Best Places For Fishing in Southernmost Illinois

According to our friends at Barket Epstein (visit website here), nearly 330 million people reside in the United States, and over 30 million of those fish at least once every year. The number is growing fast, which means fishing restrictions are on the rise too. On top of that, your favorite spots might become a whole lot more crowded as a result of this sport’s newfound popularity. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been an avid fisherman all your life, you can always use a new spot. These are the best places for fishing in southernmost Illinois.

Visitor Pond is small body of water just behind the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. Here you’ll find great largemouth bass. Because you pretty much have to catch and release, you’ll find the fish here grow pretty big. If you want a bigger spot where you can still find great bass, head to the 209 acre Harrisburg Reservoir in Saline County. You’ll find more largemouth bass in addition to channel catfish, bluegill, crappie and redear sunfish.

If you’re looking for a great spot that’s suitable for the kids, you could do worse than Ferne Clyffe Lake within Ferne Clyffe State Park. Sadly, boats aren’t allowed out on the water–you’ll have to toss out a line from land instead. On the bright side, the facilities on site are exceptional–there are restrooms, benches, parking, and a hiking trail around the lake. Take a trip to this lake if you’re in the mood to catch some bluegill or rainbow trout, among others.

If you’re in the area of the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, prepare yourself for another great spot at Little Grassy Lake. The downside here is that you need to pay a couple of bucks to park your vehicle for the day, but it’s still a likeable spot. You’ll find a dock where you might cast a line, and part of the water’s edge is lined with rocks. If you head there, you’ll catch more largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, channel catfish, and red ear.

If you want to avoid as many people as possible, try Kinkaid Lake on for size. It covers a whopping 2,750 acres where you’ll find bass, crappies and muskies for the taking. If you’re looking to take part in other activities, this is a great spot for camping or relaxing in a boat on the lake. If it’s the right time of year, you can get some hunting in as well. If you do go out on the lake, take care that your boat doesn’t exceed wake or speed limitations. This is for the safety of other boaters and kayakers.

We know that enjoyable spots can differ from person to person, but these locations offer a wealth of fish both common and uncommon. The challenge is there–you just have to search for it!

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