231
618 226-3223

Tradewinds Marina
10 Tradewinds Dr
Keyesport, IL 62253
618 749-5649

West Access Marina
14222 Lake Rd
Carlyle, IL 62231
618 594-2461

Click here for a Illinois Fishing License.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Hide-A-Way Camp Ground - 618 749-5369

Eldon Hazlet State Park Campground - 618 594-3015

Boulder Campground - 618 226-3586

Boulder Recreation Area Campground - 618 594-5253

Dam West Recreation Campground - 618 226-3586

Carlyle Lake Dam West Campground - 618 594-4410

Coles Creek Campground - 618 226-3211

Carlyle Lake IL Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Carlyle Lake
Boulder Recreation Area
801 Lake Rd
Carlyle, IL 62231
618 594-5253

IDNR District Biologist 618 931-4217


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Carlyle Lake in Illinois.

Information about fishing lakes in Illinois

Carlyle Lake offers outstanding crappie and catfish fishing in south-central Illinois.

Fishing on Carlyle Lake, in IL.