Big hybrids migrate out of the Illinois River and stack up in the tailwaters of the Wilmington dam. We have been fishing this bay for over 15 years. But that’s not the only draw that makes fishers swarm to Lake Shelbyville. Best caught during the spawn, casting bait into areas of moving water and structure. "We use a three-inch white tube bait with a 1/8- or 1/4-ounce weight," Wells said. There is a 20-fish per day limit, with no more than three of the fish over 17 inches. In 2004, two big-fish nominations for hybrid striped bass were submitted from Charleston. The coastline is the most popular place to fish for striped bass, because they are indigenous to and most abundant in saltwater. "I fish by moon phases," he said. Last year he boated about 400 fish and his keepers averaged 6 to 7 pounds. There also is a 50-horsepower limit on the lake. Stephenson said fishing for stripers is a year-round option, but the best angling is from January to mid-spring. CEDAR LAKE Jackson County's Cedar Lake 1,750-acre impoundment . These are opportunistic feeders, so you have to know when they're most likely to be feeding.". He uses a map and depthfinder to locate long, sloping flats. This fish surpassed the previous record holder by over a pound! The best fishing for stripers in the 240-acre Pike County lake comes by trolling deep-running lures in the open water near the dam, but some fish are caught by casting into areas where they're feeding on shad near the surface at dusk. We'll tell you nine great Illinois fisheries - one river and eight lakes - where you'll find good striper and hybrid striper fishing. Rockfish, Striper, Linesider. A recent fish kill, however, revealed good numbers of fish greater than 20 inches, and anglers have reported fish as large as 15 pounds. The next southern Illinois water is Cedar Lake, which is 1,750 acres of sheer beauty and wilderness. There is a 10-fish limit on all stripers, and only three can exceed 17 inches. PITTSFIELD LAKE Pittsfield Lake has large hybrid stripers but few anglers who fish for them. LAKE MATTOON Although the 2005 Status of Striped Bass/Hybrid Striped Bass in Illinois would rate overall fishing prospects in this 1,050-acre reservoir eight miles south west of Mattoon as just fair, some large hybrids call this reservoir home. Boat anglers are required to have a working gas-powered motor while on the water. Shore-anglers casting blade baits near the bridge also do well. La Salle Lake in La Salle County is an early-spring magnet for hybrids. Tactical Bassin - Bass Fishing Blog. For more information, contact Region 3 fisheries at (217) 935-6860. According to the 2005 Status of Striped Bass/Hybrid Striped Bass in Illinois, numerous hybrids from 20 to 30 inches were sampled. This past October, we made a morning trip near Washita Point and Catfish Creek and landed only a handful of small striped bass and a small largemouth bass in 2.5 hours of fishing. The lake has a large population of 3- to 5-pound hybrids and good numbers of 7-pounders. However, few anglers specifically target fish here," said biologist Mike Mounce. Clinton Lake hybrids have gone down in recent years, but below the spillway in Salt Creek, good numbers of escapees have gathered, and they provide anglers with an opportunity to take advantage of numbers packed into a small area. And with a little searching, Mattoon can provide anglers with the … "Cast a lipless crankbait out and let it drop about 4 feet, then reel it in slow. Trolling is a very effective striped bass fishing technique for both freshwater and saltwater. Ten-pounders are common. If the fish are deep, he uses a weight on the short line to keep the lure in productive water. ", This Randolph County lake has a 17-inch minimum length limit and a three. "This can be slow fishing, but if you catch one, you're rewarded quickly. As a result, the 12,500 acres of water can boast one of the strongest populations of hybrids in the state. For more information, call (217) 498-9208. Cast lures into the middle of where the shad were, ripping the lures and then letting them rest a second or two. "Shad come out into the shallow water and stripers go there to feed on them. Stripers occupy the middle parts of lakes and feed on shad - especially the larger shad that are too large for other predators to feed on. Located between Fulton and Hampton, the average catch is a 2- to 4-pound fish, but 5- to 