As the temperatures continue to rise, it’s a great time to pack up the cooler and head out to the lake to fish. Ready to make memories on the lake by catching dinner with family and friends this season? Cool waters, boating adventures and spectacular scenery are just a short drive away. Take advantage of these top fishing spots found only in Indiana and Illinois:
Best places to fish in Illinois
- Clinton Lake – Near Clinton, Illinois, this 4,900 reservoir is perfect for fishing, camping, and duck hunting. Clinton Lake is located an hour’s drive outside of Springfield. Here you’ll find plenty of crappie, hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, walleye, and white bass. There are six boat launches, a canoe launch, and a white sand beach located around the perimeter of the lake. An equestrian trail is also available for those who love horse riding.
- Crab Orchard Lake – Are you all about bass fishing? Drive three hours south of Springfield to Crab Orchard Lake for some of the biggest bass in Illinois. There are 6,965 acres for all things fishing, boating, and swimming. Spend the night and eat your day’s catch at one of the two campgrounds located at the north end of the lake.
- Lake Shelbyville – As one of the deepest major lakes in Illinois, Lake Shelbyville is perfect for boaters and all things water sports during this time of the year. Besides the main channel, dozens of coves around the lake make for the perfect fishing hideaway. This is a great location for families, with available full service marinas, resorts, and campgrounds. Cast your fishing reel, and you’re sure to catch carp, black crappie, freshwater drum, walleye, and white and yellow bass.
- Apple Canyon Lake – Nestled in the top northwestern border of Illinois, Apple Canyon Lake is a vacation community with a long list of nice-to-have amenities. This includes a clubhouse, golf course, marina, pool, and private airport to sustain the residential and resort community residing around the lake. Tiger muskie, catfish, walleye, bluegill, bass, and crappie are abundant here. Apple Canyon lake is consistently praised for its water clarity and quality.
- Banner Marsh – Whether a boat or a bank fisher, you’ll be able to catch a variety of fish within the 5,524 acres of Banner Marsh. Largemouth bass, northern pike, walleye, smallmouth bass, crappie, redear, channel catfish, and green sunfish swim within the over 200 clear water bodies located in the marsh. Located alongside the Illinois River, Banner Marsh is only a quick hour and a half drive from Springfield.
Best places to fish in Indiana
- Lake Monroe- Located only 10 miles from Bloomington, this reservoir is the largest body of water in Indiana with 10,750 acres of water surface. There are over 30 species of fish, including largemouth bass, black crappie, and even monster blue catfish. When you’re not searching for fish in the water, try spotting an eagle flying in the sky.
- Lake Lemon – Lake Lemon is home to a diverse range of wildfire. A mix of eagles and heron, beavers and muskrat, and a variety of fish, such as largemouth bass, crappies, and bluegill, call this ecosystem home. It’s a great location for those residing in Bloomington, as it is only a 30 minute drive from the state’s capital city. Take a break between catching fish and spend a few hours sailing the lake alongside Indiana University’s Women’s Rowing Team.
- Tippecanoe Lake – The deepest natural lake in Indiana, Tippecanoe Lake is located in north-central Indiana. It is lush with striped bass, white bass, spotted bass, and catfish.
- Clear Lake – A popular summer getaway for Hoosiers, Clear Lake is a resort town in the northeastern corner of the state. Go to the lake and you’ll have access to yacht clubs, beaches, and water skiing, on top of the great fishing. Clear Lake is known for its extremely large sized crappie and bluegill, as well as northern pike, bass, and perch.
- Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore- The 15,000 acres of national lakeshore run along the southern coast of Lake Michigan. The park contains beaches, sand dunes, marshes, and great fishing spots. This time of year, you can catch the tail end (no pun intended) of the spring’s smelt, along with a plentiful amount of salmon, trout, bluegill, pumpkinseed, bass, and yellow perch. After catching your fill of fish, pay a visit to the famous singing sands along the shore.
Gear up for your next fishing adventure in Illinois or Indiana with rods, reels & other fishing essentials available at BigR.com. Not sure where to start? Consult with a friendly professional at your local Big R store who can help you pick and pack all the necessities to make your trip as big and memorable as the fish you’ll catch. Don’t forget the bait!