Carlyle Lake Fishing Report Guide

Carlyle Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fishing fans! If you’re planning a fishing trip in Illinois, Carlyle Lake is a spot you definitely need to check out. Located in Clinton County, this beautiful lake is the largest man-made lake in the state and offers an amazing fishing experience for anglers of all skill levels. Whether you’re aiming to catch a big one or just enjoy a relaxing day by the water, Carlyle Lake has something for everyone. Let’s dive into all the details for an unforgettable fishing adventure at Carlyle Lake!

Carlyle Lake has eleven boat ramps are located at various recreational areas around the lake as well as three full-service marinas.

Carlyle Lake offers great fishing for Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Yellow Bass, Walleye, Crappie, Bluegill, Sunfish, Yellow Bullheads, Black Bullheads, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Freshwater Drum and Carp.

Anglers at Carlyle Lake have caught 32 different species of fish overall.

Carlyle Lake stocks fish annually that includes: Sauger, Largemouth Bass and Redear Sunfish.

Carlyle Lake Resources

Carlyle Lake Fishing Regulations

Carlyle Lake Fishing Regulations

  • Largemouth Bass
    Length: 14”
    Limit: 6
  • Walleye/Sauger
    Length: 14”
    Limit: 6
  • Crappie 
    Length: 10”
    Limit: 15

Carlyle Lake Fishing Details

Here’s a quick rundown of the essential details about Carlyle Lake:

  • Water Surface: 26,000 acres
  • Shoreline: 85 miles
  • Average Depth: 11 feet
  • Max Depth: 35 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 445 feet
  • Location: Clinton County, Illinois
  • Coordinates: 38.6231° N, 89.3665° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible by car, with multiple public boat ramps, marinas, and shore fishing spots available
  • Type of Lake: Man-made reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat rentals, fishing piers, picnic areas, hiking trails, campgrounds, and beaches

Types of Fish in Carlyle Lake

Carlyle Lake is home to a variety of fish species. Here are some of the most popular ones you can expect to catch and where you can usually find them:

  • Largemouth Bass: Often found near submerged structures, such as fallen trees and rocky areas.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Look for these in clear, rocky waters, particularly near the lake’s edges.
  • Crappie: Typically found around submerged brush and timber, especially in the spring.
  • Bluegill: Found in shallow, weedy areas, especially during the spawning season.
  • White Bass: Often found in open waters chasing schools of shad.
  • Channel Catfish: Look for these near the lake’s bottom, especially around deeper channels and bends.
  • Flathead Catfish: Found in deeper waters near structures like submerged logs.
  • Walleye: Typically found near rocky points and drop-offs, especially in the cooler months.
  • Carp: Often found in shallow, muddy areas near the shore.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle

Now, let’s talk about the best gear to use when fishing at Carlyle Lake. Here’s a breakdown of what works best for each type of fish:

  • Largemouth Bass: Soft plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Use a medium-heavy rod with a baitcasting reel for best results.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Jigs, tube baits, and crankbaits. A medium-action rod with a spinning reel works well.
  • Crappie: Small jigs, minnows, and soft plastic lures. Use a light to medium-action rod.
  • Bluegill: Small jigs, live worms, and crickets. A light-action rod is perfect for these panfish.
  • White Bass: Spoons, spinners, and crankbaits that mimic shad. A medium-action rod works best.
  • Channel Catfish: Cut bait, stink bait, and nightcrawlers. Use a medium-heavy rod with a sturdy reel.
  • Flathead Catfish: Live bait like bluegill or shad. Use a heavy-action rod with a strong reel.
  • Walleye: Jigs tipped with minnows or leeches, and crankbaits. A medium-action rod with a spinning reel is ideal.
  • Carp: Corn, dough balls, and bread. Use a light to medium-action rod with a sensitive tip.
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Best Fishing Spot Locations

Finding the right spot can make all the difference. Here are some top locations around Carlyle Lake:

