10 Best Places to Fish in Illinois

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

Illinois is known as the Great Lakes Region, and the name makes sense because this land of Lincoln has a large number of lakes and rivers. That’s why determining the ten best fishing places here is quite tough.

From small lakes to adventurous spots, you can find a wide range of places here, which is great for fishing and other recreational activities. Especially if you are a wild angler, then the fishing spots in Illinois is made for you. So, let’s educate ourselves about the ten best places to fish in Illinois and study about them one by one.

1. Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is one of the largest rivers of Unites States that flows from Minnesota’s Lake Itasca till the Gulf of Mexico. In this river, anglers can find some trophy-winning catches. The species here are jumbo catfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, perch, northern pike, sauger, walleye, and much more. This river is a treasure of the anglers.

2. Fox River

The Fox River is located in Illinois’ Aurora Area. The wildlife area and Silver Spring State Fish is host to some of the biggest fishing tournaments like Northern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days. Along with offering amazing fishing spot, the river also offers some amazing campsite and picnic spots. Moreover, you can also enjoy ice fishing, picnicking fishing, ice skating, sledging, and much more.

3. Rend Lake

The 13-miles length of Rend Lake is situated near Benton. Each of the three branches of Rend Lake provides a great fishing spot to the anglers. Some fish species here include largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish etc. This lake also contains Fitzgerrell State Park, which is 75% shoreline. Moreover, the lake also offers some amazing campsites for extended fishing trips. So, along with having amazing fishing experience here, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery.

4. Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is one of the top fishing spots of Illinois. Moreover, the lake is located near Chicago, making it an excellent spot for tourists too while families and tourists can also boat here. You will find many fishes here such as salmon, crappie, bass, smelt, whitefish, muskie, walleye, steelhead, lake trout, brown trout, and more.

5. Bloomington-Normal

This central Illinois lake is one of the best fishing spots in Illinois. Anglers can try all of their fishing techniques here. You will find walleye, northern pike, catfish, and largemouth bass in abundance while other fishes include sunfish, bluegill, crappie, and much more. Lake Bloomington, Evergreen Lake, and Dawson Lake are three of the famous fishing lakes here. No matter if you are angling onshore or boat, fishing is always fun here.

6. Heidecke Lake

Heidecke Lack has a unique structure since it is equipped with a perched part, which can be risky during the windy season. To fish here, anglers have to abide by some of the fishing rules. While fishing in Heidecke Lake, anglers can find some amazing fishes, including bullhead, walleye, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, hybrid stipend bass, and pumpkinseed, yellow bass, channel fish, muskellunge, and more.

7. Pierce Lake

The 162-acres Pierce Lake is located in the northern part of Illinois. This fishing spot is open for a whole year. You can test your fishing skills by targeting amazing fishes like muskie, walleye, largemouth bass, catfish, etc. However, this lake does not contain any motorboats while to kayak and fish on the boat, anglers have to paddle, which makes fishing here fun.

8. Lake Springfield

Lake Springfield has an abundance of wildlife. The bluffs and woods along the shoreline make it the best spot for fishing. While fishing here, you can also encounter eagles, turkey, and deer etc. Moreover, the boathouse, picnic shelters, and nature park makes it a great recreational spot too. The fish species here are yellow or largemouth bass, bluegill, shite crappie, sheepshead, sauger, common crap, and more.

9. Lake of Egypt

The Lake of Egypt is located in Illinois’ southern tip. This large lake is known for its bass and crappie fishing. So, if you are fond of collecting those, you must visit Lake of Egypt. However, crappie can be fished during cooler weather. The lake provides a great fishing opportunity to both beginning and expert anglers.

10. Devils Kitchen Lake

This large lake has spread over 810 acres. The clear water of Devils Kitchen Lake is equipped with a large amount of largemouth bass. Moreover, you can also find some other fishes here like rainbow trout, crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, etc. However, there are few site regulations that each angler must follow to fish here.


Along with offering amazing tourist spots, the State of Illinois is also great for fishing. So, next time when you plan vocation in Illinois, you should also consider fishing here.


Best Fishing Places in Illinois.

Top 10 Places to Fish and Camp in the Land of Lincoln.

Illinois Road Trip: Best Fishing Places in Illinois.