The early bass season on Lake of Egypt begins around the beginning of the year.  Cold weather does not keep anglers like Matt Strobel off the lake.   

He begins on this lake for the early fishing because it is a power plant lake and it is in his back yard.  Later he moves on to other area lakes as the action begins to heat up. 

The seeming lack of cover is a bit deceiving but pre-spawn bass will stage in these areas just prior to moving into the spawning beds.  If the water temperatures are in the 50’s the water is prime for fishing with lipless crankbaits. 

Lake of Egypt is one of the best bass fishing lakes in southern,Illinois.  The 2,300-acre reservoir can be found in southeastern Williamson County about 7 miles south of Marionand just off Interstate 57.

 Built by the Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, the 93 miles of shoreline is owned in cooperation with local land holders and the U.S. Forest Service. 

The average depth of the lake is about 19 feet with a maximum depth of 52 feet.  Most of the shoreline is a combination of Milfoil and other weeds to a depth of 8 or 10 feet.  Some riprap can be found.  The three marinas on the lake are all found on the eastern side of the lake.  Site specific information with regard to boat regulations can be obtained from the marinas where the launch ramps are also found. 

Strobel attributes some of his success to the fact that a lot of people are not accustomed to fishing in water that is 18 to 30 foot in depth.  He releases all of his fish immediately except when competing in tournaments.  Then he will insert a needle in their side to help the fish avoid the bends from coming up too quickly. 

He likes to fish deep water structure such as rock, and secondary points.  Matt uses many of the same techniques in summer as in early spring.  Strobel uses most of the basic baits he just fishes them deeper.  Bass feed right up to the time they move on to the beds.  As a result they tend to be aggressive and willing to chase moving baits.  The sound emitted by most lipless crankbaits attracts and aggravates the fish into biting mode. 

Early on this angler fishes near the warm water discharge of the power plant in the northern part of the lake.  As the water begin warm elsewhere, he moves to shallow grass areas, points and small pockets.  Basically as the water warms fishermen move down the lake. 

As the spawn approaches it is wise to seek bass in shallows.  They are susceptible to pitching and flipping techniques.  The big females will be coming into the bank.  It might result in one of those big 5-pound fish the lake is famous for producing. 

Strobel recommends carolina rigs, jigs and spinner baits in the spring but is quick to say that you can catch bass on anything.  He has seen fish taken on some of the gaudiest looking lures you can buy.  He prefers to stay natural in his lure colors and tends to use dark colors. 

Strobel operates SnS Guide Service out of Marion, IL and can be contacted at 618-997-1341 or by email at:  He also has a website at



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