Split Shot Tips -Help With Split Shot

Split Shot Tips - Super Doux Split Shot Assortments

Split shot tips to help you fish better. This article and an instruction sheet for a split shot tool could help you with your split shot game. Whether you fly fish or float fish, split shot can help you with your rigs. So, if you want a tip or two – try these two fishing tip sheets out. As a fishing guide using split shot in competitions and setting up rigs for clients, I have learned a lot.

Split Shot Tips Article

Split Shot Tool Instructions

Our best split shot – always purchase pure, quality lead split shot. Non-lead shot is horrible to your mono line. It does not stay in place. The often-used tin weights used in “safe” or “environmental” split shots, damages the line. It is also hard as a rock and horrible to try and get on the line.

Don’t Buy Non-Toxic Split Shot!

These brands may also make the “non-toxic” brand or “environmentally safe” options – beware. They do not work well. And, they should be avoided. Use only the lead – pure products. Stay away from the No Lead Split shots! Did we mention it costs almost twice as much as good split shot?

Pure Lead Split Shot

Pure lead split shot is the only way to fish. Pure lead shot comes in these brands.

  1. Anchor Brand Split Shot
  2. Super Doux Split Shot

Split Shot Tips – Small Floats

These come in selection assortments as well as single-size split shot pots. Note that some of the split shot selections are very small. Anglers will do best with sizes .3 gr – BB split shot (.4 gr) for balancing their float rigs. These two sizes work for smaller floats.

Split Shot for Bigger Float Rigs

AAA Split shot is also a good size to have for medium and large floats. AAA size is .8 gr and for long-casting bigger floats. For nymphing and wet fly fishing, you may want the sizes that are smaller such as .10 gr and even smaller to make fine adjustments.

Good Split Shot Selections

Northern Illinois Ice Fishing 2020-2021

Northern Illinois Ice Fishing information, tips, safety and tricks to better ice fishing. Hiring an ice fishing guide to take you ice fishing for the first few times will be worth it’s weight in gold!

Northern Illinois Ice Fishing Site Specific Regulations

Ice fish at your own risk. If you are fishing Northern Illinois waters, it is always best to take an experienced ice angler or ice fishing guide. Northern Illinois ice comes in weak and late. But, Ice fishing guides would know best waters to fish and their conditions for new ice anglers. Poor ice means faults and weak spots. Poor ice means you will face bigger dangers. Examples are springs, hidden current and ice openings exist. Because of this, danger exists more to new anglers. Take precautions, grab an ice fishing guide.

Northern Illinois Ice Fishing Waters

Ice fishing hours are sunrise to sunset, unless noted otherwise. So, always check your local regulations and postings. Observe all signs and closures. Check bulletin boards on local lakes, ponds and do not venture onto ice you are unfamiliar with!! If you don’t understand ice fishing safety – you shouldn’t be out there.

Safety Gear for Northern Illinois Ice Fishing
Ice fishing safety gear includes ice cleats, ice spikes, spud bars, rope and a buddy! Fishing alone is dangerous and should be avoided. Safety in numbers is always advised. That said, It is important to venture out with others on the ice. Other ice fishing safety gear includes flotation suits – life vests which will keep you afloat should you fall through. People die ice fishing. So, emphasis on safety is up top of this article for a reason. I have an experienced ice fisher who fished competitions for many years. He lost his friend after an ice accident. Even after rescue in an ice accident – danger exists the day after going through. Hypothermia can kill someone even after being rescued! Again, have that experienced ice fishing guide. Doing so, will keep you the safest.

Northern Illinois Ice Fishing Catch Photo and Release

Our local waters need your help. Having larger sized fish for us, means we all should let a champion go free. Take a picture of the largest catch and be rewarded by letting it swim free to be caught again. Release that big fish. Because, you will preserve the superior genes of that bigger fish. A chunky bluegill, a beefy walleye or a beastie of a northern pike. preserving these large fish improves the water you frequent.

Improve Your Own Lakes – Northern Illinois Ice Fishing Tip

These are YOUR LAKES. So, protect larger fish because they form a healthy ecosystem. When you put a large specimen back in its water, you improve the waters. Big fish help with predation of smaller fish. This cuts down on overpopulation and will make all the fish in the lake bigger. Big fish do make more big fish! Releasing a larger fish of any species improves the lake’s genetic. Big fish provide breeding genetics to the next generation of fish – and anglers. Again, it is YOUR WATER. Your adventure can be complete with a nice picture.