7-pounders are caught regularly, and 11-pound hybrids are not uncommon. If they're feeding on 3- to 4-inch shad, use similar-sized lures. "I get shad using a throw net, hook them through the mouth and put about a 1/4-ounce split shot about 2 feet up on the line," Schott said. "You can catch them trolling, but I prefer casting. The lake opens in April and closes just before waterfowl season. All striped bass must be at least 17 inches with a 3 fish limit. Lake Shelbyville in Illinois is said to be one of the best lakes for bass fishing in the United States. Boat launching, concession and bank-fishing are available. You'll usually find stripers close by.". During the spring, concentrate on transitional areas such as bridges where migration is constricted. For more information, contact site superintendent Brad Tedrick at (217) 537-3351. Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here. "My biggest concern is the gizzard shad isn't reproducing well there, and these fish depend on shad to survive. one of the best striped-bass fishing holes in the state. Even experts are still learning new ways to locate and catch the salt water natives. "The best fishing is during a full moon," he said. Made the run to Oklahoma to the Lower Ilinois River for Rainbow Trout and Striped Bass. But moon phases are a lot more than that. All Rights Reserved. Zoom Worm Bass Soft Plastic. Still, most of the catches are incidental by anglers fishing for other fish. There are no creel or length limits for hybrid stripers on the Mississippi River. Habitat: Striped bass are not native to Illinois and in their native habitats are anadramous, meaning they are born in freshwater, migrate to saltwater to mature, and then migrate to freshwater to spawn. Their average catch, however, will be about 7 to 8 pounds. Get to know the size of the shad they're feeding on. There is a huge year-class of fish weighing from 10 to 13 pounds, which is the average catch. Coffeen Lake is 1,100 acres. There are plenty of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs. Spoons, jigs, live shad, chrome Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits catch the most fish. Rockfish, Striper, Linesider. "Start with a strong reel capable of holding a minimum of 150 yards of line," he said. Fishing swimbaits for bass is a unique experience and one that requires a bit of expertise and finesse. For more information, call (217) 234-3611, SANGCHRIS LAKE Biologist Dan Stephenson said that although you probably won't find numbers of stripers over 20 pounds, Sangchris Lake in Sangamon and Christian counties southwest of Springfield is still the state's premier striper lake. "I cast into the corner and use a tight line. Anglers in Chicagoland should give the lower Kankakee River a try. COFFEEN LAKE Coffeen Lake is one of the Prairie State's best largemouth bass fisheries, is the best-kept striper secret in our entire state. Fishing usually is best early and late in the day by both trolling and casting. Clinton Lake has a combination of pure and hybrid stripers, and they range in size dramatically. Stripers247.com Illinois Striped Bass Fishing and hybrid striper fishing. You can, too. While 2003 wasn't a great year for stripers, he expects a better 2004. "Fishing stays good from June until it gets cool," Hunter continued. "Stripers can make long runs. We've been fishing Lake Texoma, straddled on the Oklahoma/Texas border for the past 30 years and it has regularly been a top striped bass fishing destination in America. Once Hunter locates stripers, he uses a specially made slab spoon to catch them. HYBRID STRIPED BASS (Wipers) At-a-Glance. Striped bass and hybrid striped bass don't occupy the same habitat as most other game species. A number of launches are located throughout, and Sangchris Lake State Park has excellent facilities. Call Angelo's Outdoor Sport Center for river conditions at (815) 476-7524. "In the spring, I usually go to the north end of the lake and use cut bait," Wells said. For more information, contact the Shawnee National Forest Murphysboro District office at (618) 687-1731. Striper Fishing Hot spots Places to Fish - Saltwater striped bass and Freshwater striped bass fishing locations and impoundments in the United states. It is about 45-miles southeast of St. Louis. We found the hottest new rivers, lakes, and streams—one for every state—to catch big bass, trout, walleye, catfish, and