Fishing in Lake County, Illinois - Visit Lake County - Official Travel Site

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 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

Chain O'Lakes State Park
(Spring Grove)
Located in the heart of Illinois' largest concentration of natural lakes, Chain O...

View More

Cultural & Civic Center of Round Lake Beach
(Round Lake Beach)
Unique facility that provides family and children productions and entertainment throu...

View More

Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway
The Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway protects land along more than 85 percent of ...

View More

Diamond Lake Beach & Recreational Center
Diamond Lake Beach and Recreation Center is 100 acres of bliss. It includes a pr...

View More

Fish Lake Beach Campground
Visit to Fish Lake Beach for family fun! Camp overnight with your own RV or tent for ...

Special Offer | View More

Greenbelt Cultural Center
(North Chicago)
Nestled within the native landscape of the Greenbelt Forest Preserve between North Ch...

View More

Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois Beach State Park is now open daily 8:00 a.m - sundown.  Illinois Be...

View More

Lake County Forest Preserves
As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958,...

View More

Paulus Park
(Lake Zurich)
A popular visitors destination, as well as a favorite gathering spot for local reside...

View More

North Point Marina
(Winthrop Harbor)
A world class marina at world class value. Quiet, serene and safe, North Point Marina...

View More

Waukegan Harbor and Marina
Waukegan Harbor and Marina offers the finest in boating with 1,000-slip marina. A wid...

View More


Other Businesses

Saint Mary’s Road at Everett Road Mettawa, IL 60048
199 S. Harbor Place Waukegan, IL 60085
243 Harvey Ave. Grayslake, IL 60030
1461 N. Midlothian Road Mundelein, IL 60060
701 North Point Drive Winthrop Harbor, IL 60096
55 S. Harbor Place Waukegan, IL 60085
600 W. Oak Spring Rd. Libertyville, IL 60048
698 N. St. Marys Road Libertyville, IL 60048
328 N. Main Street Wauconda, IL 60084
49 Oxford Drive Lincolnshire, IL 60069
42273 N. Woodbine Ave. Antioch, IL 60002
39 E. Madison Waukegan, IL 60085
Special Offers
Calendar of Events
Lake County Libation Trail
Free Visitors Guide
Tour Itineraries
Print Page