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Fishing in Lake County
The fish are waiting for you...

Hooked on Fishing? Let Lake County’s 75 inland lakes, charter fishing on Lake Michigan and the Chain O’Lakes reel you in. The Chain O’Lakes is a connective waterway that links the Fox River to 5 lakes through a series of canals and smaller waterways. And under these waters, the fishing tale of a lifetime is just waiting to get hooked. The Chain O'Lakes include a variety of species including: black crappie, bluegill, bullhead, catfish, carp, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, white bass, yellow bass and yellow perch. Fishy Fact: “The Illinois Department of Natural Resources report that approximately 10% of their annual muskie samples are over 3 feet (0.91 m), 6 inches long”.

If that doesn’t lure you in, Captain Rick’s Windy City Salmon should do the trick. Hop aboard the Independence, his 34-foot Tiara and set out of Waukegan Harbor for the open water of Lake Michigan for Salmon and Trout fishing from Spring thru Fall. With water reaching out to the horizon, with no end in sight, it’s easy to forget that you’re not actually in the open seas. They’ll be no walking the plank from this captain. He’s all about aiming to please. Don’t worry about bringing anything, or if you’ve never fished before, because Capt. Rick has it covered. In 2013 one of his lucky expeditions even reeled in a 32 lb. Lake Trout.

Once our lakes freeze over with at least 4.5” of ice, it’s time to bundle up and head out for some Ice Fishing. Bring your shelter and your favorite friend (who you don’t mind being in close quarters with) to Independence Grove, Banana Lake in Lakewood Forest Preserve or Van Patten Woods for a reel good time. Call the winter sports hotline at 847.968.3235 for the latest ice conditions.

The Lake County Forest Preserve offers 22 designated fishing locations for anglers of all skill level. Independence Grove and Nippersink are catch and release lakes, so they make great locations for those of us who aren’t necessarily looking for the trophy above the fireplace. Using a barbless, stainless steel hook is highly encouraged. As a result of their catch and release program, the lake has a very healthy population of a variety of fish. Independence Grove is a good idea for someone that just wants to experience fishing for a day, and is very family friendly. Get some tips on taking kids fishing here. Rent a fishing boat by the hour (they also rent canoes, paddle boats and have other amenities like a restaurant café and a beach, should your first mates lack their sea legs). See the Lake County Forest Preserve Fishing Guide here. Rent a picnic shelter and make a day of it with all of your family and friends!

Did you know that we have a whole website dedicated to boating for all of your Boating Lake County needs? It includes information on everything from marina slips, boat rentals and even lakeside dining. Check it out here!

Before you cast off, be sure to get your fishing license here!

Return to Lake County Outdoor Guide


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27 Results found (1 - 27 shown)

Bangs Lake Beach & Marina (Wauconda)
Bangs Lake is a natural glacial lake located in northeastern Lake County and is considered a popular destination for family recreation in the Chicagol...Read More

Captain Daniel Wright Woods (Mettawa)
This peaceful oasis among the bustling suburbs offers 4 miles of scenic trails: a short loop for hikers, bicyclists and skiers that circles a pond, an...Read More

Captain Don's Charter Fishing (Waukegan)
Captain Don's guide service is a Lake Michigan Salmon and Trout fishing operation located in Waukegan Harbor Illinois. Captain Don is a full time Illi...Read More

Chain O' Lakes State Park Riding Stable (Spring Grove)
The Chain O' Lakes State Park Riding Stable invites you to "Come Ride With Us". Listen...You can hear the rhythm of your horse against the backdrop of...Read More

Chain O'Lakes State Park (Spring Grove)
Located in the heart of Illinois' largest concentration of natural lakes, Chain O'Lakes State Park is a water oriented recreation area with outstandin...Read More

Cultural & Civic Center of Round Lake Beach (Round Lake Beach)
Unique facility that provides family and children productions and entertainment throughout the year on the indoor stage and outdoor stage. 31,000 squa...Read More

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway (Wadsworth)
The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway protects land along more than 85 percent of the river in Lake County, providing wildlife habitat, natural flo...Read More

Diamond Lake Beach & Recreational Center (Mundelein)
Diamond Lake Recreation Center is 100 acres. It includes a pristine lake, sand beach, grassy areas, and shaded picnic grove. In summertime, the facili...Read More

