Mattoon Lake Fishing Report Guide

Mattoon Lake Fishing Report Guide

Welcome to the ultimate guide for fishing at Mattoon Lake, a beautiful destination nestled in Coles County, Illinois. Known for its serene environment and abundant fish population, Mattoon Lake is a favorite among anglers. Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman or just starting out, this lake offers a perfect setting for a memorable fishing trip. This guide will provide you with all the information you need for a successful and enjoyable experience at Mattoon Lake.

Mattoon Lake Details

Here are some important details about Mattoon Lake:

  • Water Surface: 1,050 acres
  • Shoreline: 55 miles
  • Average Depth: 8 feet
  • Max Depth: 30 feet
  • Surface Elevation: 595 feet
  • Location: Coles County, Illinois
  • Coordinates: 39.4706° N, 88.3466° 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 Mattoon Lake

Mattoon Lake is home to a diverse range of fish species, making it an excellent 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 for Mattoon Lake Fishing

Using the right bait, lures, and tackle can significantly enhance your fishing experience at Mattoon 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.

Best Fishing Spot Locations at Mattoon Lake

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

  • Marina Cove: A popular spot with easy access and plenty of fishing opportunities. It’s great for bass and bluegill.
  • Dam Area: Known for its abundant catfish and crappie population. The deeper waters and strong currents attract many fish species.
  • North End: Offers a variety of fish species, including white bass and bluegill. The area’s structure provides excellent cover for fish.
  • East Shoreline: 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.
  • Sandy Beach: Fishing near the beach can be very productive, especially for catfish and white bass. The calm waters and sandy bottom attract many fish species.

Fishing Tips and Recommendations for Mattoon Lake Fishing

To make the most of your fishing trip to Mattoon 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 Mattoon Lake.
  • Safety: Always wear a life jacket when on a boat. Ensure you have all necessary safety equipment and be aware of weather conditions.

Mattoon Lake Fishing Reviews

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

  1. “Mattoon Lake is my go-to 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 Mattoon Lake. The fish were biting all day, and the amenities are great. Can’t wait to come back!” – Jenny L.
  3. “Mattoon 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 Mattoon 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 Mattoon Lake! The tips from the local bait shop were incredibly helpful. Highly recommend!” – Dave P.

Nearby RV Parks and Campgrounds – Mattoon Lake Fishing

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

  1. Camp Lakewood Campground: Located about 5 miles from Mattoon Lake. Features electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and a playground. Great for families.
  2. Mattoon Lake Campground: About 3 miles from Mattoon Lake. Offers electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and picnic areas. Ideal for anglers and families.
  3. Hilltop Campground: Approximately 7 miles from Mattoon Lake. Amenities include full hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and Wi-Fi. Perfect for those who prefer more amenities.
  4. Fox Ridge State Park: Located around 15 miles from Mattoon Lake. Features electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and hiking trails. A great option for nature lovers.
  5. Sunset Lake Campground: About 10 miles from Mattoon Lake. Offers electric hookups, water, restrooms, showers, and fishing ponds. Ideal for a peaceful and scenic stay.

Mattoon Lake Fishing Summary

Mattoon Lake in Coles County, 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 Mattoon Lake. So pack your gear, gather your friends and family, and head to Mattoon Lake for an unforgettable fishing adventure!

Frequently Asked Questions – Mattoon Lake Fishing

  1. What is the best time of year to fish at Mattoon Lake?
    • Spring and fall are generally the best times for fishing at Mattoon Lake due to the mild temperatures and active fish.
  2. Do I need a fishing license to fish at Mattoon Lake?
    • Yes, a valid Illinois fishing license is required to fish at Mattoon Lake. You can purchase one online or at local bait shops.
  3. Are there boat rentals available at Mattoon 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 Mattoon Lake?
    • Absolutely! There are many great spots for shore fishing around Mattoon Lake. Just make sure to follow all local regulations and guidelines.
  5. Are there any special fishing regulations at Mattoon 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 Mattoon Lake Fishing Report Guide: