Monday, February 20, 2012

Winter Fly Fishing in Illinois

You can't fish in the winter right? I am pushing through this winter. I have decided that I will fish in the cold no matter what. I have encounterd my line freezing and ice jamming up my guides. I have had people give me the craziest looks and I have felt the cold that I am sure a popsicle feels. The real question is, "have I caught any fish?"

Off and on. The winter makes you really work for it. I think the winter really tests your desire for the sport of fishing. If you dare go out in the cold temps to fish, then it may just be a passion that is woven into your identity as a person and not just some hobby. I have fished this winter in temperatures that I would think twice about taking my trash out.

Illinois Winter Fishing Spots:

1. Baldwin Lake - This lake is a cooling lake for a power plant. You have an edge here because that water isn't going to freeze over and the temperatures are above other bodies of water this time of year. My buddy Brian and I caught tons of catfish and bluegill in January in 17˚F.

2. Rivers - Get out on a river when the water flow is good.

3. Local Ponds - I have been rewarded with winter largemouth bass at my local ponds in Belleville, IL.

Get some gumption stirred up and get outside this winter season. Why wait for the Spring? Start catching fish now.


  1. Justin,

    Good for you! Fish all year round here in Idaho, but what choice does one have? Besides, I find most solitude, especially the few times I still fish for trout and whitefish. A tip if you don't do it, keep your rod submerged while stripping, using an indicator, or just have your line out there, AND while fighting a fish, you can go a long time before cleaning ice out of guides. Also, when picking ice out of your stripping guide, BE CAREFUL you don'y pull out the insert! I usually mouth the guide and let it melt. Even here I have picked up nice bluegill and bass, to say nothing of carp in very cold water. No catfish like ehat I saw though, too cool!

    Best, Gregg

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