Hunting & Fishing
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Williamson County is the premier destination for fishermen in Southern Illinois. We attract professional and amateur fishermen alike with our popular lakes, annual fishing tournaments and year-round fishing opportunities. From the well-known 7,000-acre Crab Orchard Lake and 2,300-acre Lake of Egypt to the 30-acre Arrowhead Lake and everything in between, fishermen relish in the abundance of largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, channel catfish and other popular species being caught here. 

Southern Illinois Fishing Report - April 7th, 2017

Crab Orchard Lake: Most crappies are still holding over deeper cover on minnows and jigs. Some anglers were also taking some bluegills near the riprap on a variety of baits. Catfish action is still slow. Largemouth bass fishing has been good on plastic worms and spinnerbaits. Drop lures deep and crank slow, as bass begin to become more active as water warms. Look for structure or signs of vegetation. Bass will be feeding heavily in coming weeks. Bluegills good on worms and even on some jigs and small blades. Fish a little small, but bigger bluegills expected to start biting soon.

Carlyle Lake: Crappies are rated fair and are being caught on top of structure and in the brush piles. Most fish are holding in three to five feet of water. Minnows and jigs are the primary bait. White bass are rated good and should continue to bite through spring on tube jigs, minnows, and curlytails. Catfish action is improving on shad, shad gut, and nightcrawlers. Saugers are also rated good on curlytails tipped with minnows or nightcrawlers. Bluegills fair.

Kinkaid Lake: Muskies have picked up and are expected to be plentiful this spring. Bluegills are being caught in three to five feet of water on wigglers and waxworms. Crappies are holding in 5-10 feet of water and have been good on minnows and jigs. Bass fair on plastics and spinners. A little early for topwaters, but worth a try during early evening. Catfish being caught on stinkbaits and worms.

Rend Lake: Crappies fair on jigs and minnows in water ranging from 5-10 feet along Route 154. Fish are holding in brush piles. Bass and bluegills are rated slow. A few bass are being caught on spinners, crankbaits, soft plastics, and Rat-L-Traps along the riprap or in weedbeds. Catfish remain steady and good on cut shad, shad gut, nightcrawlers, minnows, and stinkbaits.

Lake of Egypt: Bass looking good in shallows and in coves. Crappie action has been good in 15-18 feet. Fish are holding over brush piles and near docks. Catfish good on a variety of baits. Some good-sized channel cats being pulled in on liver. Bluegills good on worms and small blades.

Little Grassy: Bass good on plastics of all kinds and colors. Most are hitting in late evening, near structure or shorelines. Bluegills fair on worms. A few catfish caught on worms and shad.

Pinckneyville City Lake: Bass good on spinners and plastics, with evening best. Try letting worms hit bottom and reel in slow. Bluegills good on worms near structure. Some hand-sized fish being caught.

Click here to view our 2017 Fishing Guide




Williamson County has some of the finest game bird, waterfowl, deer, turkey, and small game hunting in the Midwest, thanks to our mix of popular flyways, lakes, hardwood forests, cropland, wetlands, river bottom topography and nearby Shawnee National Forest and Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. Ducks and geese have long been the most popular species to hunt here, and public hunting grounds abound. There are also at least 5 private hunt clubs operating in Williamson County that provide a wide range of services for the optimum waterfowl hunting experience.

Southern Illinois Waterfowl Survey will be found here when waterfowl season approches.

Click here to view the 2017 Hunting Guide


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