Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing Report Guide

Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing Report Guide

Hey there, fishing fans! Welcome to your ultimate guide to fishing at Cecil M Harden Lake in Indiana. If you’re looking for a fantastic fishing spot with plenty of amenities and a great community, then you’re in the right place. Let’s dive into everything you need to know about Cecil M Harden Lake!

About Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing

Cecil M Harden Lake, also known as Raccoon Lake, is a beautiful reservoir located in west-central Indiana. Created in 1960 by the Army Corps of Engineers, this lake was built for flood control and water supply but has since become a popular destination for fishing and recreation. Surrounded by lush forests and rolling hills, Cecil M Harden Lake offers a serene and picturesque environment perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and anglers.

The lake is part of Raccoon State Recreation Area, which provides a wide range of recreational activities, including boating, camping, hiking, and picnicking. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just looking for a relaxing day on the water, Cecil M Harden Lake has something for everyone.

Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing Details

Here’s a detailed look at the essential details about Cecil M Harden Lake:

  • Water Surface: 2,060 acres
  • Shoreline: Approximately 50 miles
  • Average Depth: 20 feet
  • Max Depth: 72 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 660 feet
  • Location: Parke County, Indiana
  • Coordinates: 39.7659° N, 87.1086° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible via major roads and highways. Ample parking for vehicles and boats.
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Public boat ramps, picnic areas, restrooms, swimming beaches, fishing piers, hiking trails, and nearby bait and tackle shops.

Types of Fish in Cecil M Harden Lake

Cecil M Harden Lake is home to a diverse range of fish species, making it a hotspot for anglers. Here’s what you can expect to catch:

  • Largemouth Bass: Typically found in the shallow, weedy areas of the lake. They are most active in the early morning and late evening.
  • Smallmouth Bass: Found near rocky shorelines and underwater structures. Spring and fall are the best times to catch them.
  • Bluegill: Often found near the shoreline in shallow waters. Look for them around docks and submerged vegetation.
  • Crappie: They love hiding around submerged trees and brush piles. They are more active during the spring and fall.
  • Channel Catfish: Prefer deeper waters with a soft, muddy bottom. Night fishing can be particularly rewarding for catfish.
  • Walleye: Usually found in deeper waters near the bottom. They are most active during dawn and dusk.
  • Flathead Catfish: Found near underwater structures and deeper areas of the lake. They are active mostly at night.
  • White Bass: Found in schools in open water, especially during their spawning run in the spring.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle for Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing

Choosing the right bait and tackle is crucial for a successful fishing trip. Here are some recommendations for Cecil M Harden Lake:

  • Largemouth Bass:
    • Baits: Live minnows, plastic worms, and crayfish.
    • Lures: Spinnerbaits, crankbaits, and topwater lures.
    • Tackle: Medium to heavy action rods with 10-20 lb test line.
  • Smallmouth Bass:
    • Baits: Crayfish, live minnows, and nightcrawlers.
    • Lures: Jigs, tube baits, and crankbaits.
    • Tackle: Medium action rods with 6-12 lb test line.
  • Bluegill:
    • Baits: Live worms, crickets, and small insects.
    • Lures: Tiny jigs, spinners, and small spoons.
    • Tackle: Light action rods with 4-6 lb test line.
  • Crappie:
    • Baits: Minnows and small shad.
    • Lures: Jigs with soft plastic bodies, small crankbaits.
    • Tackle: Light to medium action rods with 4-8 lb test line.
  • Channel Catfish:
    • Baits: Chicken liver, stink baits, and nightcrawlers.
    • Lures: Rarely used; stick to bait.
    • Tackle: Medium to heavy action rods with 12-30 lb test line.
  • Walleye:
    • Baits: Nightcrawlers, leeches, and minnows.
    • Lures: Jigs, crankbaits, and spinner rigs.
    • Tackle: Medium to heavy action rods with 10-20 lb test line.
  • Flathead Catfish:
    • Baits: Live baitfish like bluegill or shad.
    • Lures: Not commonly used; prefer live bait.
    • Tackle: Heavy action rods with 20-50 lb test line.
  • White Bass:
    • Baits: Live shad, minnows, and worms.
    • Lures: Small spinners, spoons, and crankbaits.
    • Tackle: Medium action rods with 6-12 lb test line.
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TRUSCEND Fishing Jigs Lures with Handmade Lead Heads Paddle Tail Spinner Baits for Bass Trout Walleye Musky Soft Plastic Fishing Lures
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TOOLSSIDE 1 Dozen Rubber Maggots Fishing Bait #10 (12 Pcs) Crappie Jigs, Fishing Maggots, Bulk Fishing Grubs for Trout, Crappie, Pan Fish, Bluegill, Fresh Water Fishing Lures Set (Hooks and Worms)
  • ✅ Purpose and Size: These grubs for fishing attract a wide variety of fish including trout, crappie, panfish, bluegill, bream, roach, carp and more. Using grub fishing lures that imitate worms offers many advantages over live worms or minnows. These crappie lures are equipped with an optimal size hook and a rubber grub. The hook dimensions are 10 mm wide and 25 mm long, and the length of the larva itself is 22 mm.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing

Finding the right spot can make all the difference. Here are some top locations at Cecil M Harden Lake:

  • Raccoon SRA: This area is great for largemouth bass and bluegill. Fish around the docks and submerged brush piles.
  • Dam Area: The deeper waters near the dam are ideal for walleye and channel catfish.
  • Walker Boat Ramp: Known for crappie and bluegill. Fish near the submerged trees and vegetation.
  • Portland Mills Arm: This area is perfect for smallmouth bass and white bass, with plenty of rocky structures and submerged vegetation.
  • North Shore: This area is great for largemouth bass, especially near the weed beds.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing

Here are some handy tips to improve your fishing experience at Cecil M Harden Lake:

  • Early Morning and Late Evening: Fish are more active during these times, so plan your trip accordingly.
  • Weather Matters: Overcast days can be great for fishing as fish are more likely to be near the surface.
  • Proper Gear: Make sure to use the right gear for the type of fish you’re targeting.
  • Stay Quiet: Fish can be spooked by noise, so try to keep quiet and avoid making too much commotion.
  • Use Local Bait: Local bait shops often have the best bait for the area, so check with them for recommendations.
  • Fishing License: Don’t forget to get your Indiana fishing license before you start.

Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing Reviews

Here are some positive reviews from anglers who’ve fished at Cecil M Harden Lake:

  1. John D.: “Cecil M Harden Lake is my favorite fishing spot. The bass fishing is fantastic, and the scenery is just beautiful.”
  2. Lisa M.: “I caught my biggest walleye here! The lake is well-maintained, and there are plenty of spots to fish from.”
  3. Tom S.: “Great place for a family fishing trip. My kids love catching bluegill near the shore.”
  4. Sarah W.: “I’ve been fishing here for years, and it never disappoints. The variety of fish is amazing.”
  5. Mike H.: “The facilities are top-notch, and the local community is very friendly. Highly recommend this lake for any angler.”

Top-Rated Closest RV Parks, RV Resorts, and Campgrounds

If you’re planning an extended stay, here are some top-rated RV parks and campgrounds near Cecil M Harden Lake:

  1. Raccoon Lake State Recreation Area:
    • Features: Full hookups, Wi-Fi, swimming pool, playground, and laundry facilities.
    • Distance: 1 mile from Cecil M Harden Lake.
  2. Turkey Run State Park:
    • Features: Electric and water hookups, picnic areas, fishing pond, and boat rentals.
    • Distance: 10 miles from Cecil M Harden Lake.
  3. Shades State Park:
    • Features: Electric hookups, restrooms, picnic areas, and boat ramps.
    • Distance: 12 miles from Cecil M Harden Lake.
  4. Mansfield Village:
    • Features: Water and electric hookups, swimming beach, playground, and general store.
    • Distance: 8 miles from Cecil M Harden Lake.
  5. Harden Lake Campground:
    • Features: Full hookups, swimming pool, nature trails, and clubhouse.
    • Distance: 2 miles from Cecil M Harden Lake.

Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing Summary

Cecil M Harden Lake is a top-tier fishing destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just starting out, you’ll find the perfect spot and plenty of fish to catch. The beautiful surroundings and excellent amenities make it a great place for a fishing trip, family outing, or a weekend getaway. So, pack your gear, grab your fishing license, and head over to Cecil M Harden Lake for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Cecil M Harden Lake Fishing

  1. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Cecil M Harden Lake?
    • Yes, an Indiana fishing license is required for anyone 18 years or older.
  2. What are the best times of year to fish at Cecil M Harden Lake?
    • Spring and fall are generally the best times, but summer can also be good, especially early in the morning or late in the evening.
  3. Can I rent a boat at Cecil M Harden Lake?
    • Yes, there are local businesses that offer boat rentals near the lake.
  4. Are there any restrictions on the type of bait I can use?
    • It’s always best to check local regulations, but most standard baits like live minnows and worms are allowed.
  5. Is Cecil M Harden Lake family-friendly?
    • Absolutely! The lake has plenty of amenities and activities that make it a great spot for families.

There you have it, folks! Everything you need to know about fishing at Cecil M Harden Lake. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay, this guide will help you make the most of your fishing adventure. Happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

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