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Popular Choices For Great Fishing In Illinois

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All about fishing in the Prairie State

  • Anderson Lake, IL
  • Carlyle Lake, IL
  • Cedar Lake, IL
  • Clinton Lake, IL
  • Coffeen Lake, IL
  • Crab Orchard Lake, IL
  • Devils Kitchen Lake, IL
  • East Fork Lake, IL
  • Evergreen Lake, IL
  • Fox Chain O' Lakes, IL
  • Heidecke Lake, IL
  • Kinkaid Lake, IL
  • Lake Decatur, IL
  • Lake Lou Yeager, IL
  • Lake Mattoon, IL
  • Lake Of Egypt, IL
  • Lake Shelbyville, IL
  • Lake Springfield, IL
  • Lake Taylorville, IL
  • Little Grassy Lake, IL
  • Newton Lake, IL
  • Pistakee Lake, IL
  • Rend Lake, IL
  • Sangchris Lake, IL

Fishing Boats For Rent In IL

Illinois fishing can be divided into two general areas - Lake Michigan and the rest of the state. On these pages we'll concentrate on the major lakes throughout Illinois. There are also many streams and rivers which offer additional fishing opportunities.

Here, you can fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, black crappie, white crappie, walleye, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, bluegill, green sunfish, hybrid sunfish, redear sunfish, rock bass, warmouth, white bass, yellow bass, yellow perch, Atlantic salmon, coho salmon, stripers, bowfin, muskie, northern pike, sauger, saugeye and spotted gar in local lakes, rivers, ponds and/or streams.

Major Illinois Lakes

Illinois major lakes and fish chart

Lake & Fish Chart

This chart shows the major angling destinations, cross referencing these waters with the major species to be found in each of the lakes or impoundments. Many of these lakes offer fishing boats for rent.

For a detailed list of primary fish species in IL, plus state fish records, see the list below.

Lakes, sizes and locations in the state.

Anderson Lake is a 1,130-acre, freshwater lake located in the west-central part of IL, 5 miles southwest of Havana.

Carlyle Lake is a 26,000-acre reservoir in the south-central part of the state, at Carlyle.

Cedar Lake is a 1,750-acre reservoir at the southern tip of IL, 5 miles southwest of Carbondale.

Clinton Lake is a 4,900-acre lake in the east-central part of the state, 2 miles east of Clinton.

Coffeen Lake is a 1,070-acre lake in the central part of the state, at the town of Coffeen.

Crab Orchard Lake is a 6,900-acre lake in the southern part of the state, 3 miles east of Carbondale.

Devils Kitchen Lake is an 810-acre reservoir at the southern tip of IL, 8 miles southeast of Carbondale.

East Fork Lake is a 934-acre lake in the southeast part of the state at Olney.

Evergreen Lake is a 925-acre reservoir in the central part of the state, 5 miles north of Bloomington.

Fox Chain O' Lakes comprises 990 acres in the northeast corner of the state, at Fox Lake.

Governor Bond Lake is a 760-acre reservoir in south-central IL, 2 miles north of Greenville.

Heidecke Lake is a 2,000-acre lake in the northeast part of the state, 2 miles east of Morris.

Kinkaid Lake is a 2,700-acre lake in the southern part of the state, 5 miles northwest of Murphysboro.

Lake Carroll is a 630-acre reservoir in the northwest corner of the state, 2 miles north of Georgetown.

Lake Decatur is a 2,800-acre reservoir located in the central part of IL, in the city of Decatur.

Lake Lou Yeager is a 1,300-acre lake in the central part of the state, 2 miles northeast of Litchfield.

Lake Mattoon is a 1,050-acre reservoir in central IL, 10 miles north of Effingham.

Lake Michigan is a 22,300 square mile body of water at the northeast corner of Illinois.

Lake Of Egypt is a 2,300-acre lake in the southern part of the state, 3 miles northeast of Goreville.

Lake Shelbyville is an 11,000-acre lake in the east-central part of the state, at Shelbyville.

Lake Springfield is a 3,850-acre lake in the central part of the state, on the southern outskirts of Springfield.

Lake Taylorville is a 1,300-acre lake in the central part of the state, 2 miles southeast of Taylorville.