Fish Lake Beach Campground (Volo)
Come to Fish Lake Beach for family fun! Play for the day at our sandy beach which offers lake swimming and fishing OR camp overnight or create a sum...Read More

Greenbelt Cultural Center (North Chicago)
Nestled within the native landscape of the Greenbelt Forest Preserve between North Chicago and Waukegan, the Cultural Center's location offers panoram...Read More

Illinois Beach State Park (Zion)
Illinois Beach State Park is located along the shores of Lake Michigan from Waukegan to the Wisconsin state line. The park offers a campground, full ...Read More

Independence Grove Forest Preserve (Libertyville)
This scenic 1,135-acre preserve offers a wide range of outdoor recreation and education opportunities centered around a 115-acre lake reclaimed from a...Read More

Jones Island Community Park (Grayslake)
This park offers 5 acres of fun located on Grays Lake. Activities include a swimming beach, fishing, picnic shelter, ice skating, playground, ramp for...Read More

Keith Mione Community Park and Sports Complex (Mundelein)
This park features a stocked lake for fishing, tennis courts, a lighted ball fields, a picnic shelter, two water thrills, Barefoot Bay Family Aquatic ...Read More

Lake County Forest Preserves (Libertyville)
As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958, the District manages nearly 31,000 acres of land and offers innovative...Read More

Lake Michigan Charter Fishing - North Point Marina (Winthrop Harbor)
Enjoy the beautiful blue of Lake Michigan aboard one of over one hundred charter fishing boats on the Lake County harbors of Waukegan and North Point....Read More

Lake Michigan Charter Fishing - Waukegan Harbor (Waukegan)
Waukegan Harbor and Marina offers the finest in boating with 1,000-slip marina. A wide range of amenities and activities make the harbor more than ju...Read More

Lake Minear Beach (Libertyville)
Lake Minear Beach is Lake County's premier member-supported 72-acre lake with swimming in the summer, year-round fishing, and a schedule of fun events...Read More

Lakewood Forest Preserve (Wauconda)
Lakewood is Lake County's largest forest preserve. This preserve features dedicated equestrian trails and additional trails for hiking, cross-country ...Read More

North Point Marina (Winthrop Harbor)
North Point Marina is a World Class Marina at a World Class Value offering convenient on-site amenities such as boat maintenance and repair, fuel, dry...Read More

Old School Forest Preserve (Libertyville)
Looking for winter fun, Old School Forest Preserve is the place to be. Bring out the sled, cross-country skis and ice skates and enjoy the outdoors. S...Read More

Paulus Park (Lake Zurich)
A popular visitors destination, as well as a favorite gathering spot for local residents featuring a picnic area, playgrounds, beach, athletic field, ...Read More

Popeye Fishing Charters (Waukegan)
Whether an experienced fisherman or never held a fishing rod, Popeye Fishing Charters will ensure an enjoyable fishing trip. Captain Bill and his crew...Read More

Spring Lake Park (Lincolnshire)
Spring Lake Park is the "heart of Lincolnshire". This park is now a beautiful lake with shallow area for small children and slide for older children. ...Read More

Turtle Beach Marina (Antioch)
Turtle Beach Marina has the largest beach on the Chain, perfect for sunbathing, volleyball and Jet Ski parking. A children's playground, 4 cute cottag...Read More

Waukegan Charter Boat Fishing (Waukegan)
Eight experienced fishing charter boat captains offering World Class Salmon, Trout and Perch fishing April into November. The Waukegan Charter Boat As...Read More

Waukegan Harbor and Marina (Waukegan)
Waukegan Harbor and Marina offers the finest in boating with 1,000-slip marina. A wide range of amenities and activities make the harbor more than ju...Read More

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5465 West Grand Avenue, Suite 100 | Gurnee, Illinois 60031 | Phone: 847-662-2700
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No matter which route you take, all roads lead to fun in Lake County, Illinois, which is located halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Lake County is home to 170 lakes and rivers, 30,000 acres of lush forest preserves, miles of hiking and biking trails, Six Flags Great America, Naval Station Great Lakes, Ravinia Festival and sandy beaches along Lake Michigan's shoreline. Family adventure is around every turn and awaits you in Lake County.
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