Don't forget your fishing pole when planning camping trip or hike

  • Starved Rock is a good place to fish while you're at the state park hiking or camping.

    Starved Rock is a good place to fish while you're at the state park hiking or camping. Courtesy of Illinois Office of Tourism

 
By Evan Gregor
Daily Herald fishing writer
Updated 9/7/2021 5:36 PM

Fall is a great time to get out into nature in the Midwest, just don't forget to bring your fishing rod.

Activities like hiking and camping are great options during the fall, and for good reason. Comfortable temperatures, fewer bugs and gorgeous fall foliage make for a great all-around experience.

 

Fishing is also a great activity during this time for similar reasons, which makes it a perfect companion activity to hiking and camping.

There are plenty of areas in and around the area known for fall camping and hiking that also have good fishing opportunities. If you are looking to get out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather, and perhaps wet a line or two, these are great places to start:

• Starved Rock: A highly-popular hiking destination, many residents aren't aware the Starved Rock stretch of the Illinois River is an excellent walleye fishery. Look for walleye and sauger to be moving toward shallower, rocky areas where they stage through the fall. Crappie and Catfish are also favored targets in this area. (2678 E. 875th St., Oglesby, Ill.)

• Devils Lake: Located two hours northwest of Chicago, Devil's Lake State Park's picturesque beauty really pops as the leaves turn. The namesake lake, which is perfectly situated near main access points and trail systems is known for its brown trout population, along with robust populations of perch, walleye and bass. (S5975 Park Road, Baraboo, Wis.)

• Apple Canyon State Park: Apple Canyon State Park, located in far northwestern Illinois near Galena, is one of the most underrated water bodies in Illinois. Located near the South Fork of the Apple River, the area abounds with excellent smallmouth bass fishing. Crankbaits and jigs do great here, and the area is a gem for fly anglers. (8763 E Canyon Road, Apple River, Ill.)

• Hammel Woods: There is something for everyone during the fall at Hammel Woods in Will County. The preserve is home to extensive wooded and wetland areas, along with the DuPage River and an adjacent trail system. The over 3-mile trail is perfect for a leaf-viewing trek and excellent smallmouth and largemouth fishing. (23435 W. Black Road, Shorewood.)

• Independence Grove: A Lake County mainstay, Independence Grove is a great all-around fishery laid out perfectly for a quick visit on a fall afternoon. With a healthy population of bass, pike and panfish to its credit, along with a nice system of walking and bike paths, Independence Grove was made for all of those who enjoy the outdoors. (16400 W. Buckley Road, Libertyville.)

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