Harvest some smaller fish and saving that one gem is the way to go if you do choose to take fish home. Thinking about releasing a fish? So, do it quickly. Be Careful. Handle the fish as little as possible for the photo. A big reward is having the fish swim away. And, you literally will catch that fish again as a trophy in a later adventure.

No Ice Fishing Allowed!

There is no Ice fishing at Chicago lagoons. There is no ice fishing at the Forest Preserve District of Kendall County, Forest Preserve District of Will County and Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve Districts. 

These preserve waters employ aerators and have dangerous areas you do not want to mess with. As a result, honor these rules for safety. Avoid costly tickets (or loss of your life).

Ice Fishing Chicago Harbors

You can ice fish the Chicago Harbors. Check ice conditions before you head out. Because, ice safety can change overnight. There is current beneath this ice. The harbors contain large pipes at the ends of the harbor to allow for water flow. Avoid going onto Chicago Harbors if you are a first-timer and there is no one out there. There are different entrances to these spots and working with an experienced angler is best.

Harder Ice Fishing

Chicago harbors also are not the easiest to ice fish. Because of the current and depth, these can be tricky. Harbors can be 21′ deep in many spots with a slight current. These harbors are connected to the giant Lake Michigan. Fish migrate in and out of the harbors. That said – these harbors can fish well at times. Big lake fishing means you may have to pay your dues and some days will be far less productive than inland lakes. Risk-reward with fishing the big lake. Pay your dues with time fishing. You can be rewarded.

Ice Fishing Cook County Forest Preserves

You can Ice fish at some Cook County Forest Preserve lakes. These ice fishing lakes are Arrowhead, Axehead, Beck, Belleau, Big Bend, Bode South only, Bullfrog, Busse Woods Main and South Pools, Flatfoot, Green, Horsetail, Ida, Maple, Papoose, Powderhorn, Saganashkee Slough, Sag Quarry, Tampier, Turtlehead and Wampum. 

Lakes are pressured all year long. You will have to sort through a few fish to get to bigger fish. That said, these lakes offer good adventure for ice fishing close to Chicago. They consistently fish pretty well if you know where to work. This is the time of year you can explore lakes and you get to fish the entire water. Cook County lakes are shallow waters. However, some do have depths to 30′ along with many shallow flats.

Ice Fishing Forest Preserve of Du Page County

Du Page County lakes and ponds permits Ice fishing. Du Page County does not allow ice fishing at Spring Creek Reservoir. Find one unique fishing spot for late-night fishing. Deep Quarry Lake allows late night fishing. Anglers must be out of the Deep Quarry preserve and it’s parking lot by 11 p.m. If you do plan on fishing any of the lakes. Exit when either sun down approaches or when posted! Be ready, be out.

Anglers can get tickets if their car is not out of the lot by the time the ranger shows up. Du Page County offers many opportunities for ice fishing adventures. The water quality is very good in most cases. Some Du Page lakes get heavily fished. However, they offer good populations of fish in general. Different species may be a nice surprise. Possibly, some bigger fish.

Kane County Forest Preserve Ice Fishing

Permitted only at Lake Patterson (Hampshire South FP), Oakhurst FP, two ponds within Paul Wolff Campground, and Grunwald Farms FP. 

Lake County Forest Preserve Ice Fishing

When conditions allow, ice fishing permitted 6:30 a.m. to sunset at Hastings Lake, Banana Lake, Independence Grove south bay and Lake Carina; 6:30 a.m. to one hour after sunset at Sterling Lake.

Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area

Monster Lake at Mazonia, South is open year-round, ice fishing and open water. Fishing, ice or open water, opens on Dec. 26 at both the North and South units.

McHenry County Conservation District

 Ice fishing at The Hollows (West Lake only). 

Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area 

As a general winter rule, enter through the east entrance. This entrance will be better plowed and has less of a steep grade than the other areas.

Wolf Lake Hammond Port Authority

When conditions allow.

