Illinois

23 Fishing Charters

Illinois Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Illinois

Top Illinois Destinations

Illinois: 23 fishing charters available

Twenty Four VII Charters

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $750

Long Gone 3 Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(72 reviews)
Waukegan
 Instant Confirmation

Storm Force Sportfishing

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $630

Kristy Lynn Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(74 reviews)
Waukegan
 Instant Confirmation

River Valley Charter Service

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(16 reviews)
Chillicothe
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $400

Musky Mob Guide Service Fox Chain

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(12 reviews)
Antioch
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $400

Bear King Fishing

Waukegan
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $600

Griffin Sport Fishing Charters

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(29 reviews)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $590

Rambling Rose Guide Service

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(11 reviews)
Sullivan
 Instant Confirmation

Kinn's Sport Fishing - Winthrop 36'

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(1 review)
Winthrop Harbor
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $684

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Illinois

The average price for a private 4 hour Illinois fishing trip is $555, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $698 based on prices on FishingBooker.com.

According to customer reviews, Twenty Four VII Charters, Long Gone 3 Charters, and Storm Force Sportfishing are some of the most popular fishing charters in Illinois. Full list of top fishing charters in Illinois.

Twenty Four VII Charters and Long Gone 3 Charters received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Illinois.

The most popular fish species you can target are Lake Trout, Coho Salmon, and Brown Trout. Top fishing techniques include trolling, light tackle, and jigging. Lake fishing, nearshore fishing, and offshore fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

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
4.6 / 5
Based on 25014 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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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
This was definitely worth the trip for a first time charter fishing experience and loved that everyone caught something and the captain cleans the fish on the boat and sends home with you!
Excellent
4.7 / 5
This was definitely worth the trip for a first time charter fishing experience and loved that everyone caught something and the captain cleans the fish on the boat and sends home with you!
Jennifer  J.
Jennifer J. Chicago, 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

Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
We had a great day on the water for our first charter fishing trip! We didn’t catch as much as we wanted but that’s how it goes some days! We’d definitely book this again because captain Harley did everything he could to get those fish to bite, so thank you again for a great experience and we’ll definitely be back again!!!
Charles  G.
Charles G. Peoria, IL
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(65 reviews)
We laughed, hooted and hollered all morning... wow. Fun fishing, with sincere attention to our level of fishing. My Italian colleagues were enraptured with Daryl's exploits and intimate knowledge of the fish, area, boating, etc. Great day with Matt the Mongoose as mate. Super proficient, but also a people person. Boat is perfect for this kind of day! These guys are pros.
Dan  B.
Dan B. Hidden Valley, PA
Thin Blue Line Fishing – Chicago 27
Thin Blue Line Fishing – Chicago 27
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(18 reviews)
Ernie was great worked very hard and we caught fish he was pleasant and good at what he does Highly recommend
Dave  C.
Dave C. Carol Stream, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(72 reviews)
Captain Jim did an amazing job. He was very personable and outgoing. Very entertaining and he knew exactly where the fish were. I am a first mate myself and have to say he did an unbelievable job. Highly recommend for anyone who wants to have a good time and catch some fish!!!
Amalia  H.
Amalia H. Virginia Beach, VA
Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
Early morning trip. Tired. But Captain Frank put us on the fish. Now we’re more tired, and happy. Great trip.
James  R.
James R. Homer Glen, IL
Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
Had a day trip with friends, and it’s been really great experience, catch a lot fish, equipment was great, boat was clean, big thanks to Captain Frank for his professionalism!!!! Will defiantly do it again
Ilya  C.
Ilya C. Palatine, IL
Storm Force Sportfishing
Storm Force Sportfishing
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
Captain and first mate excellent service. Very glad that we choose storm force
Roger  B.
Roger B. United States
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(72 reviews)
We all had a great time! We missed the big one, so it's still out there for the next charter! Captain Jim and Captain Andy worked the back of the boat to give us our best chances of catching. The weather was against us early and late for our full day charter (8hours) but Captain Jim was able to make decisions that got us out on the water and catching fish. Thank you to Long Gone 3 charters and Fish On.
Ryan  M.
Ryan M. Old Mill Creek, IL
Thin Blue Line Fishing – Chicago 27
Thin Blue Line Fishing – Chicago 27
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(18 reviews)
This was very enjoyable. Captain Ernesto made us feel very comfortable. He helped bringing in the fish. It was a reel great day
Sid  B.
Sid B. Dyer, IN
Storm Force Sportfishing
Storm Force Sportfishing
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
Nailed it. Caught some huge Lake Trout A huge rainbow and some Coho one was 14 pounds Captain Blake got us on the fish quick and all 6 of us caught fish. If you want a professional well tuned and experienced crew going with this captain is for you.
Wayne  M.
Wayne M. Beacon Falls, CT
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(72 reviews)
Captain Jim is great. We lost a couple but caught a couple nice ones. Planning to come back in the spring
Charles  D.
Charles D. Aurora, CO
Musky Mob Guide Service Fox Chain
Musky Mob Guide Service Fox Chain
Fishing charter in Antioch
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(12 reviews)
Thank God for this wonderful evening! Joseph is not just a great fishing master and a teacher but he also is a great guide. He showed us a whole chain of lakes. It was a lot of fun. Thank you, Joseph!
Andrew  I.
Andrew I. Chicago, Illinois
Storm Force Sportfishing
Storm Force Sportfishing
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
The boat was clean and well maintained. When we arrived at 5 AM the captain and crew were ready and waiting. The fishing was excellent. Captain Blake found the fish and kept us on them. He has a good network of fellow charter captains that allows him keep informed on what the fish are biting on. We had great weather but it was clear that safety came first. I would recommend Storm Force to anyone.
Michael  L.
Michael L. St. Charles, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(72 reviews)
Capn. Jim provided an awesome experience. Boat and gear were top notch. Fishing was slow but he found and lamded fish. Would definitely recommend and use him again!
Monte  C.
Monte C. Mahomet, IL
Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
Booked the half day trip out of Kenosha. From start to finish, we had a fantastic time. Never doubted for a moment that Captain Frank would get us on the fish. And he sure delivered! A great time was had by all. Top quality from the boat, the local knowledge, the patience, the professionalism and the neatly packaged filets we’ll be eating for weeks!! Do not hesitate to book with Twenty Four VII Charters - you will not be disappointed.
Robert  S.
Robert S. Glenview, IL
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Merganzer Fishing Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(65 reviews)
Thank you for your hard work and flexibility! A specially for not canceling the trip because of bad weather and working in rain.
Jack  O.
Jack O. Alpharetta, GA
Thin Blue Line Fishing – Chicago 27
Thin Blue Line Fishing – Chicago 27
Fishing charter in Chicago
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(18 reviews)
We were in Chicago from Kansas City, for the Elton John concert. I purchased this trip for my grandson's as an early birthday present. They had an absolute wonderful time. It was something they will always remember. Captain Ernesto was wonderful, we will definitely book again if we make our way back to Chicago. Thank you Captain Ernesto.
Karen  K.
Karen K. Blue Springs, MO
Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
Captain Frank is the best. Knows the lake, and will make sure you have fun and catch fish
Ed  K.
Ed K. Streamwood, IL
Twenty Four VII Charters
Twenty Four VII Charters
Fishing charter in Winthrop Harbor
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(58 reviews)
Captain Frank and Twenty Four VII were very professional and had us well positioned for a great day of fishing amongst friends. Captain Frank had us well prepared even with a mixed experience group and was very attentive the entire time. He almost immediately would spot if we hooked something even when it wasn’t obvious. We caught a mix of steelhead, lake trout, and salmon. Would highly recommend!
Robert  M.
Robert M. Glenview, IL
Long Gone 3 Charters
Long Gone 3 Charters
Fishing charter in Waukegan
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(72 reviews)
I achieved grand slam of spices with captain! I caught huge steel head and king salmon and brown trout! I will absolutely choose this captain if I come here again!
Satoru  T.
Satoru T. Maryville, TN