Fishing

Rend Lake Fishing – It’s Legendary

Southern Illinois has been called the “Great Lakes of Southern Illinois and for good reason. Over 37,000 acres of public and federal fishing waters greet visitors each year in this six county area.  Being on the water has risks.  Please read these tips on fishing safety.

Enormous cat fish and record breaking sunfish are promises kept to the eager angler.  Monster large mouth bass cruise the buck brush and rip rap banks seeking their prey (you won’t want to pass up any “hidden” off-shore stumps either – hint hint).  Bow fin, carp and buffalo are also present in these waters and offer some of the hardest fighting angling experiences anywhere!  Four of Illinois’ fishing records have been caught from this area.  Fishing licenses and special species stamps (trout for example – though there are none in Rend Lake) are available through various vendors in southern Illinois and online at the IDNR’s web site.

Some of the records set at Rend Lake

  • Black Crappie  4 lbs 8 oz caught by John Hampton 5/15/1976
  • Bowfin   16 lbs 6 oz  caught by Charles R. Keller   9/23/1984

Contacts for more information

You can get information and order gaming licenses online on the Illinois Department of Resources website (http://dnr.state.il.us/), or contact them at:

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Region 5 Office
11731 State Highway 37
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 435-8138

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Rend Lake Management Office

12220 Rend City Road
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 724-2493
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Region 5 Office

11731 State Highway 37
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 435-8138
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park

11094 Ranger Road
Whittington, IL 62897
Phone: (618) 629-2320
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
State Fish and Wildlife Area

R.R. 1, Box 168G
Bonnie, IL 62816
Phone: (618) 279-3110
Rend Lake Conservancy District
Rend Lake Hunting Preserve

17738 Conservation Lane
Whittington, IL 62897
Phone: (618) 629-2368