Thank you to Dale Bowman for providing the Northern Illinois Ice Fishing Regulations and update. The core of this article was pulled together by Mr. Bowman. I highly advise you get weekly updates for fishing, hunting and outdoors by following Dale. Dale is truly a treasure trove of outdoor information and you should be following him on Twitter or on the Sun-Times website. For more information on local fishing – be sure to check out Dale Bowman Outdoors in the Chicago Sun-Times or follow Dale on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BowmanOutside

Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season – October 17

Fall Illinois Trout Fishing

Fall Illinois Trout Fishing is here. It’s Time for trout! Go Fish. Thus, it’s time to prepare. Ready your trout fishing tackle. And, get bait. Because it is time for Our 2020 Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season which opens Saturday, October 17th at more than 50 ponds, lakes, and streams throughout the state. Which means trout, trout, trout. Catch Rainbow trout.

For those looking to learn to fish – grab a fishing lesson or guided fishing session. I can teach you how to catch a lot of rainbow trout on these Illinois ponds.

Illinois Fall Trout Fishing
Grab a lesson and learn how to attract, detect trout bites and land more rainbow trout with a guided fishing lesson.

Careful. No trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from October 1st until the fall trout season opens October 17. Don’t get busted.

Anyone attempting to take trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations. Because, that would be a $125 fine. Per fish, your gear confiscated, so fish safe.

The Illinois catchable trout program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps and the Illinois Fish Management Fund.

Don’t be that guy. All anglers — including those who intend to release fish caught before October 17. Make sure to 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 (5) trout – after October 17.

Get a Fishing Stamp and Have a License

You will need an Illinois fishing license. 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. Check the IDNR website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/LPR/Pages/LicensePermitVendors.aspx

Grab your trout stamp or fishing license online. Also can be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr

Not all of the fall trout sites listed below 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.

Participants in Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season are reminded to follow current public health directives, including maintaining social distancing guidelines, bringing with them masks in case social distancing cannot be maintained and hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County has not made a final decision on opening for trout season, due to conditions related to COVID-19. Please check the FPCC website for updates closer to October 17, 2020. This is a fluid situation.

If you need great tackle for catching light-biting Fall Illinois Trout – visit LiveBaitFishingTackle.com to pick from their trout fishing floats.

2020 Illinois Fall Trout Locations

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

North Illinois Trout Fishing Locations

  1. Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway 
  2. Cook County: Wolf Lake, William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago 
  3. Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park *
  4. Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee 
  5. Kankakee County: Rock Creek at Kankakee River State Park *
  6. Kendall County: Big Lake at Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area 
  7. Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park 
  8. LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lock 14 Pool, LaSalle-Peru 
  9. McHenry County: Spring Grove Hatchery Pond
  10. Ogle County: Pine Creek, White Pines Forest State Park *
  11. Rock Island County: Prospect Park, Moline 
  12. Warren County: Citizen’s Lake, Monmouth
  13. Whiteside County: Centennial Park Pond, Rock Falls
  14. Will County: Lake Strini, Romeoville
  15. Will County: Van Horn Woods, Plainfield
  16. Winnebago County: Bauman Lake, Cherry Valley 

Central Illinois Fishing Locations

  1. Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake *
  2. Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA *
  3. Champaign County: Kaufman Lake, Champaign Park District
  4. Christian County: Manners Park Pond, Taylorville Park District
  5. Clark County: Casey Park Pond, Casey Park District 
  6. Coles County: Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond, Charleston
  7. DeWitt County: Weldon Springs State Park Lake 
  8. Douglas County: Villa Grove West Lake
  9. Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park *
  10. Macon County: Rock Springs Pond, Macon County Conservation District 
  11. Macoupin County: Beaver Dam Lake, Beaver Dam State Park
  12. McDonough County: Argyle Lake, Argyle Lake State Park 
  13. Morgan County: Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville * 
  14. Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield *
  15. Sangamon County: Southwind Park Pond, Springfield 
  16. Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond, Springfield 
  17. Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon, Shelbyville 
  18. Tazewell County: Mineral Springs Park Lagoon 
  19. Vermilion County: Clear Lake, Kickapoo State Recreation Area 

South Illinois Trout Fishing Locations

  1. Bond County: Greenville Old City Lake
  2. Crawford County: Crawford County Conservation Area Pond #6 
  3. Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond 
  4. Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
  5. Madison County: Belk Park Pond, Wood River, Edwardsville Park District 
  6. Madison County: Highland Old City Lake 
  7. Marion County: Boston Pond, Stephen A. Forbes State Recreation Area
  8. Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond, Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis 
  9. Randolph County: Derby Lake, World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta 
  10. Randolph County: Randolph County Lake 
  11. Saline County: Jones State Lake Pond 
  12. St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Recreation Area Main Lake 
  13. St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
  14. St. Clair County: Willow Lake, Peabody River King State Fish and Wildlife Area* (NOTE: Due to water temperature, stocking will be delayed) 
  15. Wabash County: Beall Woods Lake, Beall Woods State Park 
  16. Wayne County: Sam Dale State Fish and Wildlife Area Trout Pond 
  17. Williamson County: Devil’s Kitchen Lake 

Please Make Note: If your favorite spot in Lake, or Cook County is not on this list, please refer to their websites for information. Also note: DuPage County has Cancelled it’s Fall Trout Stocking Program. While their regular fishing is still open – they decided not to stock trout because of larger crowds – who will now crowd together at other sites.

An early opportunity at select trout sites — the Fall Catch-and-Release Fishing Season — will open October 3 at locations marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below.

No trout can be kept during the catch-and-release fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning October 17th. Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season Begins with Early Catch-and-Release Opportunity Opens October 3 at select sites*

Fishing F1 – AM September 26th – 8 AM

This fishing class is for beginners to expert-level anglers. It is an introduction and the first of a two-part class. Our fishing class – F1 will be held at 8 AM sharp on September 26th. This is the first class-the F1 – The second class is a double class and will finalize your lessons.

When we meet, know that our class will be held at the rock circle and there will be a smaller class – we will allow enough space for everyone to comfortably gather without worries. Outdoor activities are essential – let’s re-gather when we are all clear and free of worry about this virus. I will miss you until then. The class will be limited to 10 people regardless of what phase we are in. THIS CLASS IS HELD IN DOWNERS GROVE – PATRIOT’S PARK (Barth Pond).

In this class you will learn about fishing poles, fishing rods, the rigs, floats, bite indicators and live baits. The first class gives you examples of good tackle and bad tackle (the kind you find hanging from most stores!). Bad fishing is NOT your fault. The stores are packed with fishing gear that does not catch fish locally OR ON VACATION. I will teach you how to catch many more and larger fish in just 2 sessions.

You may purchase a class to reserve it and place this in your notes. We will meet : 8:00 AM. – F1 Class. (class one of the two-part series). Note we will have a two-class day (long day though on September 26th.) You may take the F23, the second class on September 26th.

Students must reserve a spot using our class registration. Discounts given for purchasing 3 or more class passes. Add a note at Checkout for which class slot you prefer – note you can change times, with some sort of communication.

Purchase a single fishing class here – tax is included in the price for single classes.


Save 20% by purchasing multiple classes – 3 or more at a time.
Want to register several people – OR – register for all 3 classes? You can register for classes F23 coming up.

Purchase multiple fishing classes at a discount here – tax is included in the price for single classes. Discount is calculated on multiples of 3 or more. Have a large group? Call for large family or large group booking discounts. (Or Book a Private Lesson)

Select Your Fishers

Gift Certificate + Purchased Groupon Registration

Have a Groupon? Groupons are good for Fishing 1 classes (only). Register your Groupon fishing class using the above pulldown. $1 registration charge – (you will get a free fishing tool for the registration cost.). Save 30% on your Fishing 1 class. Note this is a 2-class series. You will need to purchase Fishing 23 (a double session) separately and they can be taken at any time.

REGISTER YOUR GROUPON – OR Gift Certificate Here:

What you need for fishing classes. Camera or phone camera. A drink. That’s it. We provide everything you need for classes. Classes are good for beginners, experienced anglers and families including kids 6 and up.

Fishing Outdoor Education & Montessori Programs

Bring the magic of what is happening underwater and catching fish at a local pond near you.

Students engage in our outdoor eduction and fun. We offer insights into fish, local waters and ecosystems through fishing. Your children will be immersed in pond life, identifying fish species, food chain and also fishing from colonial times to modern times.

Our unique fishing outdoor program features the safest, most-effective fishing tackle to produce the most action your children could possibly imagine. Our hands-on experience fishing of local waters near your school will be the highlight of their year.

Students will experience (depending on unit time and length):

  • Simple, Effective Fishing (that they can recreate after the class).
  • Handling Fish (if they wish)
  • Colonial – Fishing Historical Lesson
  • Insect & Worm Interaction / Identification
  • Fish Species Identification
  • Local Ecosystems & Food Chains (option)
  • Pollution & Water Tables (option)

Students will fish with tackle that features safety hooks and safety lines which greatly reduce accidental hookings, cuts and injuries – designed to break on impact for safety. They will be able to easily manage the fishing equipment and no fishing experience is necessary for them to enjoy their experience. The learning curve is the smallest of all fishing gear. We have perfected the equipment that they can enjoy and succeed with immediately.

To schedule an outdoor session, please text 630.235.2162 with your location and desired date range. We will work with you and prepare a program, costing for the session.

F23 Fishing Class October 3rd 9 AM

** note today’s F23 class is being moved to October 3rd. Please email if you have a coupon and would like to register for that! Or text me 630.235 Two 162.

CLASSES ARE ON – we will meet October 3rd – 9 AM for THE FISHING F23 Class.
You may take the F1 the same morning, We will have a break between classes as the second class is a double class.

This fishing class is for beginners to expert-level anglers. It is the final class of the two-part class series. This second class is a double session and will finalize your lessons. This will be F23. Yes – please take F1 prior to taking this class.
THIS FINAL CLASS IS 2.5 HOURS IN LENGTH. PLAN ACCORDINGLY

When we meet, know that our class will be held at the rock circle and there will be a smaller class – we will allow enough space for everyone to comfortably gather without worries. Outdoor activities are essential – let’s re-gather when we are all clear and free of worry about this virus. I will miss you until then. The class will be limited to 10 people regardless of what phase we are in. This class is held in Downers Grove, Patriot’s Park (Bath Pond).

You may purchase a class to reserve it and place this in your notes.
We will meet : October 3rd. – 9 AM (parts 2 and 3 of our 3-part learn to fish series).

Students must reserve a spot using our class registration. Discounts given for purchasing 3 or more class passes. Add a note at Checkout for which class slot you prefer – note you can change times, with some sort of communication.

Purchase a the F23 fishing class here – tax is included in the price for single classes.


Save 20% by purchasing multiple classes – 3 or more at a time.
Want to register several people – OR – register for all 3 classes?
You can register for classes F23 here. Should class be cancelled for weather – your credit is always good for future classes (also if you can’t make it – contact us 24 hours prior to the class)! We will get you catching fish and help you out.

Purchase multiple fishing classes at a discount here – tax is included in the price for single classes. Discount is calculated on multiples of 2 or more. Have a large group? Call for large family or large group booking discounts. (Or Book a Private Lesson) Discounts automatically applied in the pricing for F23 for multiple fishers.

Select Your Fishers

Gift Certificate + Groupon Registration

Have a Groupon? Groupons are good for Fishing 1 classes (only). Register your Groupon fishing class using the above pulldown. $1 registration charge – (you will get a free fishing tool for the registration cost.). Save 30% on your Fishing 1 class. Note this is a 2-class series. You will need to purchase Fishing 23 (a double session) separately and they can be taken at any time. Discounts for 2nd class (Fishing 23) are applied for multiple fishers in the cart automatically. For larger groups-please email or text 630.235.2162 for assistance.

What you need for fishing classes. Camera or phone camera. A drink. That’s it. We provide everything you need for classes. Classes are good for beginners, experienced anglers and families including kids 6 and up.

Fishing F1 – AM September 20th – 8 AM

This fishing class is for beginners to expert-level anglers. It is an introduction and the first of a two-part class. Our fishing class – F1 will be held at 8 AM sharp on September 20th. This is the first class F1 – The second class is a double class and will finalize your lessons. This will be F23. F23 is coming up. F23 class is offered September 26th

When we meet, know that our class will be held at the rock circle and there will be a smaller class – we will allow enough space for everyone to comfortably gather without worries. Outdoor activities are essential – let’s re-gather when we are all clear and free of worry about this virus. I will miss you until then. The class will be limited to 10 people regardless of what phase we are in. THIS CLASS IS HELD IN DOWNERS GROVE – PATRIOT’S PARK (Barth Pond).

In this class you will learn about fishing poles, fishing rods, the rigs, floats, bite indicators and live baits. The first class gives you examples of good tackle and bad tackle (the kind you find hanging from most stores!). Bad fishing is NOT your fault. The stores are packed with fishing gear that does not catch fish locally OR ON VACATION. I will teach you how to catch many more and larger fish in just 2 sessions.

You may purchase a class to reserve it and place this in your notes. We will meet : 8:00 AM. – F1 Class. (class one of the two-part series). Note we will have a two-class day (long day though on September 26th.) F23 is at 10:30.

Students must reserve a spot using our class registration. Discounts given for purchasing 3 or more class passes. Add a note at Checkout for which class slot you prefer – note you can change times, with some sort of communication.

Purchase a single fishing class here – tax is included in the price for single classes.


Save 20% by purchasing multiple classes – 3 or more at a time.
Want to register several people – OR – register for all 3 classes? You can register for classes F23 coming up.

Purchase multiple fishing classes at a discount here – tax is included in the price for single classes. Discount is calculated on multiples of 3 or more. Have a large group? Call for large family or large group booking discounts. (Or Book a Private Lesson)

Select Your Fishers

Gift Certificate + Purchased Groupon Registration

Have a Groupon? Groupons are good for Fishing 1 classes (only). Register your Groupon fishing class using the above pulldown. $1 registration charge – (you will get a free fishing tool for the registration cost.). Save 30% on your Fishing 1 class. Note this is a 2-class series. You will need to purchase Fishing 23 (a double session) separately and they can be taken at any time.

REGISTER YOUR GROUPON – OR Gift Certificate Here:

What you need for fishing classes. Camera or phone camera. A drink. That’s it. We provide everything you need for classes. Classes are good for beginners, experienced anglers and families including kids 6 and up.

2020 Trout Fishing Illinois & Chicago Area Rainbows!

Fall Illinois Trout Fishing

2020 Trout Fishing Season is Just Around the Corner -Illinois’ Spring Trout Stocking

2020 Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season Opens April 4

Early Spring Catch-and-Release Opportunity Opens March 21 at select sites

2020 Trout Fishing is approaching – get your tackle and bait ready!

SPRINGFIELD, IL —The 2020 Illinois Spring Trout Fishing Season will open Saturday, April 4 at 56 ponds, lakes and streams throughout the state. 

An early opportunity at select trout sites – the Spring Catch-and-Release Fishing Season – will open March 21.  No trout may be kept during the catch-and-release fishing period, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 4. 

Learn to Fish Chicago
2020 Trout fishing is coming. Find the best trout bait & trout fishing floats here at LiveBaitFishingTackle.com – you can even find a trout pellet that attracts trout to your fishing spot!

Two traditional spring 2020 trout fishing locations are closed this year. The Waddams Creek site at Lake Le-Aqua-Na State Recreational Area and Manners Park Pond in Taylorville will be temporarily removed from stocking for site maintenance purposes. 
  
The Illinois Catchable Trout Program is funded by those who use the program through the sale of Inland Trout Stamps. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) stocks more than 80,000 rainbow trout in bodies of water where trout fishing is permitted during the spring season. An additional 80,000 trout will be stocked for the Fall Trout Fishing Season, which begins in October.

For the 2020 spring trout fishing, no trout may be taken from any of the stocked sites from March 15 until the season opens at 5:00 a.m. April 4. Anyone attempting to harvest trout before the legal harvest season opening will be issued citations.  

All anglers – including those who intend to release fish caught before April 4 – must have a 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 2020 fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available now at DNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a list of locations, check the IDNR website at this link:  https://dnr2.illinois.gov/dnrdirectmonitor/VendorListing.aspx

Fishing licenses and trout stamps also can be purchased by using a credit card through DNR Direct online via the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/LPR/Pages/default.aspx, or by calling DNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648).

For more information about all site regulations, anglers should contact individual sites that will be stocked with catchable-size trout. Not all sites open at 5am on opening day. Anglers are reminded to check the opening time of their favorite sites prior to the opening date. The 58 locations that will be open for spring trout season are listed below. 

2020 Illinois Spring Trout Locations 

(** Denotes sites open for Catch-and-Release Early Spring Season fishing)

