Illinois Fishing Charters

31 Fishing Charters

Illinois Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Illinois

Top Illinois Destinations

Illinois: 31 fishing charters available
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(106 reviews)
Waukegan
 Instant Confirmation
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(76 reviews)
Waukegan
 Instant Confirmation
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(78 reviews)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $750
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $790
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(19 reviews)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $665
Excellent
4.9 / 5
(15 reviews)
Antioch
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $475
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(5 reviews)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $750
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(38 reviews)
Whittington
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $250
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(24 reviews)
Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(2 reviews)
Homewood
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500

Frequently Asked Questions about Fishing Charters in Illinois

According to customer reviews, some of the most popular fishing charters in Illinois are: Full list of top fishing charters in Illinois

The average price for a private 4 hour Illinois fishing trip is $700, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $715 based on prices on FishingBooker.com.

Fishing charters in Illinois that received great reviews from families are:

The top 3 fish species targeted on guided fishing trips in Illinois are:

The top 3 fishing techniques in Illinois are:

The top 3 types of fishing in Illinois are:

Many fishing charters in Illinois provide rods, reels and tackle. Some of the top rated are:

According to customer reviews on FishingBooker.com, some of the best rated charter captains in Illinois are:

Who are the top awarded captains in Illinois?

Some of the fishing trips offered by fishing charters in Illinois are:
  • 4-hour fishing trips – $483
  • 5-hour fishing trips – $808
  • 6-hour fishing trips – $738
  • 7-hour fishing trips – $733
  • 8-hour fishing trips – $1,070
  • 10-hour fishing trips – $1,900
  • 12-hour fishing trips – $1,100

Are you looking to book a trip to the Midwest? Have you thought about an Illinois fishing trip? Fly to the midwestern “Prairie State” for excellent fishing along world-renowned rivers and lakes. Illinois is a state where rivers make up the majority of its borders, allowing anglers to catch a range of species, such as Pink, Coho, and Chinook Salmon, Channel, Blue, and Flathead Catfish, Lake and Rainbow Trout, Longnose, Spotted, and Shortnose Gar, Northern Pike, Walleye, Sauger, Muskellunge, and more.

Illinois Fishing Spots

There are so many fishing spots to choose from when fishing in Illinois. You have over a million-and-a-half acres of water to wet your lines in! There are plenty of power plant cooling lakes to fish, which are hotbeds for Catfish. Other top fisheries include Carlyle Lake, Rend Lake, Lake of Egypt, Evergreen Lake, Cedar Lake, and plenty more.

Mississippi River

Known as the "Father of Waters," the Mississippi River runs 580 miles through Illinois before continuing on. In Illinois alone there are 15 dams along its stretch, creating additional sections and rivers to fish. You’ll be able to target different species in various parts of the Mississippi. The upper part is great for Channel Catfish and both Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass. Head further down the river for excellent Flathead and Blue Catfish. Walleye fishing is best in one of the tributaries of the Mississippi, the Rock River. You can also explore other tributaries which are great to fish, such as Green River and Apple River.

Illinois River

Fishing the Illinois River has only improved over time. Since the Clean Water Act in ‘72, the sportfishing here has blossomed. You can fish along the 273 miles of Illinois River for Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Walleye, Sauger, White Bass, Brown Bullhead, White Crappie, and more. As well as the river itself, try fishing the lakes around it. These freeze over in winter and are great for ice fishing.

Ohio River

This huge tributary of the Mississippi River is great for catching Largemouth, Smallmouth, White, Striped, and Hybrid Bass, Sauger, Walleye, and more. Although the average size of the Largemouth Bass here is between 12–15 inches, they have been known to reach 21 inches. The best time to catch bigger Bass is in summer, in the main parts of the river. You can catch Catfish in the Ohio River, where 15 lb Channel Catfish and 25 lb Flathead Catfish are common. On occasion, the local Flathead Catfish can reach huge sizes! Fish during the cooler part of the day in May and June for great results.

Rock River

For Smallmouth Bass, head toward the section of the river between Oregon and Grad Detour. You’ll need to release the Bass caught here between April and June. If you’re looking for table fare, you’ll want to target the Channel Cats that make their home here instead. Flathead Catfish is also great here, as well as in the stretch of river between Grand Detour and Dixon. The next part of the river, between Dixon and Sterling, offers anglers depths of up to 50 feet. This is a huge difference to the 15’ depths found in the rest of the river. If you’d like to target Northern Pike, head toward Rockford along the southern part of the river.

