BASSIN SPRING LAKE   Leave a comment

Easing through the vegetation of this often choked lake requires patience.  We were relying upon a trolling motor that kept getting tangled in the abundant milfoil and coontail. 

Still it was a quiet spring day with no wind and heavy cloud cover.  We caught an occasional small bass.  The honking of resident geese and a sighting of a pair of tundra swans were the only interruptions to the sound of reels singing out due to our constant casting of crankbaits. 

Suddenly, my bait took a nose dive into the milfoil.  The four-pound monofilament line was strained to the max.  Suddenly, it stopped moving.  My first reaction was that whatever had taken my lure down and had entangled it in the vegetation and gotten away.  

I retrieved the line and found a bunch of weeds at the end.  But, wait there was a fish there as well, a nice 5.5 pound largemouth bass.  We verified the weight with a scale in the boat and then took pictures.  Subsequently the fish was released back into the lake with my gratitude. 

Spring Lake is a 1285-acre lake in Tazewell County,Illinois.  It is about 25 miles southwest ofPeoriaand consists of two bodies of water separated by a black top road over a causeway.  The North half of the lake is well known for its Muskie.  The south half where we were plowing through the milfoil contains bass and northern pike.  Both bodies of water also contain varying populations of bluegill, sunfish, crappie, channel catfish, bullheads and carp. 

Boating is allowed and there are ramps, docks and some rentals.  Much of the south end of the lake is a nature preserve closed to humans during spring nesting season. 

All too soon my day on Spring Lake came to a close.  We did manage to catch a couple of 4.5 pound bass in addition to that 5.5 pound fish mentioned earlier.  Since I do not keep the fish I catch, I usually do not pay a lot of attention to creel and slot limits.  But, in Illinois these limits do not vary much from one IDNR property to another.  

For more information about the lake and the Spring Lake Conservation Area contact the Site Superintendent at RR#2 Manito, Illinois 61546.  The telephone number is 309-968-7412.  Information is also available on line at and in the Illinois Fishing Information booklet published by the IDNR and available in any of their offices as well as where ever licenses are sold.


Posted 05/12/2011 by Donald Gasaway in Freshwater Fishing

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