Decatur Lake Fishing Report Guide

Decatur Lake Fishing Report Guide

Welcome to your ultimate guide to fishing at Decatur Lake, a beautiful and serene spot located in Decatur, Illinois. Decatur Lake is known for its picturesque views and abundant fish populations, making it an ideal destination for both novice and seasoned anglers. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to have a successful and enjoyable fishing trip to Decatur Lake.

Decatur Lake Fishing Details

Here are some important details about Decatur Lake:

  • Water Surface: 2,800 acres
  • Shoreline: 30 miles
  • Average Depth: 12 feet
  • Max Depth: 22 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 612 feet
  • Location: Decatur, Illinois
  • Coordinates: 39.8367° N, 88.9059° W
  • Accessibility: Easily accessible by car with multiple boat ramps and public access points
  • Type of Lake: Reservoir
  • Lake Amenities: Boat ramps, fishing docks, picnic areas, campgrounds, hiking trails, and a marina

Types of Fish in Decatur Lake

Decatur Lake is home to a variety of fish species, making it a popular spot for anglers. Here’s a look at the types of fish you can find and where they are typically located in the lake:

  • Largemouth Bass: These fish are often found in shallow, vegetated areas. Look for them near fallen trees and other submerged structures.
  • Crappie: Crappie tend to gather around submerged brush piles and fallen trees. They can be found in both shallow and deeper waters, depending on the season.
  • Bluegill: Bluegill are commonly found near the shore in shallow waters, especially around weed beds and docks.
  • Catfish: Usually found in deeper waters, catfish prefer areas with plenty of cover like rocks and logs.
  • White Bass: These fish are often found in open waters and around points where they can ambush prey.
  • Carp: Carp are usually found in shallow, muddy areas. They are often seen near the shorelines.

Best Fishing Baits, Lures, and Tackle Recommendations Decatur Lake Fishing

Using the right bait, lures, and tackle can significantly enhance your fishing experience at Decatur Lake. Here are some top recommendations:

  • Largemouth Bass: Plastic worms, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits are effective. Topwater lures can also be productive, especially during early morning and late evening.
  • Crappie: Small jigs, minnows, and soft plastic lures work well. Light tackle is recommended for these fish.
  • Bluegill: Worms, crickets, and small jigs are excellent choices. Use light tackle and small hooks.
  • Catfish: Stink baits, chicken liver, and nightcrawlers are popular options. Heavy tackle is advised due to their size and strength.
  • White Bass: Use small crankbaits, jigs, and spinners. These fish are aggressive feeders and can be caught with a variety of lures.
  • Carp: Corn, dough balls, and bread are effective baits for carp. They are strong fighters, so be prepared with sturdy tackle.
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  • ✅ 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 Decatur Lake

Decatur Lake offers numerous excellent fishing spots. Here are some of the top locations to try your luck:

  • Nelson Park: A popular spot with easy access and plenty of fishing opportunities. It’s great for bass and bluegill.
  • Sangamon River Inlet: Known for its abundant catfish and crappie population. The inlet provides excellent cover and food sources for fish.
  • Marina Area: The marina offers easy access to deep and shallow waters, making it a versatile fishing spot. It’s ideal for white bass and bluegill.
  • Rock Springs Conservation Area: This area is perfect for those looking to fish in a more natural and less crowded environment. It’s great for largemouth bass and carp.
  • Dam Area: Fishing near the dam can be very productive, especially for catfish and white bass. The deeper waters and strong currents attract many fish species.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Decatur Lake

To make the most of your fishing trip to Decatur Lake, here are some valuable tips and recommendations:

  • Timing: Early morning and late evening are the best times to fish. Fish are more active during these cooler parts of the day.
  • Weather: Overcast days can often lead to better fishing as fish are more likely to be feeding. Avoid fishing during extreme weather conditions.
  • Patience: Fishing requires patience. Don’t be afraid to try different spots and techniques if you’re not having success right away.
  • Local Knowledge: Talk to local anglers and staff at bait shops. They can provide valuable insights and tips specific to Decatur Lake.
  • Safety: Always wear a life jacket when on a boat. Ensure you have all necessary safety equipment and be aware of weather conditions.

Decatur Lake Fishing Reviews

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

  1. “Decatur Lake is my favorite fishing spot! The variety of fish is amazing, and the scenery is beautiful. Highly recommend for a relaxing fishing trip.” – Tom A.
  2. “Had an incredible time fishing at Decatur Lake. The fish were biting all day, and the amenities are great. Can’t wait to come back!” – Jenny L.
  3. “Decatur Lake offers some of the best fishing in Illinois. The local tips were spot on, and I caught some big bass. A must-visit for any angler.” – Mike R.
  4. “I’ve fished many lakes, but Decatur Lake stands out. The combination of great fishing and lovely surroundings makes it a perfect destination.” – Sarah M.
  5. “Caught my biggest catfish ever at Decatur Lake! The tips from the local bait shop were incredibly helpful. Highly recommend!” – Dave P.

Nearby RV Parks and Campgrounds – Decatur Lake Fishing

If you’re planning to extend your fishing trip and stay nearby, here are five RV parks and campgrounds close to Decatur Lake, along with their features and amenities:

  1. Friends Creek Campground: Located about 10 miles from Decatur Lake. Features electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and a playground. Great for families.
  2. Campground at Nelson Park: About 5 miles from Decatur Lake. Offers electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. Ideal for anglers and families.
  3. Decatur Conference Center & Hotel RV Park: Approximately 8 miles from Decatur Lake. Amenities include full hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and Wi-Fi. Perfect for those who prefer more amenities.
  4. Eagle Creek State Park: Located around 20 miles from Decatur Lake. Features electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and hiking trails. A great option for nature lovers.
  5. Weldon Springs State Park: About 25 miles from Decatur Lake. Offers electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and fishing ponds. Ideal for a peaceful and scenic stay.

Decatur Lake Fishing Summary

Decatur Lake in Decatur, Illinois, is a fantastic fishing destination with its diverse fish population, beautiful scenery, and excellent amenities. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to catch fish and enjoy the great outdoors. From the best fishing spots to tips and recommendations, this guide has everything you need for a successful fishing trip to Decatur Lake. So pack your gear, gather your friends and family, and head to Decatur Lake for an unforgettable fishing adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions – Decatur Lake Fishing

  1. What is the best time of year to fish at Decatur Lake?
    • Spring and fall are generally the best times for fishing at Decatur Lake due to the mild temperatures and active fish.
  2. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Decatur Lake?
    • Yes, a valid Illinois fishing license is required to fish at Decatur Lake. You can purchase one online or at local bait shops.
  3. Are there boat rentals available at Decatur Lake?
    • Yes, boat rentals are available at the marina. They offer a variety of boats, including fishing boats and pontoons.
  4. Can I fish from the shore at Decatur Lake?
    • Absolutely! There are many great spots for shore fishing around Decatur Lake. Just make sure to follow all local regulations and guidelines.
  5. Are there any special fishing regulations at Decatur Lake?
    • Yes, there are specific regulations regarding fish size and bag limits. It’s important to familiarize yourself with these rules before fishing. You can find this information on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

Happy fishing!

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Best Fishing Bait, Lures & Tackle

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