Southern Illinois is home to several lakes popular with fishermen such as the Cedar Lake, near Carbondale. Each lake has its own rules and regulations governing bass fishing, including the number of fish you're able to catch and the weight of the fish. Follow these rules when bass fishing in southern Illinois.
If you're visiting Cedar Lake, keep in mind that it has a limit of 10 horsepower when taking a vehicle onto the water. The best place for bass fishing in the lake is near the shoreline, particularly areas with shade or debris caught under the water. Bass prefer cooler waters and will stay in these areas for most of the day. Check the shallow parts of the water where the fish hide during the early part of the day.
Kinkaid Lake has more bass swimming in its waters than any other lake in the state. If you're fishing during the spring or early summer, look for bass farther out in the water, as deep as possible. In the late summer and early fall the bass stick closer to the shore and in shallower areas. Fish in areas with a large number of weeds or plants growing under the water.
Coffeen Lake has a limit of 25 horsepower, but people who visit are willing to cut back on their motor because the bass caught are typically larger than in other areas. A nearby power plant keeps the water warm and allows the bass to grow larger. It also has a longer bass fishing season. You can fish throughout the year, with spinner baits working well in the summer and brightly colored lures working well in the fall.
Lake Shelbyville is a hidden treasure for bass fishing in southern Illinois because not a lot of people know about it. Bass in the area range from fairly small to well over 10 pounds and the season runs through the fall. The best time for bass fishing is during the early spring when the fish spawn and you'll have the best luck looking in areas with debris such as tree stumps.