Illinois Muskie Fishing

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  • Anyone seeing action on the northern fox chain yet? Was thinking about splashing in tomorrow. 


    Tight lines 

    • Hey John. Wanted to wish you luck.

      I have heard some great reports from the Fox Chain this year, so far. Biggest fish I have heard caught was a beautiful 45-46 incher. Lots of mid-thirty inch fish, too.

      Channel, Catherine, and Marie would be the lakes I would hit. Small, single blade bucktails and 6-8 inch glide baits have always been good lure choices this time of the year.

      Hope you do well!

  • Hey everyone, After hitting up the Muskie expos around me, I now have bad Muskie fever lol.  Thinking about making a run  to Kinkaid (about a 5 hour ride for me) late February, looking for any thoughts or if you’re willing, some tips to slime my bump board.

    Brandyn, I spend my Illinois time mainly on the Fox Chain. Channel and Catherine are my favorites but I’ve found them in Marie as well,  gotta pick your times though lots of Rec boats on weekends, early morning or evening work best In my opinion once the Wreck it Ralph’s (rec boats) are done churning up the water lol. 

    Thanks and tight lines 

    • Kinkaid is a great lake. I like to fish the south-east coves and the central, south-facing points on the north-side of the lake. The marina is also a hot-spot.

      Bulldawgs and RatLtraps might be your best bet early in the season.

  • I have only fished Lake McMaster. Never caught a fish there yet but I have seen them. Pulled some nice bass and walleye on musky baits. My buddy fishes it a lot. It's his home waters and he has pulled some nice musky there. He pulled his largest fish last February it was 51.50".

  • Where do you go fishing for Muskies in Illinois?

    I have fished throughout the state... with the Fox River being my home, Muskie waters. This is my favorite place to fish for Muskies in the entire world. It provides us with the closest we can get in the state as far as a natural, Muskie environment. A natural population of Muskies used to inhabit the Fox River. There may be a possibility that some natural reproduction does turn out successful. Aside from the dams separating different sections of the river... there are longer stretches with miles of natural structure and cover with lots of turns and tributary streams. Another river I have fished in Illinois is the Kaskaskia River.

    In the North, lakes I have fished are the Fox Chain of Lakes, Heidecke Lake, Pierce Lake, Lake Carlton, Shabbona Lake, Lake Sule, and Loon Lake. I love all of the Central Illinois Lakes I have been to. Lake Shelbyville, Lake Evergreen, Mill Creek Lake, Lake McMaster, Lake Storey, the Banner Marsh lakes, Spring Lake North, Johnson Saulk Trail, and Site M Lake are all - awesome lakes. Kinkaid Lake is the only Southern lake I have fished. Most of these lakes are reservoirs with some being gravel pits and Heidecke Lake used to be an old, power plant lake.

    I am interested to know which rivers and lakes everyone has fished - for Muskie.

    Good luck the next time you make it out fishing.

    • Is Kinkaid the lake that feeds the spillway?

      • The Lake Shelbyville dam is the spillway on the Kaskaskia River in Central Illinois.

      • Johnson creek feeds into kinkaid lake which feeds into big muddy river at the spillway

    • Kinkade lake is my home turf lake , i love fishing it , it has decent muskie in it , ive seen a 48 1/2 on that lake during a tourny.  Prairie lake west of springfield is suppose to be a hotspot with 50 inchers , ive fished there twice and landed a 32 and a 28

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Illinois State Record Muskie

Length: 50 3/4 inches
Weight: 38 pounds, 8 ounces
Location: Kaskaskia River
Date: April 20, 2002
Angler: Matt Carmean

Illinois State Record Tiger Muskie

Length: 46 1/2 inches
Girth: 22 inches
Weight: 31 pounds, 3 ounces
Location: Lake Will
Date: August 6, 2004
Angler: Michael Behmetuik

Illinois Muskie Lakes

Illinois Muskie Pictures