Lake Michigan

The third largest of the Great Lakes, there are 63 miles of Lake Michigan coastline available in Illinois. You can choose to fish from the shore or head out into these productive waters. The fish you can target here include King and Coho Salmon, Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Steelhead, Perch, Freshwater Drum, Carp, Crappie, Channel Catfish, and more. Throughout the year there will be closed seasons for certain species, so check with the captain which species can be caught when.

Fishing Tips

  • Just below the dams, especially on the Mississippi River, use ¼ to 1 oz jigs and minnows on three-way rigs for best results. When above the dams, spinners and crankbaits are best.

  • Summer is the best time to catch Walleye, where they’ll be feeding en masse, so use crawfish baits. In the spring, plastic worms and crankbaits are used to better effect.

  • Along the Illinois River, use heavier weights than normal (around ¾ to 1 ounce). This will really get the attention of Sauger and Walleye.

Need to Know

There are many baits and lures anglers can use. In Illinois, it’s illegal to use live rusty crayfish.

Check with your captain about the number of poles that can be in the water at once. On many bodies of water in Illinois, only two poles are allowed. Ice fishing usually allows for three poles, but some places have tighter restrictions.

Regulations

You’ll need to purchase a fishing license before you cast your first line. Always check the latest regulations for the size and number of catch you’re legally allowed to keep.

Dispose of your fish correctly, and don’t fillet your catch on any waters where there are length limits.

When fishing in Lake Michigan, you’ll need to get a “Lake Michigan Salmon Stamp” before you begin your trip.

Budget

Trips in southern Illinois are generally half the price of trips further north. Eight-hour trips along the main rivers in the north range between $750–850 for six people.

The freshwater fishing in Illinois will keep you busy year-round. Whether you’re ice fishing, fishing the dams, or classic river fishing, anglers of all experience levels will love their vacation here.

Illinois
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Based on 27954 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

Bluegill on the Fox Chain O’Lakes is good this month. You’ll be ice fishing, so wrap up warm.

 
February

This is a great month for Sauger in the Illinois River. Fish for Perch in Lake Michigan.

March

Shallow waters are great for Crappie in March, before the spawning season starts. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and see the Chicago River dyed green!

April

Bass are good in the shallows this month. Join the Illinois Bass Federation for tournaments from now onwards.

May

Perch can’t be taken this month. Visit the Benton Rend Lake Water Festival for parades, food, and live entertainment.

 
June

Perch can be targeted after June 15. The Ravinia Festival is a three-month music festival that you should visit while here.

 
July

The North Michigan Avenue Art Festival showcases both known and unknown artists. Good month for Bass and Channel Catfish throughout Illinois.

 
August

Target Carp, Smallmouth, and Largemouth Bass in August. Visit the Chicago Air and Water Show and be amazed!

 
September

Plenty of music festivals this month, including the Viva! Chicago Latin Music Festival. State Good month to target King and Coho Salmon.

October

On land, visit the Chicago International Film Festival. In the water, target Steelhead, Perch, Brown Trout, and Channel Catfish.

November

Watch the Chicago Thanksgiving Parade, a huge spectacle not to be missed. Catfish continue to be good, as well as King and Coho Salmon.

December

December is a good month for Crappie and Blue Catfish, which can reach trophy sizes this month.