Little Grassy Lake is a 1,200-acre reservoir at the southern tip of IL, 5 miles south of Carbondale.

Newton Lake is a 1,700-acre lake in the southeast part of the state, 3 miles north of Ingraham.

Otter Lake is a 765-acre reservoir in west-central IL, 25 miles southwest of Springfield.

Pistakee Lake is a 1,700-acre lake in northeast IL, at Pistakee Highlands.

Rend Lake is a 19,000-acre lake in the southern part of the state, at Whittington.

Sangchris Lake is a 2,300-acre lake in the central part of the state, 3 miles west of Edinburg.

Fish Species & State Records in Illinois

Bass

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth bass

World record: 22 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 13 lbs 1 oz

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth bass

World record: 11 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 6 lbs 7 oz

Spotted Bass

Spotted bass

World record: 9 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 3.12 oz

Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish

World record: 58 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 45 lbs 4 oz

Flathead Catfish

Flathead catfish

World record: 123 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 78 lbs 0 oz

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish

World record: 143 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 124 lbs 4 oz

Crappie

Black Crappie

Black crappie

World record: 6 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 8 oz

White Crappie

White crappie

World record: 5 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 4 lbs 7 oz

Walleye

Walleye

Walleye

World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 15 lbs 1 oz

Sauger

Sauger

World record: 17 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 5 lbs 12 oz

Saugeye

Saugeye

World record: 15 lbs 6 oz

State Record: 9 lbs 10.88 oz

Panfish

Bluegill

Bluegill

World record: 4 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 3 lbs 8 oz

Green Sunfish

Green sunfish

World record: 2.2 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 1 oz

Hybrid Sunfish

Hybrid sunfish

World record: N/A

State Record: 2 lbs 4.48 oz

Redear Sunfish

Redear sunfish

World record: 5.4 lbs

State Record: 2 lbs 12.3 oz

Rock Bass

Rock bass

World record: 3.0 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 10 oz

Warmouth

Warmouth

World record: 2.4 lbs

State Record: 1 lbs 13 oz

White Bass

White Bass

World record: 6.8 lbs

State Record: 4 lbs 14 oz

Yellow Bass

Yellow bass

World record: 2 lbs 15 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 0 oz

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch

World record: 4 lbs 3 oz

State Record: 2 lbs 8.75 oz

Trout

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow trout

World record: 42 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 31 lbs 6.72 oz

Brook Trout

Brook trout

World record: 14 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 5 oz

Brown Trout

Brown trout

World record: 40 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 36 lbs 11.5 oz

Lake Trout

Lake trout

World record: 72 lbs 0 oz

State Record: 38 lbs 4 oz

Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic salmon

World record: 79 lbs 2 oz

State Record: 18 lbs 11.25 oz

Atlantic Salmon

Chinook a.k.a. King

World record: 97 lbs 4 oz

State Record: 37 lbs 0 oz

Coho Salmon

Coho salmon

World record: 33 lbs 7 oz

State Record: 20 lbs 9 oz

Striped bass

Striped Bass

Striper

World record: 81 lbs 14 oz

State Record: 31 lbs 7 oz

Striped Bass

Hybrid Striped Bass

U.S. record: 27 lbs 5 oz

State Record: 21 lbs .32 oz

Other species

Bowfin

Bowfin

World record: 21 lbs 8 oz

State Record: 16 lbs 6 oz

Muskie

Muskie (Muskellunge)

World record: 69 lbs 9 oz

State Record: 38 lbs 8 oz

Northern Pike

Northern pike

World record: 55 lbs 1 oz

State Record: 26 lbs 15 oz

Spotted Gar

Spotted gar

World record: 9 lbs 12 oz

State Record: 7 lbs 13.44 oz

Click the images and links above for species details.

Heron fishing in Illinois awters.

Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website for regulations and details about fishing in Illinois.

Apply here for an Illinois Fishing License.

Enhance your fishing vacation by renting a cabin in Illinois. Another great way to see the state with opportunities for fishing, away from the crowds is by taking a motorhome into backwoods fishing areas.

Visit the section dedicated to activities for kids in Illinois. It is devoted to information about kids fishing with stories, fish photos and tips for where and how to take a kid fishing in Illinois. Please send us your recommendations and we will be happy to consider them for publication.

 

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