Leisure fishing at Lock 14

Lock 14 on the I&M Canal near downtown LaSalle is a truly unique fishing spot in central Illinois. Located at the meeting place of the Illinois River and the historic I&M Canal, Lock 14 provides easy access to consistently good fishing in two great environments!

  • Location: Lock 14, LaSalle, IL 61301
  • Types of Fish:
    • Canal – Bluegill, largemouth bass, crappie, channel catfish and rainbow trout.
    • Illinois River – Walleye, sauger, bass, catfish and panfish.
  • Information: (815) 220-1848
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
Kayaking on the Illinois River

Bring your own kayak or canoe, or rent one for the day and experience the scenic Illinois River in an all new way! Morris offers the perfect launching and return point for a day on the river!

  • Location: Downtown Morris, IL 60450
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Information: (630) 567-4653  Kayak Morris website
Family fishing at Maple Lake

Perfect for family fishing outings, this accessibility-friendly fishing spot is the perfect place to visit any time of year! This 60-acre lake offers a whopping 8,000 feet of shoreline and its deepest point is 21 feet.

  • Location: Maple Lake, Willow Springs, IL 60480
  • Types of Fish: Bluegill, channel catfish, largemouth bass, northern pike, white crappie, yellow bass and yellow bullhead
  • Information: (708) 361-0460 Maple Lake website
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
Vermillion River rafting (and fishing)

The Vermillion River is a fisherman’s paradise with countless eddies, pools, rocky shorelines and overhanging trees. This 50-mile course begins as a pair of creeks, deepens as it rolls through Pontiac to the dam at Streator, and picks up speed as it winds through Matthiessen State Park, finally emptying into the Illinois River near LaSalle, Ill.

  • Location: 779 North 2249th Road, Oglesby, IL 61348 ‎
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate (9-mile rapids section classified 1-3 out of 6.)
  • Hours: Sunrise to sunset.
  • Information: (815) 667-5242 Vermillion River rafting website
Trophy fishing at Heidecke Lake

Adjacent to Goose Lake Prairie, Heidecke Lake is known throughout the state for its excellent fishing. Created in the 1970s as a cooling lake for the Collins Power Plant, Heidecke provides 1,300 acres of prime fishing opportunities.

If you’re looking for nearby bait shops, check out Angelo’s Outdoor Sports in nearby Wilmington. Open 6am-8pm every day, Angelo’s maintains a great stock of live bait and tackle.

  • Location: 5010 N. Jugtown Rd., Morris, IL 60450
  • Types of Fish: Trophy-size largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass, as well as channel catfish, walleye, and pure and tiger muskie (biennially stocked).
  • Information: (815) 942-6352
  • Hours: 6am to sunset daily
  • Restrictions: Pole and line fishing only. 2 pole per angler max.