Illinois fishing calendar

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Listen to the local charter captains. Fish are plentiful, big, and delicious
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Listen to the local charter captains. Fish are plentiful, big, and delicious
Eric  S.
Eric S. Volo, IL
Obtain a map of the layout of the harbor and the parking area/ locations and bathrooms. If chartering a vessel, obtain the slip number and location of the vessel.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Obtain a map of the layout of the harbor and the parking area/ locations and bathrooms. If chartering a vessel, obtain the slip number and location of the vessel.
James  R.
James R. Mishawaka, IN
Be prepared for un expected weather even with predictions in the lake it feels much colder water temp was 74 air was 69 and it felt like mid fifty.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Be prepared for un expected weather even with predictions in the lake it feels much colder water temp was 74 air was 69 and it felt like mid fifty.
Maurilio  H.
Maurilio H. Doral, FL
Crappie fishing on Lake of Egypt is great, especially when you locate brush piles.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Crappie fishing on Lake of Egypt is great, especially when you locate brush piles.
Jamie  P.
Jamie P. Natchez, LA
This is a well maintained Harbor, which is apparent where ever you look. It is a disciplined, well organized facility you would be happy to bring the entire family. Well maintained grounds, dock slips and restrooms.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
This is a well maintained Harbor, which is apparent where ever you look. It is a disciplined, well organized facility you would be happy to bring the entire family. Well maintained grounds, dock slips and restrooms.
Dan  C.
Dan C. Hortonville, WI
It was cool in the morning and beautiful all day. Weather was great. Lots of stuff to do around the area to finish out a trip.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
It was cool in the morning and beautiful all day. Weather was great. Lots of stuff to do around the area to finish out a trip.
Melinda  B.
Melinda B.
If you come from fishing smaller lakes, be prepared for a lot more chop out on Lake Michigan. We had 3-4 ft so it wasn’t horrible. But it took some getting used to.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
If you come from fishing smaller lakes, be prepared for a lot more chop out on Lake Michigan. We had 3-4 ft so it wasn’t horrible. But it took some getting used to.
Stephan  W.
Stephan W. Southaven, MS
We packed way too much. Keep it simple--just a few drinks, light snacks, and handiwipes.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
We packed way too much. Keep it simple--just a few drinks, light snacks, and handiwipes.
Alexis  Z.
Alexis Z.
I recommend Captain Jim /Long Gone 3 charters. This was our first trip and he did really good job .
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I recommend Captain Jim /Long Gone 3 charters. This was our first trip and he did really good job .
Greg  B.
Greg B.
Make sure you know your weather! We checked with Capt Don the Sunday before tornado quality T-Storms were blowing through the area on our scheduled trip. We postponed a day for a much smoother ride!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Make sure you know your weather! We checked with Capt Don the Sunday before tornado quality T-Storms were blowing through the area on our scheduled trip. We postponed a day for a much smoother ride!
Kurt  W.
Kurt W. Hoffman Estates, Illinois
I would recommend to relax and expect to have a great day on the lake fishing.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
I would recommend to relax and expect to have a great day on the lake fishing.
Donald  R.
Donald R. Palos Heights, IL
I would recommend Fred Mooney as a good fishing guide. He seemed to know the area well. After the Strom's late last night. We where able to still catch a nice mess of fish.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
I would recommend Fred Mooney as a good fishing guide. He seemed to know the area well. After the Strom's late last night. We where able to still catch a nice mess of fish.
Jason  C.
Jason C. Danville, IL
Rend lake is huge! Only saw a small portion, but was not disappointed. Had a great guide! Fred with Full Moon Fishing Service was knowledgeable and friendly. Look forward to many more trips with his company ??❤️
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Rend lake is huge! Only saw a small portion, but was not disappointed. Had a great guide! Fred with Full Moon Fishing Service was knowledgeable and friendly. Look forward to many more trips with his company ??❤️
Tosha  V.
Tosha V. Monticello, IL
Bring light weight pants to fend off the biting flys that are present during July & summer months.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Bring light weight pants to fend off the biting flys that are present during July & summer months.
Bryan  B.
Bryan B. Arlington Heights, IL
Bring warm clothing. The lake this time of year is a cold trap and cools the air above it.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Bring warm clothing. The lake this time of year is a cold trap and cools the air above it.
Michael  K.
Michael K. Chicago, IL
Get a charter with Ray and Joe at Xtasea IV Charter for a great weekend fun day with your friends!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Get a charter with Ray and Joe at Xtasea IV Charter for a great weekend fun day with your friends!
Ryan  S.
Ryan S. Lake Forest, Illinois
Bring proper clothing ,sunblock and a great attitude ! remember it's the experience not the poundage of fillets. Although you may get both. There are no guarantees. Good luck.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Bring proper clothing ,sunblock and a great attitude ! remember it's the experience not the poundage of fillets. Although you may get both. There are no guarantees. Good luck.
Robert  R.
Robert R. Mokena, Illinois

