Navigation Home Bass Catfish Crappie

Illinois Walleye Fishing

All about fishing for walleye in Illinois lakes.

Pick A LakePick A State

Walleye fishing in Illinois

The walleye prefers moderately deep lakes with gravel, rock or sandy bottoms. It is found primarily in cold water lakes but has proven to survive in warmer impoundments. It is prized for its great tasting filets. Click here to learn all about walleye fishing.

Walleye Fishing Lakes In Illinois

Walleye are often caught in rivers. In fact the Illinois state record walleye came from the Kankakee River. However, the vast number of walleyes are caught from reservoirs. They like cold deep water and can be found in many lakes in Illinois including Clinton Lake, Evergreen Lake, Fox Chain O' Lakes, Heidecke Lake, Kinkaid Lake, Lake Carroll, Lake Decatur, Lake Mattoon, Lake Michigan, Lake Shelbyville, Lake Springfield and Lake Taylorville.

Illinois walleye spawn in spring and when they have the option will choose to migrate from the lake up into feeder streams to spawn. If this option is not available they seek out shallow bars or shoals with clean bottom surfaces near deep water.

This toothy fish will eat virtually anything it can catch and get in its mouth. They prefer small fish and will eat crustaceans, worms and insects. They tend to be somewhat wary and prefer the safety of deeper darker water. Try fishing for walleye from sundown to midnight, particularly during the heat of summer.

Fish for Illinois walleye with live bait, crankbaits, spoons, small spinner baits as well as plastic worms and grubs.

Trolling for walleye from a fishing boat.

Fishing boats and boat rentals

Fishing for walleye in Illinois



World record: 25 lbs 0 oz

IL State Record: 14 lbs 0 oz

By clicking on the images and links above, you will be taken to a page offering more information about the selected species.

Also find information about walleye fishing in these states.


Learn the migration patterns of walleye

Walleye become active in spring and begin the spawning process in medium-depth water. As summer arrives they move to deeper, cooler water. In fall walleye migrate into shallower water again and feed aggressively preparing for their move to deeper water where they will spend winter. Visit the walleye fishing page for additional information about walleye activities.

Best walleye fishing lakes in Illinois!