  • Hazlet State Park: Known for its excellent shore fishing spots and easy access to deeper waters, it’s great for largemouth bass and catfish.
  • Coles Creek Area: A popular spot for crappie and bluegill, with lots of submerged brush and timber.
  • Dam West Recreation Area: Excellent for white bass and walleye, especially near the rocky points and drop-offs.
  • Keyesport Recreation Area: Great for largemouth bass and channel catfish, with plenty of weedy areas and submerged structures.
  • Boulder Recreation Area: Known for its clear waters and rocky areas, it’s a hotspot for smallmouth bass and crappie.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations

Here are some handy tips to ensure you have a successful fishing trip at Carlyle Lake:

  1. Early Morning and Late Evening: These are the best times to fish, as many species are more active during these periods.
  2. Seasonal Patterns: Fish behaviors change with the seasons. In spring and fall, fish are more active and closer to the shore. In summer, they move to deeper, cooler waters.
  3. Use Local Knowledge: Talk to local anglers and bait shops for the latest information on where the fish are biting.
  4. Stay Stealthy: Fish can be spooked by loud noises and sudden movements. Approach your fishing spot quietly.
  5. Respect the Environment: Follow all local fishing regulations and practice catch and release when possible.

Carlyle Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are five positive reviews from anglers who have fished at Carlyle Lake:

  1. Mike T.: “Caught a bunch of crappie near Coles Creek. The submerged brush is perfect for them!”
  2. Sarah L.: “Had a fantastic time fishing for bluegill at Hazlet State Park. Perfect for a family outing!”
  3. Jake P.: “Dam West Recreation Area is my go-to spot for walleye. The rocky points and drop-offs are ideal.”
  4. Emily R.: “The Keyesport Recreation Area is great for largemouth bass. Lots of weedy areas and submerged structures.”
  5. Tom K.: “Boulder Recreation Area is super convenient and great for catching smallmouth bass and crappie.”

Top-Rated RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds

Planning to stay a while? Here are five top-rated RV parks and campgrounds near Carlyle Lake:

  1. Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area
    • Features: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, bathhouses, and picnic areas.
    • Amenities: Playground, hiking trails, and camp store.
    • Distance to Lake: On the shores of Carlyle Lake
  2. Dam West Recreation Area
    • Features: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, bathhouses, and picnic areas.
    • Amenities: Beach access, playground, and camp store.
    • Distance to Lake: On the shores of Carlyle Lake
  3. Coles Creek Campground
    • Features: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, bathhouses, and laundry facilities.
    • Amenities: Playground, fishing pier, and camp store.
    • Distance to Lake: On the shores of Carlyle Lake
  4. Keyesport Recreation Area
    • Features: Electric hookups, bathhouses, picnic areas, and hiking trails.
    • Amenities: Beach access, fishing, and boat rentals.
    • Distance to Lake: On the shores of Carlyle Lake
  5. Boulder Recreation Area
    • Features: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, bathhouses, and picnic areas.
    • Amenities: Dog park, playground, and fishing pier.
    • Distance to Lake: On the shores of Carlyle Lake

Carlyle Lake Fishing Summary

Carlyle Lake is a fantastic fishing destination with something for everyone. From the variety of fish species to the beautiful scenery and excellent facilities, it’s no wonder so many people love fishing here. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, you’ll find plenty to enjoy at Carlyle Lake. Remember to pack your fishing gear, check the local fishing regulations, and most importantly, have fun!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some common questions anglers have about fishing at Carlyle Lake:

  1. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Carlyle Lake?
    • Yes, a valid Illinois fishing license is required for anglers 16 years and older.
  2. What is the best time of year to fish at Carlyle Lake?
    • Spring and fall are the best seasons for fishing, with milder weather and active fish.
  3. Are there any fishing tournaments at Carlyle Lake?
    • Yes, there are several fishing tournaments held throughout the year. Check local listings for dates and details.
  4. Can I rent a boat at Carlyle Lake?
    • Yes, there are boat rentals available at several marinas around the lake.
  5. Is there a limit on how many fish I can catch?
    • Yes, there are daily bag limits and size restrictions for different fish species. Be sure to check the latest regulations.

And that’s it, folks! I hope this guide helps you have an amazing fishing trip to Carlyle Lake. Tight lines and happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

Here’s some of the best fishing bait, fishing lures and fishing tackle Carlyle Lake Fishing Report Guide: