Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Season

CHICAGO, IL – The 2017 Illinois Trout Fishing Fall Season will open on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 54 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. Trout are stocked around the Chicago area and Northern Illinois for catch-and-take fishing. The trout can not live long-term in most of these waters- they are just there for sport and food to offer more catchable fish twice each year.

The Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing-Only Season Opens October 7 at nine sites. Two weeks prior to the fall trout opener, the Fall Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Season will open at nine sites (locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below) on Saturday, Oct. 7.  Fly fishing anglers can use fly fishing gear to catch and release trout beginning Oct. 7 at those nine sites. No trout may be kept during the fly fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular fall trout season beginning Oct. 21.

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps. For the fall season, the IDNR stocks approximately 80,000 rainbow trout into bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted.

No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from Oct. 1 until the fall trout season opens at 5:00 a.m. on Oct.21 (not all sites are open at 5:00 a.m. on opening day). Anyone attempting to take (harvest) trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.

All anglers – including those using fly fishing gear who intend to release fish caught before Oct. 21 – must have a valid fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

Illinois fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a location near you, check the IDNR website at this link:
Illinois Fishing License and Trout Fishing Stamp Purchase Online

Fishing licenses and trout stamps can also be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

Want Trout Fishing Bobbers & Floats? Best trout-catching floats can be found on this fishing tackle site.

Chicago Fishing School will be featuring a trout fishing class – details coming soon! The trout fishing classes will be end of September, beginning of October, right before the trout fishing season. Learn how to limit out on stocked trout.

We will be adding a tips article to help you catch more trout and enjoy your Illinois Trout Fishing a whole lot more. These fish have a very subtle bite and Chicago Fishing School can show you the best trout-catching rig (beats PowerBait rigs on a regular basis!). Destroys lures, PowerBait on tough bite days and usually limits out on first three weeks of trout fishing season!

NOTE: Not all fall Illinois trout fishing sites open at 5:00 a.m. on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite trout fishing location prior to the season. For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout.

The 54 Illinois Trout Fishing locations that will be open for Fall Trout Fishing Season are listed below.

2017 Illinois Fall Trout Fishing Locations

(*) Denotes Sites Open for Catch-and-Release Fly Fishing Early Season

Illinois Trout Fishing Chicago Area Trout

Illinois Trout FishingChicago Area and Northern Locations:

Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway
Cook County: Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Cook County: Belleau Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Cook County: Busse Woods North, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Cook County: Green Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Cook County: Sag Quarry East, Cook County Forest Preserve District
Cook County: Wolf Lake, Wm. Powers Conservation Area
DuPage County: Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest preserve District
Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park (*)
Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry, Kankakee
Kankakee County: Rock Creek, Kankakee River State Park (*)
Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area
Lake County: Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
Lake County: Sand Lake, Illinois Beach State Park
LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal, Lock 14
McHenry County: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond
Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park (*)
Rock Island County: Prospect Park
Warren County: Citizen’s Lake
Whiteside County: Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
Will County: Lake Strini
Will County: Van Horn Woods

Central Illinois Trout Fishing Locations

Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake (*)
Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA (*)
Christian County: Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
Coles County: Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake
Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park (*)
Macon County: Rock Springs Pond
Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake
McDonough County: Argyle Lake
Morgan County: Morgan Lake, Nichols Park, Jacksonville (*)
Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield (*)
Sangamon County: Southwind Park Pond, Springfield
Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond, Springfield
Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville
Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon
Vermilion County: Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area

Southern Illinois Trout Fishing Locations

Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake
Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond #6
Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond
Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
Madison County: Highland Old City Lake
Marion County: Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Park
Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis
Randolph County: Derby Lake, World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta
Randolph County: Randolph County Lake
Saline County: Jones State Lake Pond
St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Recreation Area main lake
St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
St. Clair County: Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area (*)
Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park
Wayne County: Sam Dale State Fish and Wildlife Area Trout Pond
Williamson County:  Devil’s Kitchen Lake

Next Fishing Classes January 6th

Fishing Classes – JANUARY & FEBRUARY

Take our fishing classes – and see just how many and how much bigger fish you can catch! You would be shocked at how you can improve your fishing. Fishing class that we offer is built for all levels of fisher. Beginner to expert fisher, you will learn so much and improve your fishing – no matter your experience. Ages 6 and up can take a fishing class with the Chicago Fishing School and our expert instructors.

Next Chicago Area fishing classes – SATURDAY – JANUARY 6th.
Registration is open and can you register here using PayPal, Visa, MasterCard or American Express.


The class all about fishing the October + April inland trout stocking seasons.

Register for Chicago Fishing School classes here:

Classes will be taught by U.S.A. Fishing Team member Johnny Wilkins. Our 3-class series F1 – F3 is for all levels! The system you will learn is easy for anyone to learn and will help you catch so many more fish. Enjoy the sport, spend less money and fish close to home. You will also enjoy your vacation fishing so much more! We teach inexpensive, easy-to use system that fish can’t ignore. Say goodbye to piles and piles of equipment you don’t use and save a lot of money. Discover great fishing with this system all around Chicago.

Mark your calendars, Save the Dates (bold classes – register now)

F1 Fishing Classes – January. 6th (1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.) ( Lee’s Bait & Tackle)
F2 Fishing Classes – January 6th (4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.) ( Lee’s Bait & Tackle)
F1 Fishing Classes – February. 4th (9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.) ( Lee’s Bait & Tackle)
F3 Fishing Class – February. 4th (11:30 am. – 1:00 p.m.)(Elk Gr ove)

Registration Opens Soon for Spring Classes:
• Trout Fishing Class
• Bass Class
• Muskie Pike Class
• Monster Fish Class – Carps & Cats
• Panfish Bluegills, Crappie & Perch

Directions to F3 Fishing Class: (will change for Winter)
42.016869,-88.018333 are the GPS coordinates…
South Pool of Busse Woods – 1st parking spaces when you see the water) The entrance is of the road right by Alexian Brothers Hospital – Beisner Road Entrance off of Biesterfield – take Beisner road to first entrance on left – take that to first parking spaces on left. Water and class is on your left.

Your Instructor is World Class 
3-Time U.S. Open Fishing Medalist, 3-Time World Championships (Team U.S.A.) competition specialist. Johnny will use his experience from traveling the World and competing in bank fishing competitions to help you jump-start your fish catching. Not just your fishing, but he will immediately put you on catching – something books, videos, tackle stores & “Pros” neglect to do. They do a great job of making you buy lures – Johnny will help you gear up with fish-catching equipment (NOT LURES).

The fishing experience learned in 10 years of fishing highest level competitions will help your shore and boat fishing – no matter your level of experience.  He teaches you how to get simple, inexpensive gear and how to out-catch others with many more years of experience.

Our fishing class series is built to make sure that you can catch fish on your own and build your own fishing equipment. If you take a fishing class with us at our Lee’s Bait & Tackle location – you can hang around some classes after and we will help you pick out items you need. You will also save 10% off your fishing equipment purchase with any fishing class.

We hold our fishing class series indoors for a good portion of the lessons so that everyone can focus on learning to catch fish. Outdoors we have a lot of distractions and – if we were to fish, the fish themselves would be a distraction. Just trying to focus on the gear while catching would be too much.

Fishing Classes – We’ve Taught for Over 10 Years

After over 10 years of teaching classes we have the best fishing class you can buy at a massive value. Not only are the classes inexpensive, but knowing what equipment to buy and how to set up your gear to catch- and have a ton of fun. Within each fishing class, you will learn the knots you need, the line you should use and the best gear you can buy (and best bargains). By getting expert advice, you will eliminate purchasing piles of fishing equipment that you might not use or that won’t catch.

Fishing stores are filled with equipment that might work nationally – but doesn’t help you here – or on tougher fishing waters. The waters of Chicago are more challenging and require gear to match the conditions. By simply selecting the gear to match local fish – you will open up local waters to your brand new fishing adventures. Our waters ARE filled with lots of fish and also big fish. Unfortunately – our fish don’t match what you might see on tv or on YouTube. Using the experience of the school’s founder – Johnny Wilkins and his competition fishing internationally – you go from new to successful.  Immediately start catching more and larger fish.

Students Love our Fishing Classes Series

Our students consistently send us photos of their catches and even have big catches on their first time out. Our fishing classes have been modified to make certain that our excellent fish-catching system is fully understood from top to bottom. The confidence you leave with from our fishing class – will also help you to score fish.

Our local ponds and lakes are empty most weekends, because many don’t know how to fish or what gear to use. You won’t need a boat – you can catch a lot from shore! You will need a camera, and a camera helper – or someone to shoot the pics. The downside of our fishing class is that your hands will be busy – handling fish!! See you at the next fishing class.