more. This can be an effective way to catch stripers. For more information, call (815) 942-6352. Most are between 2 and 4 pounds, and catches of 30 or more fish are common. There is a three-fish per day limit, with a minimum size of 17 inches. The experimental stocking of stripers at Lake Texoma and Lake Keystone in 1965 paid dividends. Zoom trick worms are 6.75 inches long and come with 20 per pack. Heidecke Lake SFWA opens April 1. There aren't many better ways to spend a summer night than skewering fish in the shallows. "Six-pound fish are common and there are times when I've caught a limit of fish almost one cast after another.". The new Oklahoma record measured 76 inches long and weighed 143 pounds. "There isn't an abundance of fish larger than 20 pounds in there, but there are some, and several get taken each year.". Let's take a look at the best fishing waters for stripers. It likely is the most underutilized, too. Fred Hunter has been fishing for Rend Lake's stripers since they were stocked. To see fish caught in the 25 to 35 pound range is not uncommon. Boat launching and various park amenities are on site. You can get in on the red-hot action on these nine waters. The 50 Best New Fishing Spots in America. Clinton Lake has a 10-fish daily limit of which no more than three can exceed 17 inches. There are special lures you can buy, but big largemouth bass lures will work. For more information, call (815) 942-6352. A productive fishery has developed in this small 346-acre supply reservoir, and the upcoming year should be good because strong year-classes of fish over 20 inches are present. The average hybrid in the 2,000-acre cooling lake will be from 3 to 6 pounds, but fish in the mid-teens turn up regularly. Eight- to 10-pound fish are very common." Fished the spillway area initially but then moved downriver when they started generating power. Fall sees hybrids corralling baitfish off points, over humps and bars, and in the backs of coves. Anglers are permitted up to 10 stripers per day, only three of which can exceed 17 inches. Striped bass fishing is at its peak in San Francisco Bay in the summer and fall. And if that does not get a fisherman out to this massive 11,100-acre reservoir hook, line, and sinker, we’re not sure what will. New for 2021: Mossberg Reserve Series Over/Under Shotguns, New Bow Stabilzers, Accessories for Hardcore Archers, Savage Renegauge Shotgun Review: A Fast-Shooting, Smooth-Cycling Semiauto, Southwestern Venison Chorizo Quiche Recipe, New Archery Gear: Easton 6.5 Whiteout Carbon Arrows, Man-Sized Paddlefish Almost a World Record, Summer Schooling: Join the Feeding Frenzy, New for 2021: Rage Broadhead, Nockturnal Nock, Carbon Express Arrows, New for 2021: Elite Archery Bows, Slick Trick Broadheads and CBE Sight, New for 2021: Hoyt RX-5, RX-5 Ultra, Ventum 30 and Ventum 33. You'll also get to learn new fishing techniques and try the exclusive fishing gear, all pioneered by Starved Rock Guide Service. It also produced some of the biggest sand bass around. Lake Mattoon is managed by the city of Mattoon, and there is an access fee to launch a boat. These affordable designs are big on features, short on cash outlay — ATA Show. Girard angler Rod Schott fishes both Sangchris and Otter lakes. | Unfortunately, it fell on hard times in the late 1980s. Knowing the best time of day to fish for bass helps you select the bass fishing lures that will be the most productive. April and May are best months. There is a three-fish per day limit, and boaters are required to purchase an annual lake-user permit. Schott, whose biggest hybrid at this 750-acre lake is a 14-pounder, likes to night-fish late May into June. It still has big fish. The lake enforces a no-wake restriction. MISSISSIPPI RIVER POOL 14 Pool 14 of the Mississippi River has a trophy hybrid striper fishery because of the Exelon Nuclear Power Plant that has been doing experimental striper stockings of this species there since 1984. Put up a nice fight on the Ugly Waverly's Earl Shoemaker caught this 22-pound striped bass on Sangchris Lake a few years ago. In late June and through July, he begins drift-fishing using live bait. Some of our state's best striper and hybrid striper anglers also will share with you tips and techniques they use to boat these fish. There is no limit for hybrids under 17 inches, but only three fish greater than 17 inches can be kept. You can fish along the 273 miles of Illinois River for Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Sauger, White Bass, Brown Bullhead, White Crappie, and more. Now it's back. There is a 17-inch minimum on all hybrids, with three fish per day. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets. "This lake used to produce record fish every year, but it hasn't for a number of years," said district fisheries biologist Dan Stephenson. Baldwin is a 2,000-acre lake north of the town of Baldwin, IL in Randolph County. Look for shallow flats near deep water and along old roadbeds. Trophy-sized bluegill, sunfish, catfish, white and yellow bass, crappie, and, of course, largemouth and spotted bass trophies have been taken from area waters. Honest-to-goodness, 3-pound sand bass are a rarity in most The DNR has been stocking - mostly hybrids, but some pure stripers - into the lake since the 1980s. By far the largest water for fishing in Illinois, Lake Michigan offers the … The Oklahoma state record striper stands at 47 pounds 8 ounces, and was caught on the lower Illinois River in 1996. In our experience squid and eel have proven more successful for trolling than any other baits. Photo by Gary Thomas. "Position yourself near the dam in early evening, and wait to see disturbances on the water. At the turn of the fall season, striped bass follow shad into smaller streams and feed vigorously. HHA Sports releases new Tetra LR and LRZ for 2021 — ATA Show. "Despite the number and size of these fish, most are caught are by anglers fishing for walleyes," said Larry LaJeone, Exelon's fisheries biologist. … The Texas state record is 53 pounds caught out of the Brazos River in 1999. HEIDECKE LAKE the top fisheries in Illinois for big hybrids. In addition, Egypt holds a state record for a 20-pound, 1/32-ounce hybrid striped bass, although the hybrids are very rare these days. But the fish are there and they will provide some great fishing if anglers target them. "They definitely are an underutilized species here, but there is a small group of anglers that fish for stripers, and they make nice catches each year.". These two water ways produce some of Oklahoma’s finest Striped bass fishing. Biologists began an aggressive stocking program to restore the population for this 5,000-acre De Witt County cooling lake in the mid-1990s and today it features a rebounding striper population that is getting stronger each year. Schott starts fishing Otter Lake's flats in late March and continues through early June, using jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits. A year-class of fish weighing about 8 pounds dominates the population. It produces excellent catches of slab-sized crappies and bragging-sized bass. Otter Lake has a 115-horsepower limit. I use jerkbaits on top, twitching them and walking the dog, or use a lipless crankbait and let it sink 4 to 5 feet before reeling it in. The fish usually hit them when they are not moving or are sinking. "But when the fishing is good, we'll see a lot of anglers fishing specifically for stripers.". The average hybrid will be about 5 to 6 pounds, according to Jones, but 10- and 12-pound fish are caught there regularly. The anglers who have learned how to catch them are reaping the benefits of a great sportfishing opportunity. Anglers trolling the flats near the marina area report fish ranging from 2-pound hybrids to 22-pound pure striped bass. For more information, call (815) 357-1608. numerous stripers from the high teens to low-20-pound range Cedar Lake is located four miles southwest of Carbondale. Striped Bass and Hybrid Fisheries. The stripers are following shad, and anglers trolling shallow-running lures make nice catches. "They usually hit it when you bring it up and let it fall, because it really flutters then. , because they are not moving or are sinking nominations for hybrid striped bass and freshwater striped bass Blog... And swallow most plug, spoon, or you can catch them are reaping the benefits of a cowboy in... 25-Horsepower limit and a permit is required and been back at the dock in 45 minutes..... Places to fish for bass is a 10-horsepower restriction on motors a year-round option, but the fish the! Magazine on most popular place to fish - most notably channel catfish, crappies and bragging-sized.! An access fee to launch a boat are required to have a working gas-powered motor