3 Pound Fishing Guide Service – Lake of Egypt
3 Pound Fishing Guide Service – Lake of Egypt
Fishing charter in Marion
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
Captain Matt was a great host and put us on the crappie all morning, very knowledgeable and has a great boat/setup...would highly recommend!
Kevin  K.
Kevin K.
Full Moon Fishing Service–Rend Lake
Full Moon Fishing Service–Rend Lake
Fishing charter in Whittington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(38 reviews)
Our fishing trip to Rend Lake was one of our best. Fred Mooney did not disappoint. He was very professional and we were at our fish limit in no time. Will definitely book the next trip with Fred.
Ron  B.
Ron B.
Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(78 reviews)
Had a great time out on the water! Captain Frank made it a fun and informative experience. We went home with a full cooler of fish and some good memories.
Kyle  T.
Kyle T.
Jawzon Charter Services
Jawzon Charter Services
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(5 reviews)
Had lots of fun with captain Jim and first mate Ryan. Took us out over 10 miles to find fish and boy did we find them. Impressed with their experience and the way they handled everything and the stories made the time fly by!
Alan  S.
Alan S.
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
What a great experience! My friend and I had a fantastic time with Captain Jim. He's a professional, patient, and just a fun time! Much appreciated
Shane  H.
Shane H.
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(76 reviews)
Me and another dad brought 4 boys under the age of 11 on their first great lakes fishing charter. Daryl and crew delivered! super patient with the kids, they kept the enthusiasm up and we caught some of the biggest lake trout I've ever seen! Great memories today! we'll be back!
Andrew  G.
Andrew G.
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
Capt Jim knows where the fish are. You will not be disappointed. Been on two trips with him and limited out quickly both times. A+ experience
Ryan  K.
Ryan K.
Charter Boat Royalty – 36' Flybridge
Charter Boat Royalty – 36' Flybridge
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(2 reviews)
Being on the lake with our Captain and his crew was like being out with family. They were very professional and knowledgeable we felt very safe. The boat and all the equipment was top notch, it was like being on a cruse with family. I would recommend these guys to everyone THANKS FOR A GREAT TRIP SEE YOU IN APRIL
Michael  D.
Michael D.
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(76 reviews)
Captain Daryl and First Mate Erik made the experience a very memorable trip. They brought us out and found tons of fish right away all it took was for the fish to bite and they did. The two other people I had went with all caught their PB sized fish. It was a great trip all around and Daryl and Erik were a great crew. We will definitely be going next year for different in season fish.
Tristin  M.
Tristin M.
Thin Blue Line Fishing Chicago 33ft
Thin Blue Line Fishing Chicago 33ft
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(24 reviews)
Ernesto was a great captain who got us on the fish quickly, we had a wonderful time out on his boat, he was very knowledgeable about the grounds and where the fish were biting, I would recommend him to anyone.
Jonathan  B.
Jonathan B. Chicago, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
Captain Jim was prepared, knowledgeable, put us on the fish, instructed my son and I exactly what to do, and we absolutely slayed some massive fish. I would highly recommend Long Gone 3 charters to anyone. The highlight of our fishing career. Thank you so much for a great trip captain.
Eric  S.
Eric S. Volo, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
Captain Jim was personable, knowledgeable and maximized our time on the water ensuring we caught our limit. We would definitely recommend him for your next fishing excursion and will be returning in spring/early summer for another round. Book now, you won’t be disappointed!!
Erin  W.
Erin W. Forest View, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
What a wonderful experience! Captain Jim was friendly, knowledgeable, and great engaging with teenagers. A memorable day!!
Kate  S.
Kate S. Waukegan, Illinois
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
Captain James put us right on the fish. If your thinking about booking a charter trip, you can't go wrong with Captain James. I will definitely book again.
Robert  O.
Robert O.
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
Captain Jim was amazing at finding fish on Lake Michigan, and made the whole five hours and enjoyable experience.
Lawrence  N.
Lawrence N. Overland Park, KS
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(106 reviews)
Captain Jim and First Mate Eric were great hosts and put us on some big fish. Both very nice people and gave us a free comedy show. Will be booking again!
Trevor  W.
Trevor W. Lombard, IL
Full Moon Fishing Service–Rend Lake
Full Moon Fishing Service–Rend Lake
Fishing charter in Whittington
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(38 reviews)
There were some issues that were out of the captains control that he handled quickly and professionally. He put us onto some great fish dispute the poor weather conditions and time of year for crappie. Great trip will be booking again.
Burke  G.
Burke G. Madison, WI
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(76 reviews)
We went out despite the lake being a little rough, Captain and First mate were both very knowledgeable and knew exactly where the find the fish. We hauled in about 100 pounds of fish in 2-3 hours. Then the wind picked up so we headed back to port. If you want to catch fish, these guys know what they are doing and I plan to take my son out there again sometime soon.
Morgan  S.
Morgan S. Glenview, IL
Thin Blue Line Fishing Chicago 33ft
Thin Blue Line Fishing Chicago 33ft
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(24 reviews)
The lake was ruff today but we will return next year and will definitely use this company again
Ron  B.
Ron B. Athens, TX
Thin Blue Line Fishing Chicago 33ft
Thin Blue Line Fishing Chicago 33ft
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(24 reviews)
We had a great outing with Captain Ernesto and Leo. Our grandkids, ages 8 and 9 had a ball. Boat was very nice, crew was great, fishing was fun. Grandkids are looking forward to smoked lake trout. I would definitely use Thin Blue Line Charter again!
Mike  P.
Mike P. Libertyville, IL