Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season – October 16

Fall Illinois Trout Fishing is coming soon. 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 2021 Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season which opens Saturday, October 16th 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 16. 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 16. 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 16.

Catch More Trout w/Trout Pellets or Trout Attractant Mix:

There are two products that have been tested on Illinois stocked trout and proven to attract them and get them feeding. Trout Pellets and Trout Attractant MixBOOM. The pellets work very well and the BOOM mix will also work. We recommend fishing wax worm or spikes on a #14 Owner Mosquito Hook.

Trout Fishing Tackle Tips

Use 3 lb. Flourocarbon leader and a 4 lb. main line unless you are fishing weedy waters. Use 4 lb. in weeds for your leader. For spinning shore gear and float fishing (our preferred trout fishing method) – use a longer rod like the Gapen 10 10′ Shore and Float Fishing Rod with a large spinning reel like the 4K 4000 series reel. For fishing floats GO SMALL! The Gapen Pencil Float is our favorite and the Bobber Anne a close second. These detect smallest of trout bites and will catch you more fish.

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 can stock a bit differently with the Cook County Trout Stocking. Please check the FPCC website for updates closer to October 16, 2021. 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.

2021 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 16th. Fall Illinois Trout Fishing Season Begins with Early Catch-and-Release Opportunity Opens October 3 at select sites*