Whether you’re looking for solitude or a way to connect with friends/family, going fishing is always a great idea. With all of our wonderful rivers and lakes, the fish are abundant in Illinois. We’re looking at ten great places you might want to check out on your next fishing trip:
1. Lake Shelbyville (Shelby Co.)
This lake has over 11,000 acres, spanning 120 miles of shoreline. If you're looking for flathead catfish and bigmouth buffalo, this is your place. Some bigmouth buffalo here are well over 20 pounds.
2. Rend Lake (Franklin Co.)
Rend Lake is full of catfish--both flathead and channel varieties. White bass are also abundant.
3. Banner Marsh
This is a great place for both boat fishers and bank fishers. There are more than 200 clear water bodies here. You can find many species of fish, including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, crappie, bluegill, redear, green sunfish and channel catfish.
4. Sangchris Lake (Christian and Sangamon Counties)
Sangchris Lake is billed as an angler's paradise. Here you can find largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bullhead and carp.
5. Evergreen Lake (Bloomington)
Evergreen Lake was built around 1970. It is stocked with white and black crappie. There is also muskie and saugeye (walleye and sauger hybrid).
6. Shabbona Lake State Park (DeKalb Co.)
Some of the trees were cleared off the shoreline in the earlier seventies, and since then, fishermen have been flocking here. It is a great lake to catch walleye, wiper, and bluegill.
7. Pere Marquette State Park (Grafton)
This is a truly scenic place to explore, and a wonderful place to fish in. Each year, they host a "fishing fair," which brings a good deal of young, aspiring fishermen. There are a lot of different fish to catch, including bluegill, carp, catfish, crappie, drum, largemouth bass and white bass.
8. Lake Murphysboro
While not the largest lake, it is a beautiful place to come out and fish for the day. Channel catfish and crappie are the most common fish. If you're lucky, you might hook a redear sunfish.
9. Kankakee River State Park (Bourbonnais)
Walleye is abundant, as the DNR initiated a walleye stocking program in 2000. You're also likely to find smallmouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill.
10. Lake Michigan (Chicago)
There will be restrictions and fees to take out a boat. This time of year, you're likely to find perch, smallmouth bass, carp and panfish.
What is your favorite fishing spot? Let us know in the comments.