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Fishing At Crab Orchard Lake In 2024

AKA: Crab Orchard Reservoir

By AA-Fishing Staff Writers

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Guide to fishing for largemouth bass, channel catfish, black crappie, white crappie, bluegill and white bass at Crab Orchard Lake in Illinois.

Crab Orchard Lake, IL

At over 6,900 surface acres, with a wide variety of fish species to pursue, Crab Orchard Lake is an anglers paradise. It is located in southern Illinois a few miles east of Carbondale. If you like fishing around rocky shorelines with trees and brush, the lake has plenty.

The purpose of this page is to deliver an overview of this lake, the fishing options, and area amenities. Our goal is to provide info to first time visitors, as well as beginner and novice anglers. We gathered details from personal experience, numerous trusted websites that each offer select bits of information, and videos of fishing activity on the lake. These websites include the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, marinas at the lake, campgrounds, boat rental agencies and others. By consolidating this information to one page it allows visitors to see the entire picture, all in one place.

Lake Video

Crab Orchard Lake, situated in Illinois, is a haven for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Located in Williamson County, this picturesque reservoir offers excellent fishing opportunities and a serene natural environment. Crab Orchard Lake is known for its diverse fish population, attracting anglers from far and wide.

Bass fishing is a major draw at Crab Orchard Lake, with both largemouth bass thriving in its waters. Anglers can enjoy the thrill of reeling in these powerful game fish while soaking in the beauty of the lake. The lake's varied habitats, including submerged structures and weed beds, provide ideal conditions for bass to thrive, ensuring exciting angling experiences.

Channel catfish are another popular species found in Crab Orchard Lake. These bottom-dwelling predators offer anglers the opportunity to target and catch large, hard-fighting fish. Whether targeting them from the shore or a boat, anglers can experience the exhilaration of battling these feisty catfish.

Crab Orchard Lake is also home to black crappie, which attract anglers with their delicious fillets and challenging nature. These panfish provide enjoyable angling experiences, particularly for those seeking a rewarding catch. Whether fishing from the shore or in a boat, anglers can find satisfaction in catching good numbers of crappie from the lake's productive waters.

White bass and bluegill are also abundant in Crab Orchard Lake, offering additional angling opportunities. White bass are known for their aggressive nature and make for exciting catches. Bluegill, with their vibrant colors and willingness to bite, are often a favorite target among families and beginners. Anglers can enjoy the challenge and the potential for plentiful catches of these panfish species.

There are opportunities for shoreline fishing - some with easy access and some may take a bit of walking. The most efficient way to fish this waterway is by boat. Rental boats are available and there are several boat ramps for launching of fishing, pleasure and pontoon boats. Canoes and kayaks can be portaged from multiple locations around the lake. Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Campground offers camping and RV spaces, some right on the water.

Fishing Boats For Rent In IL

Primary fish species residing in Crab Orchard Lake

Click images for fishing tips and details about each species.

Largemouth bass Channel catfish Black crappie White crappie Bluegill White Bass

Crab Orchard Lake Amenities

Marina: YES
Boat Rental: YES
Boat Launch Ramp: YES
Campgrounds: YES
RV Hookups: YES
Lodging: NEARBY
Convenience Store: NEARBY
Bait & Tackle: NEARBY
Restaurant: NEARBY

Today's Weather & Forecast

In addition to fishing, Crab Orchard Lake offers ample opportunities for boating enthusiasts. The lake's calm waters and expansive surface area make it ideal for various water activities. Whether you prefer cruising on a pontoon boat, water skiing, or kayaking, Crab Orchard Lake provides a serene and picturesque environment for boating adventures.

Public Boat Launch Ramps & Landings

Crab Orchard Campground East Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off Campground Drive, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Crab Orchard Campground West Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off Campground Drive, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with gravel parking.

Crab Orchard - Northwest Boat Ramp And Parking
Located in the northwest corner of the lake, off Spillway Road, this is a three-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Broken Handle Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the south side of the lake, off Broken Handle Lane, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with limited, gravel parking.

Foreville Road Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off Foreville Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with docks and paved parking.

Highway 13 Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, at the east end of the Highway 13 Bridge, this is a two-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and plenty of paved parking.

Old Route 13 Boat Launch Ramp
Located mid lake, on the north side of the lake, off Old Route 13, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with a dock and gravel parking.

Refuge Road Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the northeast section of the lake, at the north end of the Refuge Road Bridge, this is a one-lane, gravel ramp with a gravel parking.

Spillway Boat Launch Ramp
Located in the southwest section of the lake, off Spillway Road, this is a one-lane, concrete ramp with limited, gravel parking.

Click here for a Illinois Fishing License.

For those looking to extend their stay, Crab Orchard Lake provides camping facilities. The lake features well-maintained campgrounds that offer a peaceful and scenic setting. Camping at Crab Orchard Lake allows visitors to wake up to stunning lake views, enjoy campfire cookouts, and immerse themselves in the tranquility of nature. The campgrounds provide amenities such as picnic areas, hiking trails, and fishing docks, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

Campgrounds & RV Parks Nearby

Crab Orchard Campground - 618 985-4983

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Campground - 618 997-3344

Crab Orchard Lake IL Map - Fishing & Camping Areas

Contact Information

Crab Orchard Lake
Blue Heron Marina & Campground
3697 Old Route 13
Carterville, Illinois 62918
618 985-2572

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge 618 997-3344

IDNR District Biologist 618 993-7094

 

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