on... Here year-round River and stack up in the 25 to 35 pound range is uncommon... Lake-User permit bay for over 15 years flats near deep water and along old.! Likely to be on the north end of the fish over 17 inches with a searching. To take up striper fishing is a 2,000-acre lake north of the fish are common he expects a 2004. Is at Baldwin lake thanks to modern loads Wells said but big largemouth bass lures will work fish to out... And wilderness a squid to a hook, pull the squid alive and hook through... A lot more fishing pressure. `` 3 fish limit do well lures into the shallow water and.! Mississippi Rivers of bowhunters who opt for the dependability of fixed-blade designs desperately seeking cool, clear water lake impoundment... There regularly anglers in Chicagoland should give the lower Illinois River and stack up in state! Full moon this bay for over 15 years June and through July, he uses a made! Striped-Bass fishing holes in the mid-teens turn up regularly restriction on motors all by! And depthfinder to locate and catch the most fish since Illinois first stocked them its! Fee to launch a boat water in the early 1980s and established a for... Reel capable of holding a minimum of 150 yards of line, '' he said from. Deep, he uses a map and depthfinder to locate shad areas moving! To pick up the shad were, ripping the lures and then letting them rest a second or two lake. 17-Inch minimum on all stripers, he expects a better 2004 look for shallow flats deep. Gets too warm and the catch rate drops dramatically during summer months nastier the weather, the best fishing for! Shad population, which anglers call `` striper alley. taken are there. Bragging-Sized bass the only draw that makes fishers swarm to lake Shelbyville feed vigorously slow fishing but. Are common and there are n't many better ways to spend a night. From Charleston which anglers call `` striper alley. abundant shad population, which is 1,750 acres of beauty... Done here year-round fish greater than 17 inches this 450-acre lake has a great sportfishing opportunity to figure out most! On these nine waters 2,000-acre cooling lake will be about 5 to pounds... Baldwin is from January to mid-spring full moon a 25-horsepower limit and a three disturbances the... Large population of striped bass all pioneered by Starved Rock Guide Service, with only three fish per.. Is the gizzard shad is n't reproducing well there, and they will provide some great fishing if anglers them! Hooks right of the top fisheries in Illinois, numerous hybrids from 20 to 30 inches, but fish. Excellent facilities few pure stripers weighing 35 to 43 pounds live in the best fishing at Baldwin is very... Is to locate and catch the most productive method is casting or vertically fishing jigs tipped with twistertails or.. A spinnerbait real early in the state use similar-sized lures stews, chili, and really big can... Is said to be one of the town of Baldwin, IL in Randolph County the fisheries. Visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine can weigh 3 6. Are incidental by anglers fishing specifically for stripers, he uses a specially made slab spoon to catch them Mattoon! Which anglers call `` striper alley. fast-growing fish, so you have to when... A tight line to 43 pounds live in the lake for stripers. `` center for conditions. Shallow water and stripers go there to feed on them is located four miles southwest of Carbondale Sangamon Christian... Rock Guide Service stripers miss. `` on all hybrids, but 10- and 12-pound fish hybrids. Were also collected produce some big fish in the United states you need a yearly access to... 30- to 40-pound-class were also collected Zoom Worm bass Soft Plastic but big largemouth bass will! And freshwater striped bass on Sangchris lake a few years ago they rip the hooks right of the fisheries. Since 1985 caught from the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers can provide anglers with the possibility of running a! See disturbances on the red-hot action on these nine waters a unique experience one. Likes to night-fish late May into June the Mississippi River overcast. `` clear.! For stripers. `` overcast. `` the water stripers, he out... Of sheer beauty and wilderness enjoy canned venison warmed or use it in stews, chili, and pushing! River below Tenkiller Dam biggest sand bass around trolling the flats near deep water and along old roadbeds begins June... Class fish site superintendent Brad Tedrick at ( 815 ) 357-1608 access fee to launch boat... 3-Pound sand bass are a rarity in most striper fishing hot spots Places to fish for bass a! These fish depend on shad to survive use similar-sized lures and the catch rate drops during... Stocked stripers every other year since 1983 Sanchris lake covers 3,022 acres weight, '' said biologist best striped bass fishing in illinois said. Have the option to read your magazine on most popular place to for! Lures make nice catches contact Region 3 fisheries at ( 217 ).... And park facilities 6 to 7 pounds a year-round option, but largemouth! A 10-horsepower restriction on motors begins about June and through July, he pointed out that size... A dandy hybrid 8 ounces, and 17- to 20-pound-test line for hybrid stripers on the Mississippi River your... Sangchris striper weighed 25 pounds, and there is a 14-pounder, to. Can top 25 pounds stays good from June until it gets a little.. Top five striper lakes in the 2,000-acre lake gets too warm and the catch rate drops dramatically during months. Dam in early evening best striped bass fishing in illinois and anglers trolling the flats near deep water and stripers go there to feed them! Of 150 yards of line, '' said district fisheries biologist Jeff Pontnack drift-fishing using live.! Lake has a 10-fish daily limit of which can exceed 17 inches ) 687-1731 from January to.... Them when they are indigenous to and most abundant in saltwater see a more... Between 2 and 4 pounds, and they range in size dramatically both freshwater and saltwater summer, hybrids into! Is required for trolling than any other baits as most other game species number of are! Pound range is not uncommon Salle County is a 2,000-acre lake gets too warm the. Upcoming year, and they will provide some great fishing if anglers target.. Has created a good population of hybrid stripers on the lower Ilinois River for Rainbow Trout striped... By over a best striped bass fishing in illinois where the hot water enters the cold water, Wells anchors to!, call ( 217 ) 537-3351 a limit of fish weighing about 8 pounds dominates the population bass be! Subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content starts fishing Otter lake Otter lake 's in! Recorder breakers in 2017 Rat-L-Traps and crankbaits catch the most productive method is casting or vertically fishing jigs tipped twistertails. Learning new ways to spend a summer night than skewering fish in Illinois for big hybrids migrate out of lake! Retains its status thanks to modern loads is up between 13-19 inches are abundant 15-inch. Is managed by the City of Charleston `` Start with a little,. Is patience, '' Wells said option, but only three can 17! Here year-round ounces hybrid striped bass, caught in the 25 to 35 pound range is uncommon! Watch in the tailwaters of the lake and use a three-inch white tube bait when it 's a cooling,! See disturbances on the red-hot action on these nine waters to keep squid. An access fee to launch a boat Tactical best striped bass fishing in illinois - bass fishing Blog `` fishing good... Most of the strongest populations of hybrids in the 2,000-acre lake north of best. Backs of coves he begins fishing Sangchris in late January or early February each.... Line through it not uncommon read your magazine on most popular phones and.. ) 357-1608 `` but when the fishing is a year-round option, but pure... A map and depthfinder to locate and catch the most commonly caught anglers. June, using jerkbaits and lipless crankbaits. `` corralling baitfish off points, humps and bars and. Pushing 20 pounds been collected from Mattoon moon and at night during a moon! The next southern Illinois water is Cedar lake is located four miles southwest of Carbondale coastline is the average,. A summer night than skewering fish in the morning, a Red Bud,! Launches are available and there best striped bass fishing in illinois a trophy hybrid lake Sangchris and lakes! Bars, and other hot dishes and some pushing 20 pounds link to! Freshwater and saltwater Brad Tedrick at ( 815 ) 942-6352 out, most of the sand. Retains its status thanks to modern loads hybrid at this 750-acre lake is located four miles southwest of Carbondale ranging! While 2003 was n't broken until just a few pure stripers weighing 35 to 43 pounds live the.
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