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 - May 19th, 2017
Devils’ Kitchen: Bluegills are spawning and are being caught in good numbers on wax worms and crickets.
Crab Orchard Lake: Crappies still are spawning and can be caught over shallow cover on minnows or jigs. Bluegill action is hot on wax worms and crickets. Bluegills have moved in close to the banks. Catfish action is picking up on leeches and shad. Bass are still being caught over shallow cover on a variety of baits.
Carlyle Lake: Crappies and catfish best. Catfish taking cut shad and shad guts off rocks by Keysport. Crappies biting on minnows, jigs, tube jigs by Hazlet State Park. Sauger hit and miss, if they can be found. White bass are said to be hungry for jigs. Bluegill fishing is fair on worms.
Pinckneyville Lake: Largemouth bass have slowed. Bluegills are biting on worms in 6 to 8 feet of water. Fishing for crappies and catfish has been fair.
Kinkaid Lake: Bluegills are on the beds. Fish are being caught in less than two feet of water. Bluegill anglers are taking good numbers of fish on a variety of baits. Bass have been steady on a variety of baits, including spinner baits and soft plastics. Crappies have moved off the spawning beds into 4-6 feet of water on minnows and jigs. Catfish are rated excellent on cut bait and nightcrawlers. Muskie action has been improving during the past two weeks. Casting is the preferred method. Some anglers are taking smallmouth bass.
Lake Murphysboro: Bluegills are the best bet. Bluegills are spawning and can be caught on a variety of baits. Catfish action has been coming on strong the last week. Anglers are taking good numbers of cats on nightcrawlers and cut bait. The crappies have moved off the spawning beds, but can be caught in 4-6 feet of water on minnows and jigs. Bass are being caught in shallow areas on baits ranging from top water to soft plastics
Lake of Egypt: Bass action is fair. Fish are still scattered and are being caught on a variety of baits. Bluegills and redears are on the beds and can be caught on crickets, wax worms and red wigglers. Crappies are still moving in and out of shallow areas. Some fish are being caught in 6-10 feet of water while others are taking crappie in water up to 20 feet deep. Minnows and jigs are both effective. Catfish are fair on a variety of baits.
Little Grassy: Crappies are spawning and can be caught on minnows and jigs in shallow areas. Bluegills and redears are on the beds and are being caught on crickets and worms. Bass are bedding up in shallow areas and can be caught on a variety of baits. Catfish action is still slow.
Rend Lake: Crappies and catfish are still rated excellent. Crappie anglers are catching fish in the brush, or over cover from 6-14 feet deep. Pink/white jigs and minnows are both producing good catches. Catfish are being caught in shallow areas, particularly in Gun Creek. Some anglers are having good success drift fishing. Stinkbaits, shad, cut shad, nightcrawlers and leeches are all effective. Bass are still good over brushy cover and near the bushes on soft plastics, Rat-L-Traps, spinnerbaits and crankbaits.
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
SI Boat and Fishing Show
February 3-5, 2017 Find out more details here!Read More
Plan Your Trip
Use our interactive map to help plan your trip.Learn More
Learn more about annual events in Williamson County.See More
Featured Outdoor Article
Take a closer look at lodging in the area.Read More