North

  • Boone County: Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere 
  • Bureau County: Hennepin Canal Parkway 
  • Cook County: Axehead Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Belleau, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Green Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Horsetail Lake, Cook County Forest Preserve District
  • Cook County: Wolf Lake, William W. Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago 
  • DuPage County: Grove Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District 
  • DuPage County: Pickerel Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District 
  • DuPage County: Silver Lake, DuPage County Forest Preserve District 
  • Jo Daviess County: Apple River, Apple River State Park **
  • Kankakee County: Bird Park Quarry in Kankakee 
  • Kankakee County: Rock Creek at 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 at Illinois Beach State Park 
  • LaSalle County: Illinois and Michigan Canal at LaSalle 
  • LaSalle County: Lake Mendota, Village of Mendota 
  • McHenry County: Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District 
  • McHenry County: Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District 
  • Ogle County: Pine Creek in White Pines Forest State Park **
  • Rock Island County: Prospect Park, Moline 
  • Stephenson County: Yellow Creek in Krape Park, Freeport 
  • Whiteside County: Centennial Park Pond in Rock Falls
  • Will County: Lake Milliken at Des Plaines Conservation Area
  • Winnebago County: Baumann Lake, Cherry Valley 
  • Winnebago County: Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District 

Central

  • Adams County: Siloam Springs State Park Lake **
  • Cass County: Gridley Lake at Jim Edgar Panther Creek SFWA **
  • Champaign County: Lake of the Woods, CCFPD, Mahomet
  • Champaign County: Kaufman Lake, Champaign Park District
  • Clark County: Casey Park Pond, Casey 
  • Coles County: Eastern Illinois University Campus Pond in Charleston
  • DeWitt County: Weldon Springs Lake, Weldon Springs State Park 
  • Hancock County: Horton Lake, Nauvoo State Park **
  • Macon County: Sportsman’s Club Pond, Decatur Park District
  • McLean County: Miller Park Lake, Bloomington Park District
  • Morgan County: Morgan Lake at Nichols Park, Jacksonville **
  • Moultrie County: Wyman Lake, Sullivan
  • Pike County: King Park Pond, Pittsfield
  • Sangamon County: IDOT Lake, Springfield **
  • Sangamon County: Southwind Park Pond in Springfield 
  • Sangamon County: Washington Park Pond in Springfield 
  • Shelby County: Forest Park Lagoon in Shelbyville 
  • Vermilion County: Clear Lake at Kickapoo State Recreation Area 

South

  • Jefferson County: Mount Vernon Game Farm Pond 
  • Johnson County: Ferne Clyffe State Park Lake
  • Madison County: Belk Park Pond, Wood River 
  • Marion County: Boston Pond at Stephen A. Forbes State Park 
  • Massac County: Fairgrounds Pond in Fort Massac State Park, Metropolis 
  • Randolph County: Derby Lake at World Shooting and Recreational Complex, Sparta 
  • St. Clair County: Frank Holten State Park Main Lake 
  • St. Clair County: Jones Park Lake, East St. Louis
  • St. Clair County: Willow Lake at 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 

Learn to Fish Videos

Learn to Fish Videos @ChicagoFishing Chicago Fishing has a You Tube channel. You should be following us for new video announcements and great fishing lessons, tips and tricks. Get your learn to Fish Videos right on our channel. Here is one of our videos that shows the best tool for removing fish that have swelled the hook like bluegill, trout, crappie and perch. This simple tool will help you save the fish and also get your hook back. This is an example of videos there soon-to-come.

In the past we created a blog and have over 100 episodes. Our rigs, diagrams and demonstrations are better suited for learn to fish videos. You asked for it- you go it. This Spring look for videos to be posted.

Our Current Videos include:

Removing Hooks – Saving Deep-Hooked Fish

How Fish Feed – Hydrodynamics

What is Match Fishing (live bait fishing from shore)

If you follow us, you will be notified every time we add new learn to fish content. Our first few videos will include:

  • Learn to Fish
  • Catch More
  • Finding Good Fishing Spots – Portable Electronics
  • Great Fishing Baits
  • Cheap & Awesome Fishing Rig
  • Ultimate Shore Fishing Setup
  • SpeedFishing (catching lots)
  • Balancing a Float at home
  • Great Electronics for Renting a Boat!
  • Mapping Shoreline With Portable Electronics
  • Using Your Cell Phone to Catch More Fish
  • Tying Your Own Leaders

If you are into fishing, want to learn and have experience shooting videos, we want to partner with you. We have fishing adventures to go on, and want to take you with. Join us and shoot short educational video segments. We will shoot 2 or 3 videos in one session which will be 8 – 15 minutes in length.

Contact Johnny @ 630.235.2162 if you are interested in shooting awesome fishing videos and want to partner up. The videos will also be made into a video learning series so there is a chance to earn some money as we grow the learn to fish video library. Royalties, fishing tackle discounts and ad revenue share from YouTube available once we complete video shoots.